April McGowan

Cat’s In The Cradle

Grant_CatinWindowFun news! Some time back I was asked to write a real-life story about our kitty, Spookers, to be added into an compilation of short stories. Well, the book is out, and I have to say it’s a really great read. If you like kitties, you’ll love it.  I wrote a story about our Jack, too, but it felt grim and made me cry every time, so I didn’t ask to add it. Our Jack-kitty died of leukemia–but I don’t regret the four years we had with him. The story about Spookers is called Lost In Translation in the compilation The Cat in the Window. I hope you’ll get a copy and let me know what you think!

Jack-kitty has been gone two years now, and Spookers still looks for him on occasion. Jack and Spookers had an unusual relationship. Jack was a kitten when we adopted him. He had Spookers bullied from the beginning. He’d leap out at him, especially in the dark garage where their litter box is kept. He’d harass him until Spookers lost his voice from hissing. At the same time, they were nap and grooming buddies. Jack would always let Spookers eat first, waiting patiently at the side until Spookers was done. If Jack was in my lap and Spookers came by, he’d jump down and Spookers would jump up–taking the spot of the head kitty. I never could figure it out. Even two years later, though, Spookers enters the garage expecting to be pounced on–in fact we recently installed a night light directly over his kitty box so he won’t have to worry. He’s completely convinced that Jack, or something,  is out there–waiting.

I’m like that–needing a spotlight to shine the way in the darkness (especially on the way to the bathroom in the middle of the night!). There’s nothing there waiting (except maybe the corner of my desk), but I can convince myself there is. Those fears can be paralyzing if I let them. What will happen if I can’t keep up with housework and marketing and writing? What will happen if I rest today instead of pushing myself to finish the laundry and that blog post that’s been nagging me for days? Will I miss an opportunity if I let down my guard? Will I let down God?

God created work for us to do (see the verse in Ephesians below), but he also created times of rest. Questions and doubts can plague me and steal my peace if I let them. Instead, I need to submit to the Lord and just keep putting that one foot in front of the other–or take that much needed nap before continuing on. I’m not a linchpin in the Lord’s plan–if I don’t get something done, someone else will do it, or it will wait. I love that He is so big that He can use me–or not–and still accomplish His mighty work. That sure takes the burden off my shoulders.

What troubles plague you today? Do you need to let Him cradle you and give you rest? Take courage–whatever you decide, if you are walking closely with the Lord, that will be the right decision.

Ephesians 2:8-10 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. (full text here)

Mathew 11:28-30 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” (full text here)

 

 

 

 

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Hello Again

Jasmine saleHi. You probably thought I forgot all about you. I know it’s been ages. I’m sorry. Let’s recap:

My novel launch went spectacular. Huge THANKS to Alexa Mason from Portland Rescue Mission and Sally Faddis from Door to Grace for coming and speaking about their ministry outreach programs for hurting women and children. It’s incredible what those two groups are doing to get women and children off the streets and love them for Christ.April Reading

 

We had a great turnout, ate lots of cookies, drank some wonderful coffee and tea and were safe and cozy away from the storm raging outside. I mean, what could be better than a good book and yummy treats? I know! If you were able to attend, thanks so much for being there sharing in a huge pinnacle moment for me. You made it extra special.

Snacks

 

Well, then came the crash. My physical crash. It took a full week to really recover from the excitement and tension of the event–thanks chronic illness! And then the family got head colds. Now I have a head cold. You see the pattern? So, really, I didn’t forget you, I’ve just been bogged down.

Now you’re thinking, but what about the contest? Who won? Without further delay:

CONGRATULATIONS to Jessica G. for winning the autographed copy of Jasmine!  WHOOP.  (I actually let her know via FB right after the contest ended–but I feel it’s important to make a public announcement!). Thanks to everyone who shared about my novel launch and the paperback release. I couldn’t have done that without you! You were great!

Amazing and humbling reviews are coming in for Jasmine. If you’ll permit, I’m going to share a few here, and then I’ll let you go. Thanks again for all the support and love. You really are the best!

What readers are saying about Jasmine:

“Jasmine is an incredibly well-written tale – one of those stories that makes me feel as though I truly know the characters.”

“Authentic.”

“Couldn’t put it down.”

“A beautiful story of rescue and redemption.”

“Jasmine is a deep, poignant story which provides hope and help for any who’ve suffered from abuse.”

“Jasmine was a raw look at the life of a survivor.”

“A captivating read with passages that melt your heart with the pain of Jasmine’s past and the struggle to find normalcy when her life has suffered from the deviant behavior of others.”

 

Have you read Jasmine? I’d really appreciate a review at your favorite online retailer or Goodreads. Thanks for reading, thanks for sharing, and thanks for all your encouragement!

 

 

 

 

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