No Words Today ~ A Writing Life Poem


Barren - Writing Life Poem Joy DeKok

The words are hiding today. Except for these.

No Words Today

The words just aren’t coming today

I’ve tried this and that and still – no way!

I wanted them to find their way to the page,

But, they have decided to stay in their cage.

I don’t care if they aren’t superstars,

I just want them free from the lock and bars!

I have other things I need to write,

I’ve tried and tried with all my might.

But, this brand new story idea of mine

Is risky and will force me to step out of line. . .

Those words came in an easy rush,

I yelled at them – “Would you please hush!”

They refused my very simple request,

I’m not very happy as you may have guessed.

Instead, the silence is standing its ground.

And seems to be ready for one more round.

Maybe if I write them, they’ll get out of the way,

And land in my shredder by the end of today.

Or perhaps a nap will clear my brain,

This being stuck place is really a pain!

And yes, I also fear what you might think,

Of an author coach stuck on the brink,

Refusing an idea that could sell lots of books,

So I can avoid all those questioning looks,

From people I love who won’t understand,

That murder and mystery are now part of my brand.

It’s a really short story, for Pete’s sake,

So why does it feel like there’s more at stake?


Until Next Time,


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Rain Dance Interview and Audio Book!

I had the privilege of being interviewed recently and wanted to invite you to listen.





Here’s a sample of the audio book!

Until Next Time,


A Walk in the Rain

Rain on umbrella

I love walking in the rain under an umbrella. I especially like my umbrella of many colors. It is large enough that if a child I love wants to join me, there’s room. Or, if I feel a twirl coming on and need to stretch out one arm – there’s room. Under its generous space, I have a place to think.

The day doesn’t have to be warm to entice me into its rain drop drenched air. Any rainy day will do.

This is where I sometimes go to clear my head or talk things over with God. Because we live in the country, I can walk along the gravel and say what I need to out loud. A few years ago, I took a walk along a different gravel road. The rain was gentle although my thoughts were stormy. I’d spent the morning with a woman who was facing a crisis pregnancy – not her first. She’d confided a dreadful secret: the child in her womb was her 8th child. She’d given one up for adoption and the others to abortion. With tears streaming down her face she told me how abortion had become her birth control backup.

The timing was hard – Jon and I had just completed infertility testing and had come away with no real answers. I was pretty sure I had enough sorrow on my plate thank you very much.

When the rain started to fall that day, I yearned for the solitude of a rainy day walk. Under my canopy I stopped in the middle of the road and began an earnest discussion with God.

“Father, it doesn’t make any sense. I love her – more now than I did before I knew about the abortions. That has to be You. I am not capable of this on my own. Ever. The me side of this wants to know why You gave her those babies instead of us. The You side of me wants to love her and help her find healing in You. I love the other women in my life who have had abortions too. I know You want to use me somehow in their lives but, what are You thinking? It doesn’t make any sense at all to have a barren woman minister to post-abortive women. We have so little in common.”

I waited as the rain danced off my umbrella.

Truth washed across my soul with this thought:  “It didn’t make sense that I sent my sinless Son died for your sins long before you were conceived either, but I  did.”

I didn’t hear an actual voice, but something in my heart recognized the inner voice of my Shepherd.

Still in the middle of the road, I surrendered to God’s perfect logic.

In that moment, grief engulfed me. I burst into tears of loss and ache – not for the babies I’d never carry in my womb, but for the women whose wombs had been emptied intentionally. Sobbing, I walked home promising God I’d do whatever He asked me.

A couple of years later an idea was born in my heart – a novel I didn’t want to write. Three years after that my novel, Rain Dance, was birthed in publication. Since then, I’ve had the privilege of standing with post-abortive women and we share our stories together.

What didn’t make sense, at first, makes perfect sense as people begin to hear these beautiful, talented, intelligent, and believing women tell their stories.

Face to face with these women what was once a political conviction becomes a personal connection.

And yes, years later, with arthritis in my knees, I still love to walk in the rain. I’m more careful, but am still having those conversations with God while the rain dances on my umbrella.

Do you like walking in the rain?

Until Next Time,


You can buy Rain Dance for your Kindle from Amazon.

Or you can listen to Rain Dance!

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You Can Do It!


What is it about those four words? It’s like they carry the fragrance of hope in peony blossoms and the radiance of marigolds.

While writing Rain Dance, I worried about everything. Would I ever get the words right? Who was I to write a novel on such deep topics as infertility and abortion? What if no one liked it? As I wrote the chapter where Stacie has the abortion, I wept and prayed, “Please God – don’t let me hurt anyone!” Friends who listened to my concerns said, “You can do it.” I believed them when I could not believe in myself. Readers now write and say, “I’m like Stacie, I’m so glad you did this.” Me too.

About 10 years ago, I was on a gurney in St. Mary’s hospital. My ankle and leg had been seriously broken and my plaster cast after two surgeries had just been removed. I was about to spend 4 months in a wheelchair and three more using a walker. My surgeon asked me to move the ankle in a specific way. I couldn’t. Then he asked me to do the same move with my good ankle. He gave me instructions for rehabbing the broken one to move like the well one and then said, “You can do this.”

I believed him and at home I did everything he’d asked. Today we’re all amazed at my recovery.

Our niece, Grace, was visiting and although I don’t remember exactly what the situation was, Jon hesitated while doing something. She said with great confidence in him, “You can do it Uncle – you’re a big boy!” Now when life gets hard, we remember Grace’s words to him and believe them.

When someone tells me I can do it, there is an infusion of power. My enemies, Doubt and Fear, have to flee when I believe I can do what I’ve been given to do. Because the One who gave me this life and these things to do, will more than see me through.

I don’t need more coffee (although I will have some anyway because I enjoy it), or a power drink, or even a power nap (although they’ve been known to do wonders for my attitude!) to move ahead. Faith in God and a simple, authentic “You can do it!” from someone I love and trust is strong medicine to my sometimes stalled heart.

Who can you give a “You can do it!” to today?

Until Next Time,


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