Monday, March 26, 2012

The Art of Being Selfless by Marianne Evans

You're on a tight deadline, so what happens when life happens? A tragedy. A mind-numbing challenge that robs not only your breath, but your muse? Today Marianne Evans shares some of her secrets for carrying on and writing in the midst of real life. You'll be encouraged! ~ Annette

The Art of Being Selfless
by Marianne Evans

Have any of you longed to throw up your hands in abject surrender and cry out with the following: "God, I’m trying! I’m trying to follow Your call in my life, and I’m working as hard as I can to fulfill what I see as Your plan in my life, but reality keeps getting in the way. I just can’t seem to make the pieces match and meld. I just can’t seem to get it done…"

Some of you who know me understand the bittersweet year that was 2011. On some levels, it had been a dream year…with the affirmation of book sales and unparalleled confidence displayed by my editor and publishing house, Pelican Book Group.

But then came the month of June.

On June 16th, my father passed away from a sudden and quite literally heart-breaking health episode. From there, seismic life changes occurred. Life changes that snared what precious little writing time I could find and sent them upward in a puff of smoke.

Through the latter portion of 2011, I wondered if all the joy, hope and optimism had vanished from my life, if the momentum and pleasure of my writing life had vanished from my life.

In the months following my dad’s passing, I found myself thrust into the role of care-giver and support column to my mom as our entire family wrestled with the void left behind following my father’s death.

I won’t lie. Writing has become a struggle to maintain, but through it all, God’s faithfulness shines. I received incredible affirmation from my editor about my upcoming release, Devotion, and its potential to grace bookshelves both electronic, and brick and mortar. I’ve also signed on for a new, three-book series. Hope shines in the darkness, letting me know God has a plan, and a purpose for the calling he has placed on my heart.

Life changes bring about shifts in emphasis, and new, God-given footsteps. But what about the regular pattern of life? What about the routine, for me my writing, which has been such a calling on my heart, and passion?

In going with the flow, in embracing the shifts in life’s sand, we come to new, and sometimes even better understandings of our goals—both as writers and as Christians.

How has a life circumstance come upon you and changed what you want, and need, to do? How have you handled it? I’d love to hear your testimony!

~~~

From This Day Forward
Christian Music agent Kellen Rossiter has everything he ever wanted: A-list clients from coast to coast, a loving wife who honors and respects him, and a faith life that’s never wavered—until now.


Juliet Rossiter has the perfect life: a rewarding schedule serving the underprivileged, a husband who loves her as Christ loved the church, and a blessed future as a mother—at least that's what she thinks.


For Better or Worse
But what happens when their rock-solid marriage begins to crumble under the weight of an unexpected and powerful temptation? How does love survive when its foundation is shaken?


'Til Death Do Us Part
When human frailty and the allure of sin deal a harsh blow to their relationship, it will take more than love to mend the shattered trust and heartbreak. It will take a lifetime of devotion.

http://www.pelicanbookgroup.com/ec/devotion-softcover
COUPON CODE: FALLPREVIEW 2012

~~~
Marianne Evans is an award-winning author of Christian romance and fiction. Her hope is to spread the faith-affirming message of God’s love through the stories she creates. Her acclaimed novella, Hearts Crossing led to the creation of the four-book Woodland Series. Next, Evans tackles the topic of a loving marriage in turmoil in her Christian fiction debut, Devotion coming in November, 2012 from Harbourlight Books. Also in 2012, Evans kicks off her second Christian romance series with White Rose Publishing. Search & Rescue will be book one of the Sales Place series, which revolves around the folks who frequent a cozy and historic riverfront diner in downtown Detroit. A lifelong resident of Michigan, Evans is very active in a number of RWA chapters as well as ACFW and the Michigan Literary Network.

Connect with Marianne at:
www.marianneevans.com
www.marianneevans.blogspot.com
Facebook Reader Page: http://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Marianne-Evans/308711716744
Twitter Handle: @marmo212

15 comments:

  1. Oh, Marianne, I'm so sorry to hear about your father's passing. Isn't it amazing how God uses those seasons of darkness to weave such a powerful tapestry in our lives? It's not easy to see it at the time, but if we look back...

    When we moved to NC, our youngest son was in the International Baccalaureate Program in high school. He’d debated for some time about getting out, so we weren’t too concerned that our new city didn’t offer the IB program.

    Maybe we should have been more concerned. Our youngest son opted to finish high school in FL. Moving across states is tough enough, but add leaving a son behind. Oy! I was miserable. Angry. Resentful. Like my heart literally ripped in half.

    After a few counseling sessions and much time in prayer, God helped me break free from those dark emotions and into the glorious sunshine. Since then, both our sons moved to NC. Our youngest attends a college two hours away from us. And you know what? He loves NC! How cool is that?

    God has a plan for our lives, even if we can't understand or see it in the midst of our pain. Thank you for sharing your heart, Marianne. Can't wait to give you a big hug!

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  2. You say:

    "In going with the flow, in embracing the shifts in life’s sand, we come to new, and sometimes even better understandings of our goals—both as writers and as Christians."



    Marrianne, sometimes everything becomes a period of new growth!



    Your words are beautifully written and heart felt.


    Good luck with with your novel Devotion.

    And congratulations on signing up for a new three book series. You really have achieved a lot. I'm sure your father is very proud of you and smiling down on you!

    Somehow, given time, it's amazing how it all works out!

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    1. Hi, Jacqueline! I'm so glad you stopped by, and your encouragement touches my heart - thank you!!! Your observation about using life circumstance to embrace new growth, to my mind, is spot on. God's movement in our lives IS amazing!! Blessings to you.

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  3. Dora, what an amazing story - My heart swells. Thank you for sharing!!!!! Our kids never outgrow us being concerned parents. I'm going through that "growth spurt" with my daughter, who is now in California....talk about a heart wrench!!! I pray for her CONTINUOUSLY, as I know you do for your sons.....Hold fast to God, and blessings to you - can't wait for Chicago!! :-)

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  4. Marianne, I've "watched" you go through this dark and trying season with beautiful grace and positivity. Losing a father is a shattering experience (I know!), and when it happens too soon and unexpectedly, it's even harder to put the pieces back together. But you're a shining example of the joy that comes "the morning after" the long night of weeping.

    Devotion sounds phenomenal. I can't wait to dive in!

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    1. Delia, may you someday come to know how much your support meant/means to me. :-) You're a treasure...and I certainly have my moments of ranting and raging, but I figure God understands. God's got big shoulders, and he doesn't mind my tears and anxieties, as long as I carry them to HIM. Thanks for your ever-present friendship and support - God bless you in abundance!

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  5. Wow, Marianne, what a timely message. This has been a year of changes for me, as well, with my mom in very poor health and my daughter on the brink of graduation from high school. I know I will miss her when she moves away, so I've tried to make the most of the time we have left. This is also true of my mom. Anyway, I keep you in my heartfelt prayers and thank God for bringing you into my life. You are truly an angel here on earth and a blessing to me!

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    1. Oh, Mary - please know I'm praying for your mom. Knowing you as I do I'm not a bit surprised you're taking the smart path to being sure you embrace all the moments you're given, with both your mom and your daughter. It's incredible to watch our kids voyage toward adulthood. She has an AMAZING example in you - and I think she's going to be just fine. She knows your love, and she'll be covered by loving prayer and the solid knowledge of God's love as well. God bless, sweet friend - you're such a treasure and a blessing to me as well!!

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  6. Marianne, the amazing part to me is the determination to write through all the pain...the faith that God had a plan and all you had to do was follow it. I struggled with this question for years with my writing and was often defeated. God picked me and pushed me on. So I am amazed that you had such faith! God Bless and keep writing!

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    1. Tanya, your words encourage me. Sometimes I feel like I'm the only one who's "going through" stuff, or battling anxieties and life issues. You're a wonderful author, and I'm SO glad you didn't give up, and that God kept 'picking at you' and moving you along! The blessing is ours, as readers! Thanks for your loving friendship!! You're awesome. :-)

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  7. Hi Marianne, the year for me was 2009 and the illness/death of my husband. Afterward the only writing I did was finish my story for WR "hearts crossing" contest - not to submit since the contest was long over and you'd won!

    But because I felt if I didn't, I'd never write again.

    Fortunately the WR editors saw promise in the story and contracted it. Also, gracious, kind and understanding, they helped me tremendously in the editing as though they knew this would be a pivotal point in whether or not I would ever write again. In His Sight was released in July 2010.

    After that, I was blessed with the acceptance of The Visionary - which had been written and on the submitted before Terry's death. This novel released Nov 2011.

    It's been 2 1/2 yrs and I am just now getting settled enough emotionally to write on a regular basis. I've edited and submitted a novel that I wrote back in 1989 and has sat untouched on my computer since 2000, have completed & submitted a short story that's been rejected (twice!.

    But at least I'm doing SOMETHING and in those small steps, regaining my love and passion for this gift God has given me.

    Congratulations on all of your success - may God continue to bless you (and all of our WR/HL friends!) as you/we continue to work for HIM.

    PamT

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    1. Oh, Pam, how I know the e-mails we've exchanged over heartbreaks, and victories, in our lives! I'm so VERY grateful for you. I pray I get to see you face-to-face someday soon!!!! I'm THRILLED you're back to writing - again, the blessing is ours as readers - your books never disappoint! God bless you, and THANK YOU! ;-)

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    2. Yeah, I'd LOVE to meet PBG authors face-to-face - hmmmm...maybe we should hit Nicola up to have a conference where we can plan to get together....

      Thanks for your kind words about my books - Good luck & God's blessings with your own!

      PS: you know Hearts Surrender is one of my all-time favorites! :-)
      PamT

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  8. Beautiful post Marianne, and very timely. I am aglow these days over the birth of our new grandson and celebrating my husband's four-year anniversary being cancer free, but There are other areas of doubt and worry that I pray over and still feel lost. I pray for peace and direction but need more patience, I fear. Oh, well, you know most of this,and I so appreciate your care and love.

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    1. Awww, I hear you loud and clear, T - and I'm SURE God will direct your path. I'm sure you have the 'grandma glow' going on, big-time - and the good news about your DH's health surpasses anything else. What a blessing, and what a means by which to realize we are SO fortunte. Keep up the stellar writing, girl!!!

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