I’m very excited to host a giveaway of RUN, RIVER CURRENTS in preparation for the upcoming launch of a little novella that will highlight some of the habits of Emily’s godly grandparents—some of the key people God ultimately used to later draw Emily to Himself. You have noted that while RUN, RIVER CURRENTS was written from the perspective that I had at the time, this novella will highlight the hope of godly grandparents whose eyes were much more fixed on the hope of what God could do in the lives of their loved ones regardless of the circumstances.
In RUN, RIVER CURRENTS, I mentioned a button box as it is a key focus of the novella. I'd like to tell you a little more about it. Years ago, especially during World War II, people had to be frugal. They saved everything, and my grandparents were no different. Each piece of worn-out fabric was used to make quilts, every button saved for another use. My grandparents’ button box was a tin box, about 10 X 15 inches in size. The design once depicted a pasture scene, although the bright colors are now faded. When I was young, I remember it sitting high on an old oak hutch in the corner of their kitchen. I don’t remember when I really noticed it, but I do remember the times Gram or Gramp would bring it down. For a child, it was like a treasure hunt. The lid would open, and hundreds of buttons, all various sizes and shapes, were there to explore. I still see my grandfather’s face light up when I’d pull a button out and ask about it. Who knew how many lessons of grace would come from the stories told of those buttons.
Because I was so young at the time, I don’t really know how those buttons affected my grandparents, but because they were both godly people—not perfect mind you, but godly—I’d like to think that the buttons were constant reminders of those they had loved, lost, and prayed for. In my mind, I can still see the facial expressions of my grandparents when certain buttons were pulled from the tin…the joy, the bowed heads in thankfulness, the sadness. Not every button story was told; some memories were too painful or too personal to share. I would hear their prayers, the way they prayed for friends and family with deep, long prayers of thanksgiving and supplication. It was a lesson for me on how to pray for others.
In my own life, I have seen a strengthening in my prayer life. For many years, I just “went along” praying what I call “fluffy” prayers, asking God to “give me” what I needed, not understanding that my purpose in life is to worship Him. I believe that most Christians, including my grandparents, may have done the same thing in their youth. Then God strengthens us with trials, driving us to His Word where we learn to really trust and believe what He is telling us, teaching us to lean on Him. When we turn to God’s Word, we learn how He wants us to pray, when He wants us to pray, and for what purpose we are to pray. It is only then that we can learn to understand His will for us. Sometimes it takes years. Other times it takes little reminders, like the buttons in that box, to keep us focused on His will for us. I believe those buttons were small reminders to my grandparents about God’s loving hand on their lives.
Someone asked me if I have a button box or anything similar to it, and if so, would I reccommend that my readers have one. I do have one. In the past, I have kept my extra buttons in a small glass box, but recently I found a large tin box, larger than the one my grandparents had, that reminds me of their old one. I just dumped all of my buttons into it. I have a long way to go to fill it, but I must admit that just having it near, placed on the top of my own old oak hutch, is a daily reminder of the beauty of the lessons of those buttons, lessons I hope to share with my own grandson as he grows.
I think a symbol of God’s grace, as simple as a button box, is a wonderful reminder to pray for those in our lives. I have just begun to ask friends and family to send me buttons off any old clothing or item they have along with the buttons’ story. I think this will encourage me to pray for them. Sometimes we need to be reminded.As for what ways this novella will tie in with Run, River Currents? Well, the story of the button box, yet unnamed, is the prequel to Run, River Currents, told from the viewpoint of John Polk, the main character’s grandfather in Run, River Currents. His viewpoint is that of a man who has learned that God has a plan for His children and that through fervent prayer and faithfulness to God’s Word, God will prevail. One of the last scenes in the button box story will speak of his granddaughter, Emily, and a lesson that he imparted to her about God’s grace that will eventually lead her to salvation. The story of the button box is uplifting and full of tender memories, while Run, River Currentsis dark and without hope until the end of the story. One story shows where the Christian life can be, even in the midst of trials, if he or she turns to God and accepts Jesus Christ’s saving sacrifice, while Run, River Currents shows the life and attitude of a lost person who has no hope. Both end with the joy of knowing God.
The work should be completed and published by early summer 2013.
So, for you readers, click on this link to enter a giveaway for Run, River Currents. Then watch for more news on the launch of the button box story!
And if YOU have a special button that carries a memory, why not send it off to me with the story. It might end up in the book and in my button box! Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org for my address!