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My husband, the pastor, has been working on a sermon this week about Peter walking on the water… and then, a few minutes later, sinking like a stone. I’m marveled with him at Peter’s exuberance, his willingness to get out of the boat and attempt something that seemed impossible. And I’ve been humbled right along with him when Peter’s enthusiasm turned to panic, when he took his eyes off Jesus and focused on the waves crashing all around, when he started to sink.

Being  a writer is a little like being Peter. One minute, you’re walking on air, a local celebrity. You can do anything you set your mind to! The creative juices are flowing. People can’t wait to get their hands on your new book, a woman you don’t even know drives miles to get you to sign a copy of your book, and the morning show on Channel 3 asks you to speak about your successful writing career on their next show. The next, the local grocery store doesn’t want to carry your books any more, and the library in the town were your book is set only wants your latest release on their shelves if you donate a copy, and a handful of family members conspire to disown you because your books are too steamy.  I mean, what did you expect? Your publisher is small beans and your book is 300,000 millionth on You’re not exactly Janet Evanovich.

And never will be, a little voice says.

I’m a lot more timid than Peter was. I’m the one that most likely stayed in the boat, clutching the gunwale,  half envying Peter for having the guts to do what he did, the other half absolutely sure that Peter was going to die.

It’s not that I don’t trust. It’s not that I don’t have faith, but I’m also pretty practical and inclined to pessimism at times. I’m scared to death of stormy weather.  Although there was that one time when I was a kid, when my sister talked me into climbing up on a ladder to the roof, to watch for tornadoes – in the middle of a tornado warning. I should have been in the basement. But it was so fun to take a chance and live on the wild side – just that once.

Every time I “let” you read one of my books, I’m taking a chance, stepping out of the boat,  climbing up on the roof to look for tornadoes. You may like me. You may think I’m a loser who should have stuck with running a bed and breakfast. Although, come to think of it, I take a chance every time I open the doors of my tea house, dish up a meal that I’ve created, and invite you into my B&B. You may like my cooking. You may hate it. You may love my taste in art and covet my antiques. You may think my house is a cluttery mess.

Every day of my life, I have to make a choice. Do I listen to the voice that says, “Get out of the boat. Reach out and take Jesus’ hand.  Have faith. Go for it.” Or, I can hunker down in the bottom of the boat and hang on for dear life, afraid to poke my head up and live.

Here’s to walking on water.

In closing, I’d like to share the words of a song called “Voice of Truth”. The Christian rock group Casting Crowns says what’s on my heart more perfectly than I ever could.

Voice of Truth by Casting Crowns

Oh,what I would do to have
the kind of faith it takes
To climb out of this boat I’m in
Onto the crashing waves
To step out of my comfort zone
Into the realm of the unknown
Where Jesus is,
And he’s holding out his hand

But the waves are calling out my name
and they laugh at me
Reminding me of all the times
I’ve tried before and failed
The waves they keep on telling me
time and time again
“Boy, you’ll never win,
You you’ll never win

But the Voice of truth tells me a different story
the Voice of truth says “do not be afraid!”
and the Voice of truth says “this is for My glory”
Out of all the voices calling out to me
I will choose to listen and believe the Voice of truth

Oh, what I would do
to have the kind of strength it takes
To stand before a giant
with just a sling and a stone
Surrounded by the sound
of a thousand warriors
shaking in their armor
Wishing they’d have had the strength to stand

But the giant’s calling out
my name and he laughs at me
Reminding me of all the times
I’ve tried before and failed
The giant keeps on telling me
time and time again
“Boy you’ll never win,
you’ll never win.”

But the voice of truth tells me a different story
the Voice of truth says “do not be afraid!”
and the Voice of truth says “this is for My glory”
Out of all the voices calling out to me
I will choose to listen and believe the Voice of truth

But the stone was just the right size
to put the giant on the ground
and the waves they don’t seem so high
from on top of them looking down
I will soar with the wings of eagles
when I stop and listen to the sound of Jesus
singing over me

But the Voice of truth tells me a different story
The Voice of truth says “do not be afraid!”
And the Voice of truth says “this is for my glory”
Out of all the voices calling out to me (calling out to me)
I will choose to listen and believe (I will choose to listen and believe)
I will choose to listen and believe the Voice of truth

I will listen and believe
I will listen and believe the Voice of truth
I will listen and believe
‘Cause Jesus you are the Voice of truth
And I will listen to you.. oh you are the Voice of truth

I hate thinking of myself or the romances I write as middle-aged. In many ways, I still think of myself as being young. Besides, age is relative. When  my mom had my baby brother at age 37, I was mortified. To a sixteen year old girl, she seemed ancient – way too old to be having sex. At 54, I realize the error of my thinking. 🙂

When I was a young girl, the church I grew up in talked about something called God’s Perfect Will for Your Life.  When I married the wrong man at age 20 and got divorced at age 27, I figured I’d missed the boat for good, and that whatever awful fate befell me from that point on was no one’s fault but my own.

Popular culture sent the same message. In Donna Summer’s hit song, “Last Dance”, she sings,  “Last dance, last chance for love. Yes it’s my last chance for romance tonight.”  Grab it now, while you can, when you’re young, in the prime of your life – or you may never have a second chance.

But our God is a God who forgives, who gives second chances, in His time… a God who promises, “All things work together for good to those who love God.” Even when things go awry along the way. Even when the unthinkable has happened.

There’s something sweet and magical about the naivety of our first love. But there’s also something rich and particularly satisfying about a second chance at love.

  I wrote several novels about falling in love – fantasies all – while waiting for a second chance at real-life romance. It was hard to be patient.  It was tempting to grab on to the first man who came along. Anything had to be better than being single, didn’t it? But eventually, with the council of many wise friends, I could admit that it was far better to be alone than to be married to the wrong man.

There was a song we used to sing in The Growing Edge, the Sunday School class for single adults aged 25 to 4o that I attended at First Pres in Colorado Springs, called “In His Time.”



There were times that I was so tired of waiting, so frustrated with my circumstances, that I could barely make it through the song without crying – or feeling downright mad at God. I wanted to be in love, I wanted to be loved. I wanted to be married, to have a family before it was too late.

Almost 20 long years after my divorce, I was still waiting. I’d had a handful of relationships that weren’t meant to be for one reason or another, a couple of broken hearts, and a couple of terrifying near misses that – thank the Lord – never came to fruition.

I thought I’d missed my chance. The odds against a woman in her late forties finding love and remarrying were staggering, and I knew it.

And then one day, a nice (and very handsome) man asked me out on a date. He was a pastor. After our second or third date, he asked me to come to the church where he is a pastor, to hear him preach.  Obviously, if our relationship was to progress, I had to be comfortable with his calling.

I drove an hour that Sunday to attend his church. When I entered the sanctuary the organist was playing the song… IN HIS TIME.

Yes, there is something very satisfying about a second chance at love. When you find love after 40, there’s a greater appreciation, a deeper joy, a more wonderful than ever love that envelops you – heart, soul, mind and body. When a man can love you when you’re – yes, I’ll say it – middle aged – with all the “imperfections” and attitudes that come along with living 4 or more decades, when you’re not nearly as cute and perky as you were at 20, it’s a joyous surprise, maybe even a miracle.

And that’s why I write books about second chances. That’s why Jensen in “Night and Day”, Rachael in “Stormy Weather”, Michelle in “Water Lily” and Tracy in “Merry Go Round” are all approaching 40.  That’s why some of my heroines have been married and divorced, some are “old maids”, and one, Hope Anderson, in an upcoming novel, Love Notes, is widowed. That’s why some have baggage, one has a complex, and another, a huge chip on her shoulder. That’s why they’re tarnished and even a bit tattered.

The heroes of my novels are also older.  Like my leading ladies, Anders, Mac, Jake, and Clay have lived, they’ve loved, they’ve lost, they’ve been crushed, and heartbroken and devastated. And they’ve survived. And because they’ve lived through the pain of life, they’re richer and more sensitive, and infinitely more loveable.

Here’s to second chances…

(Written by Sherrie Hansen, who lives in a 116 year old house who, just like her, got a second chance when she rescued it from the bulldozers grips and turned it into a bed and breakfast.)

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Seaside Daisy


Daybreak (Sequel to Night & Day)

Night and Day

Golden Rod

Sweet William

Shy Violet

Blue Belle

Wild Rose

Thistle Down

Love Notes

Stormy Weather

Water Lily

Merry Go Round

What You’ve Missed

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