The story behind the theme of my 2019 release: Then Sings My Soul

I think one of God’s favorite things to do is to make and shape people. Of course I can’t speak for Him, but the works of God’s hands are mentioned not infrequently throughout the Bible, how God sculpts the land and the heart, and how He creates artists, too.

Moses talks about an artisan named Bezalel who may have been one of the earliest lapidarists.  Exodus 31:5 (NLT) reads, “[Bezalel] is skilled in engraving and mounting gemstones and in carving wood. He is a master at every craft!”

And in Isaiah 64:8 (NLT) we read, “And yet, O LORD, you are our Father. We are the clay, and you are the potter. We all are formed by your hand.”

Jakob, the main protagonist in Then Sings My Soul, is a lapidarist–one who works with and fashions stones and gems. Jakob’s father (Josef) was a lapidarist, too.

This is a piece of raw aquamarine, the sort of stone Josef  would have worked with and passed on to Jakob in the story.

I used the trade and theme of lapidary in this novel because my grandfather was a lapidarist, too. In fact, he actually made the stone on the cover of the novel, and you can read more about that providential story in the afterwords in the back of the novel.

As a special treat for you today, here are the actual diagrams and notes my grandfather used to make this stone:

When you read Then Sings My Soul, I think you’ll discover why the theme of lapidary lends itself so well to Jakob and his daughter, Nel. They both start out pretty rough, living in ways not everyone would approve of. But that doesn’t mean God doesn’t see the beauty He knows they can become.

The same story can be yours, friend. If you feel dirty and rough, unnoticed, worthless…God sees the new and clean, the priceless and sparkling person He is making you to be.

The work a lapidarist does on a stone is harsh at times. There are cuts and chisels, chunks hacked off and angles shorn. But in the eye of the Lapidarist, all these steps are necessary.

More than that, as He works, the Lapidarist holds you in His hand and never lets go.

What about you? 

Do you have places in your life that need polished? 

Do you wonder where God is in the midst of your journey?

“I’m an adoptive mom.” Guest post and thoughts on Before I Saw You.


Today I’m thrilled to welcome Katie Powner to my blog! She is an adoptive mama and author, and she’s here today to kindly share her thoughts and perspective–as Michelle Thorne did from a birth mama’s perspective–on Before I Saw You.

Welcome, Katie!


Before I Saw You is written from the perspective of a young woman who considers placing her baby for adoption, who wrestles with the agonizing idea of setting her child in the arms of another woman. And I—well, I’ve been on the other side. The woman on the other end of the adoption process who has waited with anticipation for someone else’s baby to be placed in her arms.

I’m an adoptive mom.

Raising a child who was not born to you is not much different than raising a child who was, except that the child’s birthmom is always there, staring back at you. I see my daughter’s birthmom in my daughter’s dimples. In the curl of her hair. I hear her in my daughter’s voice. I thought of her as I read this book.

In Before I Saw You, young Jaycee is faced with making a decision no mother should ever have to make, but my daughter’s birthmom faced that harrowing decision in real life. Like Jaycee, she struggled to decide what would be best for her child. She knew she couldn’t guarantee a good life for her baby no matter what she chose, but what would give her baby the best chance?

I don’t wonder if my daughter’s birthmom thinks of my daughter, because I know she does. But I do wonder where she is and what she’s doing. I wonder what went through her mind the last time she saw her daughter…my daughter…our daughter. And as I read Before I Saw You and cried more than a couple tears, one thing kept running through my mind. The one thing I wish I could tell her.

And it’s this: I don’t know—will never know—whether I’ve made our daughter’s life “better,” but I’ve given her a good life. She is loved and she is happy and her life is good. What I do know, without any doubt, is that she’s made my life better.


About Katie:

Katie Powner lives in rural Montana and blogs about adoption and foster care issues, as well as family life, at Katie Gets It Write (link to http://www.katiepowner.blogspot.com). She dreams of being a published author someday and heartily recommends any words that Amy K. Sorrells writes ever. Learn more at katiepowner.com.

On the Opioid Crisis and the Church: A National Emergency for Us All*

* Full article published in More to Life Magazine.


Tracy* sat on the bed in front of me, her eyes wild and darting around the room. She looked a mess, her long dark hair in dingy kinks and knots. Sunken brown eyes and a pock-marked face made her look more like forty than the twenty-something she was.

Most disturbing of all was the way she twisted and squirmed in the bed, as if fighting invisible cords threatening to tie her down.

Indeed, she was fighting something.

Before she was admitted to the hospital unit where I work, Tracy had been using over $1,000 a week of heroin, and ways she told us she’d been paying for it were unspeakable. As nurses, physicians and therapists, we were helpless in the fight to keep her pain manageable, not to mention treat the raging infection that caused her admission in the first place.

One might assume Tracy’s condition extreme, but hospitals are overflowing with opioid addicts like her whose hearts—literally and figuratively—are being destroyed.

Occasionally, we hear about stories like hers in the news. We catch a headline about a dozen people overdosing outside a local shelter. The evening news reports yet another city adopting a needle exchange program because if communities can’t control the drug use, maybe they can at least save an addict from contracting Hepatitis C or HIV or both.

What we don’t hear about so much is where the church is in the midst of the opioid crisis...click here to read the full story in More to Life Magazine.