Tuesday, October 28, 2014

The Place, The Peace... ~Tanya Hanson

I thank God for all of you as I say good-bye today, to the wonderful authors of this blog and our faithful commenters. After lots of prayers and family needs...this is my last post as a regular contributor. Sob. But you can bet your boots I'll be back as a guest some day soon!  It's been good, Lord, to be here.

Do you have one place on earth where you go to find the peace that passes all understanding? Where you don’t just see, you feel the Creator’s hand touch your face? Where the pain of life ebbs a bit, where the joy escalates to the clouds?

For me, it’s Lake Tahoe, situated between California and Nevada in a mile-high mountain basin. The second deepest lake in the U.S. (1,645 feet), Tahoe holds enough water to cover the entire state of California with 14 inches of water. And the water is so pristine you can see a white dinner plate 75 feet below the surface. Measurement started in 1968. Then, the 10-inch plate, called a Secchi disk, could be seen down 102 feet. Throughout the 22 measurements taken each year, visibility ranges from 57 feet to a record 107.

Why am I mentioning this? Because a graph showing those  
spikes and lows reminds me of the hills and valleys of my life. The times, those hilltops, when my faith blazes like a shining white disk so close in front of me I touch no pain or doubt. Then come the downslides of uncertainty and frustration. The cloudiness. Tests of patience. Times of questions and of tears. Fears.

Like the milfoil, a water weed invading Tahoe, worry sometimes worms its way inside my head. The weed chokes off oxygen to the lake’s fish, like doubt tries to suffocate my trust. Boats arriving at the lake need to be inspected for horrible invaders like the Quagga mussel. Just like I need to trust God to scrape away my burdens and keep me from harm.

The grace and goodness of God slide into my life easily when I visit valleys in Tahoe with such names as Hope. Heavenly. Christmas. I so understand why Mark Twain claimed the air in Tahoe is the same air that angels breathe.

Some of you know that my husband battled for his life in 2008. (He is now cured, praise God.) In Tahoe, after remission, in the dark nights, he and I could finally talk about things we just couldn't, during the cancer. Like the white blanket of snow outside, the gratitude to the Great Physician seeped into us.

But I confess, so did guilt. Others I love didn't make it. Or won’t.

Into the corners of my heart, Tahoe has sent me the truths of loss and healing, of love and death. Of doubt and trust. I see the surge of God’s care in the waves of Emerald Bay. I might not get it, but no matter. God gets it just fine, and He’ll let me know.  So I’ll keep a picture in my mind of Mt. Tallac, rising above Lake Tahoe until I get back there again.

A native Californian, Tanya Hanson lives with her firefighter husband on the central coast where they enjoy traveling, good health, and two little grandsons. An award-winning author of both inspirational and secular western romance, she is reinventing herself with Middle Grade stories w/a Anya Novikov. She’ll be featuring the history and lore of the local Chumash tribe. Watch for “Anya’s” Black Dog, White Dog, in  2015.

Also honoring California’s exciting history is Claiming His Heart, her first historical inspirational western set in the gold mining country of Holcomb Valley, now available.

Caught between a noose and a cave-in, Tulsa Sanderson must prove his brother’s innocence...even if it means marrying a gold miner’s daughter he just met. He needs every nugget and flake he can pull from her worn-out claim, but he sure doesn’t need a wife. Save his brother and he’ll be back on the Texas cattle trails. God, and trusting Him, are things of the past. 

Charlotte Amalie lost her heart, her virtue, and her money to the last mysterious outsider in the valley. Faith? That’s wavered, too, after too many family tragedies. But she has no choice but to wed the handsome Tull. He bears terrible family secrets that need to be kept behind closed doors. Although she’s eager to leave the valley to find a new life for herself and medical treatments for her wounded brother, her unwanted marriage douses her plans, yet stirs up hope and love for Tull...and begins to fortify her weakened faith.

Can the two of them find a future--and faith--together even with their haunted pasts? 

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