Welcome April! Even though you bring us frightening news, we’re glad for the warmer weather. This morning in Butler County, Iowa, on the way to work, my sister captured the sunrise, and had graciously allowed me to share her photos.
I’m so glad she took the time to pause on the roadway and snap these shots, in a season when we all need reminders of beauty and hope. And what signifies hope better than a gorgeous sunrise?
Maybe this can remind us, too, to PAUSE in the midst of bad news. To take the time to do what we can during this period. A ninety-four year-old said the other day, “This makes me think of the polio scare back in the late forties early fifties.”
What a recollection–the polio epidemic struck fear into the hearts of Americans everywhere. This woman’s sister developed partial paralysis from the disease–she experienced the effects of this disease firsthand.
It’s almost always a good thing to PAUSE and consider history–realizing how we worked together to survive other scary times infuses courage. and courage has a lot to do with that wonderful four-letter word H O P E.
May you sense hope right now, even in the shadow fear casts over us.
I just heard about a great opportunity for those of us who know how to sew–it’s a way to contribute to the mask shortage right now. A friend of mine in Payson, AZ sent me this photograph of the fabric masks she is making.
If you’d like more information about how to do this, go to:
Learning from history–and advice about preventing the coronavirus!
Why this title for the first Women of the Heartland series, taken from a childhood hymn our congregation sang in tiny Aredale, Iowa? Because the sentiment seems perfect for what Addie, my heroine faced duringWorld War II.
When I researched the hymn, which I assumed was an “Oldie” a surprise awaited me. A troubled Pennsylvania housewife penned the words in 1943, when Addie was struggling with her home front battles!
The daily Pittsburgh newspaper troubled Ruth Caye Jones, a pastor’s wife and the mother of five. World War II causality lists and the Allies’ slow progress up the boot of Italy made distressing news for the whole nation. With loved ones in harm’s way, worker shortages and rationing at home, everyone longed for normalcy.
One day, a passage in 2 Timothy chapter three, caught Ruth’s attention: But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come. Inspiration took over as she jotted some lyrics on a small notepad. Then the Westminster Chimes playing on her old mantle clock supplied the tune.
The rest is history: a common housewife penned one of the most beloved Gospel songs of the 1940s and 1950s, “In Times Like These.”
In times like these we need a Savior; In times like these we need an anchor. Be very sure, be very sure Your anchor holds and grips the Solid Rock!
This Rock is Jesus, yes, He’s the One. This Rock is Jesus, the only One! Be very sure, be very sure Your anchor holds and grips the Solid Rock!
Now we have our own trying times and can learn from those difficult World War II years when people constantly feared for loved ones fighting overseas. They also dealt with rationing and shortages, yet somehow navigated the ever-increasing tension that gripped our nation.
Centuriues earlier, when another era faced a daunting health challenge, one concerned citizen wrote,
You ought to think this way: “Very well… the enemy has sent [a pestilence]… I shall ask God mercifully to protect us. Then I shall… administer medicine, and take it. I shall avoid places and persons where my presence is not needed in order not to become contaminated and thus perchance infect and pollute others… If people in a city were to show themselves bold in faith when a neighbor’s need so demands, and cautious when no emergency exists, and if everyone would help ward off contagion as best he can, then the death toll would indeed be moderate. But if some are too panicky and desert their neighbors in their plight, and if some are so foolish as to not take precautions but aggravate the contagion, then the devil has a heyday and many will die.”—Martin Luther on “Whether One May Flee from a Deadly Plague”(c.1527)
Isn’t it amazing how appropriate these reflections seem for our day?
During our self-quarantine, we hear lots of advice. One online friend from the U.K. sent us some helpful tips:
Clean metal surfaces often and carefully, as viruses can live on them for days.
Drink lots of warm liquids–coffee, tea, soups, and gargle with antiseptics like vinegar, lemon, and salt
Elevate your body’s zinc level
Wash hands every twenty minutes, and if you go out, take a shower when you return
Avoid eating and drinking cold things
Sip warm water every twenty minutes
I’m grateful for these practical suggestions, (It doesn’t hurt that I love hot tea, and so does Addie!)
May you and your family stay safe during this time. And may you read a lot!
The wife of our President during World War II encouraged people worried about the terrible state of the word and their loved ones fighting overseas. She said, take courage.
How do we “take courage”? First, we must still our overwrought hearts. Sometimes historical facts aid in this effort.
Every era has its challenges, but consider this: sixteen million Americans served overseas in WWII. Two million of these served in Europe in order to stop the murderous surge of Naziism. In 1945, of a population of 140 million, roughly 11% of all Americans fought on foreign soil. (In Iraq, only about 1% of all Americans served.)
Our nation is experiencing lots of tension now, but what if our husbands, sons, and brothers were in harm’s way? Or our daughters, as nurses, jjoined the troops in their invasions?
Knowing our history helps us keep PERSPECTIVE…and in times like this, we need all the perspective we can get. So why not spend some time reviewing the incredible World War II era, when Americans rose up en masse to serve each other and our nation?
Stilling our hearts…taking courage…a great idea for our time!
Don’t we love it when things flow harmoniously? These moments remind us to be grateful, but our situations can also get complicated. Then, nothing seems right.
This week, our relative faced cancer surgery, which went well. But a few hours later, his blood pressure dropped due to internal bleeding. Things worsened, and two surgeries later, he was on the mend, but you can imagine those tense hours.
Recently the son of a real-life WWII heroine, Dorothy Woebbeking, sent me this photo of the gun turret where his mother fell asleep in the Invasion of Sicily in 1943. She and the other nurses were sent in on the first wave, a huge error by their commander. During incoming fire, a gunner rudely awakened our heroine and sent her below.
What a terrifying period that must have been! Those of you who have read UNTIL THEN
know what happened next, so I won’t spoil it for others, but the war overflowed with situations like this. Dorothy’s son also sent this note printed on the back of the photo.
Even those who’ve never experienced war know that nurses shouldn’t go into battle ahead of the infantry. This frightening circumstance must have caused terror in the heart of every person aboard that LST. ( Read how all of this turned out in UNTIL THEN.)
But in the midst of all the chaos life throws at us, we still discover synchronicity. The other day, I met a man whose accent intrigued me. We chatted, and it turns out he was a child if France during World War II, with vivid memories of that period. We arranged to meet yesterday, and I learned that Jean Jacques still recalls the Allied forces moving north through the French Alps in 1943-44.
His father had sent his family from Marseilles, a center of Nazi and Resistance activity, to a little mountain town for safety. Jean Jacques recalls pleasant childhood times there, but also the American and Canadian troops passing through the Alps.
What’s interesting is that the Eleventh Evacuation Hospital, which included our heroine Dorothy, followed the troops through these mountains to set up their triage and surgery. Wow–it’s entirely possible that Jean Jacques witnessed the truck carrying Dorothy and her thirty-nine-nurse comrades!
Today I’m meeting again with this child of the war, now in his eighties. This time, I get to see some of his photos. And who knows what may result?
Who would have thought that in the tiny mountain town of Pine, Arizona, someone like this would cross my path? But that’s the joy of research–our sources lie all around us!
You may notice a few changes to my website…not HUGE things, but a tweak here, and a tweak there. The Gallery page, for example, now boasts some great World War II photos. Just a picture is all it takes to set my mind wandering…wondering. How did that generation, ordinary folks like us, tackle their era’s challenges?
Sometimes thoughtfully…often without time to think. We don’t hear a lot about them praying, although can you imagine how mothers and fathers, sisters and brothers lifted up their loved ones on the battlefront each day?
Having a family member “over there” changed everything. I would think a person’s perspective would alter greatly–suddenly your flesh and blood was risking life and limb for the cause.
Recently I learned that the truck driver for Dorothy and the other nurses with the Eleventh Evacuation Hospital went to the effort of heating their food on his truck’s engine. Can’t help thinking that when she wrote her parents about his concern, their faces lit up. Somebody was watching out for their daughter.
Maybe he thought it was a small thing–one little act he could do to brighten the nurses’ days. Makes me think of my dad, who drove a jeep in North Africa, too.
So, this “renovation” might seem small, but maybe it’ll make a difference in someone’s appreciation of this incredible era. That’s what I’m all about!
My fascination with historical books began at an early age. I loved reading and watching the Little House on the Prairie series. It captured my attention and seemed like such fun to live during that time period. I was hooked.
Of all my novels, I’ve only created one that was contemporary. That one has never seen a bookshelf, as it’s buried in my file cabinet. It’s a youth mystery I wrote when I was a young teenager. Back then I was reading a lot of Trixie Belden and Nancy Drew. 🙂
There’s something about the 19th Century that still draws me in. It looks like a simpler life even though they had to work hard to eke out a living. Perhaps it’s the thought of fewer distractions that makes it so appealing.
My newest novel is set in Kansas in 1875.
I loved delving into the topic of mail-order brides. Here’s what the back cover for Taming Julia says:
In 1875, Kansas bachelor Drew Montgomery’s sole desire is to serve God, but his congregation’s ultimatum that he marry or leave, forces him to advertise for a wife by proxy.
Jules Walker strides into Drew’s life wearing breeches and toting a gun and saddle–more cowboy than bride. After years on the trail, she’s not exactly wife material, but she longs for home and family, and will do anything to ensure Drew never discovers what she really is.
How about you? What genre is your favorite?
Jodie Wolfe creates novels where hope and quirky meet. She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW), Romance Writers of America (RWA), and COMPEL Training. She’s been a semi-finalist and finalist in various writing contests. A former columnist for Home School Enrichmentmagazine, her articles can be found online at: Crosswalk, Christian Devotions, and Heirloom Audio. She’s a contributor and co-founder of Stitches Thru Timeblog. When not writing she enjoys spending time with her husband in Pennsylvania, reading, walking, and being a Grammie. Learn more at www.jodiewolfe.com.
Here are some great photos from you-know-who. Lance was out early this morning with his camera, so I’m sharing some IOWA SPARKLES. It’s a winter wonderland, and fun to enjoy this artistry.
It’s about thirty degrees warmer here under the Mogollon Rim where I am today, but I can still appreciate the glitter of snow on every single needle.
This is kind of like the way we journey vicariously with our favorite fictional heroines. The first character of the WOMEN OF THE HEARTLAND series still seems very real to me–real enough to re-launch IN TIMES LIKE THESE…and here is the new cover.
It should be just a few days now until In Times Like These re-enters the world.
It’s been enlightening to go back through this book and get to know Addie in an even more meaningful way. She’s still the same make-do Greatest Generation young woman, but I’ve learned a few things since her first launch, and think you’ll enjoy her story even more.
As clearly as if in a waking dream, she saw herself married to Thomas, saw herself loving him with all of her heart and soul. Which, of course, was impossible. Painfully so. Quickly, she dropped her gaze, blocking his scrutiny. Surely her eyes would give away both her foolish feelings and her dirtiness.
He reached up with his fingertips and gently tilted her chin upward, forcing her to look him in the eye. “Forgive me, but … I need to see if that was just my imagination.”
She swallowed hard. Look away, Anna …
And now, a little more about this novel.
Wings Like a Dove by Camille Eide
Have you ever felt as if you didn’t belong?
Growing up, Anna lived through many upheavals and displacements and has never truly felt at home anywhere, but at least she always had her family. Home was wherever she and her mother and siblings were. But since her family has come to America, she has found this new country not as welcoming as she had been made to believe. This feeling intensifies when, turned out of her home, she finds herself in a place where Jews are despised. But this time, Anna is far from family and friends. She is wired for community, thriving best when part of a larger whole, but now, alone in this strange, hostile environment, she faces not only danger without, but also heartbreaking loneliness within.
Unwed and pregnant, adrift and alone, Anna finds not only solace and refuge among the rag tag family of orphans and their kind caretaker, but also champions. Thomas and the boys have taken a stand against the wave of bigotry in their community and refuse to be bullied. In their home, Anna may have found refuge and shelter against hate, but then again, she may have only landed in the eye of a storm. Finding out where she belongs in the world will have to wait. What she needs now is to protect herself, her unborn child, and this family she has grown to love… even though it means leaving her heart behind with these boys and the man who would do whatever it takes to raise them into men of faith, compassion, and honor. A man who longs for Anna in ways she is desperate to forget.
Anna faces hatred and danger, but her biggest fear is that she will never truly belong, never feel anchored again.
If you’ve moved a lot growing up or in life, what anchors you?
About the Book:
Can the invisible walls that separate people ever come down?
In 1933, Anna Leibowicz is convinced that the American dream that brought her Jewish family here from Poland is nothing but an illusion. Her father has vanished. Her dreams of college can’t make it past the sweat-shop door. And when she discovers to her shame and horror that she’s with child, her mother gives her little choice but to leave her family. Deciding her best course of action is to try to find her father, she strikes out . . . hoping against hope to somehow redeem them both.
When Anna stumbles upon a house full of orphan boys in rural Indiana who are in desperate need of a tutor, she agrees to postpone her journey. But she knows from the moment she meets their contemplative, deep-hearted caretaker, Thomas Chandler, that she doesn’t dare risk staying too long. She can’t afford to open her heart to them, to him. She can’t risk letting her secrets out.
All too soon, the townspeople realize she’s not like them and treat her with the same disdain they give the Sisters of Mercy — the nuns who help Thomas and the boys — and Samuel, the quiet colored boy Thomas has taken in. With the Klan presence in the town growing ever stronger and the danger to this family increasing the longer she stays, Anna is torn between fleeing to keep them safe . . . and staying to fight beside them.
About the Author:
Camille Eide is the award-winning author of inspirational fiction including The Memoir of Johnny Devine. She lives near the Oregon Cascades with her husband and is Mom, Grammy, and enjoys the natural beauty of the Pacific Northwest. She also loves the liberating truth and wisdom of God’s word, and hopes that her stories will stir your heart, strengthen your faith, and encourage you on your journey.
Her other titles include:Savanna’s Gift(Christmas), Like There’s No Tomorrow, Like a Love Song, The Memoir of Johnny Devine, and The Healer(exclusive to newsletter subscribers).