If it weren’t for Terri Camp Stevenson, I might have missed the writing boat completely. I probably wouldn’t be writing here today and I definitely wouldn’t have found the confidence to write an entire book.
Surely I couldn’t write. I struggled through school and finally failed grade twelve English.
People like me don’t write books unless someone like Terri Camp comes along to remind them that with God anything’s possible.
About nine years ago I was working on a book cover design for Terri when I mentioned the fact that I’d love to be a writer. I also mentioned that I was horrible at spelling and grammar so that idea was out of the question.
Terri quickly turned the conversation around and encouraged me to follow my dream. She reminded me that writing was about creativity and that editors were there to take care of the details. With that, I started writing and eventually found myself listed on the New York Times best-sellers list–me, an English flunky! Isn’t that such a God thing? I think so!
Terri wasn’t just my mentor, she was also my first online friend. Remember those days before facebook? We met in a chat room at Crosswalk of all places. Wow–things have definitely changed!
I’ve watched Terri’s life unfolding over the years, even more so over the past few months. It’s with great sorrow when I tell you that after a struggle with cancer, her husband Mike has recently gone to be with the Lord. My heart is breaking for her.
She recently wrote an article called, “The Love Altar.” Such an intimate part of her journey, and I have the privileged blessing of sharing it with you.
Thank you, Terri! Our prayers are with you and your family.
The Love Altar
by Terri Camp Stevenson
At first the table was used as a piling point. You know – flat surface = dumping ground. But we quickly reclaimed the table from dumping ground to hallowed ground. I think Mike was the one with the idea of having an altar of love, a place that displayed how much we meant to each other, as much as worldly things can.
One of the really special things about Mike was that he loved greeting cards. He would often spend hours and hours finding me just the right card. Two years ago for Valentine’s Day we each got each other a card with two beverages on the front. My card to him was two coffee drinks. His card to me was two champagne glasses. Those were the first items on the altar. Then there was the gold box of Godiva chocolates that we shared. Another thing Mike loved to do was buy me cute teddy bears. A couple of bears found their home on the altar. Then we added the book that Mike gave me, a children’s book called, “How Much Do I Love You?” Three new Valentine’s Day cards were added this past Valentine’s Day. Three cards? Yea, I couldn’t pick out just one, so I bought Mike two cards. We also added a framed picture of the dinner toast after our wedding. Often a small vase of flowers would be added to the table to add to the romance. I loved this table! I still love the table.
Today I had started the office computer, which is very slow. While I was waiting for it to load I stood up and walked over to the love altar and picked up the card Mike had bought me for Valentine’s Day. Tears erupted without warning as I read his familiar handwriting where he always replaced the dot above the “i” in my name with a heart. Every chance Mike got, he would express his love for me. I hope that he felt the same from me. Even though I’m alone now, when I look at our altar of love, I feel the kind of love that transcends time — and life. The tears flow quickly. Tears that remind me how very much I am/was loved … and loved in return.
See all the hearts?
If you don’t have a love altar in your house, I would highly HIGHLY recommend it. The love you share with your spouse is so valuable and deserves a place of honor and respect. If you could put one thing on that table to represent the love you share, what would it be? I would love to hear what kinds of things you would put on your own altar of love.
More About Terri
Terri is a single mom living in the Dallas/Fort Worth area in Texas. She continues to inspire women while working as a Realtor.
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