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Sandy Karstens recalls driving near Norwood Young America several years ago when she saw a book on the roadside, its pages fluttering in the breeze.

As she drove by, she said she started to hear a voice in her head: “This book is important.” The voice persisted as she drove, prompting her to return to the spot. There she found an open Bible.

She searched the pages looking for the owner’s name. She found none, but did come across a bookmark with the phrase: “God bless our home, family, friends and country.”

Both the book and the bookmark have since become a source of inspiration, she said, and “Look what I found along the road!” is one chapter in a book Karstens has written called “Christ in Your Life.”

As she reached what she coins “the winter season” of her life, the long-time Waconia resident, now living in Belle Plaine, said she felt a calling to publish her personal writings on her journey with Christ and share them with others.

Though biblical insights, “Christ in Your Life,” published by WestBow Press, shares Karstens’ everyday life experiences and circumstances. Choices throughout her life were not always easy to make and some have not been the right choices, she said, but looking back she can see how God has worked in her life.

Karstens has kept a personal journal for 20 years. The book took about two years to write, she said, and was ultimately prompted by encouragement of readers of a newsletter she was writing for a church in Belle Plaine.

In the book, Karsten writes: “Now that I am older looking back on my life it feels as though I have been on one detour after another” and that “…traveling on the roadways of life cannot always be straight and smooth.”

A mother to four daughters and grandmother to six, Karstens shares the story of raising kids and trying to run a restaurant in Glencoe with her husband. When a chain restaurant came to town, business slowed – and on a shoestring budget the Karstens had to close its doors. Their home was attached to the business, and they walked away with nothing.

She also shares her struggles with loneliness when her husband of over 35 years passed away in 2002, as well as the joys and discoveries with grandchildren and family.

“Christ in Your Life” is available through at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Target, other Christian book publishers and some area book stores.

Karstens already is working on her next book with a focus around aging and the theme: “Where do I go from here?”

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