Stories of faith, life, and love

Tag: Roseanna M. White

Main Character Monday – Rosemary Gresham

NameUnknown_mck.inddWelcome to Main Character Monday. Today’s guest is Rosemary Gresham from A Name Unknown by Roseanna M. White. Thank you for joining me Rosemary.

 If you could choose only one thing to buy without money being an issue, what would you buy?

Are you teasing me? I can’t even fathom such a world, but if you’re going to get my imagination going…it would be a house big enough hold all the family, all in the same place. With closets filled with clothes and shoes and coats for all of them, and a pantry stocked with food. That counts as one thing, doesn’t it?

I’m not sure that fits the “one thing” criteria, but since it’s a self-less wish, I’ll let it stand. The New Testament tells the story of two sisters who react to Jesus visiting in very different ways. Mary chooses to spend her time with him, while Martha chooses to see to the physical details of his visit. Are you more a Mary or Martha?

I had never heard that story until recently…but I know sisters well enough! In my family, though, it’s not a question of which one we are—it’s a matter of which one we have to be. I think we all have to play the Martha role most, just to make sure there’s food on the table and clothes on the little ones’ backs. We have to attend the details or the details don’t get attended. But we steal what Mary moments we can. Willa has her music. Retta her books. Me…well, now that you mention it, maybe I haven’t found the time to be a Mary much at all recently. I suppose the closest I come is when I take a moment to cuddle with the little ones. Minutes that are far too few as we’re all scrabbling about for our next meal—or our next score.

I can see how it’s important for you and your sisters to be like Martha, but I hope in the future you get to enjoy some Mary time. “Pure and undefiled religion before God and the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their trouble, and to keep oneself unspotted from the world.” James 1:27 – Do you think this verse, lived out would have made a difference in your life? If so, how?

Well now you’ve made my eyes go a bit teary. In all my life, I’ve never met anyone who lived that out—until Peter. If I had…I can’t even imagine what could have been different. Perhaps we wouldn’t have had to learn to steal just to survive. Perhaps we wouldn’t have had to run every time we saw an adult turning our way. Perhaps we could have remained unspotted, if someone had shown us such care. As it is, our only recourse had been to take in what other orphans we could, and try to keep them secure from the world. We never would have called it religion, though. We just called it love.

I’m sorry it’s taken so long for you to find someone who exemplifies that type of faith. Just imagine if everyone who believes practiced that kind of love. What scripture verse would you claim as a life verse?

That would have to be Ephesians 5:8

“For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light…”

Anyone who knows me well knows that I’ve always been afraid of darkness. I never realized that I feared it because it had become a part of me…or that I could embrace the Light instead. Discovering that…well, that changes everything, doesn’t it?

Yes, it does. If there was one message you could give those reading this interview, what would that be?

Never assume. Never assume you know a person just because of how they dress or even what they say. Never assume there’s no other way. Never assume there’s nothing you can do.

Great advice for all of us to follow.

Just for Fun:

Indoors or outdoors: Outdoors! Especially after a few suffocating hours in that cave of a room Peter tries to call a library…

Reading or writing: Oh, reading. I’ll leave the writing to other certain people who shall remain nameless…(ahem, Branok Hollow)

Apples or pears: This one made me laugh. “Apples and pears” is part of rhyming slang in my neighborhood, meaning “stairs.” But if you’re meaning the actual fruits—I’d go with apples.

Early bird or night owl: Give me the morning any time!

Rosemary, please describe Roseanna M. White in three words.

Oh, let’s see. From what I’ve been able to glean about her, she has a bit in common with Peter, living in an imaginary world as she does. I’d say optimistic, creative, and absentminded—that last one being the one she shares with him most.

Thanks to Rosemary Gresham for joining me today. I really enjoyed interviewing you! If you’d like to get to know Rosemary better, you can get your own copy of A Name Unknown by Roseanna M. White from Amazon in paperback, hardcover, e-book, and Audible Audiobook formats. 

To connect with Roseanna White check out these links:

Blog: https://roseannamwhite.blogspot.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/RoseannaMWhite/

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/roseannamwhite/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/roseannamwhite/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/RoseannaMWhite

Website: http://www.roseannamwhite.com

Less Than Blessed on Mother’s Day

momAs I think about all the books I’ve read, one book immediately comes to mind when I think of moms. In the Rush of Wings series by Kristen Heitzmann, there is a secondary character who is the matriarch of her family. She’s everything a mother should be though certainly not perfect. She raises her children to love God, she prays for them, and she is protective of them. Celia teaches her children to work hard, value life, and love others. She is a shining example of what a Christian mother should be.

But there are other women that stand out as mothers without having given birth. In A Name Unknown by Roseanna M. White, Rosemary has no children. Being an orphan herself, she’s not even had an example of what a mother should be since she was a small child. Yet when as an adult she finds herself in a makeshift family of orphans, Rosemary becomes like a mother to the younger ones. She cares for them and tries to teach them how to survive on the streets. Though her lessons are often how to get by with the illegal without getting caught, she is attempting to protect the children in the only way she knows how. And she does care for them. She would like to see the children have chances she never did. Everything she does is for the good of the family and the provision of food and shelter for the young ones in her care. Though they consider each other siblings, she acts as a loving mother to children who are of absolutely no relation to her.

It’s a better deal than Tess Spencer got in Guilt By Association by Heather Day Gilbert. Her mother was a drug dealer who ended up in prison. The life Tess remembers with her mother was one of lack and neglect. It’s left her with emotional scars. But even though her relationship with her mother is in desperate need of forgiveness and reconciliation, Tess isn’t without a woman in her life to help show her how to be the mother God intends her to be. Throughout the story, we’re shown that her mother-in-law has become the godly example her own mother never was. The relationship between them is full of encouragement, support, and love. Tess has been blessed.

And as I think about Mother’s Day tomorrow, I think knowing we’re blessed should be the main point. There are a lot of situations out there. There are women with healthy, happy children. There are those who have children but have suffered the loss of children as well. Many have had a child only to lose it later on. And there are those who have never been able to conceive though they desperately want to.

Children are a blessing. Scripture talks about it often enough. But that doesn’t mean those who haven’t yet had or may never have children are not equally blessed. God hasn’t looked at their lives and determined they are not good enough to be blessed. Children are simply one blessing from God. There are many other blessings God chooses to give. One blessing is not better than another. They are just different.

For the one who desires children they may never have and the one who has lost a child, my heart goes out to you. My own family has known the loss of one that was desperately wanted and would have been fiercely loved. Now, the baby we never got to meet is missed and still fiercely loved. And it’s that love that makes days like tomorrow hard for some. But, and I do not say this lightly, God has not overlooked you in the blessing department.  Yours may not be the ones you wanted, but you are still blessed. You are still loved. I pray He heals your hurt.

Having a godly mother is another blessing in this life. Just read about Timothy’s mother and grandmother, Lois and Eunice, in scripture. The way scripture speaks of their influence in Timothy’s life shows the impact a godly mother can have. Proverbs 31 is dedicated to highlighting the attributes of a godly woman, and caring for her children is included in the verses. If your mother was a godly example to you growing up, you are blessed. Thank her for that.

But if you didn’t, God has not forgotten you either. There are many in the world today that have known pain, neglect, disappointment, and abandonment at the hands of their biological mothers. Their mothers never did anything to care for them much less show them the love of God. But that doesn’t mean God has declared them unworthy of blessing. Their blessings are just different.

Maybe God gave them a neighbor, a friend’s parent, or an older sibling to mother them. Maybe it was a teacher who took special interest in them. Often, grandmothers step in where mothers fail and teach the children right from wrong. If you’ve had any of these people in your life, they are the mother of your heart and you are the child of their heart. That love can be as fierce and protective and giving and encouraging as the love for a child born of blood. I know. I have a child of my heart in addition to children by blood. She is my daughter, and no amount of missing DNA will ever change that. These women are a blessing in your life. Take the time to thank them for that.

But maybe you haven’t even had that. If you haven’t, I am sorry. I don’t have a good explanation for why it happened like that for you other than the fact that we live in a messed up, sinful world. But know this; you are still blessed by God. He has not called you unworthy. You are loved, though you may not have felt it from a mother or mother figure. I pray that God will heal your hurt and teach you how to be a godly person. I pray that if He hasn’t yet, He will send someone into your life to show you His love. And I pray that you will allow Him to use even this disappointment and hurt from your life to grow you into the type of person who can go out and be His blessing for someone else.

By the Book: Who and what are the blessings God has given you? As you celebrate tomorrow, take time to pray for those in your life who may struggle with feeling less than blessed. Ask God to show you how you can be the blessing for others.

Less Than Blessed on Mother's Day

momAs I think about all the books I’ve read, one book immediately comes to mind when I think of moms. In the Rush of Wings series by Kristen Heitzmann, there is a secondary character who is the matriarch of her family. She’s everything a mother should be though certainly not perfect. She raises her children to love God, she prays for them, and she is protective of them. Celia teaches her children to work hard, value life, and love others. She is a shining example of what a Christian mother should be.
But there are other women that stand out as mothers without having given birth. In A Name Unknown by Roseanna M. White, Rosemary has no children. Being an orphan herself, she’s not even had an example of what a mother should be since she was a small child. Yet when as an adult she finds herself in a makeshift family of orphans, Rosemary becomes like a mother to the younger ones. She cares for them and tries to teach them how to survive on the streets. Though her lessons are often how to get by with the illegal without getting caught, she is attempting to protect the children in the only way she knows how. And she does care for them. She would like to see the children have chances she never did. Everything she does is for the good of the family and the provision of food and shelter for the young ones in her care. Though they consider each other siblings, she acts as a loving mother to children who are of absolutely no relation to her.
It’s a better deal than Tess Spencer got in Guilt By Association by Heather Day Gilbert. Her mother was a drug dealer who ended up in prison. The life Tess remembers with her mother was one of lack and neglect. It’s left her with emotional scars. But even though her relationship with her mother is in desperate need of forgiveness and reconciliation, Tess isn’t without a woman in her life to help show her how to be the mother God intends her to be. Throughout the story, we’re shown that her mother-in-law has become the godly example her own mother never was. The relationship between them is full of encouragement, support, and love. Tess has been blessed.
And as I think about Mother’s Day tomorrow, I think knowing we’re blessed should be the main point. There are a lot of situations out there. There are women with healthy, happy children. There are those who have children but have suffered the loss of children as well. Many have had a child only to lose it later on. And there are those who have never been able to conceive though they desperately want to.
Children are a blessing. Scripture talks about it often enough. But that doesn’t mean those who haven’t yet had or may never have children are not equally blessed. God hasn’t looked at their lives and determined they are not good enough to be blessed. Children are simply one blessing from God. There are many other blessings God chooses to give. One blessing is not better than another. They are just different.
For the one who desires children they may never have and the one who has lost a child, my heart goes out to you. My own family has known the loss of one that was desperately wanted and would have been fiercely loved. Now, the baby we never got to meet is missed and still fiercely loved. And it’s that love that makes days like tomorrow hard for some. But, and I do not say this lightly, God has not overlooked you in the blessing department.  Yours may not be the ones you wanted, but you are still blessed. You are still loved. I pray He heals your hurt.
Having a godly mother is another blessing in this life. Just read about Timothy’s mother and grandmother, Lois and Eunice, in scripture. The way scripture speaks of their influence in Timothy’s life shows the impact a godly mother can have. Proverbs 31 is dedicated to highlighting the attributes of a godly woman, and caring for her children is included in the verses. If your mother was a godly example to you growing up, you are blessed. Thank her for that.
But if you didn’t, God has not forgotten you either. There are many in the world today that have known pain, neglect, disappointment, and abandonment at the hands of their biological mothers. Their mothers never did anything to care for them much less show them the love of God. But that doesn’t mean God has declared them unworthy of blessing. Their blessings are just different.
Maybe God gave them a neighbor, a friend’s parent, or an older sibling to mother them. Maybe it was a teacher who took special interest in them. Often, grandmothers step in where mothers fail and teach the children right from wrong. If you’ve had any of these people in your life, they are the mother of your heart and you are the child of their heart. That love can be as fierce and protective and giving and encouraging as the love for a child born of blood. I know. I have a child of my heart in addition to children by blood. She is my daughter, and no amount of missing DNA will ever change that. These women are a blessing in your life. Take the time to thank them for that.
But maybe you haven’t even had that. If you haven’t, I am sorry. I don’t have a good explanation for why it happened like that for you other than the fact that we live in a messed up, sinful world. But know this; you are still blessed by God. He has not called you unworthy. You are loved, though you may not have felt it from a mother or mother figure. I pray that God will heal your hurt and teach you how to be a godly person. I pray that if He hasn’t yet, He will send someone into your life to show you His love. And I pray that you will allow Him to use even this disappointment and hurt from your life to grow you into the type of person who can go out and be His blessing for someone else.
By the Book: Who and what are the blessings God has given you? As you celebrate tomorrow, take time to pray for those in your life who may struggle with feeling less than blessed. Ask God to show you how you can be the blessing for others.

Less Than

It was the first story I can remember writing for an assignment. I was thrilled to work on something creative. I loved reading and wanted to be an author. I worked hard to make it perfect. I turned it in and anticipated its return.

I don’t know what grade I got. What stayed with me, though, was how I felt reading the teacher’s comments. Thirty years later, I can’t remember the exact critique. It had something to do with simplicity. What I vividly recall is the feeling that accompanied the negative note. It’s the same feeling I got three years later when my short story, “The Case of the Missing Idea”, came back from a contest my English teacher had submitted it to. Once again, it wasn’t chosen. My story wasn’t good enough.

Both experiences, along with others, left me more than disappointed. I felt less than. If I couldn’t impress my teacher or the judge, what chance did I have to become a writer? Would I ever be good enough? Should I simply give up and save myself the heartache?

As I grew up, God used the authors I love to fan the flame of my interest in writing. I took courses, and I attended conferences. I felt a nudge in my spirit to minister to others through my passion for writing. I submitted my work. I learned it’s about more than writing. What kind of following did I have? What in my life made me known by enough people to be valuable enough for a publisher to consider publishing my work?

I’m from small town Illinois. I didn’t have a following. I didn’t have speaking engagements lined up. I wasn’t a leader in well-known organizations. I was a pastor’s kid and pastor’s wife from small country churches. I was a mother. I was active in ministry, leading youth groups, teaching Sunday school, and directing a local church camp for teens. But none of those things were public enough to give me a following. Publishers didn’t want a no-name. The risk was too big. It was discouraging. Once again, I felt less than.

It’s a feeling many have experienced. It’s a feeling Peter Holstein and Rosemary Gresham wrestle with in A Name Unknown by Roseanna M. White. Rosemary, a thief from childhood due to circumstances, stubbornly refuses to let others’ opinions of her keep her from doing what she needs to do. When that feeling of less than sneaks in, Rosemary lets it spur her on to prove everyone wrong about her. However, during her current job trying to prove Peter a German sympathizer on the eve of World War I, Rosemary can’t completely quiet the thoughts. She does an admirable job getting others to see there’s usually more to the story than what people see on the outside. But inside herself, Rosemary still fights feeling less than.

Peter takes a different approach.  Most of Peter’s issue stems from a stutter that’s made worse when he’s anxious or upset. Peter is a smart, giving man with a talent for writing. He uses that talent in secret, writing under a pen name. His identity as an author is known only to a chosen few. Peter feels his stutter makes him appear dumb, and no one would take him seriously as a writer if they knew. His lifestyle of seclusion makes him an oddity. As war approaches, his German heritage and land holdings make him a target. What was once considered simply odd behavior is seen as sinister. Peter wants to prove his loyalty, but his feelings of being less than threaten to keep him from even attempting to clear his name.

Less than is a powerful feeling. Like Rosemary, it can prompt you to prove people wrong. Or like Peter, it can leave you feeling defeated and trapped. Regardless of the direction the feeling takes you, it can become a tenacious enemy striking over and over just as it has for me in writing.

But I’ve been blessed in my battle. God has strengthened me for dealing with it. He’s given me favorite Christian authors to inspire me. When I finish their stories, I can’t help feeling the ache inside to do for others what they have done for me. I’ve been exposed to Christian teachings through non-fiction books that have helped me understand my dream and whether it is only my dream or if it is God’s dream for me. In times where feelings of less than threaten to make me give up, God has given me little successes to keep me focused. One of the biggest blessings He’s given is spiritual mentors to help me see what God says about those who are feeling less than.

These faithful men and women have pointed me to the scriptures that promise God knew what He was doing when He formed me (Psalm 139). My less than was perfectly designed for His purpose. They’ve encouraged me to understand that no matter what happens, God has a plan for my life (Jeremiah 29:11). I’ve been pointed to 1 Peter 2:9 as a reminder that God chose me. He’s set me apart for His purpose. And when I fail, I’ve been shown that I’m in good company. Moses who stuttered, Peter who denied, David who killed, Elijah who struggled with depression, and Jonah who ran have all been held up as examples. And I’ve come to a realization.

I am less than. So are you. So are they. But it doesn’t matter because we are all less than the holy One who created us, and He loves us the way we are. God doesn’t care about what talents or accomplishments we bring to the table. He just wants us to step up. He wants to work through us to accomplish His will. His strength is made perfect in our weakness (2 Corinthians 12:8-10). When He accomplished something we couldn’t do on our own, His glory shines brighter. When I am less than, God is more than enough.

By the Book: How can realizing we are all less than help free you to be the person God wants you to be?

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