Last February, I published my first book, Life on Saturn: A Lifetime of Grace in Unexpected Places.
And while it might seem a sci-fi, it's actually the story of my life and times raising my boys in the same house I grew up in on Saturn Drive.
Today, I decided to share the introduction with you. I hope you enjoy it!
Along Highway 36 in the heart of Missouri was a small opening in the trees where a thin road stretched along a mossy pond.
I don’t remember the first time my family drove down the road that entered Lake Apollo, the neighborhood I have lived in since I was five, but I was often convinced Dad was going to accidentally drive right into that pond.
Dad’s a deep thinker, and has a tendency to space out when he drives, so when our wheels neared the edge of the pavement, I prayed for an underwater car survival plan.
I have prayed for many survival plans over the years I’ve lived on Saturn Drive. From surviving childhood to surviving parenthood, and from watching my parents survive marriage to surviving my own, living out every single day knowing it’s a gift even when it sometimes feels like a curse is what survival really is.
Overall, though, my life here has been so blessed.
That entrance to Lake Apollo closed down more than a decade ago, and grass grows over the old road we once drove down daily.
We get home now through a four-way stop right next to the Walmart Supercenter, and it works because that’s the only place I go anyway.
The kids and I sometimes ride our bikes to the edge of that pond—it’s still surrounded by beautiful houses, but now a “Do Not Enter” sign is posted where I once played in the creek.
Many things have changed over the years. When we first moved into Saturn, the house was once quite different than it is now.
Mom and Dad were into home improvement. So, on Dad’s days off, they’d just hack into the walls and move rooms around.
In my dining room, a random window is positioned halfway up the wall over where the kitchen sink once sat, because they moved the kitchen across the house.
Half of the garage was turned into a living room, which then became a big laundry room, and once for about six months it was a bedroom where my brother and I slept after he broke his knee in ninth grade.
My husband used to grumble about this every winter when he tried to put his old Mustang up for the season into the barely one-car garage, but because Shawn fits right into the family, he instead built a four-car garage in our side lot.
And thus has been my life on Saturn Drive, wondering what the neighbors think when the banging and clanging starts happening again at the house on the corner.
From my mom’s greenhouse that once sat in the backyard where she planted tomatoes and lettuce that she sold to local restaurants (otherwise known to the kids on the school bus as “the spaceship that landed in your backyard”) to Shawn’s twelve-foot flashing palm tree now cemented in beside the pool.
Sometimes my life survival plan is to just hide behind the living room curtains when people walk by.
That’s the thing with the people in my life, though: they always tend to bring smiles to people walking down the street.
That's when I look up.
God granted me people in my life who constantly challenge my world view just by being themselves, and in the midst of it all, I find Him over and over again.
As the neighborhood grew from a few streets to an entire solar system, the scenery on Saturn Drive is ever evolving along with its cast of characters.
But a few things never changed.
Life happens here, and within that life is overwhelming grace. As the main character in this story, I have fearfully exposed myself in hopes that you will find God within the pages, because when we get down to our barest selves, He is at the core of who we are.
*Life on Saturn is available on Amazon and Java Jive in Hannibal.