April McGowan

Book signing at Beaverton Library Author Fair

beavertonlibraryOn Saturday April 25th, from 10 A.M to 1 P.M  I’ll be signing and selling copies of my novels at the Beaverton Library Author Fair, along with a few other author buddies (and authors I hope will soon be friends). I’m really looking forward to it. This is the Beaverton Library’s first author fair ever–so it’s exciting to have been included! I hope you’ll stop by. Here’s the address:

Beaverton Library, 12375 S.W. Fifth Street, Beaverton, OR 97005.

 

 

I’ve been putting the finishing polishes on To Hold the Light. I’m so excited about this new book. I’ll keep you posted on its publishing journey! If you want an idea of what the book is about, check my Pinterest page HERE. You can listen to inspiring songs and watch incredible videos-and see pics of what Mocha looks like (Amber’s cat–you have to have a cat!). Here’s the back cover info.

To Hold the Light by April McGowan

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Amber had all she ever wanted. A great job teaching art to gifted children, an adorable apartment, a best friend whom she could turn to for anything, and a guy who might just be the one. But when Amber gets the distressing news that she’s going blind, her world is upended and she’s left in a darkening spiral with no visible escape.

Now, facing blindness and the possibility of losing everything she’s come to hold dear, she doesn’t understand where God is in all this devastation. Her birth mother had abandoned her when she was only a toddler. Then she faced the crushing experience of her adoptive dad passing away in her teen years. Her adoptive mom was supportive, but she threw herself into her work and didn’t have time to coddle Amber as she grieved. Trusting others wasn’t Amber’s strong suit, but somewhere down deep she’d always thought God had her best in mind. Now she wasn’t so sure. Hadn’t He been the one to give her the gift of painting? Now He was taking that away. How did letting her go blind bring Him any glory at all?

 

So, what do you think? Let me know below. Oh, and let me know if I’ll get to see you at the fair.

Until next time, many blessings,

April

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How He Loves Us

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The very word, Spring, reminds me of freedom and newness. Of being made over. Of Jesus. And Easter. His sacrifice. His rising and our being made over in His image. This can be a painful thing (see my previous post). But it can also be such a freeing thing. We need to be taken out of our old container, where we’ve been bound and kept, where our roots stretch to find space, nutrients and moisture. But He uproots us. That’s how He loves us. Our roots fasten to the container, but He keeps pulling until we break free and we are cradled in nothing but his loving hands.

I have this plant that continues to shoot off a new leaf every month as the previous one dies, but it never gets any bigger than that. Yep, it’s got two leaves. It’s bound to its constraints, but it doesn’t give up. It also can’t do a thing about getting soil or a bigger pot. It won’t get any healthier unless I do something about it. 20150402_163314(It’s on my TO DO list. Don’t worry!)

When we first moved to Oregon in 1994, I was aching for a garden—but we lived in an apartment. We went to a garden center, dreaming of what we might have one day and the owner talked us into a viburnum. It was a small tree-like looking thing in a pot that we could move from place to place, with bunches of white, glorious smelling flowers. She said it’d survive in the pot, so we bought it and took it with us from apartment to apartment for eight years.

Once we bought our house, we took that tiny plant and pulled it from its root bound pot, broke the roots loose and plopped it down with some fertilizer and covered it with soil, hoping for the best. The first year it didn’t do much–it was adjusting. It didn’t even flower. But then, it began to grow. And grow. Now I have to remember every year to cut it back away from the house. It’s thriving, rich and spreading out so fast I can’t keep up with it. Every year, for three weeks each spring, it bursts out with fist-sized bunches of sweet, aromatic flowers that fill yard (and house when we bring clippings in) with the perfect sweet smell of spring.

viberum flowers

Change can be hard. We might not even know we need it—we’re happy in our pots and we balk at being pulled out of our safe havens and plopped down somewhere else—maybe somewhere scary. A new place. A new illness. A new challenge. A new opportunity for submission to the master gardener.

I’ve been reminded this week that even when the future is unknown, we can trust in the One that loves to tend us and who knows when those changes are necessary. Just like I need to take care of that poor plant on my window sill. It won’t like it right away. But it’s the merciful, loving thing to do. I can’t wait to see how it grows.

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