Today we have a guest devotional from author Sherrie Hansen Decker.
Romans 5:2-5: “Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God. More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.”
The main character in my new release, LOVE NOTES, is a woman named Hope Anderson whose youthful hopes and dreams died with her husband in an auto accident. Hope’s “Plan B” is to finish renovating and reopen Rainbow Lake Lodge, to see it bubbling with families, children, and laughter again – she believes, the perfect way to honor her late husband’s legacy. Due to an unfortunate set of circumstances, that dream is also about to die.
When I was a young woman, I hoped that I would marry the perfect man. I hoped that I would become a mother. I hoped that I would be happy, and have a wonderful life. But when I should have been patient, I rushed into marriage to the wrong man. Nothing turned out the way I’d hoped it would. My marriage – my life – was a disaster. As things were falling apart at the seams, I remember thinking that my life was ruined – forever. I could not see a silver lining, or the rainbow after the storm.
Thankfully, God had other plans for my life. It took a few years for God to “work all things together for good” – I call it being blessed with “God’s Perfect Plan B”. I never did have children, but God gave me an extended family who loves me, brothers and sisters who are kind enough to share their children with me, nieces and nephews who love me and are a wonderful part of my life. He gave me a Bed and Breakfast and a Tea House, music to lift my soul, friends and activities that I enjoy, a new chance at romance, and many books to write.
Romans 12:12 says “Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.”
Our hopes and dreams may have to be altered and adapted over the years, but one thing that never changes is God – our strength, our comfort, and our hope. Jeremiah 29:11, For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.
Sherrie Hansen Decker lives in a 116 year old Victorian house in northern Iowa who, just like her, got a second chance when she rescued it from the bulldozer’s grips and turned it into a bed and breakfast and tea house, the Blue Belle Inn. Sherrie has enjoyed learning about hope and love, and the difference a little faith makes while telling the story of Hope Anderson and Tommy Love in Love Notes which will be released on June 4, her fifth book. Her husband, Rev. Mark Decker, is a pastor and Sherrie’s real life hero. You can find her at http://sherriehansen.wordpress.com/
For Hope, recreating the past – reopening the lodge and seeing it bubbling with families, children, and laughter again – means new life. It’s the only way she can honor her late husband’s legacy.
For Tommy, a famous pop singer, Rainbow Lake means coming home – peace, quiet, seclusion – and a second chance at stardom. Once he’s bulldozed the lodge and built his dream house overlooking the lake, everything will be perfect.
Hope is sinking fast, but she’ll be fine if she can just keep her head above water until spring. Tommy’s troubles run a little deeper, but there’s no need to worry for now… Rainbow Lake is frozen solid. Or is it?
From Lyn Cote, author of the Women of Ivy Manor series:
“I would subtitle Sherrie Hansen Decker’s inspirational romance, Love Notes, ‘When Dreams Collide.’ The hero, a famous pop singer-songwriter, and the heroine, an owner of a failing MN resort, are both burdened with the “dead” past. But neither see it that way–until forced to. A cast of interesting and very alive characters and plenty of intriguing plot twists make for a satisfying read.”