Finding Noel by Richard Paul Evans – Susan’s Newsletter Feb. 2007



February 1, 2007 Susan’s Newsletter 
Finding Noel by Richard Evans
Rose analogy with life (young buds vs. gnarled old bushes)
The Rose with a story.  The beauty of those that lived a hard life.

It’s February! We all made it – spring is just around the corner! Okay – I’m not that optimistic.  But thought I’d try to at least get a smile out of all of you! I finally found something that’s as fast as me (faster) – the virus going around.  It caught me! So I’ve been home all week – haven’t even had a cup of coffee since last Saturday, if that proves to you that I’m sick! I have never had this much time besides sleeping to have silence, and be able to read and think.  Maybe I needed to get sick.  More large orders have been arriving all week – the girls at the store are having so much fun seeing it all, and I am now like you all – just picturing the scene!

I have been trying to put into coherent thoughts some ideas I’ve had this week – here I go! (Bear with me once again, you English teachers!!) On Saturday I saw a bookmark that showed a rose bud.  The conversation around this bookmark was the idea that we must not stay closed as a bud – but bloom.  That we need to rid ourselves of anything causing us to not be a full bloom.  I was troubled with the ease the conversation held in “ridding ourselves” of what causes us to not be in full bloom.  The same evening I read the following in another book by Richard Paul Evans (the author I referred to in my music analogy last fall), Finding Noel.  He states at the very end of the book,

(love) (Susan reinserted the word life) is like a rose: we fixate on the blossom, but it’s the thorny stem that keeps it alive and aloft…
The things of greatest value are the things we fight for.  And in the end, if we do it right, we value the stem far more than the blossom.

I picture a scene of a rose garden.  There are beautiful young buds in the scene.  There are older, large bushes that look brown and unwelcoming from a distance in the scene.  But when we approach the older bush, we see the most beautiful (1-2) blossoms.  Huge, aromatic, deep hued, roses.  These are the roses that we find intense pleasure in observing.  In close observation, at the base of these most beautiful blossoms are the thorniest, thickest stems in the garden.  Knotted, dried looking, unattractive.  At the base of the most beautiful roses are stories – stories of years of the rose bush in the garden.  Stories of the seasons that the bush has endured.  Stories of the pruning, the droughts, the rains.  When someone observes me at the end of my life – I desire to be the rose that has the thick, knotted stem.  The rose that has a story.  The rose that never stopped developing – even if the blossom stage was for decades.  The young blossoms in the garden are so lush, so beautiful – but when a storm comes, they fall.  The older plants weather the storm – for they know that these experiences make a more beautiful creation – a creation only God can see ahead of time!

Do not let yourself be overwhelmed with the winter, the memories, the daily burdens that only you fully understand.  I forget that with only a one foot drop I can be on my knees! Why is is so hard to go there, when the distance is so short?!?!?! For there – with no cost, with no energy to get there, there is where we get our energy, our peace, our love for others, our forgiveness, our hope.  Don’t forget to make that drop – I so often do! For the incredible gifts that we receive on our knees will help us to live extremely fulfilled lives.  Because we know we are in our seasons for a purpose.  God is so good.  Never ever forget that.  Thank you for letting me think aloud to all of you!

Thank you so much for your encouragement & business.  I hope you can come this weekend to see everything.  Have a wonderful February!! Spring really truly is around the corner!! (ha!!) Susan

Works Cited:
Evans, Richard Paul. 
Finding Noel.  Simon & Schuster.  2006.









Publisher Marketing:

When I wrote my first novel, “The Christmas Box,” I never imagined it would become an international bestseller. It was a story for my two (then) little girls. But as I wrote, I realized that it was also for my mother — to ease her pain over losing a child. My mother was my staunchest supporter and my biggest fan. A receptionist at a doctor’s office, she would sell my book (sometimes by the case!) to patients in the waiting room. When “The Christmas Box” hit #1 on the “New York Times” bestseller list, no one, including me, was more excited than my mother.

I lost my mother on Valentine’s Day of 2006. After weeks of struggling with my grief, I decided I would write a story for her. As she loved Christmas, I chose to write a Christmas novel, my first since “The Christmas Box.”

“Finding Noel” is about how people come into our lives for a reason. It is a love story about Macy and Mark, two young people from different worlds.

I’m sorry that this Christmas, for the first time since I became a writer, I won’t be able to present my mother with a copy of my book. I think she would have enjoyed reading it. But, then again, I’m not certain that she hasn’t.

As you read “Finding Noel,” I hope that you enjoy the journey and feel the same powerful emotions I felt as the story came to me.


Richard Evans

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster (October 3, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0743287037
  • ISBN-13: 978-0743287036
  • Product Dimensions: 7.3 x 5.4 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces

Recommended in Susan’s February 1, 2007 Newsletter