#1 NYT bestselling author Linda Lael Miller
Tuesdays with Hazel

Today, I’m taking my mom, Hazel, out for lunch and a little shopping. I don’t get to spend enough time with her, because of my schedule, so I’m really looking forward to this.

My mom is a very special lady, with the quickest wit I’ve ever seen. Her smile brightens a room, and she’s the one who blessed me with two things (among many) that have stood me in good stead through a lot of trials: my love of books, and the spiritual foundation I received because she sent me to Sunday school. When I was small, marching off to Northport Presbyterian Church with a quarter for the collection plate wrapped in a cotton handkerchief, I had no idea that the Bible verses I memorized would eventually save my sanity and perhaps my life.

Later on, for instance, I was a young bride, and my husband was away in Viet Nam. Fighting at the front, he was in constant danger. I was lonely at home, and in a job I truly hated, but couldn’t afford to quit. I remember driving from Spokane, through a blinding snowstorm, to visit my parents, who lived in Kettle Falls at that time. I was at the end of my rope, and crying so hard I could barely see the road.

And then these words came back to me, as clearly as if they’d been spoken out loud:

“Be still and know that I am God.”

I was instantly consoled. No, all my problems weren’t solved. I was still broke, still excluded from a mean-spirited little clique in the office where I worked. (In retrospect, I see that as a good thing.) My marriage was destined to fail, and there were other hard things ahead, too. But that single verse opened a place in me that has never closed, a platform on which to stand.

Today, I thank God–and my mom–for all those Sundays I wasn’t allowed to sleep in.

I Have a Dream

Today, we celebrate the courage, honor and foresight of a man who knew what we all must eventually learn, if we are to survive. Learning to treat others with kindness, dignity and respect is not optional. It’s life or death, for us, and for the whole planet.

The Reverend Martin Luther King’s ‘I have a dream’ speech might have been expressed in another, older way: Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.

I have a miracle to report, too. A very big one. On Saturday morning, I was sitting right here at this table in my kitchen, sipping coffee and thinking about what I would do with the day, and the telephone rang. Low and behold, it was my friend Vicki, calling to say hi and report on her husband Larry’s progress following the monumental surgery I’ve mentioned in recent blogs. There was a silence on the line, and then–it still makes me tear up just to think about it–I heard a slurred voice say, “Hello, Linda.”

It was Larry! Larry, whose tongue was removed. Larry, who might have been able to speak, thanks to a grafting process, after months of therapy. Truly, the Master stood with His hand on Larry throughout the surgery. Only one words suffices here: HALLELUJAH!!

The stitching across the toe of a cowboy boot is called a toe wrinkle.