Behind the Scenes

Learn some behind the scenes info about the Letters to Layton Series in this video interview:

MM#140: How to Grow Your Online Network using (non-FB groups) with Kim Williams Author
We’re often told to, “Grow our online network,” but it can seem like an uphill climb, can’t it? Where do we go? How do we find networks that offer what we need, and that we have something to offer in return?


How Does Your Garden Grow?

Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can, unless you abide in me. I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.  John 15:4-5

flower4I have learned something about myself. One might assume that since I am hovering somewhere between fifty and sixty, there wouldn’t be much left to learn. Oh, contraire.

I have always known that I love flowers, red birds, butterflies, and hummingbirds. flower1Through the years, each spring, I would buy hanging baskets to decorate my porch, deck, and pool area. I remember being so proud of myself when I moved from silk flowers to real flowers for this annual event. I occassionally under watered and overwatered.  My hanging baskets had a  very short life span.  As for the rest my outdoor favorites–my hummingbird feeder never drew hummingbirds and my bird feeder drew squirrels.

flower3This year I made a change. God gave me a daughter-in-law with a green thumb who is teaching me how to actually care for plants that attract butterflies—care, as in take care; work at. Producing beautiful flowers and plants takes intentional attention. Herein is the lesson I’ve learned. I naturally like to look at blooming plants and beautiful flower gardens, but the upkeep just doesn’t come naturally to me at all. In other words, the natural me does not produce the type of bloom I’d like to see.

Paul tells believers in the book of Galatians what type of bloom—fruit—should be displayed in their lives.  However, he also reminds us in Romans 7:15-20 that the fruit does not come from human efforts, but from the Holy Spirit in us.  Making choices to be nourished by the Holy Spirit who produces this fruit can be a struggle. flower5God the Creator has His Spirit in us to  dig and prune and enable intentionality. His word nourishes and fertilizes us to grow in our relationship with Christ. Time in prayer waters and refreshes us, and allows us to hear His gardening tips for our live

flower2If you are like me, life gets busy and can cause us to neglect the gardening our souls need.  Without abiding in Him we may find ourselves resembling a silk plant that is pretty, but lifeless—a mere imitation of what our Creator intended us to be. None of us want to do a lot of something that becomes nothing. Do you need  to “stop and smell the roses” spiritually? Do you need to abide?


Live Interview


MM#140 Kim Williams

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Honored to be interviewed by Faith and Books!

Check out this interview and also take time to wander through the site. Make sure and enter the contest too!

Do You Trust Me?

I am thrilled that my new book is released. Whew! Thanks to all who’ve shown your support with texts, emails, time, posts, and purchases. Readers, may you enjoy the read! While I treasure the moments after a release and catch my breath, the third (and final) story in the Letters to Layton series that has been peeking around the corner is now jumping up and down in front of me begging for my attention. Like a patient parent, I tell the story to give me a moment, then it will get my undivided attention. In the meantime, I’ve got some people to talk to–the characters.When_the_Butterflies_Cover_for_Kindle

I write letters to my characters, and I interview them as I prepare to bring their story to life. They talk to me as well. Sometimes they share their hearts at the most inconvenient time when I can’t drop everything and listen–for example when I’m driving or trying to sleep. I recently had a conversation with Henry.

“Henry, what do you most fear?”

“Plunging into the darkness.”

“What will you do if that happens?”

He hesitated, and I can only assume a slight grimace formed on his face.

“I will be totally dependent on others and on God to help me. I won’t be able to think, much less pull myself out.”

“Do you trust me enough to take you there?”

Another pause.

“Will you leave me there?”

My care for him must have shown as I felt my lips press together. My fingers felt the impulse to pat his hand.

“That’s for me to know. Do you trust me?”

As I asked Henry this question, my mind wandered back to times in my life when God had asked me the same question. Our third miscarriage. My mom dying with cancer.  Financial strain. Health concerns. Times in “wait mode,” wondering why God was silent other than asking if I trusted Him. The one thing I’ve learned is that God “always comes through.” This doesn’t mean that every outcome is what I would have preferred. It does mean that whatever the outcome, God is sufficient to give me what I need at the time.

I think of  Abraham. God made the childless, aging man a promise that a great nation would come from his off-spring. Abraham did what humans often do. Perhaps a little panicked, he looked at the circumstances and figured he better do his part to fulfill the promise God made. “Doing” is often easier than “waiting.” Despite Abraham’s intended solution, which carried its own set of consequences, God gave him the son he intended to use as the fulfillment of His promise. Then, years later told Abraham to sacrifice the life of that son. In my mind, this would have been more confusing to accept than the original promise.  Although I get the symbolism behind God asking him to sacrifice Isaac, for the life of me, as a parent, I cannot “get” how Abraham had enough trust and faith to prepare to do it.  He climbed Mt. Moriah trusting in God — to provide a replacement or tell him nevermind, or, gulp, to sustain him through the act of obedience.  I suppose that Abraham focused on the truths and promises he’d received from God—that a great nation would come from his offspring.

I have never been called upon to do something as difficult as Abraham was asked to do. However, as mentioned earlier, I have been called upon to trust God’s character and His promises. When He “comes through,” I find myself wondering how I could have ever been anxious in the first place. (Hint: I’m a doer and a fixer.) God has filled His Word with promise after promise that we can depend on Him and trust Him in every situation.  Take a look at some of His promises:

He will fight for us. He strengthens us. He upholds us. He is with us in deep waters and flames. His love never fails. He breaks our chains of bondage. He binds our broken heart.  He gives us wisdom. He forgives our sins. He hears and answers our prayers. He will never forsake us. He gives us the desires of our hearts. He gives eternal life through Christ. He blesses us. He communes with us. He meets our needs. He guides us. 

Take a breath! Isn’t the list amazing? Might I mention that it is incomplete. Claiming God’s promises are a part of our relationship with Him. A healthy relationship builds trust. You, know, just the other day I was fretting over something, and God showed me two different times in two different ways that He has the matter under God's Promisescontrol. What a beautiful picture of relationship that builds trust in God’s promises.

You might ask, “Who is Henry and what is this darkness?” The answers are found in the pages of my sequel story.  Will I take Henry to the dark depths in my third book? I don’t know, but trust me, I’ll do my best to make the story worth the read of finding out.













Happily Ever After — Or Not

Let’s start out with a quick writing lesson. All stories need a plot. What is plot in literature? It is the sequence of events that make up a storyline. In fairy tales, plot takes place between “once upon and time” and “They lived happily ever after.”

  • Guy and Girl meet.
  • Guy thinks Girl is cute. Girl thinks Guy is cute.
  • Guy and Girl begin to date.
  • Girl meets Guy’s perfect brother but still only has eyes for Guy.
  • Guy proposes. Girl says yes.
  •  Girl gets deam job offer overseas.
  • Guy already has best job ever.
  • There is a standstill. Wedding is off.
  •  Girl moves.
  •  Two broken hearts pour themselves into their great jobs.
  • Guy loses his sense of smell, use of his thumbs, and his job two weeks after perfect brother is hired by the NFL.
  • Guy calls out one name over and over in the grip of agony — Girl’s.
  • Girl learns of this through her best friend’s social media .
  • Girl, who still loves Guy, now faces a conflicted heart and a dilemma.
  • Will true love prevail? Will she return to Guy and care for him until death does them part? Will he attempt heroism and tell Girl to marry his perfect brother instead? Whatever the answers are, we have a resolution — “The End.”
  • Sometimes we get an added bonus: an epilogue. Perfect brother pays for Guy’s  new robotic appendages, marries Girl’s best friend, and a movie deal is made for Guy’s story, resulting in numerous job offers.  What happened with Girl? Well, you’ll have to read the book to find out. 🙂

(Well, thank you for humoring me and please keep reading this post.)

Authors have the ability to entertain with plot and resolutions, leaving the reader feeling satisfied because conflicts are solved and wrapped up neatly. Although a reader may have preferred or anticipated another wrap-up, at least they know the end of the story.  However, life isn’t always wrapped up.  We may not understand why a conflict took place and how it will be resolved.

I have recently  completed a Bible study by Jen Wilkin and also had the opportunity to hear her speak. In both situations, she discussed the fact that God is not a limited being who is bound by time.  Indeed, He is limitless. Unlike our Creator, “we are limited


creatures with numbered days and because of that, we don’t always get a plot resolution.”   We might be left with a cliffhanger that has no foreseen sequel.

Most every believer has experienced devastating or dire  circumstances that make us cry out to the author and finisher of our faith, “Why? What are you doing?” These questions force a decision upon us. Do we let confusion, anger, sorrow, and the like consume us and take over our character?  Do we process these feelings through the filter of faith and allow the author to continue His story through us?

When your plot includes difficulties, how well do you trust your Author? Take a look at parts of His bio:

  • Jehovah: possesses all authority; self-complete Exodus 3:13-15
  • Infinite: beyond measurement Romans 11:33
  • Omnipotent: all powerful; we are sustained by Him Jeremiah 32:17-18
  • Good: kind; caring; full of favor Psalm 119-65-72
  •  Love: personal; intimate I John 4:7-10
  • Jehovah-jireh: provider; Genesis 22:9-14
  • Immutable: perfect and unchanging Psalm 102: 25-28
  • Just: fair; equitable; holy Psalm 75:1-7
  • Omniscient: all-knowing Psalm 139-1-6

The list could keep going, but I’ll stop where I started.  In the story of life, we have limited knowledge, but God doesn’t. Combine that with His love, justice, goodness, and all the other traits mentioned above, then wonder why we limited humans so easily default to fear and anxiety over faith.

Think of Job. The Author’s description of him reads like this, “There is none on earth like him; he is blameless and upright, a man who fears God and shuns evil.”  (Job 1: 8) Yet as the plot thickens, Job’s life is turned upside down. Job never knew the reason why God allowed trials to come his way. However, thousands of years later, we do. We’re part of the on-going epilogue in Job’s story.

In my upcoming sequel, the protagonists struggle to understand “the why” about each other. I allow them to muddle through misunderstandings, feeling hurt and confused; yet I also have the resolution in sight. The circumstances they find themselves in bring them to a crises of faith necessary for “The End” that the author had in mind.  Hum? If a limited being gets this concept for developing a fiction story, how much more should this limited being trust the Limitless Author of our Faith in real life?

If you would like to do a study on the attributes of God, here are two links you can click for resources I recommend.

  1. Bible Navigators: Praying the Names of God
  2. Jen Wilkin resources:






The Myrtle

wild crepe myrtleI have a confession to make. People ask me how my book title, Among the Crepe Myrtles, relates to the story.  It doesn’t. Well, let me clarify, at least it didn’t until I made it fit. I was reading the Minor Prophets when I came across the phrase “among the myrtle trees” in Zechariah 1:8.  I can’t explain why, but I knew at that moment my book title would be “Among the Crepe Myrtles.” I’d tried out several other titles, but none gripped me like that phrase. So, to be accurate, I did research about crepe (or crape) myrtles growing in Texas. Bingo. It was very rewarding to weave the title into the story. Since then, I have done more research on the crepe myrtle. To my pleasant surprise, my research revealed information that fit much of what my characters in the story struggled with and also what God was trying to do for them.fullcover

You may know the crepe myrtle as a shrub. You may know it as a tree. Indeed, it is both, and even to a girl whose green thumb is non-existent, the myrtle tree is quite interesting. (My neighbor has one planted next to the fence between our yards. I admire it as though it were mine. Truthfully, I am glad the tree does not belong to me, for it would have ceased to exist. That exact thing happened to my bonsai crepe myrtle.) The myrtle tree made its way into more than one story in Greek mythology. Perhaps the most noted is that of Adonis and Aphrodite.  In many cultures, the myrtle represents beauty, love, paradise, and immortality. To the Jews, it can represent sweetness, divine generosity, peace, God’s promises, and recovery.

I find that the characterisitcs of the myrtle tree offer us some symbolic lessons.

  • These trees and shrubs have the ability to grow in stony soil.  Even in circumstances that seem unfavorable, the myrtle is designed to grow, thrive, and do what it was created to do.  When believers allow God to do His work in us, we have joy and peace. He restores what the circumstances of life may have made bare.  See Isaiah 55:12-13
  • The myrtle tree is an evergreen designed to continually keep growing, always offering life. Colossians 2:6-7 tells says “So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in Him, rooted and built up in Him, strengthened in the faith as your were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness.”
  • The myrtle tree is adaptable to grow in the wilderness, a setting that is not ideal. See Isaiah 41:19. Everyone of us can think of a time where we felt life left us in Sinaia harsh situation. A wilderness may not offer thriving fountains and beautiful florals, but it is not void of all life .
  • Myrtle tress produce an aromatic beautiful blossom.  2 Corinthians 2:15 reminds believers that we are to God the pleasing aroma of Christ to those around us.
  • In Zechariah 1, this tree is seen as an emblem of peace. In this chapter, God is asking His people to return to Him from practicing immoral, ungodly practices. As a result, peace is promised. This same offer exists to us today. God promises inward peace that passes our understanding to those who have a growing relationship with Him.
  • HadassahThe Hebrew name for Esther, Hadassah, means myrtle. Esther is symbol of righteousness in an evil world. Esther allowed God to place her in a situation that she did not ask for and use her to represent Him.

I  never cease to be amazed at the treasures found in the Bible and in Creation. I am  grateful to God for His Word.


(Acknowledgment to Carolyn Roth Ministries: God as a Gardener and to


Bon Appetite!



I loved the way my Mom cooked. As a very young girl, I would tell her she was the “bestest cooker!” The title stuck through the years and continued to make its way to her ears into my adulthood.  Mom always took great delight in loving on people through her food

Our Heavenly Father is no different than my Earthly mother in this regard.  He, too, takes great delight in loving His people through His food — the Word of God. He has “cooked up” a buffet of wisdom, encouragement, and direction throughout the Bible. Tickle your taste buds with these samples from His table. They’ll need no further seasoning from my keyboard.

  • Psalm 18:25-26 The good people taste your goodness; The true people taste your truth.
  • Psalm 34:8 Open your mouth and taste; open your eyes and see–how good God is.
  • Proverbs 8:7 My mouth chews and savors and relishes truth — I can’t stand the taste of evil.
  • Proverbs 16:24 Gracious speech is like clover honey– good taste to the soul, quick energy for the body.
  • Matthew 5:13 Let me tell you why you are here. You’re here to be salt–seasoning that brings out the God-flavored of this Earth. If you lose your saltiness, how will people taste Godliness?
  • Ephesians 5:5 Though some tongues just love the taste of gossip, those who follow Jesus have better uses for language than that.
  • Psalm 63:1 God–you’re my God! I can’t get enough of you! I worked up such hunger and thirst for God…so here I am in the place worship, eyes open, drinking in your strength and glory.

(Scripture from The Message translation.)

Here’s one of my favorite recipes from Mom’s collection during my teen years.

Chili Chicken
Shirley White

> 16 oz uncooked noodles
> 1/2 c chopped onion
> 2 TB butter
> 3 cans cream of mushroom (10.5 oz cans)
> 1 4 oz can pimento (optional)
> 2 TB chopped pickled green peppers
> 3-4 cups cooked chicken
> 2-3 cups shredded, sharp cheddar
> Salt/pepper to tast

Heat oven to 350. Cook noodles as directed. Drain. In large skillet, cook and stir onion until tender; stir in soup, pimento, and chili peppers.

In greased 4 qt casserole, layer half the noodles and half the chicken; season. Top with half the soup mixture and half the cheese. Repeat layers.

Bake uncovered 45 minutes

Bon Appetite!







The last three months in my household have been filled with celebrations. Jake and Sarah married. Thanksgiving. Baking day to honor my Mom’s 7th year in heaven. ( She loved to cook and bake.) Christmas. A New Year. Two birthdays (plus three more if you go beyond my immediate family).  I enjoy celebrations because we get to love on one another. We get to eat lots of good food. I’ve certainly consumed more than my fair share of goodies recently. (Oh, and I finished a manuscript that is now in the early editing stages.)

I slowed down the last few months and thoroughly absorbed these celebrations. (What deep joy it was to celebrate the answer to a lifetime of prayer as I watched my son marry his beautiful bride.) Sometimes I think life seems to get so  busy for folks that slowing down to celebrate can seem like an interruption, no less inconvenient than getting a flat tire.  Maybe you don’t struggle with this scenario. Perhaps I can because my nature is to move from one task to another in my personal life and my ministry life.

God celebrates! What phrase repeats itself in the Creation account? ‘”It was good.” When God created guidelines and laws for the Israelites to point them to Jesus, He included celebrations — the feasts of remembrance.  These seven annual feasts recognized God’s deliverance, redemption, rest, blessings, gratitude, and new beginnings.

The Psalms are filled with verses that tell us to praise God with song, music, dance, prayers. Psalm 150:1-6 is beautifully written.  Praise the Lord! Praise God in his sanctuary; praise him in his mighty heavens! Praise him for his mighty deeds; praise him according to his excellent greatness! Praise him with trumpet sound; praise him with lute and harp! Praise him with tambourine and dance; praise him with strings and pipe! Praise him with sounding cymbals; praise him with loud, clashing cymbals. 

Ecclesiastes 3:4 reminds us that there is a time to laugh. Verse thirteen of that chapter tells us to take pleasure in our toll — enjoy the people and things that God has given us in our daily life as we work and serve Him.  Luke 15:3-10 gives us a beautiful picture of celebration in the parable of the lost sheep. In Luke 2 the angels celebrated the birth of Jesus.

One of my favorite accounts in the Bible is from Joshua, chapter four. The Israelites had miraculously crossed over the Jordan on dry ground. Joshua had instructed that twelve large stones  be placed together as a monument of sorts to remember and retell the miracle God had done in letting them cross on dry land.  The incident that these folks celebrated wasn’t easy in coming. Years of wandering and waiting in the desert had preceded it as they stood and faced the unknown.  Loss of family members had taken place.  Sometimes in life, celebration is more about God’s faithfulness than it is about our circumstances.

For one of my childhood birthdays my parents threw me a surprise party. We had recently moved into a new house, and the front walk and yard were not complete. I don’t recall what we did, but my dad had taken me from the house, obviously  to pass the time before the party.  I remember that when we returned to the house it was raining outside, and I didn’t like being out in it. Little did I know as I walked across wooden boards to avoid the muddy yard, that just inside the dry, clean house a celebration was waiting for me.  When we go through a time of waiting or sorrow or challenge, we may not realize that a time of celebration is just around the corner. We think in terms  minutes, hours, days, and years.  God doesn’t.

Celebrations can be elaborate or simple. Herein lies the lesson to myself. I need to pause throughout my day to day life to appreciate my salvation, my blessings, God’s faithfulness, the people around me, the beauty around me…and the list goes on. Perhaps if I put “stop and celebrate” on my to do list I might actually do it — slight exaggeration. When my children were young  we’d  sometimes see a beautiful morning sky on the ride to school.  We’d proclaim that it must be someone’s birthday and the sky was God’s present to them.  I’m not sure if stored that memory, but I did, and it has proven to be joyful one and a good lesson for me along the way.

So what do you have to celebrate? Who do you have to celebrate? Enjoy.

And if you pass day to day,  give me a Celebrate Challenge!

(Great! Now the song “Celebrate” is stuck in my head.)




img_2594“Kinship is bred in what people hold common.”  In my book, Among the Crepe Myrtles, a friendship is formed between two unlikely characters, Gabe and Sammy,  simply because of a common thread that runs between them. Kinship comes from what we hold common within us.

I hope I never forget the first time I vividly experienced my own unlikely kinship. In the late nineties, I traveled with fellow staff members to an area several hours beyond St. Petersburg, Russia.  Our role was to train the attendees in ministry to children and families. Working through translators was fun, but when everyone present  gathered for a worship service, we all sang a hymn together. Our English words mingled with their Russian words in a common expression of praise to God. Our language and lifestyles were as different as night and day, but our bond in Christ made us kin. More recently, I have experienced braceletsthis same kinship with friends in India. These times are such a beautiful picture of heaven — every tongue and tribe united through Christ.

Another unlikely kinship is the one that can exist between God and man.  I say “unlikely”  because it amazes me that Almighty God would want to relate to me.  However, a close look at God’s Word shows that the relationship between God and man is the most likely kinship that should exist. In Genesis 1-2 we see where this kinship began. God created man, prepared a beautiful place for his existence, then communed with  them. We also see in this account how man broke that bond. Still desiring kinship with us, God made a plan to restore that relationship.  The entire Old Testament points to that plan which is fulfilled in the New Testament — God’s Son coming to earth to restore what was lost back in Genesis.  Simply put: Jesus came to die to forgive our sins so we can live eternally with Him in heaven. (John 3:16).

However, there’s plenty of kinship with God right here and now:  He’s our Father (Romans 8:15-16). He’s our Friend (John 15:15). He’s our Comforter (2 Corinthian 1:3).  He enjoys us ( Zephaniah 3:17; Psalm 147:11).  He wants to be near us (James 4:8). He’s   attentive to us (Psalm 116:2).  I could keep going with examples, but they all lead to this one truth: If you don’t have a relationship with God, it is because you have chosen not to.

I’ve always like the word “kinfolk.” It’s fun to pronounce. (Try it with a Southern drawl — “key uhn foke”)  Since kinfolk share blood lines, human beings discover similar voice inflections, body movements, habits, and what not with others.  For example, I curl my toes under when I sit barefoot, and some before me, beside me, and after me do the same. I wonder how far back that trait goes. Was there a toe-curler on the Mayflower?  I realize from  a human perspective that not all traits are “good ones,” and I also realize that just because we share the same traits with someone doesn’t mean we always share the same values or perspectives.  That’s takes me right back to kinship — what we hold common within us.  As a believer, we are kinfolk through the blood of Jesus and should carry His traits. I John 2:6 says that the one who say he abides in Him ought himself to walk in the same manner as He walked. Can observers look at your lifestyle and habits and see that your are kinfolk with Christ?

Kinfolk and kinship. What an amazing offer from God through Christ.