Tuesday, January 15, 2013


The older I get, the more spiritual I’ve become.  Spiritual, not religious.  I’ve never been a big fan of organized religion.  Maybe it had something to do with my “fire and brimstone” upbringing in the Baptist church.  But even as a child, something didn’t sit right with me about a punishing God who glares down from above, waiting for you to screw up so He can send you to Hell.  Somehow, that just didn’t jive with the Jesus who loves me that we’d sing about in Vacation Bible School.  Thus, after years of searching to fill my spiritual void, and visiting various churches throughout the many places we’ve lived, the moment I walked into Unity of Fairfax in Vienna, Virginia, I knew I’d arrived in my church home. That was many years ago, and I still feel the same way. 

So when I walked in last Sunday, I had no idea that one five-minute conversation would change the course of my life.  (Or at least, the course of my year.) Now I know it was Spirit, and I’m so glad I was open to it.

I had a few minutes before the choir met to rehearse, and sipping my coffee, I saw Lisa across the atrium and decided to join her.  Earlier in the week, I’d seen her post on Facebook about going to Ireland in the spring, so I asked her about it.  She told me all about a writer’s retreat she was attending in Dublin.  It sounded like so much fun, and I told her how envious I was that she was going.  (When I’d first read her Facebook post, I remember thinking how I wished I could shrink myself down to the size of a ladybug and crawl into her luggage.) 

“You should go,” Lisa said, smiling.

“Oh, no!  I couldn’t,” I said quickly.  “Can’t afford it.”

But then I heard the voice inside me.  Spirit, I know now.  It’s a tax write-off.

Lisa went on to tell me the cost of the retreat, the flight, the hotel, and mentally, I’m calculating.  I shook my head.  “Too expensive.  It would practically clean out my checking account.” 

But Spirit spoke again.  You’ll get your income tax refund in April.    

It was time to head into the sanctuary for choir rehearsal.  I gave Lisa a wistful smile and said, “I know you’ll love Dublin!  Wish I could go, but I just can’t swing it.” 

During church, my mind kept returning to my conversation with Lisa.  Ireland!  It had been eight years since I’d been there.  Way too long.  And to be able to go there to write?  How cool would that be?  Suddenly I tuned into the minister’s message.  It was about taking risks.  Imagine that! 

On the way home, I broached the subject with Frank.  Guess what my wonderful, supportive, The World’s Best Husband said?  “You should go!”  And then later, the Most Fantabulous, Sweetest, Adorable, Man of My Dreams said, “What can I do to make this happen for you???”

Of course, I turned down his generous offer of monetary help.  After all, this is a business trip, and it’s my responsibility to pay for it, but the fact that he offered melted my heart.

I mused it over for a full afternoon and night, and on Monday morning, I woke up, knowing this was meant to be.  Spirit spoke and I listened.

I’m going to Ireland in April!!!!! 

Now, if only I could win the lottery so I could take my daughter, Leah, and my sister, Kathy, with me.  But you never know.  Spirit moves in mysterious ways.


At last!!!!!  LILY OF THE SPRINGS is out in audio!!!  It’s available on Audible.com, and if you join the Audible book club, you can get it for only $7.49. 

My third novel, EAST OF THE SUN, WEST OF THE MOON, will be reissued in print in a few days.  If you haven’t read this steamy older woman/younger man novel (the most erotic of all my titles) you’ll want to pick up a copy.  Check out the book trailer:

Happy New Year to all of you!  And don’t forget…listen to Spirit. 


Carole Bellacera


Linda Lee Greene said...

I love this post. I am also a Unity person. Welcome aboard.

Carole Bellacera said...

Thanks, Linda. I love Unity! First church I ever went into where I felt like it was home. :)