Category Archives: Guest Blog

Bride’s guest blog: Why I saved myself for marriage

tash and kory guitar smile

Note from Jodie: Natasha wrote this last week, a few days before marrying her Prince Kory. I was comfortable asking her to consider writing about purity, because I know she has shared her heart about this with other women, and her words about healing and restoration will also be encouraging. Her mom and I are proud of her. Saturday’s wedding was spectacular. I’ll be sure to say more when the photos are available. Meanwhile, Kelly and I spent Sunday and Monday re-charging. I turned 50 a month ago, but I didn’t really feel 50 until now. About all I can recall about Sunday is that I think it rained.

Now … Natasha’s heart.

By NATASHA JACKSON MYRICK

When my dad asked me to write a post on purity, so many ideas went through my mind on how to write this. I feel like it would flow best writing it just as I would talk to ladies at a women’s retreat. But guys, this is for you, too.

I have saved myself for marriage. Purity is not something that religion and church scared into me. It’s not because I’m scared that God would strike me down if I were to have sex before marriage. There are several reasons why purity is something that I have practiced in my life.

First and foremost, I want to live to glorify God. So many times I fall so short of that. But at least I can try my best to serve and honor the Savior who bled and died for all of my sins and saved me from eternal misery and loneliness. God intends sex to be saved for marriage. In fact, God created sex specifically for marriage. Having sex outside of marriage would be a dishonor to God and His creation of sex.

I want to be a living testimony for other people – women, specifically – in the area of purity. Not many 20-something-year-olds can say that they have saved themselves for marriage. I’m not saying that to make anyone feel condemned or to make myself seem self-righteous or spiritually puffed up in any way. I want women to know that it is possible (even easy and carefree!) to live a wonderful, fun, romantic life without adding the drama of sex before marriage into the mix.

Clearly, I haven’t had sex yet. But I do know that when two people engage in sexual intercourse, a bond is made. Because God created sex for marriage and that is part of “becoming one” in a marriage, it’s clear to me that sex is meant to intensely bond two souls. Why would I want to bond with someone in that way other than my husband? Why would I allow my heart to go through an act of becoming one with another person when I’m actually not “one” with that person through marriage?

I want to say it again: My intent is not to come across as judgmental or condemning. These are just my thoughts and convictions. I want to honor my husband. I don’t want to bring anyone else into the marriage bed. That might sound harsh – but I feel like if I had sex with anyone else before my husband, I would be bringing all sorts of baggage into the first night. Maybe I would have unrealistic expectations, fears from experiences with a previous partner, etc. My husband might be thinking, “Do I measure up to what she’s experienced before?,” and be insecure to be completely open.

My body is not just something to be thrown around at any person who says they love me or woos me with their charm. My body is to be saved for a specific person: my husband. In the union of marriage, I know that there is a mutual trust there that isn’t there with just anyone else like in any other relationship. There is commitment there. True, I’m with you for life no matter what until we get old and gray type of commitment.

I have had girls ask me: “Well, if you know you’re going to marry someone, why wait to have sex?” I want my body to be a gift to my husband on our wedding. That will not only honor him, but be the greatest wedding gift and even the greatest gift of his life. I believe that if you have messed up and had sex before marriage that God will heal and restore. However, I want to bypass all of that hurt and drama, and really give my fiancé something to wait for. I want it to be a surprise and an exciting gift. I don’t want my gift to my husband to be something he has opened up before.

Have you seen that cell phone commercial where the dad gets his daughter her same exact phone for her birthday, just covered it up with a “new phone smell”? She wasn’t too excited, was she? It was something she had already received before. I want my marriage to be the first time he opens my gift that I have saved for him and haven’t let anyone else have. I have been asked a myriad of other questions about purity, but I think that my post would probably answer most of them.

Like I said before, God heals and restores. If you aren’t pure for your future husband, start practicing that now and pray for restoration and healing. God will honor your efforts to glorify him with your body.

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Guest blog: Missing my Granny

By NATASHA JACKSON             

 

I didn’t realize until the other day that I am still grieving the loss of my Granny Nola. Of course I cried when she died. I cried a lot. And I cried at her funeral. But I had a lot of peace about her going because I wasn’t the one taking care of her when she got really sick. I was in Fiji. And I wrote her a “good-bye on this earth” letter while I was there and my mom read it to her. I didn’t see her at her absolute worst. And I’m so thankful that I didn’t.

But a few weeks ago, I went to a senior assisted living center in Warrensburg and played and sang piano for the sweet old folks. To me, I did horribly. My voice was cracking the whole time because I was getting so emotional. When I played the hymn, “Jesus, Keep Me Near the Cross,” there was an elderly woman in the front row who started singing along to my poor piano skills. She sang so loudly and clearly. When I looked up at her, she had her eyes closed and was smiling so big. It really touched my heart. When I started to play and sing “Amazing Grace,” my emotions took over and I broke down. I had to stop playing. I was sobbing in front of 30 or so very elderly people. I felt so ridiculous. I mean, who breaks down like that in front of people they don’t even know?

I felt so rude. I had come to bless these people with my musical gifts, and I couldn’t even get through it. Of course I had to tell them what was up. I told them that my great-grandma had passed away and we shared a very unique bond over the Gospel and old hymns. No one understands that side of me better than my Granny Nola did.

The night before her funeral, I had a dream that she was whole, beautiful, and healthy. She was singing “In The Garden,” one of our most favorite old hymns. She loved roses. And she loved Jesus. Granny was so ready to go and be with Him where she could walk and talk with Him. She expressed to me several times how ready she was to go Home. The first verse and chorus:

“I come to the garden alone, while the dew is still on the roses; And the voice I hear, falling on my ear, the Son of God discloses. And He walks with me, and He talks with me, And He tells me I am His own. And the joy we share as we tarry there, None other has ever known.”

Granny is with Jesus. Experiencing joy incomparable to anything anyone on earth has experienced. Instead of mourning that she is gone, we should be rejoicing that she is there. And I do. But I miss her.

My Granny got me the most thoughtful present I have ever received. For my birthday one year, she gave me a book that had something like 9 or 10 CD’s in it, and they were all instrumental hymns.

At the assisted living center, I had to stop playing hymns and switched to contemporary worship songs. I apologized for my breakdown, and they were all more than understanding. I thought that I was going there to bless these people. But really, it was the other way around. I was blessed, because being there with them helped my heart continue to heal and go through the grieving process.

I thought I was done hurting about my Granny being gone. But apparently I wasn’t, and being at that center was exactly what my heart needed to heal. When I was finished, I went up and talked to the lady who had sung along when I played the old hymns. Her name was Virginia. She asked how old my grandmother was when she passed. “84, almost 85” I said. With a big smile and a tear in her eye, she proudly stated, “I’m 85.” She also played the cello when she was my age. She was delighted to hear that I had and asked me to come and play for her sometime. I told her I would come and help her to relive some memories. Her smile couldn’t have been any wider.

I sensed Granny’s spirit in that place. Not because it was a home for “old people,” but because it was a place where the Lord was worshiped and they loved their old hymns. Just like Granny and me.

Journal Note: Here’s Alan Jackson performing “In The Garden.”

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Filed under Family, Guest Blog, Inspiration, Old Time Religion

Guest post: News that shakes my faith

JJ — The following column, posted with permission from my friend Bruce Wallace, appeared in the Wednesday, July 11, 2012, edition of the Boone County Journal. Bruce’s column was a response to the July 4 deaths of Ashland siblings Brayden and Alexandra Anderson, who were electrocuted while swimming at Lake of the Ozarks.

I have a special affinity for independent publishers of weekly newspapers. Bruce is cut from the same kind of newsprint that shaped me. And, as the scribe for southern Boone County, he is charged not only with chronicling the lives and events that shape the area’s history, but he’s also responsible for speaking into the collective hearts and minds of his community, even — and maybe especially — when words seem so inadequate.

This is all he wanted for a bio: “Bruce Wallace is the editor of the Boone County Journal in Ashland, Mo. He enjoys paddling his canoe on Missouri Rivers with his wife.”

News that shakes my faith

By BRUCE WALLACE

 I didn’t go to church on Sunday.

Sure, I should have; but to tell you the truth – I was a little upset with God last week.

OK, maybe “angry” would be a better word.

How about “outraged?”

This was no little snit. I got the worst of possible news on July 4 and I, like so many others in our community, was horrified.

“How could such a thing happen?” we asked.

“Why would Alex and Brayden be taken from us like that?”

No, this was no high school-like “I’m so mad at you I’m going to ‘Unfriend’ you Facebook fit.”

For me this was real live hostility.

Was I the only one?

Probably. It is a failing of mine. Getting truly ticked off at God is not likely the best reaction, the idea of a lightning bolt striking is humorous – but I haven’t been in the mood for humor.

I have been brought up to have strong faith in God and have been so fortunate, yet, when disaster strikes – I’m less than a strong Christian.

I can say the right words to everyone and share their grief appropriately, but when I’m all alone, I have a few choice words for Him.

The tragedy shook Southern Boone parents and youngsters to their very core last week. It is the kind of tragedy that you read about happening somewhere else. And it seems to always happen … somewhere else.

Regardless of where or how it happens, children should not be taken from us so soon.

And whom do I see about that?

Therefore – and I know it is wrong and I know my mother won’t appreciate reading this – I had some very unkind things to say to God.

Like so many through the ages, I just couldn’t help but wondering where was He when we needed Him on July 4?

And, of course, that is not the answer. Anger is not the answer.

For me, the true answer came when I saw where God really was in our community last week.

He was in the parents who organized efforts to help the Anderson family move forward, one day at a time.

He was in the voice of the mom who told me she and her sons would be working to help Garrett Anderson heal the void of losing two siblings.

He was in the grace and kindness of Mr. and Mrs. Anderson as they talked to kids at New Salem Church and tried to help them with their grief.

He was with the dozens of students who poured out their grief on a Facebook page, determined to never forget their classmate and to honor her memory.

He was in the hand of the friend I talked with at the grocery store. After exchanging a few words about our grief, that friend gave me a pat on the back and we agreed with each other that our community would be OK. It was a strong pat on the back, a hand of reassurance that I needed.

As I moved past being angry, I opened the Anglican Book of Common Prayer to these words:

“Most merciful God, whose wisdom is beyond our understanding: Graciously care for the Anderson family in their grief. Surround them with your love, that they may not be overwhelmed by their loss, but have confidence in your goodness, and strength to meet the days to come. Amen.”

What else can be said?

What we can really say is that there is no way to make any sense of all this.

I turn a few pages in the Prayer Book and read again a passage that has sustained so many:

“The Lord is my Shepherd; I shall not want …”

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Guest post: Cancer wasn’t in our plans

I was on the road for work, flying down the interstate with the cruise control set. I needed to make  a call that couldn’t wait until I got home later that night. So I dialed my husband and when he answered, I asked what I had been thinking about since leaving home that morning.

“Did the doctor call?”

For a heartbeat he did not answer me, and in that pause I knew.

“It’s cancer,” he said softly, like he was telling a child something she wouldn’t understand.

“What?” I said, in a voice I didn’t recognize.  “What?”

“It’s cancer,” my husband repeated. “The tests came back positive … I have cancer.”

Now it was my turn not to answer back. I just couldn’t find the right words to say to my husband of 37 years. Together we have raised three kids, and only recently the last one graduated from college. In our empty nest, we have been making big plans ‑ things to see, places to go … a road map for the rest of our lives.

Cancer wasn’t in the plan at all.

 There on the highway I simply told my husband that we would figure it out. Until I had my arms around him, I couldn’t say any more.

After hanging up, I pulled over to the side of the interstate and cried, holding my face in my hands. Cars and trucks flew past on their way to somewhere while I sat there oblivious to them all.

Finally, I checked my rearview mirror to remind myself where I had been. Then I carefully pulled out onto the interstate, leaving those tears behind.

Focused on the road ahead.

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A new game: ‘Hillbilly Neighbors’

“A new game” originally appeared March 2 at Riding in Cars with Goats and Other Stories

By CAROLINE DOHACK

My mom emailed to tell me about a new board game she and a friend are going to make. They are calling it “Hillbilly Neighbors,” and they need some help with it.

Here are the rules, according to my mom:

“You draw your ‘neighbors.’ Then spin to travel around the board. You draw cards on certain spaces. Good cards include ‘Neighbor’s pit bull run over by UPS man,’ ‘Teenage daughter infertile,’ and ‘Wife runs off with carnival man.’

“Bad cards include ‘Neighbor gets new house, old house crushes your septic lines as it is pulled away,’ ‘Neighbor remodels chicken house and moves in tenants,’ and ‘Neighbor reunites with wife, carnie truck parked in driveway.’

“Inconclusive cards include ‘Meth lab blows up neighbors’ house’ and ‘Tornado.’”

Jackson’s Journal suggested these additions:

Bad card: Your dog drags neighbor’s poached deer carcass onto your front porch.

Good card: Ruts in your yard from neighbor son’s pickup divert rainwater away from your yard onto neighbor’s property.

Caroline would love to hear your suggestions. Shout ‘em out! (Or just make a comment).

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Sticky situations: The 7 deadly sins

The Journal thanks Amy Swiney for allowing a re-post of Tuesday’s entry in her blog, Ephemera Geek. We didn’t properly recognize Fat Tuesday or Wednesday’s first day of Lent, so we’ve “borrowed” this entry . Remember, the Journal looks for guest posts on Tuesday and Thursday. (That means YOU. You’re reading this? Yeah, YOU!)

Today is Mardi Gras/Fat Tuesday/Shrove Tuesday, so what better day to talk about the Seven Deadly Sins? After all, today is the day that we are supposed to eat up all the fat, sugar and eggs to prepare for the fasting of the Lenten season. Here’s a (hopefully) humorous look at the seven deadly sins and how they might make their way into today’s celebrations:

lust — Perhaps you lust after your neighbor’s … pancakes … because you think they are better than your own pancakes.

gluttony — Or maybe you just eat too many pancakes.

greed — Or you keep all the pancakes for yourself and don’t share them.

sloth — And then after you eat all the pancakes, you don’t feel like doing anything and just want to lay around and take a nap.

wrath — Maybe someone else ate all the pancakes and you didn’t get any, and now you’re mad because they didn’t share.

envy — You are jealous of your brother’s pancakes because they are rounder than your pancakes.

pride — The pancakes you make are the best and no one else’s compare.

So I’m sure that’s not the literal translation of the Seven Deadly Sins but I hope you enjoyed this humorous look at them. Happy Fat Tuesday!

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Kianna: ‘Follow your heart’

GUEST POST by Natasha Jackson

My sister, Kishia, just had her baby on Wednesday. It was an INCREDIBLE day. Here’s my letter to the sweet little princess … my precious niece. (Letter originally appeared on my blog, “Sweet Hour of Prayer.”)

Kianna,
 
If anyone in the family could describe me in one word, they’d probably say I’m a “butterfly.” I’m not known for staying in one place for too long. I go where the wind goes. And what is that wind? That’s the Lord, hopefully, that I’m following! I feel like about 98 percent of the time my decisions are based on God’s leading. I gotta leave some room for error. I’m human.

But my personality, too, is very much of a butterfly. I love going from place to place to learn new things, and teach people things. My goal is to show the love of Christ to anyone God puts in my path. Sometimes, I don’t do the best job of that ‑ but I sure do try. Sometimes I miss it, even though I don’t mean to.
 
With that being said, I haven’t been known to be around the family as much as most. Generally when family get-together’s happen, I’m off on a mission trip or women’s retreat that I’m either leading or attending. I haven’t given much attention over the past few years to family. Part of that is because I live further away than any of the others in our family. But I’ve decided over the past year or so to not let the miles be an excuse anymore.
 
Just two months ago, your Great-Great-Grandma Nola went to go be with Jesus. We all wanted so much for you to meet her. But I’m sure that you two already knew each other. If people have guardian angels, I’m sure that she is yours. Just like all of us, she loved you so much before you were born. Even when she couldn’t remember anything because she was so sick, she remembered you.

The pain of Granny Nola leaving this world is still very fresh. But, Kianna, you have helped ease that pain. When I saw your face just moments after you were born, something in my heart changed. As I held you, I wanted nothing more than to make you smile. I can’t wait to get to know you.
 
So this is my promise to you, Sweet Princess: I will be there for you. I have had some great examples as to how to be a really good aunt. And I plan on even surpassing those examples! I don’t know where the wind is going to blow me next. I don’t know what God has in store for me in my next season of life. I might be miles away from you, but I won’t let that keep me from you. And I promise to be there for your mommy and daddy, too. I haven’t done the best job at that either. But that’s going to change.
 
You are already the sweetest little girl. I can’t wait to see how you change the world ‑ because you’ll change it just by being yourself! Don’t try to be anyone else, because you are incredible. I can tell you from many, many examples and stories in my own life that you should feel free to follow your dreams. No dreams are silly. So go with it.

Follow your heart.

I can’t wait to see what you teach all of us. And I can’t wait to tell you about the adventures I’ve had in my life.
 
You are truly the most beautiful little girl that I have ever seen. And I can’t wait to see you grow into a stunning little lady!

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‘A novel kind of guy’

The Write Life

Lamar Henderson / Guest blogger

I’m a really bad writer.

That might be a glaring admission to make considering I have been writing fiction pretty much since I learned to write in the first grade and that being a writer is the only career I’ve seriously wanted to pursue in my life. (Some people might say that it’s about time.) Consider, though, a few facts.

In spite of writing fiction since first grade and being a writer is the only career I’ve seriously wanted to pursue in my life, I don’t have a lot to show for it. A few years ago, I put together a collection of short fiction to self-publish (Ten Minutes ‘til the Savages Come, now available as an e-book on Amazon, B&N and iTunes), mostly just to experiment with self-publishing and to make a rather unique and special birthday present for my lovely wife.

The biggest problem I should have had putting together this collection is selecting from my body of work the items I wanted to include in this omnibus edition. In fact, the problem I had was gathering up enough material that I was willing to publish in order to make a book. Looking through the bulk of my early short fiction – the college years, mostly – I found that most of it seriously wasn’t anything I was willing to put out there for public view.

Well, that’s all right, I told myself. I wasn’t really a short-form writer, anyway. Even my short fiction was mostly novellas. I’ve never even been a big reader of short stories. I’m a novel kind of guy.

As to that, though, although I’ve started many a novel, I’ve only completed first drafts of two. The first one, an epic fantasy started back when epic fantasy was actually starting off as a publishing category, took me seven years to complete. I wasn’t writing all the time, though – I’d write on it for a while, then have to work on boring, bothersome stuff like actually finishing my degree or, you know, getting a job. And, honestly, the last third of the manuscript was finished in a sort of literary death march fueled no longer by my love of the project but only by a fierce, numbing resolution to actually finish the damn thing.

Which I did. And it sucked. I mean, epic vacuum going on here. The thing is, although my first novel sucked, and will never actually see the light of day, I imagine, I did learn a whole lot about the process and craft of writing a novel.

You’d think I would have wanted to put all that to use, then, you know, as being a writer is the only career I’ve seriously wanted to pursue in my life, and all. And I tried, I really did.

For nine years I tried. Nine. Years.

When my second novel came along, it sort of snuck up on me. I’d been fiddling with a character for a while – most of my stories start with a character idea – and one night, I just started writing. I managed to get through the first chapter, and actually did some revision, something I’ve never been good at, either. For reasons I can’t really get into (mostly because I don’t know them, actually), this project took off and had a life of its own. In a period of about two months, I cranked out a first draft of the second novel. And no slim volume of prose was it, either – it came out to about 165,000 words. (For those keeping score at home, the definition of a novel generally starts at 50,000 words.) It was a rush, an exhilarating time. I can’t think of a project before or since with which I was so enraptured.

In the next few years, I made some half-hearted revisions and looked for an agent, which didn’t go anywhere. My second novel took up space on my hard drive, and we seemed to come to an understanding – I didn’t bother it, and it didn’t bother me.

The next decade saw my production decline even further – you know, that whole life thing getting in the way of writing. I did get some stuff done – started a few more novels, wrote an actual screenplay – but in the back of my head, I kept going back to all the things I’d worked on and not really finished.

And that’s the thing, in the end. A first draft is rarely a final draft. If ever. A writer friend of mine once said that, while writing the first draft of a novel, he would have no idea whatsoever what his book was about, and it didn’t matter to him. It wasn’t until the revisions, the subsequent drafts, he said, that he ever figured out what the story was and how it needed to go together.

And that, friends, is why I’m a bad writer. It isn’t just that I don’t write enough. It’s that I have never really dug into the hard, difficult, horrible work required to revise a first draft and polish it into shape. And I’m not talking about just copyediting – I’m talking about completely rewriting large chunks of a manuscript. A second draft, a third. Hell, I’ve read that Fitzgerald would routinely go through nearly 20 drafts of his manuscripts. I am certainly no Fitzgerald.

Well, it’s finally time, I think. I still want to be a writer. I want to be a good writer. I want to be a writer whose work people actually want to read. That means I have to roll up my sleeves and dig into the meaty work of revising what I’ve done before. So, I’ve started doing that with my second novel. I’m into chapter 5 of 26 now, and I’ve already had to completely rewrite chapter 2 (I’m terrible at writing chapter 2s) plus big chunks of the rest. It’s actually going pretty well, I think. I think, this time, maybe, I might be able to turn out a book people will actually want to read.

We’ll see how it goes.

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Kianna’s mom wonders: ‘Where did my liver go?’

Guest Post
By KISHIA CHANTEL (JACKSON) BROWN
 
Interestingly, a few weeks ago, Jackson’s Journal posted a blog which referenced a song that was stuck in my head for weeks. The lyrics in Nichole Nordeman’s song “I Am” are powerful, and for some reason this one was been stuck in my head: “Bless the moments that we feel You nearer.”
 
Maybe you are expecting something else from Kianna’s mom. 
 
But I sum up the past nine months of this experience as a “moment that we feel You nearer.” Or maybe it is a combination of many moments like these: 
 
– We had our first ultrasound at six weeks. The doctor said, “Congratulations! You are the proud parents of a dot!” I looked at Darnell, my husband, and maybe there was a small tear in the corner of his eye. I didn’t know what to say because the dot was moving. It had a heartbeat. This little peanut with a heartbeat is what makes me puke all day and night? Wow. “And bless the moments that we feel You nearer.”
 
– Darnell and I were walking our dog one day. When we walk through our neighborhood we mostly talk about all of the pretty houses and lawns. Why are the moles just in our yard? How did they get their rose-bush to look so full?  But this was a fairly quiet walk. For some reason on this walk it hit me: If there is a child inside of me, where did my intestines move? And where did my liver go? This was really bothering me, so when I got home I looked up a diagram of where all the organs move to make room for the baby, and I was kind of in awe. I know it’s crazy – and graphic. But He rearranged all of my insides to make room for this little girl. It wasn’t such a moving moment because of the unexpected anatomy lesson. But it was a moment that I realized God was taking care of it all. Even my liver. Bless that moment, because I could feel Him so much nearer.
 
– When I first met Darnell seven years ago, all he owned was a gym bag of clothes. That’s it. He has an amazing testimony that he rarely shares, but when he does, listen closely. He never imagined this life that we have: marriage, great jobs, a beautiful house, and now a baby to complete it all. So when I walked by Kianna’s room one day, and I saw Darnell asleep in my late Granny’s rocking chair, I felt so blessed to be a part of Darnell’s blessing. It sounds a little crazy, but in that moment, I realized that I am almost more excited to see Darnell hold this little girl than for myself.  And wow … if there wasn’t such a presence in that moment. I felt Him much nearer. 
 

Kianna's expectant parents: Darnell and Kishia Brown.

MY message to Kianna

Your dad and I have made mistakes in our lives, and you will, too. But we have made sure we took steps to try to learn from those mistakes. And those steps we have taken in our lives together have been intentional. We may have waited many years to have a child, but that is because we wanted the best life for you.
 
You were seven years in the making.
 
Your dad and I have loved you before you were born. We have loved you before you were even conceived.
 
And we will always love you.
 
You will have moments in your life that are happy and amazing and you will feel so blessed. You will also have moments in your life that are sad and scary and you will feel overwhelmed. Embrace all of it and “bless the moments that we feel You nearer.”

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Valentine warm-up: ‘Sweet Secrets’

Journal note: With Valentine’s Day one week from today, Journal follower Monica Kuster shares her award-winning entry in a lyric-writing contest. Once I’ve resolved the technical bugs, I’ll attach the mp3 recording.

“Sweet Secrets”

As I thank God every single day

For the look upon my face

I’m thankfully thinking about

YOU

My Miracle – My Sweet Secret

 

When I need some help to get thru the day

Just to get through a tough time

I’m always thinking about

YOU

My Life’s Love – My Sweet Secret

 

When I find myself smiling

Feeling good from head to toe

It’s because of my thoughts about

YOU

My Soul Mate – My Sweet Secret

 

As I look on to our future

Of our lives so close together

I’m thinking of Forever with

YOU

My Love – My Sweet Secret

Monica E. Kuster

About “Sweet Secret”

I’m the secretary for the Boone County Commission and I’ve been living in Columbia since 1982. I was born in St. Louis on St. Patrick’s Day, so when something positive happens, I just know it’s the luck of the Irish!

I am lucky enough to have an amazing and devoted husband, two beautiful and talented children, and two of the smartest Border Collie dogs I have ever come across.

“Sweet Secrets” is just one of hundreds – thousands? – of poems I’ve written since a very young age. It’s a talent I thank God for every night. But “Sweet Secrets” is going places I’d only imagined. The poem won a monthly lyric-writing contest for a music/song production company, Nashville Song Service, which produced a demo for me at no cost. The Tennessee company put my words to music – complete with vocals – and is now shopping “Sweet Secrets” on “music row,” looking for a buyer or just the right performer.

I haven’t hit anything big yet, but we all know it only takes one time ‑ and one good streak of luck to find your pot o’ gold!

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