Books and Other Writing by Jeanine

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Paper Dolls: Trust Your Instincts

You will not want to miss this story that highlights a very real epidemic right here, in the United States. Appropriate for ages 14 and up, Paper Dolls: Trust Your Instincts is a must-read. Your eyes will be open to the signs of human trafficking and your heart will be moved to get involved to help stop this evil that is rampant throughout the world.

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Walk With Me

Photo by Francesco Ungaro on Pexels.com
Sunlight found no place to break.
Clear, cloudless sky gave the straight rays 
room to run
to the pond.
Across the bridge, glass below reflects and
lessons the ache
for a moment.
Walking, wandering,
ears in tune to breathing 
grown breathless 
as all the world weeps.
As all retreat into fear
and I cry for a new story.
That it will be well 
for I don't feel well.

Along the pebbled path 
beside the creek as darkness crept in
we turned.
Returning, 
and sunset presented gently tonight.
Slowly meandering,
tears dammed tight
in refusal
to break.

And there she stares 
emerging from woods
across the speckled water.
A statue breathing
frozen in time.

We gaze, 
one upon the other
and even my dog lies prone.
Unmoving.

The sound of applause
erupts
from left and right.
In rhythm yet disconnected
as if nature cries,
yes.
Stand.
Look.
Watch how we slow and observe
in unhurried movements.
Watch how she steps in time to her reflection
perfectly framed.

I dare to move
just a little. 
We stare again,
transfixed
as I will myself to breathe.
She goes,
farther,
in the tall grass 
disappearing
and I turn.

The applause ceases and we step more slowly
deliberately
as waters deepen to
reflect the last rays
of sunset's glow
while
out of sight
I hear the applause begin again.

That We Might Find our Home in You

Root us in a place, Lord, that we might find our home in you.

The Book of Common Prayer

We are such a transient society. Me, this girl who lived in the same tiny town until I was twenty-three? Even I have moved more times that I would have thought. Three towns in Texas, one in Pennsylvania, then four different houses in Middle Tennessee over the past twenty-five years have given me a collection of memories and friends that I treasure. But all those moves have also given me a deep desire for roots that run deep.

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Decisions, Decisions

We made the drive out to Shelbyville, Tennessee on a crisp November morning to pick out stain, doors and knobs for our soon-to-be-built bookshelves.

My fourteen-year-old son sat in the back of my Ford Explorer, long legs stretched out in front of him from his chosen spot in the third row with the second rows seats folded. I complained that I felt like a chauffeur with him sitting all the way back there, but he didn’t bend. “I like it back here so I can do this,” and he somehow stretched those growing legs even longer.

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Control this Chaos

In our home, there is a massive shortage of bookshelves. Built in 1999, this fact is quite a surprise because most houses from that time period (especially those built by the same builder as ours) have lots of beautiful built-ins. But, not ours.

There is a lovely front room, though, that was used by the previous owners as a formal living room. It will make a perfect library. Sure, I could put some pretty sofas and arrangements in there and use it for entertaining but our crowd of people is more of a chips and Ro-Tel dip kinda crowd. The formality would be a complete waste of space. We would honestly never use it.

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Oh, to be Young!

There is a young woman at my church who makes me smile every time I see her. She is not just beautiful, she is strong. Tall, model-status lovely, smart, and full of life. It was my honor to host her 18th birthday party here at Autumn House.

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A Christening of Sorts

“You can say no,” she said. “But I want to throw my nephew a surprise party and I was wondering if we could use your house.”

It was an easy yes. We have a big, spacious home with a pool along with a pool house that just screams to be used for parties. When the Lord gave us His name for our home, He also gave us a vision: Fill it up. Fill it with family, friends, and strangers. Use it. Bless with it. Be generous and allow the Kingdom family to feel at home here.

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Everything Old is New Again

Originally published May 22, 2020 on alifeofsimplejoys.com.

It feels like we just unpacked, happily discarding the last of the boxes and beginning a new life here in this beautiful neighborhood surrounded by hills and pasture. I have become accustomed to the drone of maintenance equipment each morning as they parade out onto the golf course. The dawn has awakened me with her bright glow before my alarm even has a chance to chirp and I always say it’s the best way to wake up–slowly, naturally, aware that the day has just begun and I haven’t missed the sun’s appearance on the molten edge of the distant hills. The sunrise never gets old.

Even on rainy days like today.

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Let’s Build a Garden, Part 2

After the construction of our big, beautiful raised beds, I called around to find out who would deliver dirt. After a bit of research I found a company whose dump truck wasn’t broken (that is apparently a common issue around here) and they delivered a big, beautiful pile of soil just a few hours later.

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The Cats

When my husband and I first married, we “cat-sat” for a friend for about a month. That was the end of my cat parenting for nearly 25 years. I think the line was drawn when one of the precious kitties knocked over and shattered one of our crystal candlesticks. A wedding gift. My sentimentality was offended and I said, “Never again.”

But then we moved here to this beautiful spot of land and, well, there are pests. Mice, moles, huge Dobson Flies (Look them up. I kid you not.) that would be better controlled with the addition of some outdoor felines.

Yes, outdoor only. I mean it.

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