We have company on Moving the Ancient Boundaries today. So y’all sit up straight, pay attention, and behave—Our guest converses with angels!
Yep. Particularly a special little angel named Sarah. And I have a feeling Ms. Gay Lewis, author of the Sarah series, might have created Sarah by looking in the mirror. We won’t ask her to reveal that secret—but we know, don’t we?
Welcome, author, teacher, and pastor’s wife GAY N. LEWIS! Delighted to have you, Gay! But let’s jump right to my first question. After reading several of your Sarah books, I wanted to know:
When you were a little girl, what did you want to be when you grew up?
Gay: Wow DiAne! What a great question. I wanted to be many things. A teacher, a writer, a pianist, a singer, and a missionary.
DiAne: I knew we were soul sisters, only I wanted to be a policewoman too!
Gay: Now that I’m making this list, I realize I am all those things. I never taught public school, but I teach Bible studies. I’ve never been to a mission field, but I’m the wife of a pastor here in the United States.
DiAne: God promises when we trust in Him, He will give us the desires of our heart.
Gay: Isn’t it amazing how God plants those desires into our heads to go along with the talents and gifts He’s given us?
DiAne: Yes ma’am. As I’ve grown older it’s nothing short of amazing. But that’s the Amazing God we love and serve.
Gay: As a child, I loved color. I could never draw or paint, but I had a good eye for composition. When time came to earn my portion of the household income, I chose the design field. I enjoyed pulling styles together—still do.
DiAne: I love color too—my husband wishes I didn’t love so much color. He’s happy with black, white, and gray. On his crazy days he wears blue. Proves God has a sense of humor and opposites really do attract.
DiAne: What about your family? Any brothers or sisters? Any children?
Gay: Yes, my parents had two more children after me, so I have a brother and a sister. All born in July. I popped into the world as a July 4th firecracker! My sister came four years later on the 25th. And my brother surprised my mom eighteen years later on July 23. My sister lives in Arlington, Texas, and my brother lives in heaven with my parents. Paul and I have three daughters and four grandchildren.
DiAne: Oh, now you’re blessed and braggin’. We only have two grandchildren. But yes, we are both very blessed. And probably braggin’—just a little!
DiAne: As you look back on your life, what was the most challenging time you can recall?
Gay: Hahahahaha! When one gets to be our age, how does one choose? Several challenges come to mind, but since you asked for only one, I’ll tell you this story.
In 1979, I was hospitalized for over five weeks.
DiAne: Five weeks? Oh my! It only took God seven days to create the Universe. What happened?
Gay: During those days, I had five surgeries and received ten pints of blood. I was in Intensive Care, not expected to live. My doctor jokes with me saying, “You’re the only woman I’ve spent a night with besides my wife.” He was at my bedside many evenings—with God’s help–keeping me alive.
I constantly reminded him I had three little girls at home who needed me. Did I put pressure on him to do a good job or what? With God’s help, he succeeded, and I did get well, but hope I never have to go through that much pain and fright again.
DiAne: Gracious girl, I’m so sorry, but grateful for God’s healing. Your story confirms God alone is the giver and taker of life. I know God is always in the business of healing, but sometimes He chooses to take us home to heal us.
On a lighter note, how did you meet Paul? And how long did it take him to pop the question?
Gay: I wandered into a church service one Sunday night, and this adorable guy was leading the music. He introduced himself at the backdoor, called me on Wednesday night, and we had our first date on Saturday evening. He told me that night he loved me and we would marry.
DiAne: What a story book romance! What did you say?
I thought he was kidding. But nope, not him. He’s always been the one to make quick decisions. He’s a doer and usually right. God has given him the gift of discernment.
DiAne: As a pastor’s wife, what would you tell young wives to help them through those first few years of marital bliss?
Gay: First years of marital bliss? Hmmm. Let me think about that one. Some young women may experience bliss in the early years of marriage, but I didn’t. I wouldn’t want to relive my first year of marriage. I didn’t find it THAT blissful.
I didn’t know how to cook or keep house. And how was I to know how to be a pastor’s wife? I didn’t have a guide book for any of these new roles, and had no time to prepare or learn anything in advance.
My husband proposed and said we needed to marry quickly. He’d accepted a church and promised to bring a wife with him… in three weeks!
DiAne: Three weeks? I can’t get ready for anything in three weeks, much less a wedding, packing, and a move. Yikes!
See? Another example of a quick decision. Looking back, I wonder why I agreed to his time schedule. I wouldn’t do it that way today, but hey—I was young, in love, and knew God selected him for me.
DiAne: Ain’t love grand?!!!
Gay: We married on a Thursday night at Methodist Hospital in Dallas, Texas. (My mom was a patient there.) We packed our meager belongings the next morning, drove to Oklahoma on Saturday, and Paul preached in his first church on Sunday morning.
The parsonage was a nice, furnished, two-bedroom house next to the church. Of course, everyone in the community kept an eye on the new preacher and his young bride.
I remember the older ladies in the congregation criticizing me for sitting close to my husband. They said I set a bad example for the young people.
DiAne: Let’s see how many years ago was that? Those ladies, bless their sweet hearts, would have a case of the vapors if they were alive today, wouldn’t they?
Gay: Well, those comments hurt then, but these days, I’d merely laugh and go on.
Gay, I know it’s difficult, but can you share one or two important lessons God has and is teaching you in the process of writing your series? Goodness girl, how do you keep all the balls in the air?
Gay: This may sound farfetched, but sometimes the words I write preach to me.
DiAne: That’s not at all unusual. I believe most of the things we write come from questions or problems we struggle with.
Gay: On my computer desk, I’ve posted sticky notes with various quotes from my books. Here’s one. “What others thought of her made no difference. They were not her judge, just as she wasn’t theirs.” That quote is from a book to come out later this year. Sarah and the Double Wedding Woes.
Here’s another sticky at eye level from the same book. “Mother Goodness smiled at Sarah, ‘Don’t look below at the circumstances. Look above to the Father.”
DiAne: Last question. Do you have a life verse from the Word of God?
Gay: I sign my books with Hebrews 13:2. This Scripture tells us we often entertain angels and don’t know it.
DiAne: Just one more last question, haha! Tell us about Sarah and Mackenzie. Oops, and one more—where is Sarah going next? Or is that top secret info known only to the Almighty?
Sarah and a Date for Mackenzie.
This time Sarah goes to high school. She’s scared to death…that is if a holy angel can be scared to the point of demise. She’s never hung with kids before. Teens have never experienced anything like her either.
Sarah plans to help Mackenzie find a date for the prom.
Uh-oh! What about the school bully?
That little old meanie? Poopty doopty! Sarah can fix him.
Three generations of women live together. What about Mackenzie’s teacher mom? Oh yeah, Sarah can find a man for her too. Then there’s the grandmother. Must not leave her out.
Sarah’s got her hands and wings loaded to the brim in this one.
“Merciful heavens! Getting acquainted with adult teachers in a high school is one challenge, but hang with the kids too? Sarah, heaven’s little love angel—known for bungles, has dealt with children and enjoyed them, but teenagers? My stars! They are a different ballgame. She doesn’t understand their jargon, clothes or hairdos. And mood swings? Forget it. She knew nothing about them—nada —zippo. She’d seen and heard them from above—even wondered at times why they existed on the same planet as adults. They were unique and interesting, but to mingle with them? Not a chance would she choose to do so—well, not until her latest assignment. Why would the Superiors send a bumbling angel like her to help a shy teenager find a date for a high school prom? Poopty doopty! A nightmare is about to happen.”