#1 NYT bestselling author Linda Lael Miller
The Meeting Ground

Recently, I had the living room carpet replaced with something more dog friendly. I had the big sectional moved to the lake, where it works better, but that left two recliners, assorted tables, and a Christmas tree. The room has very high ceilings, so it echoes, and the drapes have been taken down because they don’t match the wonderful new paint on the walls. Except on Christmas Day, when I watched a lot of holiday movies, I didn’t spend much time in that room.

As of yesterday, I now have a lovely leather couch and matching love seat, as well as a new slate-topped coffee table and matching lamp stands. (Now for lamps, drapes, and the perfect pair of floral wing-back chairs.) But this morning, in the predawn hours, I switched on the fireplace and sat quietly in contemplation–silent prayer.

I need so much more silence than I allow myself. My mind chatters constantly. But it is in the Silence that we hear the Voice of God. It is in Silence that we receive the promised renewal, the healing, the Love and Grace we so badly need. Where can we find God? Well, I’m certainly no mystic, but I think it’s on the meeting ground that lies within the human heart. I plan to spend more time there.

Welcome, 2007

One of my favorite things about New Year’s is the sense of a fresh start and a clean slate. 2006 was a year full of blessings for me, but hard work and challenges, too. Two favorite uncles went on to the Great Rodeo Up Yonder, and I miss them sorely.

As you know, I do a lot of journaling. I also read a pile of devotional books, and it’s wonderful to have new ones, even as I go back through an old favorite, “Jesus Calling”, a gift from Debbie Macomber, and “My Utmost for His Highest”, the Oswald Chambers classic. This year, I’ve added:

CHOOSING LIFE-ONE DAY AT A TIME (Dodie Osteen, Joel’s mother.)

I’ll be reading DAILY GUIDEPOSTS 2007, too. Debbie Macomber contributed several of the devotions, as she has been doing for several years. (She’ll have a nonfiction inspirational book in August, so watch for it. Details at www.debbiemacomber.com. It will be worth reading, I promise.)

What are my hopes for 2007?

Peace, personal and worldwide.

Big, wonderful story ideas and the energy to write them.

The horses, back home in their new barn.

Happy times with friends and family, here and at the lake house.

More TV movies! “Last Chance Cafe” was such a kick to watch.

To beat Cleopatra at her own game, at least some of the time.

And maybe–just maybe–not to work quite so hard as I did in 2006.

What’s YOUR dream for 2007? Write it down somewhere, on an index card or in a journal, for instance, and expect it to come true. I’ve set aside a composition notebook for the purpose. Next New Year’s Day, we’ll compare notes.

May the New Year brim with blessings for you and for everyone you love. And just for good measure, those you don’t love, but should.

My gratitude list is a long one. Right now, my stepmother’s successful surgery is right up there. She’s got a ways to go, but the prognosis is good. Come to think of it, it wouldn’t be a bad idea to start a second composition notebook, devoted to all the things I’m grateful for. Then, when I’m cranky or discouraged or blue, I can remind myself, not just of the big blessings, which I think about and appreciate every day, but for the ordinary ones, too. Oh, those ordinary blessings! Worthy of a year of blogs, all on their own.

Until tomorrow, then.

“Keep your ear to the ground” referred to the practice of plainsmen listening to the ground to hear hoof beats. It became the westerner’s warning to stay alert.