Wednesday, February 11, 2015

A Writer, a Baker, a Wooden Egg Maker

My guest today is Mariane Holbrook. If you aren't familiar with her, keep reading and get acquainted. She's quite a lovely, funny lady.

Mariane is not only a witty, humorous writer, she is also a talented artist. She paints gorgeous wooden eggs, many of which she very generously gives away to her friends. I am the proud owner of a few of these. I can't pick a favorite, but if someone put a gun to my head and made me post a photo of one of my favorites, I might choose this one:

That stunning egg is only one reason why I adore this lady so much.

Mariane's grandson Charles is in the photo below with her, because she says she loves being his grandmother. I think he's a lucky boy. (And I want to add I happen to be privy to the fact that her grandsons love her homemade chocolate chip cookies.) So, without further nonsense from me, meet Mariane.

Mariane and Charles

I've been writing ever since my high school days, from newspaper columns to humor pieces in Reminisce Magazine, from stories in the "God Turns Your Lemons Into Lemonade" series of books, to chapters in "Chicken Soup For the Soul," inspirational pieces in religious periodicals, a few modest wins in the Editor's Choice of FaithWriters Challenge, and poems for church bulletins.  

 I ended up self-publishing two books of my work and sold two copies (both to my mother).  The rest I gave away.  I maintained a website  for my stories and poems but gave it up when someone suggested that as a writer, I'd make a great seamstress.  

But it was fun while it lasted and I wouldn't change a thing.


by Mariane Holbrook

My husband, John has a gray, tattered T-shirt that's been laundered so many times it has the exquisite texture of Burberry silk. It's frayed and has a few holes in it. He can't sleep without it.

I want it.

No matter where or when or what condition he's in, he drapes it over his eyes at night like a bandana or a skull cap. It's his "Linus blanket," his throwback to some wadded up blankey he cuddled with when he was two years old. The instant it touches his eyes, he's off to lala land, and the most perfect picture of contentment you've ever seen. He should be in a baby commercial.

I've tried everything to wrestle that T-shirt from him. I've argued, cajoled, pleaded that I need it more than he, that my chronic sleep disorder requires it, that basic compassion demands he surrender it to me. He gives me his "Na na na na na na" response and goes back to his REM sleep thing.

Unarguably, the most popular security blanket of modern times belonged to a cartoon character. Ever since Linus was introduced on September 19, 1952 into my favorite cartoon series, Peanuts, I have loved Linus. He has the quiet philosophical wisdom of a grownup while tenaciously holding onto a beloved remnant of his childhood.

Entire college courses have been fashioned around that now-famous baby blanket. If the blanket had been real and not a figment of writer Charles Schultz's vivid imagination, millions of Peanuts fans would have bid exorbitant prices at auction for just one square inch of it. It's that symbolic and valuable in the eyes of the world.

Isn't it nice that as Christians, we have a far greater Security Blanket? We can't lovingly rub it against our cheeks for comfort as Linus did. We can't fold it and place it over our eyes, luxuriating in its soft, smooth texture as John does.

But the ageless Security Blanket of God's love wraps itself around our fragile shoulders, tucked firmly in and around the chambers of our trembling hearts, warming us against the piercing winter gales and the blinding rains of life. It cools us from life's unbearable heat of pain and distress. It's an all-weather comforter; it's passed every known test imposed on it by man through the centuries. It wears heaven's highest Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval.

Its strength is not in enclosed fibers of manufactured steel but in fine-textured threads woven from the very heart of God who gently wrapped it cocoon-style around His infant Son in the lowly manger. With tears spilling from His ageless eyes, God tenderly wrapped it around the trembling form on the cross, and then used it to quietly cover the prone body in the tomb.

Today, God's Security Blanket of Love is wrapped around the tendrils of my heart for comfort, around my head and body for protection, and around my life for purpose. His Security Blanket warehouse is packed to overflowing. And it's available for all. 


I hope you enjoyed today's post. Leave a comment and let Mariane and me know you stopped by.

Happy Writing!




  1. Betty, thank you for featuring sweet Mariane today. She is a treasure. Mariane, what a wonderful devotional, and a lovely and heartwarming piece of writing.

    Debbie Engle

    1. Yes, she is a treasure. I feel so blessed to feature her. Thanks for stopping by and leaving us a note.

  2. Love Mariane and this story--made me smile and then smile again. And love you, Bets, for showcasing such talent.

  3. Mariane always makes me smile. And you are welcome. Thanks so much for visiting!

  4. I love Mariane's writing. Her humor is wonderful and she knows just how to use it to bless and to teach. Thank you for sharing her with us.

  5. Yes, she does, Nancy . She was a joy to feature. Thanks for stopping by.