I have some amazing friends, one of whom is Nancy Rue. Nancy was a parishioner several years ago, and despite the boundary issues that challenge clergy relationships, we became close friends. When a series of events a few years back left me homeless for several weeks, Nancy and her husband took me in and gave me refuge. They nursed my spirit, provided comfort, and as ever in their presence we laughed and enjoyed the close camaraderie of friendship. Nancy and Jim rank up there at the top of my list of favorite people.
Life circumstances and directions have resulted in not seeing much of each other since my return to the Cedar City, but one of the comforts of friendship is knowing that the friend is there when you need them. The other day when I was feeling particularly blue and alone, Nancy was the friend I turned to. Yesterday we spent a delicious chunk of time together over tea laced with conversation. I was able to pour out my heart, and she listened faithfully and attentively, offering exactly what I needed. I was able to cry, to laugh, to speculate, throw up my hands at the bewildering mysteries and challenges of life, and have my heart soothed and comforted. That time together was a precious gift to me, and I am abundantly thankful for the honor of her friendship.
I mention her here today, however, not to extol the virtue of her friendship, but to brag on her! Nancy is a writer whose published work began with young adult books and expanded in recent years to include adult fiction. She teaches at writing conferences and participates in workshops that serve the needs of home-schooling families, among a variety of other groups. Her focus is grounded in her Christian faith and through her work she invites others to engage and practice their faith through the daily toils and traumas (and celebrations) that are common, especially, to growing up female. Nancy is one of the best-kept secrets of the Christian publishing world, and I share this today to do my small part to expose those who are a part of my world to the joys of her work. It's not mentioned on her web site, but her novel Healing Waters was selected as the 2009 "Women of Faith" novel of the year!
One of the things that makes Nancy so popular among her readers is that she isn't preachy, and she writes to reach people where they live and run into the foibles of life. She is particularly gifted working with 'tweens, and she engages with them directly through a blog on her web site, as well at conferences and workshops. If you're looking for reading material for a young or approaching adolescence girl, Nancy is a great choice. She's also a rare "moderate" voice in the Zondervan publishing world, who won't compromise her views to please the publisher.
You go, girl!