Our lives on this planet are beautifully and intricately interconnected. God never intended his children to navigate the journey alone. May others experience his love through us.~~From Maggie Wallem Rowe’s This Life We Share.

How could I have known that, by attending a small group session on creative writing, my life would be enriched?

I couldn’t have, but God knew. After all, sharing life with others was and is His idea.

In 2016 when I attended the Blue Ridge Christian Writers conference just outside Asheville, NC, I was careful–and prayerful–when choosing my breakout sessions. One such class was to be led by author Lucinda Secrest McDowell, and it caught my attention. Thus, I sat under her beautiful storytelling for a fleeting hour, but those 60-minutes, as quickly as they passed, were life-changing.

Lucinda and I struck up a friendship and kept in touch. I even attended a writers’ retreat near her home in Connecticut in the fall of 2018. There I met many more wonderful women–writers and Jesus-followers like me. Each has made journeying more sweet.

With friend and author Lucinda Secrest McDowell at reNEW Writers Retreat, October 2018

It wasn’t long after that Lucinda informed me that her dearest friend of many years was moving to the mountains of western North Carolina. “Perhaps you’ll get to meet each other,” she said.

Meet we did–the first time in December 2018 at our local Christian Writers Fellowship Christmas gathering. We hit the ground running–sharing our faith journeys, our love for C.S. Lewis and Joy Davidman’s story, as well as discovering our mutual appreciation for drama and our passion for ministry to women. Furthermore, we found that we share a similar heritage–she being of Norwegian descent and me being of Finnish.

So, friends–allow me to introduce you to the friend I met through Lucinda Secrest McDowell, who’s now my dear friend, too.

Maggie Wallem Rowe (blogger at View from the Ridge) is the author of the newly published This Life We Share–52 Reflections on Journeying Well with God and Others (NavPress, 2020–To purchase, simply click the link).

Maggie Wallem Rowe, author of This Life We Share

As I wrote for my recent author reviews on several sites:

In Maggie Wallem Rowe’s masterpiece This Life We Share, she reminds us in 52 beautiful reflections that–no matter what–one never journeys alone. We need these words right now, but we’ll undoubtedly need them many, many years from now too. Taking stories from her own life, as well as from others’ lives, Maggie weaves them with the Greatest Story ever told. Taking applicable Bible stories, she points readers to the truths of scripture that one might see beauty, even in imperfection and brokenness, in his or her personal story. Such will encourage anyone who reads her poignant words–whispering and sometimes shouting, “Keep on, dear heart!” As the late Eugene Peterson encouraged, life can feel like “a long obedience in the same direction.” But when we walk with others—yes, when we walk with Jesus–the journey is beautiful and will always be used to help another struggling sojourner.

I highly recommend this beautiful book–individually or with a small group; with coffee or tea; in the quiet of a cozy room or while waiting in a stand-still school carline. Read it and ponder. Read it and pray. Read it and see what good will grow–the seeds you’ll glean that can then be scattered near and far to further produce good fruit.

In her own words regarding writing this gem and experiencing its “birth” when she, the mama, is older than most first-time authors:

I am almost 67, pretty ancient for a first-time author, but I’ve worked with younger women for my entire career, and I have learned so much from them. While I have many friends in my season of life, I also gravitate toward friendships with women in younger generations who are seeking mentors and are willing to mentor others in return.

In addition, I have always been one who has worn my heart on my sleeve. My emotions are too big to be contained in one body, so I write! I’m terrible at “faking fine,” so I simply don’t do it. I wrote This Life We Share for others who want to know they are not the only ones dealing with turbulent emotions, life challenges, and also unexpected joy (from Q&A with Katherine Scott Jones in her blog, KSJ–Stories to Celebrate Beauty, May 1, 2020).

Maggie’s words encourage me–to live authentically, courageously, and willingly, ready to serve God as I serve those He brings across my path.

Yes, as we journey, may we find the blessing of fellowship–first with God, then with others–in this life we’re so blessed to share.

Human relationships are richest and sweetest when grounded in spiritual realities.~~Maggie Wallem Rowe.

NavPress, 2020

Thank you, Jesus, for Lucinda and Maggie and for some many others. Thank you so much for this beautiful life that we share–including both the good times and the bad. Friendship makes the journey so much sweeter!

[Friendship] is born at the moment when one [human] says to another “What! You too? I thought that no one but myself…~~C.S. Lewis

***If interested to see the recent Ann Voskamp, author of One Thousand Gifts, spotlight of This Life We Share, click on her name.***