Today seems like the perfect day to give you a tiny taste of Bless Her Heart, my novel that will come out on Halloween 2017. This snippet of a scene–which may be altered by the time you get the book–takes place on Ash Wednesday. Posey Love’s husband, Chad, has left her for another woman. Even worse, he’s left her destitute. After years of sacrificing for him and the fledgling ministry he created, she’s decided to make a rather unorthodox decision.
By this point in the Ash Wednesday service the minister had moved on to Matthew. He droned on about “not looking somber as the hypocrites do” while we fasted. Finally, we got to sit down, and the sermon began. Dour-faced Reverend Ford spoke about the traditions of Lent, the excesses of Fat Tuesday as exemplified by Mardi Gras—that actually sounded fun. He admonished his flock to make sacrifices that would bring them closer to God but pointed out that sometimes it was better to add something to your routine rather than to just give something up. He talked about his preteen daughter giving up soft drinks and how his wife vowed to get up fifteen minutes earlier each day for a devotion.
In essence, we were to find something that hampered us for being the best person we could be and to either add something to address it or to give something up if it held us back. If you drank too much, then give up alcohol. If television kept you from your family, then give that up. If you were unhappy about your physical health, add an exercise regime. The sky was the limit, he said, as long as we examined ourselves and looked at what was holding us back and keeping us from being the person God intended us to be.
Maybe Chad should look into giving up profligate spending and adultery.
No, I needed to think about myself. Not Chad. Chad would mean nothing to me just as soon as I could figure out how to divorce him. I needed to think on myself and what I needed to do because Liza was right: I wasn’t happy.
What could I give up—or add—for Lent? My husband? Nah, he’d taken himself away. Having a baby? That had been taken from me, too. Chocolate? Too trivial in comparison to the other two. What was something I had too much of, something that made me unhappy because it wasn’t good for me. Something—
The word came to me as if the Lord himself had whispered it, but I knew that couldn’t be the case. Why would God tell me to give up church? That made absolutely no sense. Of course, church did remind me of Chad, and I needed to stop thinking about him so it made sense in a crazy, weird sort of way.
Come to think of it, Chad hadn’t believed in Lent or giving things up. He said that was something Catholics did.
Heck, if Chad thought it was a bad idea, then maybe it was the absolute best idea for me.
If I still missed God after forty days, I could always come back to the fold. Maybe I could even find a different fold, one that better suited me. Having the bank foreclose on Love Ministries might end up being one of the best things to ever happen to me because now I was forced to look for another job and, goodness knew, I hadn’t been doing anything more than stumble through life the past few years.
But giving up church? That’s so. . . wrong.
And what has doing all of the right things done for you?
And that’s all you get for now! Mwa ha ha. As you can tell, Posey’s driving the struggle bus at the moment. Bless her heart.
You can, however, preorder the book AND/OR we’ll be having a Release Party complete with shot glasses for those who preorder from FoxTale Book Shoppe–details to come on that later in the year.
FoxTale Book Shoppe–It’s not here yet, but they do have signed copies of my other books…