Blurb for BEYOND I DO:
Will seeing beyond the present unite them or tear them apart?
Marriage . . . it’s more than a happily ever after. Eternally more.
Ainsley Meadows, raised by a hedonist mother, who cycles through jobs and relationships like wrapping paper on Christmas morning, falls into a predictable and safe relationship with Richard, a self-absorbed socialite psychiatrist. But as her wedding nears, a battered woman and her child spark a long-forgotten dream and ignite a hidden passion. One that threatens to change everything, including her fiancé. To embrace God’s best and find true love, this security-seeking bride must follow God with reckless abandon and realize that marriage goes Beyond I Do.
For your reading pleasure, a peek at Jennifer's opening:
**BEYOND I DO is currently available on Amazon Kindle for $2.99.
Have you ever wondered why some people seem to rise to new challenges while others appear to do all they can to avoid them? And why is it some press on after failure, even sustained failure, while others bounce back like little boys on pogo sticks?
These are the questions my father asked me during a conversation one day. And now that I’m grown, now that I’ve seen some of my dreams come to pass, I’ve begun asking these same questions. Because like my dad, I want my child to succeed and to find the fulfillment that comes from reaching her full potential. And as I contemplate this, I’ve come to realize “success”, in whatever field, is made up of many necessary ingredients: perseverance, diligence, pursuit of excellence, resilience, dedication . . . confidence.
And a healthy amount of risk taking.
|Courtesy Google Images|
I suppose we all have areas of weakness that keep us from living up to our full potential. Insecurities that hold us back. Bad habits that steal our productivity. But I can’t help but wonder if at the root, our greatest hindrance comes from fear.
When the recession hit and 1.2 million Americans lost their homes, my daughter began asking about recession proof jobs. She was only twelve, an age when you or I were still dreaming of being baseball players, actresses, or rock stars.
Luckily, my husband and I helped her get past this, not by assuring her of tomorrow, for we all know another recession, or war, or epidemic, could hit at any moment. (Sounds a bit eerily familiar, doesn’t it?) Nor did encourage her to dream bigger. Rather, we reminded her of the power of the Dream Giver.
Because ultimately, God decides who “succeeds” or fails, though His view of success is much different than ours. But when we adopt His view, everything changes.
We change. Or more accurately, we surrender ourselves to His change within us. Understanding and accepting God’s definition of success, in my opinion, encourages the growth of all those character traits I listed above.
For you see, God’s definition of success is quite simple: obedience.
This means, every hurdle and setback is actually a chance to shine. To please our Heavenly Father and to sense Him saying, “Well done, good and faithful servant.”
When an obstacle hits, rather than getting frustrated and longing to quit, we’ll turn our eyes upward as we pray about the best way to overcome.
When “failures” come, and they will, we open wide our hearts to receive the instruction only God can give.
When the journey feels long, arduous, confusing, and uncertain, rather than allowing the uncertainty to paralyze us we can turn it into an opportunity for spiritual stretching.
And this is when something beautiful happens. Once we boil everything down to obedience, we place ourselves squarely in the Father’s—the dream giver’s—hands.
The only One able to equip us for that which He created us to do.
This was what I found, anyway. When I first sensed God calling me to write, I grabbed hold of that dream with both hands, stressing over every rejection and setback. But once I made it about obedience, everything changed. I loosened my grip and focused on being the best writer I could be.
A funny thing happened. Once I relinquished control, the doors I tried to barrel through began to open.
And it stirred my heart to praise, which is the only proper position for a redeemed, transformed heart.
You can read Jennifer's previous Everyone's Story's post, When God Has Other Plans, here.
Jennifer's Ah-hahs To Tweet:
Author Jennifer Slattery: do you rise to new challenges or avoid them? (Tweet This)
Jennifer Slattery on Everyone’s Story: One Word That Challenges Everything. (Tweet This)
Jennifer Slattery asks: Do you and God define success differently? (Tweet This)
Jennifer Slattery writes soul-stirring fiction for New Hope Publishers, a publishing house passionate about bringing God’s healing grace and truth to the hopeless. Her debut novel, Beyond I Do, is currently available in print and e-book format for under $10! You can find it on the Amazon link below.
Places to connect with Jennifer:
To read a free 36-page excerpt of Jennifer's BEYOND I DO visit here.