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Things That Make Me Want to Write…


2014-10-08 09.04.39

It’s weird, what sparks my creativity. Usually, it’s random things.

For instance…

Country music.

I know, I know. Some of you might be rolling your eyes. Country music isn’t for everyone. In fact, I don’t really listen to it very often. But recently, my husband and I found a station on Pandora that we love. 90s country music. Because that’s when we both listened to it and every song seems to bring back memories.

Here’s the thing about country music.

It tells a story.

Often those stories involve love.

And often, those love stories get the creative juices flowing.

Something else that makes me want to write?

New places.

Recently, I found myself in Brussels.

I was traveling through on my way home from Kinshasa with a five hour layover. So I, along with my travel buddies, decided to venture away from the airport and see what we could see.

Walking around the narrow, cobbled streets, listening as passersby spoke in foreign languages, sampling the most delicious waffle I’d ever tasted, taking in the breathtaking architecture…

Yeah, that got the creative juices flowing too.

Other things that flip my writerly switch and gets the inspirational juices flowing…

– an inspiring sermon

– back road driving

– a good book

– people watching

– witty poetry or beautifully written stories

What inspires you? Have you ever been to Brussels?

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Sunflowers from Iowa
Before I turn the microphone over to my friend, I feel prompted to say that she was not bribed, blackmailed, or coerced in any way to say such kind things. :-) Take it away, Jennifer…
Thank you Katie, for the opportunity to guest post here. I promise not to use this space to ask people for money. Like. More than once.
How about twice?
Ha. I know, you’re all rolling in the aisles…
Let me introduce myself. My name is Jennifer Major, I’m Canadian, a wife and mom, an avid reader, a thrift store junkie, an antique restorer and a mini-van opera singer. I love to garden, I know how to say “God bless you” in Bolivian Quechua, Spanish and English…I love Merrell shoes and Jones New York clothes. I have blue eyes red hair, and a deep, unending fear of somehow ending up in jail.
Like, for real.
And yes, that was an actual fact.
Here’s another one.
At a time when I was truly floundering, Katie Ganshert was my life line. But, she probably didn’t know that. What? And you thought I was all perky bunnies and double rainbows?
Nah…but even if you did, thanks.
You see, I cannot remember how I met Katie, but it was through a writer blog, somewhere, although I’m not sure which one.
But this isn’t about that whole writer thing. It’s about that whole friendship thing. You see, sometimes when we 50-somethings try to grab our dreams so they don’t become regrets, we get lost, and we feel the need to act like we have it together, even when we don’t. Because we don’t want to freak out our kids or husbands. And our friends. And just about everyone. So we hide behind what we know to be safe, and curl up as best we can to wait out the storms. Because a dream can get out of hand and sometimes jumping for it ain’t the way out.
Katie thought I was a newb writer asking questions. But God had other plans. He knew I was a middle aged woman feeling like I was back in middle school, getting lost in the halls, day after day. He knew I needed a friend, someone with a big, beautiful smile, and an even bigger heart.
Once again, this is not about the writer thing it’s about finding a friend in a whirlwind.
I’d opened a door to a world I didn’t understand and Katie was there, in the back ground, at first. But I watched. I read her blog, and I realized she’s the real deal. We got to know each other through emails and Facebook, I even sent her chocolate. Tip? Don’t send chocolate in the mail in July. Just. Don’t.
As I went from simply asking her questions, to becoming a Facebook friend, to actually becoming an actual ‘I love you enough to tell you candy corn is disgusting’ kind of friend, our Katie has taught me a lot about friendship. That I can be friends with someone I’ve never met. That there are friends who willingly downplay their “woo-hoo” moments and achievements, then break my ribs when I have good news that really doesn’t even compare.
I’m SO thankful that God nudged me to step out and dream, and that He sent me so far out of my comfort zone…because that’s how I made another friend, a sunflower to add to my garden.  A sunflower named Katie.
When’s the last time you stepped out of your comfort zone? Any fun byproducts result in the stepping?
1379617_535996673146445_1545426168_nJennifer Major has been married to her husband John for 25 years, they have four children and live in New Brunswick, Canada. Jennifer grew up in the big, beautiful city of Vancouver, BC, but prefers life in her small town. Mostly because none of the houses cost 3 million dollars. She’s done mission work in Bolivia and is proud to say she can ask for lettuce in Spanish. You can follow her writing journey by visiting her blog and Facebook page.
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It Ain’t Easy, but It is Simple

trust open palm

There’s this line in my newly released novella, An October Bride, where Emma Tate and her father are having a fire-side chat about the concept of trust…


This is another thing cancer has done. It’s taught my father the art of living in each moment. He doesn’t look ahead. He doesn’t let himself spiral into a storm of what-ifs. He relies on God’s strength for today and trusts him with tomorrow. For me, it’s a constant struggle. I let out a puff of breath. “You make it sound so simple.”

“Trust is simple.” He holds up his pointer finger. “Not easy, but simple.”


There is nothing complicated about putting your trust in someone.

It’s like that trust exercise, when a person stands behind you, and without looking back, you fall. You trust that the person will catch you.

Falling is simple.

It doesn’t take a lot of thought. It doesn’t take a lot of planning or figuring or solving. It’s just something you choose.

That’s trust. It’s not complicated.

But like Emma’s father says, it’s not easy, either.

I don’t know about you, but this is a lesson God has been teaching me these past twelve months.

Again and again and again, He’s asking me to trust Him. Even when it’s difficult. Even when I’m scared. Even when I don’t feel His presence behind me.

As you read these words, I’m probably high up in the air, somewhere over the Atlantic Ocean. Or maybe I’m headed from Brussels, closer to the equator by now.

Why am I high up in the air above the Atlantic or the equator, you ask?

Because I’m on my way to visit my daughter, who doesn’t live at home with Ryan and Brogan and me, but lives instead in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

She became a Ganshert on July 17, 2013. But because of reasons too convoluted to go into here on this blog, she remains in the DRC. We pray every day that God would allow her to join our family.

And every day that she remains there and we remain here is another day God asks me to trust Him.

Some days are easier than others.

We started this adoption process three years ago. Nothing about it has been easy.  And yet, if there is one thing that God has shown Ryan and I as we walk this journey, it is His goodness.

Which might sound funny to outsiders looking in.

I mean, our little girl is 6000 miles away in a country where 1 in 5 children do not make it to their fifth birthday.

But there it is.

The mercy and grace He has extended to us, and our daughter too, has been undeniable.

So on the days when trust feels like a particular shade of impossible, I hold tight to that goodness. I hold tight to that mercy and that grace. And I remember that thus far, God has never dropped me.

In the words of that very very VERY popular song by Hillsong…

“You’ve never failed, and you won’t stop now.”

What is God asking you to trust Him with today?

You can purchase An October Bride (an 88 page novella) on e-book or audio wherever e-books and audio-books are sold. Please check out the An October Bride book page for more information and buy links.

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