I have written a cook book with stories about a retired woman who takes all her retirement fund and savings to buy an old house to turn into a bed and breakfast with a tea room. Most of her dreams in life have died over the years and this is, in her mind, her last chance to have a dream come true. As she steps out and risks everything for this dream, she is amazed as other dreams follow suit and come to fulfilment. It is the story of everyday life and everyday dreams. She is not looking for the Pulitzer prize or for fame. She is looking for the fulfilment of her heart's desires for herself and her family.
There are twelve chapters, one for each month of the first year The Almond Branch is open. The stories are followed by the menus and recipes relating to the theme of the story. There is an underlying theme threading its way through the book, all the way to a happy ending in the last chapter.
At one time, I dreamed of owning a tea room, but, unable to find a partner and financing, I let the dream die. It was just another in a long list of dead dreams to me.
People kept asking me for my recipes, so I decided to compile them in a cook book of sorts and wrote an introduction. I showed it to a friend and she said, "More, I want more! I need to know the rest of the story!" So I wrote the stories and added the recipes and a cook book was born.
My daughter Lanette was going through a hard time shortly after my dream died and I was encouraging her to follow her heart and go after her dreams. Her response to me was ,"Why should I listen to you? You let ALL of your dreams die!" (She was not being disrespectful, she was voicing her distress of heart to me, especially since she had been dreaming with me for the tea room.) I thought about this for a moment and then answered, "The Almond Branch didn't die; it just morphed into a book."
So, that's my theme in the book. It is never too late for your dreams to come true. Sometimes they morph from what you originally envisioned, but with faith in Jesus, all things can be healed and restored and all dreams that originate from His heart for you can, and will, come true.
(To order "The Almond Branch: A Collection of Recipes to Bring Friends and Family Together", email me at firstname.lastname@example.org, referencing the book in the subject line. The cost is $15 for the book and $3 for shipping.)
p.s. I am currently finishing a second book "Cookies From The Almond Branch". It has six categories of cookies with six stories and each story is followed by twelve cookie recipes.