Month: May 2014

Excerpt From Chapter 4: The Man Tries To Marry Me Off

“You’ll come to church with us this morning,” the man told me at breakfast. Inwardly I shrugged, Thank You for getting me to Mass yesterday afternoon, I told my Friend. “Sure,” I said aloud. The church was an old house the man had rented in a ramshackle neighbourhood. The associate pastor, Rev. S., helped several elderly residents from the nursing homes the man managed descend from a van. Ella, Betsy and her husband, Ella’s friends, and Mrs. S., along with Ames, Matthieu, Claire, her toddling daughter, and a slender young man were the congregation. “This is Henry,” the man smilingly introduced me to the young man. “He’s a seminary student.” I held out my hand, “Hello.” We sang The Old Rugged Cross accompanied by Mrs. S. on a tinny, terribly out-of-tune piano. The man read from the thirty-first chapter of Proverbs:

Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies. The heart of her husband doth safely trust in her, so that he shall have no need of spoil. She will do him good and not evil all the days of her life. She seeketh wool, and flax, and worketh willingly with her hands. She is like the merchants’ ships; she bringeth her food from afar. She riseth also while it is yet night, and giveth meat to her household, and a portion to her maidens. She considereth a field, and buyeth it: with the fruit of her hands she planteth a vineyard. She girdeth her loins with strength, and strengtheneth her arms. She perceiveth that her merchandise is good: her candle goeth not out by night. She layeth her hands to the spindle, and her hands hold the distaff. She stretcheth out her hand to the poor; yea, she reacheth forth her hands to the needy. She is not afraid of the snow for her household: for all her household are clothed with scarlet. She maketh herself coverings of tapestry; her clothing is silk and purple.

He preached about good wives for an hour. I glanced over at Ella. She seemed to concentrate on each of his words. I scratched my ear and looked out the window at the street behind him. After the service, Mrs. S. told me, “We’ll take you and Henry to lunch in the city.” “Sure,” I smiled at her. I excused myself and went to greet Betsy and her husband. In the Chinese restaurant, Mrs. S. asked about college, “It’s a lot of work,” I told her. “But it’s good.” “Have you considered a major yet?” “Psychology or medicine,” I told her. “Would you transfer back here?” she asked. “You know, there’s a very good women’s college near here. I went there.” I sighed, “They haven’t very many majors.” “No,” she agreed and smiled. “But it would be nice to have you here.” I smiled and ate a bit of moo shu pork. “Henry!” I inquired brightly, “You’re at seminary?” “In my senior year,” he replied in a pancake muffled voice. “What brought you here?” I asked. “The Southern Baptist Conference sent me as an intern to help Rev. I with his church,” he replied smiling. “Oh yes?”

“Why don’t you and Henry go for ice cream?” Rev. S. suggested as he paid the cheque. “You can get the bus back.” “Sure,” I told him. “Baskin Robbins is just over there,” I told Henry. “Don’t get the brownie sundae,” I warned. “I had it once. It has so much sugar, you’ll have a stomach ache.” “That sounds perfect,” he smiled at me. I shrugged. “We don’t want to miss our bus,” I told him as we walked out of the shop. “On Sunday, they only run once an hour.” “I like your voice,” he said. “Uh… Thanks,” I replied looking away from him. Huh? I asked my Friend. “You pronounce each word so distinctly,” he told me. “You almost sound English.” I nodded my head and chomped a mouthful of ice cream. I refrained from sucking the ice cream from the bottom of the cone as was my usual practice. The bus appeared up the block. We were on the wrong side of the street. “Run!” I called to him and ran across the nearly empty road. The bus pulled up. I got on, paid my fare, and found a seat. Henry stood across the street, ice cream cup in hand, mouth open. I gurgled. I told him to run, I mutely told my Friend then wolfed down the rest of my cone.

“Where’s Henry?” the man asked as I walked through the door. “I don’t know,” I told him. “He missed the bus.” “That wasn’t very nice,” the man reprimanded. I shrugged and raised my hands palms up. “I told him the buses don’t come very often on Sunday. I told him to run.” I shrugged again, “He didn’t.” I began ascending the steps in relevé. The man’s voice stopped me, “I want you to transfer to the women’s college here.” I looked up at the ceiling. “I’m going back to New York,” I said. “You can get a good education here,” the man replied. “You can get a degree in library science, like Rev. S.’s wife,” he continued. I turned and looked at him. “You need to marry someone like Henry.” He took a breath, “I won’t buy you a ticket to go back to New York.” My eyes widened, “Uh-huh,” I said flatly, turned, and continued up the stairs. He thinks he can marry me off! I fumed. Do You believe that? I looked at myself in the mirror then shook my head. He thinks he can control my life! I dropped my face into the palms of my hands.

The thought was already in my mind when I wakened the next morning. “Really?” I asked aloud, my voice a rising shrillness. The thought penetrated to my heart. “Okay,” I told my Friend in an unsure voice. That evening, I knocked on the man’s door after he and Ella had retired. “You don’t need to buy me a plane ticket,” I told him. “When I was in high school, I took the armed services exam. I was the top scorer but I wanted to go to New York.” The man’s forehead creased into deep furrows. “I’ll enlist and they’ll send me to college.” His mouth snapped open but emitted no sound. I turned and went back to the room I once shared. An hour later, there was a knock on the door. “Yes?” I called out. The man opened it, “I don’t want you to enlist. Women don’t belong in the army.” “I’ll join the air force or the marines,” I told him. He sighed, “I’d rather you go back to New York.” I shrugged, “If that’s what you’d prefer.” He glared at me, “I really can’t do anything with you. Can I?” I pressed my mouth into a little rueful smile and shrugged.

The Most Difficult Paragraph I’ve Written Thus Far

Nancy and Jane listened to music without concern about whether it was current or being played in dance clubs: Leonard Cohen, Bob Dylan, Judy Collins, Joan Baez, Jacques Brel, and Carly Simon’s Torch, but only on vinyl. Each week, Verna read the Village Voice and noted vocalists and bands playing at The Bottom Line on West 4th Street in the Village. She was a fount of knowledge on the musicians who were or had been featured there choosing those worthy of her attention through some method known only to her: Suzi Quatro, Janis Ian, Patti Smith, the Violent Femmes, the Ramones. For her, owning one album quickly became owning every album a band had ever released. All three parsed the lyrics noting lines from poetry and themes we studied in Literature and Philosophy. How do they do that? I wondered. I heard lyrics that spoke what I did not even know I wanted to say. I loved to dance to New Wave bands and choreograph water ballets to their music in my mind. But when I sang with Morrissey, “I am the son and the heir of a shyness that is criminally vulgar,” dancing was an afterthought. I was the “son and heir” and wondered,” Why aren’t they? When I sang, “[H]e’s not who I dreamed, oh, those restless eyes and restless me” with Janis Ian, I saw my face in the mirror filled with a hunger I had no other words to express. My voice broke at, “But you’re still somehow part of my life, and you won’t go away.” While Carly Simon completed the song without my assistance, I blinked back tears and tried to push down the fathomless ache in my heart as I mutely queried my Friend, What’s wrong with me?

********************************************************************************

Writing the truth requires that I place myself in my past experiences and write what was occurring then. It’s much easier to write my thoughts about the past than simply write the story. But the story is what I’ve been given to tell; I can’t take the easier route.

I’ve looked back on the music we listened to as freshmen and thought, How pretentious we were to listen to such depressing music! What I didn’t see until yesterday was that for me, the music they chose, was music I needed to hear to begin to give voice to the fathomless ache in my heart. Before I spoke the words, “They’re all dead. All of them,” I sang my deep sadness. And today, I can’t judge myself or my roommates as once I did. We each reached for something. Music was part of that reaching. And, for me, music was an integral part of the process God used to begin healing the unhealable.

Five Minute Friday: Grateful

At one time, I imagined I would find my parents and live happily ever after. All the years of separation, the pain we had each experienced (I knew they were tortured at losing me) would be forgiven and overwhelmed by the joy of being together. Those would be the halcyon days. God had other plans and I am grateful.

I do miss my parents. I miss not having a family. But I’m glad that God doesn’t follow my script. If He did, I’d be God and I’m too small for that. I hate the horrible things that were done to me, hate the things I’ve done to myself and others. But I love the person God is making me because of it. I love the small life He has given me. The friends who love me as if I am a member of their family. I love the healing that comes of such love.

Preview From Chapter 4: Getting My Life Together

“You should become a lawyer,” one of the associates told me as I turned to leave her office. I blinked once. Blinked again, “Um…” I swallowed. A slightly shrill note entered my voice, “I don’t really want to be a lawyer.” “How old are you?” I swallowed again, “Twenty-one,” the slight shrillness remained in my voice, my shoulders had tensed. “And you just graduated?” she asked. “Yes. In May,” I swallowed again. “I would have graduated last year but I took a year off to become an independent student.” Why do I always explain? I demanded of my Friend. “Twenty-one is still younger than most grads,” she smiled. “With your mind and education, you could get into any law school you want,” she stood there, a slim, grey-suited figure. “It’s important that you set a course for your life,” her face was serious. “I’ll think about it,” I told her. “Do that,” she looked down at the files I had brought. My shoulders relaxed. I let out a long breath. Huh? I asked my Friend.

“Have you considered a career?” my advisor asked across her cluttered desk. “I thought of publishing,” I responded. “But I’ve been working as a paralegal since I was a sophomore; they needed someone who isn’t afraid of math.” “Law is an excellent career,” a wide smile broke across her face. The light reflecting off her glasses obscured her eyes; my shoulders tensed. “I don’t really want to be an attorney,’ I told her. “Well,” she looked down at a page on her desk, “you’ve got an excellent mind.” She looked up, “You do need a career.” I put my hand up to scratch my head and then quickly returned it to my lap. “I wanna dance an’ sing,” I mumbled. “New York is filled with people who want to dance and sing. Most fail.” I swallowed and looked down at my hands. Suddenly, I lifted my head, my eyes wide. “I love fashion,” it was almost a question. “Why don’t you consider an MBA?” she suggested. One corner of my lip curled up. I quickly relaxed my face, “I’ll think about it.”

Dear God, What is this? Everyone is so concerned about my future. They want me to be an attorney. I hate law! Cool people go to law school and come out brain damaged. And an MBA?! Why would I want an MBA?! I want to sing and dance and write. And I do love fashion. Do I need to “set a course for my life”?

“You gave notice,” the young associate stood in the door of my office. “Yes,” I looked up at her. “I’m taking six weeks to get my life together.” “So you’ll be studying for the LCAT’s?” a big smile stretched across her face. “No,” my voice held a small, shrill note. “I’d rather work in fashion.” Her smile disappeared, “You’d make a great lawyer.” I shook my head gently, “I don’t like law.” The shrillness had lessened but was still not totally absent. “But you’re so good at it,” she pressed. “I’m good at a lot of things,” I told her, the shrillness increasing. One corner of her mouth raised, “Well good luck. But don’t forget, you’d make a great attorney.” Two weeks later, I rode a mid-afternoon train to East Hampton.

Dear God, Six weeks away. Thank you! I’ll plan my life. I could be a fashion consultant. Or a designer: I know how to draft patterns now. We’ll see.

Thank You for the Sacks. This is perfect! Babysitting a five and a seven year-old on the weekends and making dinner – piece of cake!

Please, help me get my life in order.

“There’s a bicycle you can ride,” Mrs. Sacks told me as we toured. “And your room is above the garage. You’ll have complete privacy.” “It’s okay that I don’t want to spend the day at the beach?” I asked, my voice held a rising note. “That’s fine,” she smiled. “The kids and I love the beach. Summer is my chance to be with them. Dinner and babysitting when my husband is here at the weekend is plenty.” We walked through a living room filled with old, slip-covered furniture, “There’s no TV in your room but feel free to watch down here.”

“God loves you!” a blonde woman with a Scottish accent pointed at me from the television screen. “I know,” I told her and changed the channel. Later, I biked into town. A large sign above the ice cream shop read, “God Loves You!” “I know,” I told the sign. After buying an ice cream, I rode through the area past estates behind tall, black, wrought iron fences. I came upon a stone building that stretched out wide arms across the property. I stopped. Three multi-paned windows were set above a wide entranceway. Shrubbery grew up against the outer walls. I burst into tears. My heart was filled with a throbbing ache. “What’s wrong with me?” I asked my Friend. I brushed the tears away angrily and rode on. My shoulders shook. Tears flowed down wetting my t-shirt.

Again, she was saying, “God loves you!” “I know!” I impatiently told the Scottish woman and changed the channel. A white haired man preached about God’s “immense love.” “What is this?” I asked my Friend. “Why do You keep telling me You love me? I know!” I went to my room and opened a fashion magazine, then shut it and tossed it away. I opened one of my career notebooks. “What do I need to do when I’m back in New York?” I asked my Friend. Silence. After several minutes I sighed, shut the notebook and went out for a bike ride. The sign above the ice cream shop announced, “God loves you!” “Sure,” I told it.

On Sunday, I walked to the Episcopal church for Morning Prayer and Eucharist. The priest assured us, “God loves you.” I passed the ice cream shop without looking up. Then, at the last minute, I turned and saw it, “God loves you!” “Are You trying to tell me something?” I asked my Friend. I felt a gentle tingle across my back. “Fine,” I retorted. “What is it?” Another gentle tingle. The next day, I went to the book shop and bought Corrie Ten Boom’s, The Hiding Place. On Tuesday, I returned to the shop and bought Henri Nouwen’s, With Open Hands. On Wednesday, I bought Robert Shuller’s, Tough Times Never Last but Tough People Do. I watched the 700 Club before I went biking. Sheila Walsh and Pat Robertson continued to point at me and tell me, “God loves you!” In the evening, when I had finished that day’s book, I began rereading read the Gospel of John. Pat Robertson and Sheila Walsh had suggested it.

“I’m spending all my money on books,” I told my Friend on Thursday. “Maybe I should go to the library. But I don’t want the Sacks to know what I’m reading.” I went to the library and checked out five books by Christian writers. “Do you have any books to return?” Mrs Sacks called up to me on Friday morning. “No,” I told her as I came down the steps. “Mine aren’t due until Thursday.” “Just leave them on the hall table,” she smiled at me. “I’ll take them back. It’s near the beach.” I smiled in return, I’ll take them myself. I rode out to the estate that made me cry, lingered and returned to the house with red eyes and a puffy face. I made dinner, took a plate to my room and read. I just don’t feel like being around anyone, I told my Friend.

After the Gospel of John, I turned to Isaiah. The second verse of the first chapter began, “Hear, O heavens, and give ear, O earth; for the LORD has spoken ‘Sons have I reared and brought up, but they have rebelled against me. The ox knows its owner, and the ass its master’s crib; but Israel does not know, my people does not understand.’” My heart began to pound, “Are You angry with me?” The gentle tingle answered me. I turned to chapter forty: “Comfort, comfort my people, says your God. Speak tenderly to Jerusalem, and cry to her that her warfare is ended, that her iniquity is pardoned, that she has received from the LORD’s hand double for all her sins.” Blinking back tears, I shut my Bible and began reading another book from the library.

A few days later, I stopped at the Episcopal church for a weekday Eucharist. An old, stained, dog-eared Guideposts magazine had been left in the “free books” rack in the narthex. I took it. That night, I read a Corrie Ten Boom interview:

“For I had to do it — I knew that. The message that God forgives has a prior condition: that we forgive those who have injured us. ‘If you do not forgive men their trespasses,’ Jesus says, ‘neither will your Father in heaven forgive your trespasses.’ …

“And still I stood there with the coldness clutching my heart. But forgiveness is not an emotion — I knew that too. Forgiveness is an act of the will, and the will can function regardless of the temperature of the heart. ‘Jesus, help me!’ I prayed silently. ‘I can lift my hand, I can do that much. You supply the feeling.’”

“No!” I cried out and tossed the magazine across the room. “Why would she?!” I demanded. “Why?!” I sniffed loudly. “And how could You expect her to forgive?! How?!” My breath came out a raspy, He-huh! He-huh! He-huh! Tears coursed down my cheeks, I wiped my draining nose with a sodden tissue. Because she also has free will, a soft voice spoke in my heart. “No!” I cried out again. “I don’t want it!” my lower lip pushed out. I saw myself choosing peach ice cream that afternoon, sitting outside the shop and eating the cone backwards as I used my other hand to hold my straw hat on my head. You don’t want to choose? the voice asked. “Well…” I sniffed again. “But people do horrible things!” my fists clenched. My breath had become a rapid, Hnhh. Hnhh. Hnhh. Hnhh. “They killed everybody!” the words coughed themselves out from some unknown place inside me. “They killed them all!” He-huh! He-huh! He-huh!  “And I was left all alone,” my voice was small. Hnhh. Hnhh. Hnhh. Hnhh. “You let them,” I accused my Friend, then emitted a louder, Hnhh. Hnhh. Hnhh. Hnhh. “You let them!” everything in me screamed it: my voice, my heart, my mind.

silver handled caneYou could see me, the voice still spoke gently. I looked towards the slip-covered easy chair in the far corner. A white-haired old man sat there, stiff, upright. His veined hand clasped a silver handled, dark wood walking stick. His ice blue eyes looked out blankly. I blinked. Tell him what is in your heart, the voice invited. I swallowed, sniffed. “You let them kill everybody,” I began in a small voice which suddenly grew stronger. “They’re all dead. All of them,” my breath came out a raspy, He-huh. He-huh. He-huh. “And now You say You love me?!” still raspy but louder: He-huh! He-huh! He-huh! “How can You tell me that?!” my sobs were a quick, Hnhh! Hnhh! Hnhh! Hnhh! I sat up on the bed and pointed at the old man, “You don’t love me! It’s all a lie!” Is that all? the voice asked. “I hate You!” the words burst from the unknown place. “I hate You!” I cried out. “If I could… I’d kill you!” Go right ahead, the voice told me. Though I sat on the bed, in my heart, in my mind, I strode over to the old man, lifted him and ripped him into shreds. “He was like paper,” I said aloud, my forehead wrinkled.

Then there was light. Soft. Bright. Clear. Brilliant and beautiful. In the light a man stood. Suddenly I was a very small child running into His arms. He was my Friend, the one who had always been with me. He scooped me up and sat down with me on His lap. I nestled against His shoulder, sniffing.

“I never left you,” He told me. Tears flowed. I did not wipe them away. “But…” I sniffed in a tiny bit of air through my stuffy nose. “Where were You?” “I’ve always been with you. Always cared for you. Do you remember when the boy cut your hand with the tile?” I looked down at the small whitish scar on the back of my right hand and suddenly felt myself on Mrs. L.’s lap. “Do you remember when the boys attacked you?” I saw Mr. E. cleaning my wounds, making cocoa and driving me to the man’s and woman’s house. “Do you remember when you tried to drown yourself?” The image of Mrs. M. rushing into the bathroom, lifting me out of the tub and pounding my back to clear the water from my lungs filled the screen of my mind. Mrs. P., Dr. Robertson, Lourdes, Mr. Post, and so many other faces flooded my heart and mind.

“I’ve always been with you. Always. I’ve given you everything you need to make it to this day.” The words, “this day,” echoed through my heart and mind. “Today, you’re able to see Me with you.” The stone blew off the fathomless well within me. More tears coursed down my face. I breathed through my mouth as I rested my heart on my dear Friend’s shoulder.

Preview from Chapter 4 – One of My First Adventures in NYC

The sun shone in a brilliant blue sky over Central Park South. By late morning, it was already was hot. The fragrance of horses and hay, a glorious scent that tickled my nose, filled the air. I wore tan wedge sandals with five-inch heels, my favourite tan dress and red lip gloss. Verna and I had gone to Howard Johnson for brunch our first weekend in New York. In a skirt and blouse with heels, I had been overdressed and unlike Ella’s cooking, the dogs probably would have eaten the food. This is New York! I complained to my Friend. I want to see New York! This Sunday, I had ventured out on my own. The straps of my sandals began cutting into my toes half a block from the 59th street subway but I forced myself to walk without limping. I read the menu placards at each restaurant looking for one I could both afford and enjoy. An Indian man in a turban spoke to me as I stopped to read one menu, “Do you want to have lunch?” “Yes… But I’m not sure where,” my voice held a slightly shrill note. The prices looked steep. “Come see the restaurant,” he invited. “Oh! It’s upstairs?” my forehead crinkled as he led me to an elevator. “Yes, upstairs,” he answered, his voice a bit husky. It is a restaurant, I told my Friend. I should be safe. “I’ll come take a look,” I told him holding my purse tightly.

The door of the mirrored elevator opened on an exotic world. Embroidered silks swathed the ceilings, covered the chairs. Banquettes against the walls had been upholstered in red silk. Mirrors and paintings hung on the draped walls. An instrument that seemed related to an oboe played music that wailed and dipped. But no customers sat at any of the white linen clothed tables. My heart began to pound. “It’s beautiful,” I said trying to keep my voice calm. “You can have lunch,” the Indian man smiled at me. “Uh,,,” I cleared my throat. “Okay,” a shrill note still in my voice. How will I afford this? I queried my Friend. The Indian man led me to a table that overlooked the park. I ordered shrimp curry and the least expensive glass of white wine. At least it’s beautiful, I mused as sipped my wine and took in the view of the park and the sight of the decor inside. A waiter brought my meal. This is a restaurant! I silently told my Friend.

The Indian man returned after I had eaten most of my meal. “How is it?” he asked. “Delicious!” I told him. “May I sit down?” he asked me. I swallowed and said in a small voice, “Okay.” “I want to furnish your lunch,” he told me. My forehead wrinkled. “No charge for lunch,” he told me. “Oh!” my eyes widened. “Thank you! That’s very kind.” He dipped his head slightly. “May I have your telephone number?” he asked. The wrinkles returned to my forehead. “I want to take you out. For you to be my girlfriend.” My eyes widened. “I’ll give you an ivory ring,” he offered. What do I do? I queried my Friend. What if he won’t let me go? “Um…,” I swallowed. “I’ll write it for you.” He handed me a white, paper cocktail napkin. What shall I write, God? All the phone numbers at my school begin with the same numbers. What if he knows that? I wrote “Cara,” the three-number exchange for my school and added four random numbers. Please, let the number be for a guy’s room or an office, I begged my Friend as we rode down in the elevator. In the building entryway, I held out my hand. The Indian man kissed me on the cheek. I held myself still, did not shudder. Well, I mused to my Friend as I walked away. I can’t walk down this street again.

Once I Was A Teenager…

…and though I rarely read young adult literature, occasionally, I gave myself a break from classics and depressing Russian authors and zoomed through something fun such as my new blog friend Stephanie Faris’ book: 25 Roses:

25 Roses“Valentine’s Day means one thing at Stanton Middle School: students will send each other chocolate roses. Each year, Mia Hartley watches while the same group of students gets roses and everyone else is left out. This year, she decides things will be different. As the student assigned to write names on the cards, Mia purchases 25 roses and writes her own cards, designating them to 25 people she’s personally chosen. But she soon learns that playing matchmaker is much more complicated than she thought it would be.”

Managing things was certainly something I’d try to do, particularly when I and those I cared about were left out. That happened quite a bit during my last two years of grammar school which corresponds to middle school.

I wish Stephanie the best of luck and great sales of her new book.

 

 

 

 

Clare Short at Faith In Our Families has this wonderful piece: Popping the emotional cork off of being raised Fatherless…

“If you are a parent right now and are not involved in your child’s life you might as well call that child up tonight and tell them that because that’s what they are hearing from your actions.

‘I didn’t think, care, or love you enough to put my own personal bull aside to be a good parent to you.’

“Go ahead, say it. Own those words. Except responsibility for them. Let them sit in your mouth like hot rocks. Swallow them and let them slide down into your belly. Carry them around with you like a painful lump. Like your child does everyday. Every. Single. Day.”

There is one reason not to be there for your children, death. Death still leaves a horrible hole but, for me, knowing my parents loved me enough to protect me from the madness that had invaded our lives eventually made their loss bearable. Eventually, I was even able to understand that they have always walked with me. But the pain remains real. How much bigger it must be to be for those who are abandoned by their parents.

Abandoned children must be a subject of prayers and, when God gives a family the opportunity, the recipients of our charity. Certainly, friends created home for me and that has been immensely healing.

A to Z Challenge: Reflections (but only the vowels)

A is for actively writing, which is what the A to Z Challenge helped me to be doing.

E is for effort, much required.

I is for intense, definitely intense.

O is for opinions, many valuable ones.

U is for a universe of new blogs and potential friends.

and sometimes,

Y is for Yes! We made it through!

W is for wish the alphabet was longer. The challenge was fun.

Raising Funds For “Loved As If”

I’m beginning to raise funds for Loved As If. Please visit my donation page and make a donation of any size. Your help will make Loved As If happen. And there are some neat thank you gifts for those who donate to help me complete, publicize and publish Loved As If: (I pray for all who visit my site whether or not they donate.)

  1. For a gift of $10, thanks will be tweeted on @LovedAsIf and your name will appear on the Loved As If donor wall.
  2. For a gift up to $50 to $99, you’ll receive #1 and also receive an E-Book (Kindle/Nook) copy of Loved As If.
  3. For a gift of $100 to $250, you’ll receive #1, #2 and an autographed copy of Loved As If.
  4. For a gift of $250 to $499, you’ll receive #1, #2, #3 and a special post on Loved As If. (You provide the prompt/subject, I’ll write a post based on Loved As If.)
  5. For a gift $500 to $999, you’ll receive #1, #2, #3, #4 and be listed as a supporter in Loved As If.
  6. For a gift up to $1000 or more, you’ll receive #1, #2, #3, #4, #5 and a reading from Loved As If and presentation on the importance of Christian community. Transportation and, if the presentation is not in the Houston area, accommodations must be provided. I’ll waive my speaker’s fee. Alternately, a Skype/Facetime presentation may be substituted.
%d bloggers like this: