A Grateful Heart

It’s a powdery white Thanksgiving morning here in Bellevue, Washington. Monday’s snow stuck and it’s been snowing steadily since I woke up three hours ago. Supposedly temperatures will rise to 40 later today so our snow might melt, but for now I savor the quiet white morning and think about all I have to be grateful for. And there is so much.

I lay in bed, snuggled under covers, thinking of all that makes my life good… joyous. My three boys whom I absolutely adore. My tough but big-hearted surfer who spends so much of his life on a plane so he can be with us every moment he can. My mother, my sister, my brothers and their wives and all the nieces and my one nephew. I think of my grandmother Lyles who has been gone two and a half  years but who remains in my thoughts every day. I think of my late father Tom Porter who gave to me my passion for books and writing as well as my Porter jaw, nose, and chin. I think of my home–warm, comfy. I think of 1992 Tahoe that still only has 46,000 miles on it and is so very reliable. I think of my girl friends–Lisa Johnson and Lorrie Hambing–that always have me over for the holidays and make sure I know I’m loved and part of their extended family. I think of my writer friends–Liza, Megan, Barb, Carla, Melissa–who have spent hours and hours talking about books and plots and publishing problems with me. I think of my publicity and publishing assistants who tackle all kinds of jobs for me–Lee, Kari, Farrell.

And then I think of you, my readers who have been with me through thick and thin. In New Jersey there were two readers at my lunch who started with me with my first book–The Italian Groom–in 2001 (Latesha Ballard and Marelou Azares) and readers who found me with Flirting with Forty or Odd Mom Out or my most recent book, She’s Gone Country. I have made friends all over the world thanks to books and the internet. I have you. And I’m so very grateful for you. I’m grateful to those that lurk. Grateful to those who comment. Grateful for those who love the contests. Grateful for those who’ve donated to my World Vision pledge. And the donations keep coming in.

I heard from Farrell yesterday that she’d just sponsored a child through World Vision. Hurray!! And I went to the post office yesterday and there were a half  dozen envelopes with checks and emails saying more checks were on the way. Through everyone’s efforts we’ve already raised $350 and found two children sponsors. I’m going to match every gift, which means I’m donating $350 and will sponsor an additional 2 children. I still hope to hit $1,000 by Christmas and see a total of 10 new children sponsored and will continue offering a signed book for every $10 donated through Christmas Eve. If you can give, great. If you can’t, just keep my efforts in your thoughts and prayers.

And before I go, let me share a few photos from my incredible trip to Kentucky. It was an amazing weekend and a truly special dinner with my friends and readers at Sarafina’s. We had 21 attend and among the 21 were six mother and daughter pairs. Six sets of moms and daughters who’ve shared my books back and forth. Six moms and daughters who took time out of their busy schedules to meet me and chat and have a meal together. What a joy for me to know that my stories can bring people together, that my themes appeal to women and girls of all ages. And so here are the pictures of one of my favorite days in recent years.

Jane with the lovely Tonya Kappes who helped organize the wonderful event!
Jane with the lovely Tonya Kappes who helped organize our dinner at Sarafina!

ky 1
Jane with some of her wonderful Kentucky readers and friends before dinner.

ky2
Jane with fellow writers Tonya Kappes, Heather Webber and Cathy Liggett

Jane with Molly Harper
Jane with Molly Harper signing at the Kentucky Book Fair in Frankfort.

I am blessed. I truly am. But my life hasn’t been all easy times and good things. I have had dark days and tragedies and loss. I’ve struggled with depression in my teens and twenties. My father died young when I was 15. I learned about domestic violence. I fell in love but it wasn’t a happy ever after. I didn’t think I would ever get published–15 years of trying is a long, long time–and then I discovered when first published that not everyone will like your writing, or you. But then I got tough. And I gathered my courage. And deepened my faith. And took some serious risks. Miraculously, life opened–my heart opened–and I’ve learned what joy is. I’ve learned who I am. And I’ve learned how to love.

And that’s what I’m grateful for, too. This banged up, beat up heart of mine that loves, loves, loves…. and truly loves all of you.

40 Comments

  1. Thank you for not giving up because you write beautifully! The Frog Prince is a superb book and I’m thankful it’s in the world with your other books. I’m thankful for family and friends and time to appreciate life’s blessings.

  2. My favorite holiday movie is “It’s a Wonderful Life” because it shows how important one person’s life can be and how it affects others.
    Jane, you have touched so many lives with your books and shared so much with so many in your blog. You are truly an inspiration! I, for one, am grateful for your generous love and wish you the happiest of Thanksgivings with your family and friends.

  3. Hola Jane

    Happy Thanksgiving Day to all. Your words were so nice to read and it makes my heart feel so much as well. I truly do love the holidays and spending it with family and friends.

  4. Sometime we learn about life the hard way but it’s how we overcome each obstacle that is put in our path. I think you did a wonderful job with your life turning it around and you have cheered me up many times with your books. Reading about others struggles and fears and how you make their lives better with each story gives me hope for better days. I am grateful for you for this. It is a cold night here but no snow). It started out warm and humid and ended cold. Only in Texas can it feel like summer and winter in the same day. I hope your Thanksgiving was a wonderful one!

  5. thank you jane for not only sharing your wonderful gift of writing but the wonderful gift of you and your time! i hope you had a happy thanksgiving! much love for you and your family…take care!

  6. Jane,

    You are loved right from so many places and people. I am grateful for you, your books that make me stronger, and your friendship. You are an inspiration and hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving!!
    Cindy

  7. Thanks Jane for such a beautiful post. Hearing 15 years of efforts makes me feel better. Just received a rejection letter but I’m not giving up.

    I think the older I get, the more precious I realize all I have truly is. When I was younger, I took it for granted that it would always be there. Now…not so much.

    Happy Holidays Jane to you and yours.

    Gibb

  8. Hi Jane!

    I thought I’d let you know that I dropped by to see how you are doing and my heart was warmed by reading this blog post. You’re an inspiration, my dear! And you’re loved back very much too! Happy Thanksgiving!

    Christine xox

  9. Wow! Awesome post:) Thank you. I too have lots to be grtaeful for – and reading this reminds me….after being with the kids all week, while moving and unpacking…I’d definieltey forgotten.

    Allie

  10. Wonderful post – you give me inspiration as I go through a “not happy ever after” time right now.
    I’m thankful for you and your wonderful stories that entertain me so delightfully. 🙂

  11. Lovely post Jane… and your efforts on behalf of World Vision are amazing. We’ve sponsored several boys (we never specified what we wanted and always got a boy) in Africa over the years, but haven’t got anyone now. I think it’s time for a little girl so I’m heading over to World Vision to find a child. Funny how we let things slip and just don’t think about them until someone calls our attention to them… good for you!

  12. Awwwww, Jane. You made me smile. I am thankful that you kept up the good fight. I am also thankful that you continue to be who you are despite what people may say. You are a constant source of strength for me, and a reminder that all things are possible. You are so giving and loving, not only to those you hold dear, but also to your fans and those who are less fortunate. Thank you!!! I hope the snow cleared up for you. Have a great rest of the Thanksgiving weekend.

    Peace and love,
    Paula R.

  13. Jane,

    Your post really hit home as it shows how much you love and are loved in return. Thank you for being you and allowing us to share the good and the bad with you. I hope you and the family had a very happy Thanksgiving.

  14. Oh, Jane! You’re a wonderful woman and you show us everyday how to love. Your strength, perseverance, grit, your passion and your love is there in your words and works. I am thankful for a lot of things in my life and it includes you. At a time, when life wasn’t easy for me, your smile and open arms made me feel really good and still does. God bless!

  15. Thankful for you, Jane!! What a wonderful post.
    Thankful for all you share, all you love, all you bring to the table. You are a remarkable person and one to be cherished.

    Happy Thanksgiving…all the time!!

    Hugs,
    Shannon in Tustin

  16. Jane all of your struggles and rewards have made you the wonderful person you are today. You are an amazing writer, mother, life partner and friend! I’m lucky to have a wonderful friend like you!!

  17. Hi Jane!

    I loved reading this blog. It’s fun to share your experiences with you and your determination and appreciation for what you have. And I love that you have snow for Thanksgiving! Such a treat. Here in Northern Va we had mild temps and can only hope for snow in December. It was a particularly tough Thanksgiving for my family with my husband overseas and my mother terminally ill. We all struggled in many ways these past few days. But it was heartening to read your post!

    Have a great day.

  18. Jane you are blessed and realize it, which is a blessing in itself! My new motto is “the choices we make reflect who we are” which is giving me pause for a lot in everything I do. Sounds like you too! Hope December brings everything and more.

  19. Jane, I feel so blessed to have met you, had dinner with you, and gotten to know you. You are a special person with a HUGE heart, and the world is better for having you in it…:-)

  20. I gave a lot of thought to this, too. I have a lot to be thankful for. I could dwell on all the bad and sometimes I do. I had to abruptly end therapy when my husband lost his job last year. So I try to apply what I DID learn every day of my life. The things I survived have taught me compassion and understanding towards other with similar experiences and I wish I could help everyone. Right now I can’t spare the money to help your cause but I will give what I can to others in different ways. I love reading your blog and your books and today I give thanks for that. Happy holidays, Jane.

  21. I loved your blog, just alittle more of what a wonderful person you are, and what a heart. My mom died,16 yrs.ago, and I still am sending money to this little girl, she’s not so little now,to World Vision,and I’ve had it rough at times myself but its a good cause. I love your books and fell in love with my first one,Flirting with Forty. Your a beautiful person inside and out. I’m trying to teach my children to give back,ever since I went to a women’s shelter along time ago I give my time there and clothes. I’m trying to piece together my life and going back to collge is one step, and a challenge with 2 kids and my home daycare. thanks for your books and I love getting to know you and your family! God Bless!

  22. Jane,
    I had read this on Thanksgiving from my phone, but still can’t figure out how to comment from it. Anyway, you are one of the most beautiful people I have ever met ~ inside and out! You are an inspiration and I am truly thankful for your writing talent, your generosity and your heart. I feel blessed that I have met you and will continue to keep in touch with you. God bless you and your family!
    Love,
    Stephanie

  23. Inspiring post- especially appreciate your words about not everyone liking your writing and taking risks. so great you kept going.

Leave a Comment

Your email is never published or shared.

*


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

By posting a comment, you consent to have your personally identifiable information collected and used in accordance with our privacy policy.