Mondays with Michael

That’s what we called them.

Monday is my husband’s day off, and when the rare Monday came around that Michael’s pastoral vocation allowed him to be home with us, he would. Just the three of us: me, Michael, and Boo Radley.

IMG_1063“It’s Monday with Michael!” I would holler as I trotted down the stairs, unlocking Boo’s cage and setting free five pounds of furry fluff. Boo seemed to understand what those words meant, for he would kick up his heels in a series of adorable binkies at the announcement and race around his rug.

Then would ensue some of my favorite in-home sensory memories: the sight of my husband on the couch with a book in hand and a rabbit on foot; the earthy smell of barns mingling with living rooms as my husband replenished the rabbit’s stash of Timothy hay; the ridiculously soft feel of Boo’s fur against my cheek and the simultaneously sharp sting of one of his fine hairs landing behind my right contact lens; the loud, staccato rim-shot of my husband’s laugh reverberating up the stairs as Boo hopped, flopped, and plopped his way around the room; the gentle, muffled bass line of my husband’s murmurs as he told the rabbit what was on his mind.

IMG_5888Pets are confidants. They are keepers of our secrets. They listen attentively and love unconditionally through tear-storms, shouting matches, and fits of skulking. They snuggle us when we smell, kiss us when we have bad breath, greet us when we are grouchy, celebrate us when we don’t deserve it, and wait by the gate for us to come home.

Pets are gifts from a merciful, loving God.

And God made the beasts of the earth according to their kinds and the livestock according to their kinds, and everything that creeps on the ground according to its kind. And God saw that it was good (Genesis 1:25 ESV).

IMG_2861God saw that Boo was good, and we are so thankful to have been able to share in his little life.

For this past Monday with Michael was Boo’s last. 

Our sweet bunny had been declining for months, but by yesterday morning, Boo was no longer able to stand upright for very long on his own. He kept falling onto his right side and was unable to get up without our assistance. We had thought perhaps he had an ear infection, and though the medicine was keeping the infection somewhat mild, his mobility problems were getting worse and worse. The vet confirmed that it was time, and my husband held Boo while he died.

We are sick from missing that little buck, but we are also grateful. While we were his caretakers, he in turn cared for us. He also managed to inspire a book, snuggle entire communities of people, comfort hundreds more, and bring laughter and cheer to thousands. If you are one of those thousands, then I am so sorry for your loss. xo


Boo Radley (2012 – 2018)

#WearTheRooster, Round Five

review |rəˈvyo͞o| verb [with object]

1 examine or assess (something) formally 

write a critical appraisal of (a book, play, movie, etc.) for publication in a newspaper or magazine 

survey or evaluate (a subject or past events)


If you want to be the next one to #WearTheRooster, you will need to write and publish a review of House of Living Stones and/or The Choir Immortal on one or more of the following platforms:

Concordia Publishing House’s website:



If you have already written and published a review on one of these sites, never fear. Your already-published reviews still count as submissions. However, if you want to up your chances of winning, write a completely new review and publish it on a different site. Multiple entries (of different material) will be considered, as well.

What’s the criteria for winning? Simply, please the author’s parents. That’s right, Bob and Cindy Roley will be choosing their favorite reviews–one for each book–on behalf of their daughter. I happen to know that one of them is highly influenced by humor, the other by sincerity.

Happy reviewing, and be sure to post your “critical appraisals” by Friday, May 19th!



Join My Launch Team!

Did you enjoy reading House of Living Stones? Were you ready to pack your bags and move to Bradbury after turning the last page of The Choir Immortal? Are you chomping at the bit to get an early peek at The Harvest Raise? Then, I want you on my launch team!

What’s a launch team?

It’s a posse of pleasant people who hang out with me online and help spread the word about the upcoming June 13th release of The Harvest Raise.

What does a launch team member do?

He or she reads an electronic advance review copy of The Harvest Raise, hangs out with me in a closed Facebook group, and spends the next couple of months getting family, friends, church members, hairdressers, librarians, book club besties, and people standing in line at Aldi excited about the conclusion of the Anthems of Zion series.

unnamedWhat does a launch team member get?

I’m so glad you asked. On top of receiving the electronic advance review copy of The Harvest Raise and admittance to the closed Facebook group, a launch team member also gets a limited edition rooster T-shirt, a map of Bradbury, a signed copy of The Harvest Raise, and…wait for it…a fowl towel.


Alright, here’s what I’m looking for:

  • Individuals who like roosters and tractors and parsonages and pies. (Baking experience is not mandatory, but it is most welcome.)
  • fullsizeoutput_56acMen and women who look good in the colors yellow, green, and/or gray.
  • Bookworms who have already read and reviewed House of Living Stones and The Choir Immortal. (Reviews on Amazon, Goodreads, public blogs, and all count.)
  • Active members of book clubs.
  • Social people who have an engaging presence on Facebook as well as maintain a Goodreads, Twitter, Instagram, and/or Snapchat account. The more social media networks the merrier, and if you also write for a blog–you just might #WearTheRooster.

If this criteria applies to you, then please apply your criteria here.

And finally, my dear Bradburians: I wish everyone could serve on this launch team, but there are a limited number of spots available for this particular task. If you do not get chosen by the team, I’m looking forward to hanging out with you on the pages of The Harvest Raise come June 13th.

Thank you for your help!