Paying the Ultimate Price: A Salute to Veterans

Veteran’s Day graces the November calendar, brightening it with red, white and blue. And although this isn’t a day to salute those who paid the ultimate price, it is a time to honor those WILLING to pay it.

Thank you to those currently serving in the United States Armed Forces. I offer you the deepest respect. And to those who served in the Armed Forces in times past, thank you for your service.

Yes, I’m technically a veteran since I served in the US Army Reserve, but it feels like a cheap imitation of the service given by men and women who left their families behind to face enemy fire in a hostile place. I’m in awe of those people (and there was a time in my life when I would have gladly been one of them).

A couple months ago, I read a blog post that touched me. It featured a military veteran.

The Price of Giving it All by Kelly Balarie

Two shadows appeared. One was a small, old, hunched over man with a cane and the other a young and vibrant woman with a flowery dress.

Sitting, they leaned in toward each other and talked. A father and daughter? 

All I could think as I noticed this man’s feeble body, his leaning body on that old war memorial was, “He must be telling her about a life that counted.”

He’s saying, “Sure, I paid a mental price, seeing all that war stuff, seeing people fall. The battles, the pain, the sacrifice. But when push comes to shove, I gave my all. My life. I offered up what mattered.”

Only a few minutes later, I saw the “Vietnam War Veteran” pin on his cap. I wanted to remember this man, because without saying a word, he delivered to my heart a message from God: Kelly, if you give it all up for me, you won’t look back and regret your life. You’ll sit on a memorial of what I did and rejoice over it.

I asked the man if I could take his photo.

To finish reading this post, click here.

I was touched by the idea that God used this bent soldier to speak to the heart of a normal woman. A woman who had never donned a uniform.

He used the old war memorial to remind her (and through her, me) that He will build a memorial of our faith when we give up everything for him.

Jesus promised to reward his followers if they willingly forsook all to follow him. This requires daily recommitting our future to him, picking up our cross and following.

Paul compares the Christian life to that of a soldier.

And let’s face it, most of us live in a cushy home and wear whatever uniform we want and eat things that make military chow resemble Dog Chow. So why aren’t we willing to give it all up for Christ?

As we enter these next few days, flags will fly. Memorials all over the U.S. will host special ceremonies to honor veterans.

If Christ is your savior, consider enlisting in his army, signing on for a lifetime of service. Suit up in the spiritual armor and step outside your comfort zone, committing to give Him all.

He already paid the ultimate price for you.

Are you serving Jesus? Can you commit to following him every day?

What I’m Writing for National Novel Writing Month

National Novel Writing Month is officially here. And I’m in the middle of the writing, which is why you will only see Monday posts from me during the month of November.

You know how I asked all of you for help deciding what to write about? I had four fantabulous ideas. I explained all of them to you here.

I even ran a poll on Facebook.

And then I woke up the week before November started with a fully formed new idea.

It happened to fit closer to my brand than any of the other ideas.

Worse yet (or is that better yet), I had asked women to pray specifically about what I should write next. The same day I got the idea, two of them messaged me to tell me they had prayed for me that very morning.

You know, the one when I woke up with an idea that wasn’t the one I had been outlining most of the previous week.

The one about elves that I was dying to write and all of you encouraged me to give in to the non-brand urge.

The morning when this new idea came to me, I couldn’t drum up even an ounce of excitement about Evendon and the elves. Magic held no appeal. Except for the romantic kind that joined two hearts by true love.

May I introduce you to an inspirational romance?

A cover I roughed out to use at nanowrimo.org
A cover I roughed out to use at nanowrimo.org

Abbie Andrews adores her job as a home healthcare aide and piano teacher. Does it bother her that her friends are about to graduate from college and start big time careers? Maybe a little.

When she meets the great-grandson of one long-time patient, things get a little wacky. Evan Winters is handsome and heartbroken. His initial anger turns to begrudging acceptance. Until his grandmother’s funeral.

Ex-soldier Evan Winters has no intention of giving his heart to the presumptuous pianist. No matter how much she smells like Spring or makes his heart sing. When she avoids him after Grandma Fedora’s funeral, he figures that’s the end of things.

Until a chance meeting brings her into his arms. Enter a matchmaking little brother who nurtures dreams of using Uncle Sam’s money to fund his college education, and things get a little interesting.

Will Evan find the faith he needs to convince Abbie that he’s more than a broken string on an antique piano? Can Abbie surrender her expectations to embrace the melody Evan awakens in her heart?

Oh yeah. This is technically an inspirational romance since there will be faith-based motivations, especially in Abbie’s life.

So, I thank you Abbie and Donna for the prayers. And, yes, I named my heroine after you because nothing else seemed to fit.

Wish me well. I plan to write 50,000 words or more before eating turkey and stuffing on Thanksgiving Day.

If this post appealed to you, you might like Hero Delivery. It’s a bulletin with deals and specials from Sharon Hughson. It can be on the way to your inbox in a few clicks.
Check out Finding Focus and my other books. You’re sure to find something worth reading.
Already read one of more? Please leave an honest review on your favorite site. That’s like the author discovering a gold nugget in the bottom of her washing machine.