“I’m so glad to see you haven’t lost your bounce!”
Someone said that to me earlier this year, reflecting on how our family has survived several major challenges. It remains one of my favorite compliments, even if it did make me wonder how many people think of me as “Tigger.”
It goes deeper than a glass-half-full attitude. Some days simply can’t be attached to a silver lining. Some bad news can’t be gilded. While plots should always make sense in my books, life doesn’t always hand us the opportunity to say, “Oh, that’s why it happened that way.”
I admit, humor plays a key role. Even if you have to dig very, very deep, I believe you can find something amusing in almost any situation. I’ve been known to crack jokes in the most dire of circumstances—mostly because it’s my way of saying “I’m not done for yet!” Life has also taught me to seek out funny people if my own sense of humor has gone sour.
I’ve learned that what others might call “optimism” is really trust. Trust to stand firm in the belief that God hasn’t turned His back. To declare, even when you can’t see a sliver of evidence, that God is still in control. I love the saying “It’s going to be all right in the end. If it’s not all right, it’s not the end.” That’s true optimism. My definition of Heaven? The place where it all becomes “all right.”
I sent my character Jeannie Nelworth on the same path to trust. Her optimism fails her, and she spends so much energy trying to ignite her sunny nature that she ignores her trust muscles. She forgets the basic truth that sometimes the best faith we can display is to turn and look straight at the dark place in front of us. To walk through the fire in the knowledge that God never stops caring for us, protecting us, and seeing to our growth even if it means watching us in pain.
As an author, I have the privilege of ensuring that Jeannie gets her “all right” at the end of the story. All the little pieces don’t line up in perfect order—after all, real life doesn’t work that way—but they do line up to the trustworthy path God has laid out for her. It’s my prayer that every reader sees a little farther down their own path of trust when they close my book.
Falling for The Fireman recently released from Love Inspired.
There's something achingly familiar about the look in fire marshal Chad Owens's eyes. Widowed mom Jeannie Nelworth knows firsthand what it is: loss, hurt and yes—bitterness. Ever since the fire that changed their lives, Jeannie's young son has borne that same look, pushing everyone away. So she's grateful when Chad tries to get through to the boy with the help of his trusty fire station dog.
But the man who's all about safety and prevention keeps himself protected—from loving and losing again. Seems as if Jeannie will have to add his kind, guarded heart to her rebuilding efforts.
An avid knitter, coffee junkie, and devoted chocoholic, Allie Pleiter writes both fiction and non-fiction. The enthusiastic but slightly untidy mother of two, Allie spends her days writing books, buying yarn, and finding new ways to avoid housework. Allie hails from Connecticut, moved to the midwest to attend Northwestern University, and currently lives outside Chicago, Illinois. The “dare from a friend” to begin writing has produced two parenting books, fourteen novels, and various national speaking engagements on faith, women’s issues, and writing. Visit her website at www.alliepleiter.com or her knitting blog at www.DestiKNITions.blogspot.com
For your convenience: print copy link and e-book links included below (in that order).