May memories – 2023

May memories – 2023

It’s another month, so it’s time for another memories post!

Things worth remembering

  • sister walks
  • piano recitals
  • sand volleyball in the dark
  • wandering the greenhouse
  • learning how to soil finish
  • running for tires and parts
  • getting roller skating lessons from my little sister (progress was made, but I’m still horrible)
  • ice cream and car watching on the hill with my sisters
  • making slow motion match-striking videos that were anti-climactic
  • late night sibling movie night
  • ice cream and poetry
  • chatting on the phone with my brother
  • more volleyball (much more successful than the volleyball in the dark😂)
  • getting the first cutting of hay chopped and packed before the rain

Love is something more stern and splendid than mere kindness.

C.S. Lewis

What I’ve been reading

you’re not enough (and that’s okay) – Allie Beth Stuckey

When our reason behind our rest is to ensure better service to the Lord and to others, we don’t have to worry whether or not taking needed breaks is self-centered. It’s not.

I’ve been wanting to read this book ever since it came out, and I finally got my hands on a copy. Man, oh man. I’m really appreciating this deeper look at the subtle ways the self-love culture really works some lies into our mentalities.

The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe – C.S. Lewis

“Safe?” said Mr. Beaver; “don’t you hear what Mrs. Beaver tells you? Who said anything about safe? ‘Course he isn’t safe. But he’s good. He’s the King, I tell you.”

Just finished reading this book for the first time…so very good. I love how the storytelling is light and easy to read, but the meanings are so deep if you look for them. For a while I was sad because I hadn’t grown up reading the Chronicles of Narnia and couldn’t understand the inside conversations of Narnia enthusiasts (ha!), but I think that approaching them as an adult has made me appreciate the books so much more than I ever could have as a child.

The Horse and His Boy – C.S. Lewis

I’m enjoying this next book in the series, as well!

For this is the will of God, your sanctification.

1 Thessalonians 4:3

From the journal…

There is no day I’ll ever live that You have not seen, no trial ahead that has not crossed Your desk. You know what You’re doing, God…teach me to see the way You see. Carry this pain for me, Lord.

May I lose my sinful flesh as I draw nearer to Your heart…may the passion of Your love torch away the dross, leaving a life that is more conformed to Your will.

Did May seem to fly by for everyone else, too? What were some of your favorite parts of May?


Photo by Glen Carrie on Unsplash

Comfortable or Complete?

Comfortable or Complete?

Is it my prayer to be made comfortable, or to be made complete?

The topic of joy and trials linked together has been on my mind lately, and since I haven’t shared one of these “on my heart” kind of posts in a while (it’s been mostly poetry, life updates, and trying to convince you to buy my books! XD), I thought I’d try to gather my ramblings into a blog post.

Can trials seriously be an opportunity to rejoice?

In spite of having James 1:2-4 memorized for years, I’ve been reading/recalling it wrong this whole time. In case you aren’t familiar with it, here it is…

My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.

James 1:2-4

Honestly, whenever I read or recited this verse, most of the last part was drowned out by the first part: My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials… And to be honest, I pictured this joy as a “grin and bear it” sort of thing. A grimacing endurance of hard times because we know that good things are ahead for us as Christians (see Hebrews 12:1-2).

But in listening to this message and recent sermons and small group discussions, it finally hit me that joy isn’t just something that we’re supposed to cling to as we weather the storms of life. It’s something that can be found because of the storm.

“…count it all joy…knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience.”

Sure, the trial itself isn’t any fun. At all. (Unless you love pain.) But we can rejoice in the fact that the trial will refine us, revealing to us our weaknesses and showing God’s strength through us, and ultimately conforming us more purely to His image.

“But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.”

I mean, if that’s not encouraging…

And this we also pray, that you may be made complete.

2 Corinthians 13:9b

Then this verse popped up in my Bible time the other morning, and it made me ask myself how often I pray to be made more mature, more complete, and then come crying to God when the very trials that will give me maturity slip (and sometimes pour!) into my life.

Quite honestly, it’s often.

Very often.

But I want to stop living that way.

I want to get in the habit of embracing the struggles. Of choosing to see the end result instead of simply wailing about the current mess, while somehow managing to delight in the lovely moments of now instead of being lost in an eternal chasing of the future.

So there it is…a sort of brain dump of what I’ve been processing lately. It’s by no means an exhaustive essay, but I hope it gets some wheels turning in your head and pushes you deeper into Scripture and prayer like its doing for me.

Stay the course!

❤ Laurel

Photo by Jonathan Ouimet on Unsplash

glowing horizon – a poem

glowing horizon – a poem

the sun slips behind a glowing horizon,

weary of casting light upon

the wicked deeds of man.


in the morning…

but over and over

the sun rises and sets

on a world that crowns wickedness

and spits in the face of righteousness.

one day…

I know…

a greater Son will rise and

fall no more,

casting light on a throng of faithful men

who treasured the light of this Son

while others basked only in the glory of

the one that slips now beneath a glowing horizon.

Will I ever stop writing poetry that a.) contains sunset imagery, and b.) looks forward to eternity?

I think not.

❤ Laurel

Photo by Dan Cook on Unsplash

In which Laurel Burgess interviews Laurel Luehmann

Hello, friends!

This weekend I got to answer some questions from a writing friend, Laurel Burgess! I ran into Laurel in online writing communities about two years ago, and have continued to enjoy her writing, her bubbly personality, and her hilarious sense of humor! I had such a fun time answering her questions about writing, farming, and my hopes for my writing future. If you’re interested…

read the interview here!

Laurel (the other Laurel! XD) is just so much fun, and I really enjoy her short story, Attack of the Gummy Worms.



Tim Rodrey is a specialist in fighting creatures and saving the world. 

What does he do specifically? Sorry, he works for the SCA. The “S” stands for secret. Next question? Uh no. The small girl with the tutu is not his sidekick. That would be his niece. He was sort of babysitting her before the gummy worms attacked the subdivision. 

That really messed things up. Good thing he’s a professional and has absolutely no fear in leading people.

It had me laughing so much! If you need a good laugh and a quick read, you should definitely check it out. The best part is that it’s available for FREE when you subscribe to Laurel’s newsletter here!

So tell me…what’s your go-to when you need a book that will make you laugh?

❤ Laurel (Luehmann)

April memories – 2023

April memories – 2023

Things worth remembering

  • participating in a local road race with siblings + friends
  • feeding cattle (punctuated by hysterical laughter) with a sister
  • seeing the northern lights for the very first time
  • contagious laughter
  • FaceTiming the brother
  • getting sunburned
  • acquiring badly needed new windshield wipers and proceeding to keep them in my back seat for weeks
  • shopping adventures with a sister
  • Ultimate Frisbee

I don’t worry about my small salary, ’cause I am getting a happiness and a joy in service that money couldn’t buy…

Peter Marshall

What I’ve been reading

A Man Called Peter – Catherine Marshall

“I’d like this clearly understood,” he went on, grinning like a small boy, “I’m not going to get mar-r-ied till I’m good and ready. I’m good enough now, but I’m not ready.” This remark soon went the rounds.

I don’t even feel like I’m reading a biography when I’m reading this…Catherine Marshall has such a gift for storytelling and description, and Peter Marshall was such a character!

Three Blind Mice – Agatha Christie

The fact that her breakfast had been excellently cooked and served, with good coffee and homemade marmalade, in a curious way annoyed her still more. It had deprived her of a legitimate cause of complaint. Her bed, too, had been comfortable, with embroidered sheets and a soft pillow. Mrs. Boyle liked comfort, but she also liked to find fault. The latter was, perhaps, the stronger passion of the two.

I listened to an audiobook of this short mystery. I so enjoyed this one. The characters were so intriguing, and the ending completely blindsided me! If you want a good snowbound mystery that won’t take too long to read, here’s your book!

Crooked House – Agatha Christie

Curious thing, rooms. Tell you quite a lot about the people who live in them.

I still don’t know what to say about this one. The ending was so dark, but it was clever. Most of the characters just didn’t come alive for me, either. I don’t know that I would recommend it.

Dead Man’s Mirror – Agatha Christie

Godfrey Burrows came in with a pleasant eagerness to be of use. His smile was discreetly tempered with gloom and showed only a fraction too much teeth. It seemed more mechanical than spontaneous.

This was an enjoyable short mystery!

The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe – C.S. Lewis

“Why not now?” said Edmund. His face had become very red and his mouth and fingers were sticky. He did not look either clever or handsome, whatever the Queen might say.

I’m reading through this classic for the first time, and am once again enjoying C.S. Lewis’s style of storytelling.

This Will Not Last – Laurel Luehmann

when the world knocks the breath from my lungs, You fill them once more with Your own

Yes, I’m rereading my own book. XD

Where envy and self-seeking exist, confusion and every evil thing are there.

James 3:16

From the journal

I want to know You for who You are, not for who I think You are.

How is Christ changing the way I live my life? How is He altering my heart, my desires, my priorities? The way I spend my seconds?

I know You will provide, and I know Your timing is best. I lay down any thoughts of “I know better” and give this mess to You.

What were some of the most memorable parts of your April?

❤ Laurel

Photo by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash

Once upon a time, Matilda Wiggins had been a child.

Once upon a time, Matilda Wiggins had been a child.

Hello, friends!

Today I’ve got a bit of a story that I might turn into a serial on this blog…or a novella…or a MG book…give it a read and share what you think it should become in the comments!

Once upon a time, Matilda Wiggins had been a child.

You wouldn’t believe it to look at her, but years ago, the faded eyes had been a striking blue and the gray bits of hair that straggled out of her cap had once been gold. Her now aching legs had once carried her swiftly over the moors, gathering heather and bracken to arrange in odd little jam jars that had been chipped and discarded from use in her mother’s kitchen. 

Even if her legs could still have carried her out of her cottage for a walk about the moors, it would have been little use to her except for the fresh air. Matilda Wiggins had gone stone blind, and could no longer see even the blazing fire her granddaughter kept blazing in the hearth.

On this particular November evening, Matilda sat now before the fire, her old bones enjoying the warmth of the blaze. She rocked quietly in the rocker her late husband had fashioned, her still sharp ears soothed by the comforting creak of the ancient rockers rolling back and forth, back and forth on the well-swept floor.

“It’s certainly a blustery night!” her granddaughter (Beatrice, they called her) said loudly from across the room. Beatrice never could seem to understand that her grandmother’s hearing was as fine as it had been when she was Beatrice’s age, even though Matilda told her time and time again. (Young people have always had a great knack for misunderstanding their elders.)

This time Matilda merely sighed and turned her face to where she once had seen the doorway. She could feel the fingers of wind swirling in from outside and reaching all the way across the room to wrap themselves about her ankles, and she didn’t like it.

“Do put a rug up against the door, Beatrice; I feel a draft.”

Beatrice did as she was told, for she really was a good-hearted girl. I’ve told you what Matilda looks like (although I don’t believe I told you she was toothpick-thin), and so I ought to tell you about Beatrice. Beatrice looked a good deal like her grandmother used to look. She was about as tall as most girls of sixteen, and rosy cheeked, due to standing so close to the fire for so long. Her work-worn hands were chapped by winter, but she never complained.

“Still it blows!” Beatrice exclaimed, quietly now, as it was more to herself than to her grandmother. She had dammed up the wind’s entrance with an old rug, and now she peered out of the little glass window beside the door, breathing at the frost to melt it, and scrubbing it away with her apron so she could see the snow swirling across the moorland. Even the long-forsaken castle in the distance was hard to see now, what with the dying light and the wind-tossed snow.

Beatrice loved the castle. She’d only ever seen it from a distance, for she rarely stirred from the cottage she shared with her grandmother, but its grandeur captured her imagination. Secretly she dreamed of what it would be like to live in it, and wear beautiful dresses, and eat chocolate every day, and never chap her hands with dishwater and the wind again.

“Will the stew be ready soon?”

Her grandmother’s quavering voice burst the bubble of her reverie, and Beatrice turned from the window with a sigh.

“Yes, Grandmother. I believe it shall.”

If you got to live in a castle, what would you do in it?


Photo by Cederic Vandenberghe on Unsplash

wardrobe – a poem

wardrobe – a poem

Hello, friends!

Today I’ve got a poem for you inspired by some pretty awesome characters from literature…

I’m Lucy in the wardrobe,

Bilbo at his door,

Mary at the garden’s edge,

Jo longing for New York…

afraid to leave behind the world

and life I’ve always known,

afraid to lead a different life

than what this land has known…

but what songs will not be sung,

and what tales will not be told

if I venture not outside my door

to burgle dragons’ gold?

Fun fact: this poem stars in my latest poetry book, Clarion Hope!

What are some of your favorite classics, and who are some of your favorite characters from those books?


March memories – 2023

How does March already feel so far away??

Things worth remembering

  • spending time with a cousin
  • tacos and fun conversation with friends
  • eating “maple foam”
  • our first small group meetings!
  • making significant progress in Project Redemption
  • getting an internship I really wanted
  • The Arm-Wrestling Night (if you know, you know)
  • getting a box of Clarion Hope copies
  • late night sibling talks
  • getting posts prepped for the Clarion Hope release

Jesus is our Ruler.
It is His trail.

Kimu (transcribed from a prayer by Elisabeth Elliot)

What I’ve been reading

Chasing the White Lion – James R. Hannibal

This is the sequel to The Gryphon Heist, and I really enjoyed it! It did get a little bloodier than I like, but I really loved how the author dug into one character’s backstory…and the banter and suspense from the first book didn’t disappoint in the second!

By My Own Betrayal – Cydnie Trenholm

Okay, I loved this one so much!! The sibling relationships, the disguises, the plot twists, the dangling end that leaves you hungry for the sequel…it was just amazing. Put it on your TBR.

The Butterfly and the Violin – Kristy Cambron

I picked this up without realizing it was a romance (if you’ve been around the blog for a bit, you probably know how I feel about those XD), but it pleasantly surprised me! The storylines were gripping, and the descriptions of the death camp were heart-breaking and thought-provoking. I learned quite a bit from this book.

The goal is not to have unrestrained disclosure in every relationship, but to know at any level of communication that we are not holding back our voice out of fear.

Rosalie De Rosset

From the journal…

God, thank You for the pain… Thank You for Your gracious “no”s and “not yet”s… Oh, You know best then, God, and You know best now.

Lord, I pray for unity in Your Church… Show us the art of dying on the hills You’ve told us to die on, and the art of being quiet when the hills aren’t big enough.

David refused to offer to the Lord that which would cost him nothing. Help me to have this heart, Father! May I never look for the easy way out…may I pay full price.

God, who am I to tell You how to write my story?

How was your March? Anything remarkable that you learned/read/did?

Stay the course!

❤ Laurel

It’s release day for Clarion Hope!

It’s release day for Clarion Hope!

Book number two is out in the world…you can find it here.✨

It wasn’t a coincidence that I chose this day as the release day…

It’s right before we celebrate the ultimate victory ever won: Christ’s victory over sin and the grave, and through Him, our own victory. That’s what this book is all about, folks.

It’s my prayer that, as you crack open this book, you are reminded of your insufficiency, Christ’s complete sufficiency, and the hope and the power He gives you through His victory.

Here’s a bit of Scripture I read this morning that I found really applicable to today…

Then comes the end, when He (Christ) delivers the kingdom to God the Father, when He puts an end to all rule and all authority and power.

For He must reign till He has put all enemies under His feet.

The last enemy that will be destroyed is death.

No more mourning.

No more tears.

No more grieving over the brokenness of a fallen world.

He has slaughtered death, and He will do it again.

Praise His name!✨

Happy release day, friends.

❤ Laurel

Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

One day left!! – an untitled poem and some Scripture

One day left!! – an untitled poem and some Scripture

Clarion Hope releases TOMORROW!!!

(Yes, this is what was originally meant to be yesterday’s post smashed together with today’s post. It was a full, wonderful weekend…and that means not full of writing blog posts.:))

The Scripture in Clarion Hope

When you open Clarion Hope and page past the dedication and table of contents, you’ll find a passage of Scripture…

Now it is high time to awake out of sleep; for now our salvation is nearer than when we first believed.
The night is far spent, the day is at hand.
Therefore let us cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armor of light.

Romans 13:11-12

I couldn’t have written a better introduction for this book that calls for courage and hope on sin-torn battlefields…for the casting off of the works of darkness and the donning of the armor of light. I was reading in Romans a few months ago, and this passage just jumped out at me, begging to be included in Clarion Hope in some way.

I couldn’t say no, could I?

the untitled poem

if I fear not death…

if the Defender holds my future…

if fear does not control me…

then what, pray, can steal my courage?

This simple gem marks the beginning of the third section of Clarion Hope: slaughtered fear.

A bit of a graphic title? Perhaps. But it drives home the point that I wanted to make: fear has no control over the redeemed child of God.

As a friend of the Death-Slayer, we can…

  • walk untrodden paths in confidence
  • ride out deadly storms
  • raise a solitary voice with no fear

…and so much more. Won’t you join me for the journey?✨

See you tomorrow for release day!!

❤ Laurel