Linda Wood Rondeau

Snark & Sensibility

GRACE & LAVENDER
5/3/2019 1:00:00 AM by: HEATHER NORMAN SMITH

 

 

PLEASE WELCOME

HEATHER NORMAN SMITH

TO

FLASH FICTION FRIDAY

 

EXCERPT FROM GRACE & LAVENDER

Chapter Two

Scene: The Ladies Ministry League meeting

Nostalgia was one of Colleen’s favorite emotions, and there was nowhere else where she felt it more than at the gray, clapboard-sided church building and its adjoining fellowship hall.

They always conducted the meetings in a very business-like manner. But before and after, Colleen enjoyed catching up on whose grand­children were getting married, who had family moving back to town, who had started taking water aerobics at the big recreation center in the next county, who had tried the new seven-day diet, and who had found the trick to getting rid of those pesky summertime ants.

The fellowship hall was a bright, open space for the meeting. The tables were pushed to the walls on either side of the rectangular room, and the chairs were arranged in a large circle in the center. The back wall of the hall was covered with mirrors, and a table of food was set up on the opposite side of the room nearest the kitchen. Several ladies hovered around the refreshments, agonizing over the always-difficult decision: which of the plentiful appetizers and sweets were most de­serving of real estate on the small party plates.

As she sat waiting for the meeting to start, Colleen caught a glimpse of her reflection in the mirrored wall. She studied herself and smiled, thinking how liberating it was to at last be happy with her appearance. At sixty, Colleen was also a little sad that it had taken her so long to get there. She had spent too much of her life being discontent about the size of her hips, wondering if she wore too much or not enough makeup, and worrying about keeping up with that drugstore box color to prevent the grays from peeking through.

She admired herself in the mirror, realizing that she was holding up well. Colleen’s confidence was pretty on her. She had wrinkles, but she wasn’t ashamed of them. She still never left the house without at least a touch of lipstick and mascara, but she no longer cared if some­one thought it was too much. Her backside had done some expanding in an east-to-west manner over the years; but instead of lamenting about it, she chose to be grateful that the metal folding chairs in the fellowship hall were more comfortable than they used to be. She was okay with the little extra padding she carried, as she felt that it made her a more huggable grandma. Most of Colleen’s hair still held on to the light blond hue of her youth, with only a few sections in the front having been taken over by colorless invaders. She no longer tried to camouflage them, and it felt good. At this stage, she finally believed that she was “fearfully and wonderfully made.” I just don’t know why I couldn’t see that before, she thought.

Mrs. Whitefield’s voice rang out over the din of church lady chat­ter, calling the meeting to order. The ladies that were still standing settled into their seats—like children hearing the school bell—most with legs crossed at the ankles and plates perched perfectly on knees. They formally started the meeting with a prayer, as was the custom.

The large circle of friends, ready to get to business, consisted of women whose ages spanned a range of over fifty years. They had differ­ent skin tones, hair styles, and manners of dress. Some were childless, and some had mothered many more children than had come from their wombs. Some were wealthy, while some knew the challenges of living on a tight budget and too many nights in a row of ramen noodle dinners. Some had grown up on a church pew, and others had wandered outside the fold for a long time before hearing the voice of the Shepherd. But they were family, and they had a common mission every time they met—to use their talents and time to represent well the Father they shared.

 

ABOUT HEATHER NORMAN SMITH

Heather Norman Smith is a devotional blogger and author of inspirational fiction. Her goal is to use the written word to entertain and encourage while illuminating the redemptive love of God. Grace & Lavender is her first novel. Her second novel, Where I Was Planted, will be released Summer 2019.

Heather is proud to be a life-long North Carolinian and aims to present the beauty of the Tar Heel State in her writing. Her home is just outside Winston-Salem, NC, where she lives with her husband, their three children, and several spoiled pets.

For more information, visit www.heathernormansmith.com.

ABOUT GRACE & LAVENDER

Recently retired Colleen Hill is always busy, constantly on a quest to make life more interesting.

When the ladies' group at her church partners with the local children's home, Colleen jumps in, as usual, volunteering to share her passion for cooking with a troubled teenager named Grace. But Colleen must balance the new project with her pursuit of becoming a contestant on a television game show, along with all the other ideas her brain continually spins out.

Colleen's daughter Melody is quite different. She lives a calm, simple life and is content with who she is. That is, until an unexpected opportunity to work with Grace, too, pushes her to reevaluate life and dare to take on bigger dreams. The path starts with a newly-found interest in soap-making and leads her to responsibilities she didn't even know she wanted, including helping Grace understand the meaning of her name.

Grace & Lavender is a book for all audiences—a heart-warming story that reminds us to seek God's purpose for our lives.

Buy Links

Grace & Lavender on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Grace-Lavender-Heather-Norman-Smith/dp/1620208334/ref=tmm_pap_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=&sr=

Grace & Lavender on Barnes & Noble:

https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/grace-lavender-heather-norman-smith/1129215335?ean=9781620208335

 

 

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