Monday, February 29, 2016

Days Go By...

*breaks into "Days Go By" by Keith Urban* I can feel them flying like my hand out the window in the wind as the cars go by... Uh, pardon my singing. *clears throat*

Happy Leap Day, everyone!! :D I'm spending my 'extra' day this year at the eye doctor. *gags* No, really. It's not that bad, and afterwards Mom and I are going shopping. xD 
Anyhow. Seeing as how this is the last day of the month (I typed 'year' the first time. Like, whhhyyy??), I'm doing a 'February review' post...of sorts. ;) Hey, at least I got a better post title than last month, right? 

What's been happening :) 

- I wrote my first ever Flash Fiction, and I was actually quite satisfied with the results. I can improve, sure. But it's not terrible. 

- I won my first writing contest!! Yay!! xD (More on that here.) 


- I got The Emotion Thesaurus by Angela Ackerman & Becca Puglisi (prize from aforementioned contest) and it's AWESOME!!! 

- I discovered an awesome site, known as Thriftbooks. It's seriously THE BEST! xD 

- I listened to lots of great music like Just be Held by Casting Crowns, Walk on the Water by Britt Nicole, Your Love by Brandon Heath, More Like Falling in Love by Jason Grey, Exhale by Plumb, and 3:42 AM (Writers Block) by MercyMe (this song perfectly describes my life right now, by the way.) 

- I took lots of random pictures of ordinary/awesome things. 

Pencil

Binder with all my stories inside. :) 

iPod

- loving a certain pen, and going to Walmart to buy more because your favorite color of the set you have dried up. *shakes head* It's a tragedy, I tell ya. xP
These are seriously the best pens ever B-) 

- I raided the non-fiction section of my library. They probably cringe when they see me coming. ;)
We call this research, folks B-) 

- I raved over a movie soundtrack with a friend. ;) 

- a discussed books and life with another sweet friend :) 

- I made a cup in pottery and added 'write' to the side of it. :D I'm using it for a pencil cup, though whether that helps with my writing/school work or just distracts me, I'll never know. 

- realizing I have color-coded notes on morphine administration. (It's research, people. It's research.) 

- taking pictures of adorable dogs because they are girl's best friend



- I participated in the February challenge on Go Teen Writers and thoroughly enjoyed the experience. :) 

- I found another writing quote that I LOVE, thanks to Raechel

- feeling super blessed to have you all as 'blog friends' and realizing just how much y'all mean to me. *hugs* <3 

- I woke up one morning to a 'broken' toe. (This actually happened in January, but it's still red and enlarged so it counts. *nods*) 

- A hilarious supper last Saturday night. My brother and I were already in giggly moods, and it only increased. Parts of our conversation went something like this... 

Me: Tucker, your head looks like it's sloped forward. 
Tucker: Well, your head dips down in the middle. 
Me: Yeah, I know. 
Mom & Dad: (continue eating supper, trying to ignore they're extremely strange children) 

Then later when he's getting some ice cream... 
Tucker: (opens ice cream carton) There ain't no rocks in this road! (scoops ice cream) Hey, it looks like Sis's head.  

*eyeroll* Just for the record, the ice cream did not look like my head. ;) 


- And lastly, a list of books I read/finished this month. (You knew it was coming.) 
A Soldier's Promise by Laura Scott
2 John
The Last Ride by Susan K. Marlow
Waltz in the Waves by Sarah Holman 
He Did This Just for You by Max Lucado 
3 John
At the Christmas Lodge by Rebekah A. Morris 
Christmas at Rose Hill Farm by Suzanne Woods Fisher 
Redeemed by Faith Blum
The Asylum by Heather Fitzgerald
Maelyn by Anita Valle 
G.I. Joe & Lillie by Joseph S. Bonsall 
Anchored by Kayla Aimee 
I Survived: The Bombing of Pearl Harbor, 1941 by Lauren Tarshis


If you just need a few laughs, leap (get it?) over and check out Katie's list of 100 ways to celebrate Leap Day. xD 

Also, I added a "Stories" page to this blog. Check it out and let me know what ya think! :D 

Thanks for reading everyone! :) Happy Leap Day!! *leaps away* 
~Faith 

Saturday, February 27, 2016

The Spectacular Book Tag!!

Good evening everyone! (At least it's evening when I'm writing this... ;)) How was your week? I've got like nothing accomplished! 
Jonthan from The Second Brother tagged me for The Spectacular Book Tag!! Yay! I know what you're thinking. "She just did a book tag!" I did. But this one is different, it looks like fun, and BOOKS. How can I not do it? ;) 

The Rules:
1. Answer the questions
2. Tag 3 to 5 bloggers

Here goes! 

1. What are your favorite book covers? 
I have so many favorite book covers. I love books, and I love good, pretty, book covers. If the cover catches my eye, there's a good chance I'm going to read the book. If the cover looks bland and boring, I'll probably not. (Unless it was like recommended to me or I like the author or whatever.) Here's my top favorite covers of my books. :) 


The Princess Adelina by Julie Sutter. I haven't read this book, but the blues and greens are SOOO pretty!! 
Gentle Annie by Mary Francis Shura. I haven't read this one either (yet!) but I love the cover picture of Annie and a wounded soldier. 
Goodbye to Yesterday by Wanda E. Brunstetter. I love the cover of every book in this series, but this one is my favorite. There's just so much in it. And the series is amazing too, so it's only right that the covers be gorgeous. 
The Last Ride by Susan K. Marlow. From when Mrs. Marlow first revealed the cover of this book, I thought it was amazing. The blue blending into a tan is so beautiful. :) 
Love Finds a Home by Wanda E. Brunstetter. I really like the western/prairie look of this cover. If you look close enough you can see that the cover girl has one blue eye and one brown, just like Judith King in the story. :)  
Avery's Crossroads by Deanna K. Klingel. I like the cover of this book with Avery and Gunner, his dog. :) 
GI Brides by Grace Livingston Hill. The flower and letters on this cover are so pretty and vintage-y, and the colors are beautiful. :) 


2. What are your favorite book titles?

Faith Under Fire by Steve Rabey. I'm currently reading this book, a gift from a dear friend, and so far the title fits so well with the stories!! 
A Vow for Always by Wanda E. Brunstetter. This is probably my favorite book in this saga. It's the ending so of course it's good, and the title is perfect. :) 
More Perfect Than the Moon by Patricia MacLachlan. I love this series, and the title always makes me smile. I think I'd get along with Cassie very well. Who doesn't want a dog-husband? 
Kinship by Trudy Krisher. The title and description of this book caught my eye, so I grabbed it. Parts of it are strange and I haven't read it so I can't recommend it, but I love the title. :) 


3. Have you read a book and didn't know why they named it that and what was the title?

Probably, but I can't think of one. 


4. Have you read a book with a character that made you mad?
Ha! Oh, yes, many. ;) 

Abigail from Another Homecoming by Janette Oke. She was conniving and lying and controlling and...grrr. B-) 
Allie's parents from A Distant Melody by Sarah Sundin. They were so awful to their own daughter! 
Ada Lambright, Wayne's mom, from A Cousin's Promise by Wanda E. Brunstetter. How could a woman who despises the girl her son loves not be on my naughty list? 


5. Is there someone or something from a book you would never want to come across?
Yes, several!! 

Mr. Johnston from Kathleen's Unforgettable Winter by Tracy Leininger Craven. Let's be realistic. No one wants to meet the owner of the dog they almost killed (accidentally, of course!) and he's also a KKK member, so... *shudder* 
Major Ubel from Dark Storms Rising by Jesseca Wheaton. I can't think of a single Nazi I'd want to run into. Except, Lieutenant Wilhelm. B-)     
Any of the bandits from Mandie and the Ghost Bandits by Lois Gladys Leppard. Wearing tiger masks and long dark capes is creepy. ;) 


6. If you could meet a character in person from a book who would it be?
Dangerous question, that. There are soooo many characters from books that I'd like to meet in person... First on the list would be one of my own characters. Namely, David Carnathan. :) Otherwise, I'd like to meet any and all characters from the Wings of Glory series by Sarah Sundin. (Okay, let's be real. Walt and Allie are who I really want to meet. <3) 


7. What book are you currently reading?
Make that books. I'm technically reading several books right now. 


For school I'm reading... 
The Good Fight: How World War II was Won by Stephen Ambrose for history 
In the Shadow of Plenty by George Grant for Economics 
And I'm also reading... 
Faith Under Fire by Steve Rabey 
Across the Wide and Lonesome Prairie by Kristiana Gregory 
The Magican's Nephew by C.S. Lewis 
The Battle Plan of Prayer by Stephen & Alex Kendrick 
Under the Sweetwater Rim by Louis L'amour (not pictured) 

8. Have you read a book that made you cry?
Oh, yes. SOO many! 

The Long Ride Home by Marsha Hubler. I'm pretty sure I shed tears when Skye met her dad. 
The Last Ride by Susan K. Marlow. I don't see how anyone could not cry through this one. 
Anchored by Kayla Aimee. This story is heartbreaking. (You can read my review of Anchored HERE.) 
Avery's Crossroads by Deanna K. Klingel. I cried reading of all the death and hurting through the years of the Civil War. :'( This book (and the first one) are so amazing. 
Kathleen's Enduring Faith by Tracy Leininger Craven. I sobbed when the barn burnt and Bruce was killed. 

A Cousin's Promise by Wanda E. Brunstetter. I cried through the beginning and the amazing ending of this book. ;) 
The Drunkard's Children by Mrs. M.J.P.S. Marcia and Ellen's  story is SOO sad!! 
A Distant Melody by Sarah Sundin. I cried several times throughout this book. The amazing way Mrs. Sundin can describe grief is so real and vivid and heartbreaking! 
The Ballad of Lucy Whipple by Karen Cushman. I was bawling when Butte died. 
The Silence of Winter by Wanda E. Brunstetter. My heart broke...no, shattered when the sheriff came to tell Meredith. Such tragedy... 


Interrupted by Rachel Coker. This book is amazing! I cried more than once while reading it. :) 
Waltz into the Waves by Sarah Holman. To be so short, this story is precious!! <3 
Dare by Tricia Mingerink. I cannot begin to put into words the way this book makes me feel. It's amazing and epic and real and...yeah. xD 


9. What is the weirdest book you read? 
Probably The Asylum by Heather Fitzgerald. It's really strange, but surprisingly, I sort of enjoyed it. ;)  


10. What is the worst book/series you ever read?
Um... I don't read bad books? xD 
I started Sarah by Jerry Eicher once, but I couldn't get past the first chapter. The girl, Sarah I guess, was extremely vain and...awful. *wrinkles nose* 


11. If you could only read one more book the entire year what would it be?
One??! Augh!! What a horrible thought... The last book in the Circle C Milestones by Susan K. Marlow, I guess. Someone (I don't remember who or I would link to you!!) gave The Bible as an answers to this question. Maybe that's what I'll say. ;) 


I know several of y'all have already been tagged, so I'll try not to double-tag anyone. ;) I tag... 


And here's the questions for easier copying! :) 
1. What are your favorite book covers? 
2. What are your favorite book titles? 
3. Have you read a book and didn't know why they named it that and what was the title? 
4. Have you read a book with a character that made you mad? 
5. Is there someone or something from a book you would never want to come across? 
6. If you could meet a character in person from a book who would it be? 
7. What book are you currently reading? 
8. Have you read a book that made you cry? 
9. What is the weirdest book you read? 
10. What is the worst book/series you ever read? 
11. If you could only read one more book the entire year what would it be? 


Thanks for reading!! I hope you enjoyed. :) 
~Faith 

Thursday, February 25, 2016

~ Writing News ~

Well, folks, I've got some news.

Anyone remember the ~Love is in the Heart~ contest I mentioned awhile back? Well, the winners were announced on Valentines Day and I was so thrilled to see that my story, Love Needs No Words, placed first!! :) 


This contest has been such fun! Lesa Mckee from Happily Indie After was the sweetest host, and she's posted interviews with the first and second place winners. You can click HERE to check those out and maybe learn something about me. ;) 

Y'all have already had the chance to read the winning story! :) If you missed out on that, you can click these links to read each of the three parts. :) 

Part Two
Part Three

Thank you all for sharing in my writing journey! :) 
~Faith 

Monday, February 22, 2016

A post that came to mind as I stood on the bathroom counter

 When most people do home-renovations, they hire someone. Ya know, like on the Home & Garden channel? Property Brothers? Love it or List it? Um, not us.

 Dad is Mr. Do-it-yourself. Like, big time. This may or may not have had something to do with the fact that I found myself standing on the bathroom counter last week. Holding a light fixture that was unattached from the wall while Dad (who's also standing on the counter...and holding a board) cautions me not to touch those wires that are the only thing connecting the light fixture I'm holding, to the wall. Because apparently they could, ya know, shock me if I touched them. 


 If you look closely you'll see the electrical wires... 

 Mom was on the other end of the counter holding the other light. She, too, got the instructions on how to not get shocked. 

 Perhaps I should explain... Plans, that have been tentative for quite some time, were officially made to re-do and enlarge mine and my brother's rooms. It was also decided that this would be a great time to cover the Sheetrock in both bathrooms with wood. 

 While all this was going on, an air compressor sat in the hall. Interrupting our lives with it's racket and graces us with it's obnoxious presence. 

Yep, that's the air compressor. Just in case anyone hasn't seen one :) 

 And it was a great idea. But how did I get roped into the job of light-holder? 

 All that said, the bathroom does look really nice now. :) But as I told Dad, I'm "pretty sure no one else does it like this". So you tell me. Does your family go through things like this? Or is it just us? 

~Faith 

(This is one of those post where I just ramble for a few minutes and none of it makes sense. Pardon me, if I interrupted your life with an excerpt from my own. :) ) 

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Love Needs No Words ~ part three

Happy Sunday, dear readers! :) How's your weekend going? Mine is glorious! Reading books, eating pizza, and watching The Big Valley (because it's a good show that deserves to be watched. *nod*) 


Enjoy part three!! 

********

 “Daniel!” Shay watched him bolt before whirling on Stewart. “There aren’t words in my extensive vocabulary to reach the height of what I'd like to call you right now.” 

 “I’ll give you one thing,” Stewart smirked sarcastically, “you've certainly got more ‘vocabulary’ than your boyfriend.” 

 Ignoring his remark, Shay let her fury continue to uncoil. “How dare you speak to him that way! He may not be able to speak, but he can hear, you know.” She took a deep breath and forced herself to calm down. “I hope that someday you regret what all you have done.” 

 Shay turned and fled the scene, not quite fast enough to miss the nasty words Stewart tossed after her. 

*********

 Shay traveled down the alley as fast as her legs would carry her. Just as she broke into the daylight, she skidded to a halt. Daniel was leaning against the corner of the building to her right, watching her. 

 “I thought you left me.” 

 He shook his head. “I couldn't leave you with them.” He motioned for her to follow him and they started down the street. 

 After several moments of silence, Daniel stopped and turned towards her. “He's right, Shay,” he signed. “I can hardly communicate with the rest of the world and you'd be better off with him.” 

 Shay shook her head with such force the thick, blonde braid hanging down her back swung around and stung her cheek. “No, Daniel. Stewart is a rude, unfeeling bully and always has been. I want nothing to do with him.” 

 He wouldn't listen to her. “I was a fool to think we could ever have any sort of relationship. It's best that you get on with your life, Shay.” 

 Shay blinked back tears. “Y–you can't mean that.” 

 “I do.” 

*********

 Daniel groaned as she hurried away. This was not going well. He hated seeing her cry, but she just didn't understand. He sighed and started down the street in the direction she had gone. The least he owed her was an apology. 

 Daniel hadn't walked far when he spotted Shay sitting out in front of a few businesses, her face hidden in her hands. He stopped several feet away from her, trying to decide how to announce his presence. Eavesdropping wasn't intentional, but her first words caught him off guard. 

 “I love him, God, with all my heart. Please help him to see that nothing else matters…” 

 That was it. Daniel couldn't just stand there and listen to her pouring out her broken heart. He walked up and knelt in front of her. 

 Shay paused, telling Daniel she knew he was there, but she refused to look up. He softly covered her clasped hands with his, while with calloused fingers gently stroked her cheek. 

 Shay opened her eyes and slowly looked up to meet Daniel’s gaze. A pang stabbed through his heart at the sight of her tear-streaked face, and he was surprised to feel tears welling in his own eyes as well. 
 “What's wrong?” 

 All he could do was shake his head. 

 She reached out and pulled him into a hug, which Daniel gratefully returned. 

 “I'm sorry,” he signed. “Forgive me for being so stupid?” 

 Shay disagreed. “No, you're not stupid.” 

 “Can we talk?” 

 “I'd like that.” 

*******

 As Daniel sank to the curb next to her, Shay silently thanked God for giving her and Daniel another chance. 

 “I want more than friendship, Shay.” He reached over and clasped her hand in his, as if that would somehow make her understand what he was trying to tell her. “I love you. I want a future and…” 

 “I think I could be persuaded into that,” Shay cut him off. 

 Daniel shook his head. “I won't do that to you.” 

 “Do what?” she persisted. 

 “I won't put that burden on you.” 

 Shay's heart clenched. “Daniel…that's not how I see it at all.” She laid her hand on his arm. “You could never be considered a burden.” 

 Her words didn't seem to have much affect on him. “What about children?” 

 “What about them?” 

 “What kind of father would someone like me make?” 

 Shay paused, tears again flooding her eyes. “Daniel, just the fact that we’re having this conversation tells me how much you care. You'd be willing to sacrifice a future together, if it meant my happiness.” 

 Daniel nodded. “I love you, Shay. And I'd do anything for you. But you deserve a happy, full life with a man who doesn't have to rely on–” 

 Shay took both of his hands in hers, preventing him from finishing the sentence. “I'm in love with a man who relies on God… And loves me with his whole heart. What more could I ask for?” 

 Daniel’s lips curled in a slight smile. “What would I do without you?” 

 Shay grinned. “Back to your question…” she went on. “I’ve seen the way you are around all those precious, deaf and mute children. I think you will be a wonderful father.” 

 "Will be?" Daniel’s eyebrows rose, teasingly. All uncertainty, self-doubt and fears of the future were gone from his eyes. “That sounds pretty definite.” 

 She smiled and slipped her arms around his waist. “Oh, it is. I've known since second grade. It's just taken me this long to convince you.” 

 Daniel grinned and returned her embrace. “I love you.”  

 “And I love you.” 

 The air held a serious mood as Daniel seemed to hesitate over his next words. “I can't imagine life without you, Shay.” 

*******

 Stepping out of the library, Shay paused to arrange the armload of library loans in her book-bag. She took a deep breath of the sweet, summer breeze and strolled on down the sidewalk. Past the deserted soccer field she walked, hardly casting a glance across it. But it was when she reached the community playground that her eyes were drawn away from the path before her. The sights and sounds of all the young children, frolicking about and coming up with unique games and merriment, made her heart sing. She smiled as she stopped to watch them for a moment.

 As she did she couldn't help but imagine what her and Daniel’s future children may be like. Although he hadn't officially proposed, he had said he couldn't imagine life without her. The thought of those sweet memories certainly didn't interfere with the smile on her lips. 

 Pulling herself from her daydreams, Shay continued on down the sidewalk. She was almost back to where she'd left her car, when she noticed a certain someone sitting on a park bench. 

 Her heart skipped a beat when she recognized him. Nearing the place, she spoke. “Daniel? What are you doing here?” 

 When he neither answered or sent her that heart snatching smile, the cheerful smile left Shay’s face; a frown of concern replacing it. 

 She slid her book-bag to the ground, below the bench, and sat next to him. “Is something wrong?” 

 Without looking her way, he reached over and grasped her hand. Now Shay knew something was wrong; he’d never acted this way before. Fear and uncertainty grasped her heart. 

 “Daniel, look at me, please.” 

 He gave her fingers a tender squeeze and slowly turned to her. The gasp that immediately escaped her was only somewhat stifled by her hand flying up to cover her mouth. 

 The left side of his handsome face was a mass of bruises; an ugly jumble of blue, purple, and black. His eye was swelled shut and blood dripped from his nose and lip. 

 Shay blinked back tears as she took in the sight. “Who did this to you?” 

 He looked away and didn't answer. 

 “Are you alright?” Shay clasped his hand in both of hers and scooted closer to him. “Daniel, please talk to me.” 

 They sat in silence, only interrupted by the usual, busy sounds around them, for several moments. Shay knew that Daniel would talk when he was ready and she silently prayed as she waited. She didn't know what had happened, but she didn't like it, or rather the results of it, one bit. 

 When Daniel’s fingers did start moving and forming words, Shay had a hard time keeping up. But the message still came through with startling clarity. 

 “Stewart?” she repeated, not wanting to believe it. “He did this to you?” 

 Daniel slowly nodded. “With help.” 

 “Of course. Those three idiots that follow him around like stray dogs.” Shay thought she caught the shadow of a grin pass over Daniel's face, but she was consumed in her anger and couldn't be sure. 

 “That's the ones.” 

 Upset over what had happened, Shay took a deep breath and forced herself to calm down. She turned away and bent to fumble through her bag. She came up with a tissue and, stretching out her arm, gently dabbed the blood from his split lip. He winced and reached up to cover her hand, while signing with his free hand, “I'm okay.” 

 Shay sighed. “I knew he was jealous but… I didn't think he would do something like this.” 

 “Has he bothered you?” 

 Shay shook her head. “No, I haven't seen him since that day in the alley. Why do you ask?” 

 He didn't answer. 

 “Daniel?” 

 He sighed. “He threatened to hurt you if I don't break things off between us.” 

 “He has hurt me.” 

 Daniel’s face hardened. “What?” 

 “Maybe Stewart’s got more brains than I've given him credit for.” Shay smiled reassuringly. “By hurting you he's hurt me.” 

 Daniel chuckled his relief and drew her to his side, pressing a kiss to her forehead. 

*******

 “What are we doing out here?” Shay eyed Daniel suspiciously as he led her down the path towards the river, one evening two weeks later. 

 “Just trust me.” Daniel grinned. 

 Shay smiled and squeezed his hand. “I do. Just curious.” 

 Daniel sucked in a deep breath and let it out slowly. She suspected something. Please God, let her say yes. 

 They rounded a bend in the path and the wide expanse of the river came into view. 

 “Oh, Daniel, it's beautiful!” Shay exclaimed. 

 “I thought you'd like this place.” 

 She grinned and, pulling him along, ran down to a deck overlooking the sparkling water. 

 Daniel quietly admired the serene look on her face as she gazed across the water. He took in every detail of her eyes and the slight upturn of her nose. 

 “Darling…” 

 She turned towards him. “Yeah?” 

 His heart pounding wildly in his chest, Daniel dropped down on one knee. “Shay Williams, will you make me the happiest man alive and say you'll spend the rest of your life with me?” 

 Her hand flew up to cover her mouth and he saw tears hiding in the corners of her exquisite green eyes. 

 Daniel swallowed against the lump forming in his throat. “Please, darling. Do me the honor of being my wife.” 

 “Yes!” she exclaimed. “Yes! Oh, Daniel!” As he stood, she jumped up and threw her arms around his neck. “I love you.” 

 He swung her around in a wide circle and kissed her cheek as he gently returned her to the ground. 

 “I love you, my Shay-girl.” 

******** 

 Three months later…  


 “Wait, hold it right there!” 

 Daniel and Shay froze and waited for the picture to be taken. Leigh's smiling face soon emerged from behind the camera. 

 “Perfect! Okay, I think we can get some great shots down there in that field.” She continued, going on about what a pretty place this was and how sweet for the proposal, and now their engagement photos, to take place here. 

 Shay was quick to hop in the conversation as she walked along with Leigh. When Daniel rolled his eyes and followed them, Shay bit back a snicker. He had been quite compliant, allowing the two women to drag him along to various places and poses on the photoshoot excursion, but she could tell he was growing tired of it. 

 “Just a few more, I promise,” she turned and called across her shoulder. 

 “Sure,” he grinned, stepping forward to grasp her hand. 

 As they strolled down the river towards the meadow to take more pictures, she thought back over the happenings of the last few months. Her mother and Jeff had apologized for not accepting Daniel, and things were much better between all of them now. Although Stewart and Daniel weren't exactly best of friends, Stewart had admitted his wrongs and begrudgingly agreed that, though he may've wanted to, it was Daniel who had won Shay's heart. 

 The summer camp closed until next year, and Daniel, realizing there wasn't such a thing in Williows, had started a program to teach ASL. Shay would be finished with school in the spring and afterwards would teach alongside him. The couple was planning a summer wedding. 

 Leigh found a spot in the grassy meadow, where she thought would have the perfect lighting and she could get good shots from several angles. 

 Daniel sank to the ground where he was told to. His intentions, get this over with as quickly as possible, were evident. Shay grinned and sat next to them. 

 “What do you want us to do, Leigh?” 

 “Just act natural,” she instructed. “Talk, laugh, and pretend like I'm not even here.” 

 “Like we don't know she's over there behind that tree with her little camera,” Daniel signed, sarcastically. 

 Shay laughed, intertwining her fingers around his arm. “This isn't too bad.” 

 “Even with our chaperone over there sneaking around behind the bushes.” His eyes twinkled as he lovingly gazed down at her. 

 Shay smiled back. 

 Daniel carefully removed a twig from her hair, letting his fingers brush across her cheek. He leaned forward and placed a tender kiss on her forehead. “I love you.” 

 “I love you, Daniel.” 

 Leigh was ‘awing’ over them and snapping photo after photo, but they hardly knew. 

 With a sigh, Shay leaned her head against his strong shoulder. Content and happy, encircled in his arms, encompassed with his love. Thank you, God, for giving me a man who loves You first and loves me second. Thank you for giving us a happily ever after. 


The End

********




What do ya think? Did you enjoy the story? Any comments, suggestions, or critique would be appreciated! 

Thanks for reading, everyone! Happy Valentines Day!! :) 
~Faith 

Saturday, February 13, 2016

Love Needs No Words ~ part two

Hey guys! Here's part two! :) 

********

 The next few weeks of summer passed much in the same way as the previous weeks, only now Daniel and Shay spent most of their free time together as well. When they weren't teaching or playing with the children at the summer camp, they could be found roaming around town or strolling through the park. Leigh teased Shay, saying Daniel and stolen her best friend. 

 One Friday afternoon in late July, Shay was hanging around the house after having her wisdom teeth removed that morning. 

 Her thoughts kept returning to Daniel and the fact that she hadn't seen him in several days. She again reminded herself that he had a job. As much as she would like to be, she wasn't top priority. 

 She was in her room reading her Bible when she heard a car pull up outside. Assuming it was her older brother, Jeff, she didn't bother to get up and check. 

 A few minutes later, Mom knocked once on Shay’s door and stuck her head inside. “Are you asleep, Shay?” 

 Shay shook her head. “No, I'm doing my devotions.” 

 “You have a visitor. But if you're not feeling up to it, I can tell them to come back another time.” 

 “I'm fine, Mom,” Shay insisted, setting her Bible and journal aside and swinging her feet off the side of the bed. “I had wisdom teeth pulled, not brain surgery.” 

 Mrs. Williams frowned. “That's not funny, dear.” 

 Shay smiled. “Sorry, I didn't mean anything by it. Who's my visitor?” 

 The smile that Mom returned appeared to be forced. “It's Daniel Rogers.” 

 Shay grinned and bounded across the room. “Thanks, Mom!” She gave her a quick hug and hurried down the hall.  

 “Shay, slow down,” Mom reprimanded. “You don't want to appear so anxious.” 

 Shay stopped at the top of the stairs and turned to face her. “But I am anxious. Why should I hide it?” 

 Instead of answering, her mother sighed and responded with a question of her own. “Are you sure this relationship you two are forming is such a good idea, dear?” 

 Shay frowned. “Why wouldn't it be? Daniel is a great Christian guy, definitely a gentleman, and I believe he cares for me very much.” 

 “I'm just looking out for your best interests, honey. A man with a disability such as Daniel’s could place an awful burden on you.” 

 Shay leaned against the handrail, trying to process her mother’s words. Surely she'd heard her wrong. “How can you say such a thing, Mom? Daniel is not disabled.” Without waiting for a response, Shay went on. “What about Uncle Tom and Aunt Dasha? He's deaf and they have a great marriage.” 

 “We’ll tall about this later.” Mom replied, signaling a drop of the subject. “Invite Daniel to have desert with us.” 

***********

 Daniel looked up when Shay entered the living room. Although Mr. Williams knew some basic sign language, the near one-sided conversation was awkward. 

 “Hey!” 

 He grinned and stood to greet her. “How's the mouth?” 

 “Better,” she smiled up at him so sweetly. “Talking is sort of strange with the gauze, but I'm getting used to it.” 

 “That's good,” he nodded. 

 “Mom invited you for apple pie and ice cream.” 

 “Sounds great.” He forced a happy expression – after all he had put himself in this situation – but any amount of time spent around Shay's family made him feel uncomfortable. Sure, they couldn't communicate, but Shay was a great translator. That wasn't such a problem. He had often got the feeling that her parents and brother weren't too pleased with her choice of a beau. And that made what he'd came to say all the more difficult. 

 Shay must've sensed his discomfort over not being able to talk with her family, because she grabbed two bowls of pie and ice cream from the kitchen and led him out to the front porch. 

 They sat in the porch swing and Shay handed him a bowl. “It's delicious.” 

 “Did you make it?” 

 She feigned an angry expression. “You know better than that.” 

 He just grinned and they resumed eating their pie and ice cream, chatting over everyday things. 

 After they'd set their dishes aside on a small deck table, Daniel decided it was time to bring up the real reason he'd came calling this evening. 

 “There's something I need to tell you.” 

 Concern filled her eyes. “What is it? Is something wrong?” 

 “No, nothing like that. I just… These last two months…” He reached over and took her hand in his. “I've fallen in love with you, Shay.” 

 She didn't speak for several minutes following his announcment and a sweet smile lit her face. “I…I love you too, Daniel.” 

 He didn't know whether to laugh or sigh in relief. Instead, he tried to imagine what the silly grin he was wearing must look like. “That's good to know.” 

 Shay just nodded, her green-eyed gaze focused on him. 

 Daniel swallowed hard and debated over whether or not he should do as he so badly wanted to. He squeezed Shay’s hand and carefully searched her eyes. 

 Slowly, almost expecting her to protest, Daniel leaned forward and placed a tender kiss in her hair. As he pulled away, he was startled to find tears shimmering in the corners of her eyes. “Was that wrong of me?” He quickly signed. 

 Shay shook her head. “No, Daniel, that was not wrong. It was…” She seemed to be having trouble finding the right words – so unlike her. “It was perfect. You make me feel so special and loved.” 

 He smiled at the vulnerable look in her eyes. “You are both. Special and loved.” 

 Shay just smiled. 

 “I need to get home.” He reluctantly stood to go and she stood with him. “I just had to come over here and see how you're doing.” 

 “Okay.” She squeezed his hand and walked with him down the length of the porch. 

 “I don’t know if I'll see you tomorrow, but if not I'll see you Sunday.” 

 “I'll save you a seat in class,” she grinned. 

 “Deal.” He threw her a wink and hurried towards his car. 

 “Bye, Daniel!” He returned her wave as he pulled out of her driveway, his heart joyful and full of hope. 

***********

 Shay watched from the porch until Daniel's car disappeared from view. She turned and started back inside, feeling as if she may burst with happiness. 

 As she entered the living room where her family was relaxing, Jeff looked up from where he sat, his laptop on the desk in front of him. “Just how serious is this guy?” 

Shay was bothered by the tone of his voice. “What are you talking about?” 

 He rolled his eyes. “Come on, sis. Don't play innocent. I saw the way he looks at you.” 

 “What would you say if I told you he's very serious?” Shay asked, taking a seat on the couch and glancing across the room to her parents. They sat on the other couch, opposite from her, silently watching the exchange between their children. 

 “I would say you should break things off with him right away.” 

 “What?” Shay exclaimed. “What do you have against him?” 

 “I'd like to know the answer to that too, son,” Dad broke in. 

 Jeff shrugged. “I'm just looking out for you, Shay. I don't think it's a good idea for you to get emotional involved with this guy. You don't want to lead him on and break his heart. Anyone can see that the guy isn't right, if you know what I mean?” Jeff tapped a finger to his temple. 

 “That’s not true!” Shay jumped to her feet. She knew she was nearly shouting, but she didn't care. How could he say such a thing about Daniel? “You don't even know what you're talking about, Jeff! A tragic accident robbed him of his ability to verbally communicate.” 

 Jeff returned his attention to the computer screen, not responding to his sister’s outburst. 

 “Shay dear,” Mom started. “Have you ever given thought to the fact that life with a man who can't speak would be difficult?” 

 “So you don't like him either?” Shay knew she shouldn't speak to her mother with such disrespect, but her family’s words angered her. 

 Dad cleared his throat. “Honey, it's not that we don't like Daniel. He's a great guy. But your mother and brother are trying to look out for you.” 

 “Look out for me? How is that looking out for me?” When neither her parents or Jeff spoke, Shay continued. “Do you know what he told me as he was leaving?” 

 Still, no one answered. Shay was just waiting for Jeff to spout off something hurtful like, ‘he didn't tell you anything’. 

 Finally, Dad spoke. “What did he tell you, honey?” 

 Before answering, Shay slowly looked around the room, studying each of her family members. With the sudden feeling that they would not joyfully accept her good news, tears filled her eyes. “Never mind. You don't really care to know.” She whirled and raced from the room. 

 “Wait a minute, honey,” Mom called after her. “Shay!” 

 She wouldn't listen. She took the stairs two at a time, and fled down the hall and into her room, shutting the door behind her. 

 Shay felt like a silly, young girl as she flopped across the bed, tears steaming from her eyes. The happiness she had felt after her visit from Daniel this evening was quickly deflating, and she didn't like it one bit. She considered texting her friend. Leigh would understand and be happy for her and Daniel. 

 A cheerful ringtone interrupted her pity-party. Probably Jeff from the living room. She groaned and reached for her phone, lying in the windowsill. 

 It was Daniel. She grinned and propped on her elbow to read the rather lengthy text. 


Daniel: Hey beautiful :) This txt is to tell you all the things I wanted to say right before I left your house. Texting is slightly more romantic than sign language, in my opinion. ;) The way I feel when I'm with you is something I've never felt before...I can't explain it other than to say it's wonderful. I want to feel like this forever. You're an amazing, beautiful girl, Shay. I value our relationship more than I could ever express. Thank you for not minding that I'm different. I love you! Goodnight, my Shay-girl! :) xoxo


 By the time she'd reached the end she was crying – no, sobbing. She slowly let the phone drop to the bed. Daniel loved her. Daniel thought she was beautiful. His sweet text couldn't have come at a more perfect time. 

 Shay lay back across the bed and stared up at the ceiling, searching for some answers. 

 “God, I know you love Daniel. And I know he loves you. I…well, I've fallen in love with him. That should be good, right? Something to be happy and joyful about. So why does it seem like everyone I thought cared for me is against my relationship with Daniel? They say they love me, yet they don't treat him right. They expect me to live up to their standards. But Daniel… He truly loves me for who I am.” 

 Uncertain and still upset, Shay was picking up the phone to re-read the message when a knock sounded on her door. 

 “Yes?” 

 “May I come in?” It was Dad. 

 “Sure.” She sat up and wiped her eyes. 

 He opened the door, walked over, and sat on the bed next to her, draping his arm around her shoulders. “Are you okay, sweetie?” 

 “Not really,” she sniffed. 

 “Jeff shouldn't have said that.” Dad reached over to the box on the nightstand and handed her a tissue. “I just came to tell you that I approve of Daniel.” 

 Shay straightened up with a start. “What?” 

 “Your mother and brother are looking at this from the wrong angle.” He tucked a strand of hair behind her ear. “Daniel is God’s child, same as you and me. He's a good man and I know he'll treat my little girl right. That's all that really matters.” 

 Shay smiled and gave him a hug. “I'm so glad, Daddy… Because tonight he told me he loves me.” 

********

 Daniel was walking Shay home one evening after she'd spent the day helping out at the summer camp. As they strolled through town, quickly covering the too short distance to her house, Daniel thanked God for the girl beside him. He pulled her down a back alley, prolonging having to saw goodbye until tomorrow. She grinned and didn't object. 

 About halfway down the dark alleyway, her voice cut into his silent musings. “Oh, great.” 

 “What is it?” 

 Shay stopped walking and motioned up ahead to where four guys, all around their age, were talking and cutting up there on the street corner. “The tall one is Stewart Marshall. He wanted me to go out with him in high school. I turned him down, and he’s held a grudge ever since.” 

 “So he won't be pleased to see you with me?” 

 “Right.” She bit her lip in indecision. 

 “You're with me,” Daniel assured her. 

 She smiled and walked with him down the alley. Daniel was hoping to avoid a confrontation if that was possible, but it proved not to be. 

 They were only a couple yards from the gang of guys when the one Shay had pointed out spoke. 

 “Hello, Shay.” 

 She sighed and stopped walking. “Hello, Stewart.” 

 Stewart glared at Daniel, inspecting him from head to toe. “Who are you?” Before anyone could speak, he continued his cruel jeer. “Aren't you gonna speak to me?” 

 Daniel’s fists clenched and he looked over at Shay, wondering how she would answer the guy. 

 She stepped closer to Daniel and took his arm. “This is Daniel Rogers. Due to an accident as a teenager he can't verbally communicate.” 

 “How sad,” one of the other young men spoke up. The others hopped at the chance to taunt someone. They all faked somber expressions. 

 “Poor guy.” 

 Stewart ignored his friends and took a step towards her. “So, Shay, how about going out with me Friday night?” 

 “Sorry, but I have plans.” She nodded towards Daniel. 

 “Wouldn't you like to go out with a guy who's a real man?” A second man ridiculed. 

 “Slack off,” Stewart growled across his shoulder. He turned a menacing grin towards Shay. “It's up to her. If Shay here would rather spend the rest of her life with this stupid mute, that's her choice.” 

 Out of the corner of his eye, Daniel saw Shay cast a dangerous scowl towards the gang before turning to him. 

 “Come on, Daniel. Let's get away from these idiots.” She reached for his hand, but Daniel jerked away. He shook his head and tore off in the opposite direction. Maybe Stewart and the others were right about him. 

*********

Remember a couple weeks ago when I mentioned a music video that I didn't give y'all a link to because it included a certain something for a certain something that would be coming later? (Click here if you don't remember the post to which I'm referring.) Well now you're gonna get to hear all about it. ;) (You're on the edge of your seat in anticipation, right? Nope? That's what I thought...) 
Anyhow, here's the video. :) It's a version of Grace Wins by Matthew West, with...sign language!! I thought it was really cool to watch her sign the lyrics. :) If you'd like to check it out for yourself, here's the video. :) 




What do ya think? Had you heard the song before? Do you know any sign language? The remaining part of this story will be up tomorrow!! :D 

Sisters in Christ, 
~Faith