Her gaze returned to the dogwood and cardinal scene, her heart pounding with hope. A gallery in Wichita had commissioned the piece—her first real commissioned work after nine months of selling smaller, copper-foil pieces at craft fairs. If the gallery owners were pleased, it could lead to more work, and eventually she would be able to establish herself as a bona fide stained-glass artist.

So far, the response to her work had been favorable—her unique blending of colors that created a three-dimensional effect was unique to the stained-glass community—and she credited God with giving her the special talent. She longed to glorify Him through this gift.

Heading for the corner to retrieve the broom, she couldn’t help smiling at her thoughts. A year and a half ago, she wouldn’t have considered including God in her conversation, let alone being concerned about pleasing Him. But so many things had changed for Beth, both inside and out, and God was the most important addition to her life.

Andrew paused in transferring glass squares to felt-lined shelves, his brows puckered. “I swept just before I left at noon. You’re sweeping again?”


“Did you run the cutter while I was gone?”

“Nope.” She ignored his sour look and drew the broom’s bristles across the floor, collecting tiny shavings of glass. No matter how many times they swept, they could never get it all. The carbide cutter sent out miniscule fragments, and they had a way of traveling to every square inch of floor rather than politely staying beneath the cutting table. The small pile of multicolored bits took on the appearance of sugar crystals, but eating them would be a huge mistake. She’d have to exercise caution when the babies her mother was carrying were big enough to come visit.

Beth paused in her sweeping, her heart skipping a beat with the thought of the twins who would arrive in another four months. That was a change to which she still hadn’t adjusted. After twenty-one years of having her mother to herself, she now shared her with a stepfather, a host of relatives, and soon, a new brother and sister. Although it had once been Mom and her against the world, now Beth often felt as though it was Mom’s world against her.

Pushing the thought aside, she whisked the glass bits into a dustpan and dropped the broom. She crossed the floor and held the dustpan out to Andrew. “See? Glass sugar. I could sweep again right now and find more. I think it comes up through the concrete.”

Andrew chuckled—a deep, throaty sound that always made Beth feel like smiling. “Oh, I doubt that.”

She shivered as she dumped the glass fragments into the trash bin right outside the back door, lifting her gaze briefly to the crystal blue sky. No clouds, which meant no more snow. At least for now. She had discovered the weather could change quickly here where the wind pushed unhindered across the open plains.

After clamping the bin’s lid back in place, she scurried through the doorway and nearly collided with Andrew, who stood right inside the threshold. His nearness made her pulse race, and she took a sideways step as she slammed the door closed with her hip.

He reached into his pocket. “I almost forgot. I got you some horseshoe nails like you wanted.” Holding out a small, crumpled, brown bag, he added, “There’s a dozen in there, but if you need more, I can get them.”

Beth took the bag and unrolled the top to peek inside. “Thanks. I’ll probably need more eventually, but this will get me started.” She offered a smile. “This will work so much better for keeping the assembled pieces in place when I work with larger sections. The lead scraps are fine for holding my smaller works, but as I try to enlarge. . .”

Andrew nodded. “Just let me know when you want more.” He started for the door, then paused and turned back, giving his forehead a bump with the heel of his hand. “Oh. Uncle Henry and Aunt Marie are coming to our house for supper tonight. My mom said to ask if you’d like to come, too.”