A very warm welcome to my friend Jennifer Slattery, who's celebrating the release of her debut novel, Beyond I Do.
Being friends with a writer can be scary. Getting on their bad side… You may have heard the following:
“Don’t make a writer mad. They might put you in their book then slowly kill you.”
Friends, don’t think you’re safe just because I don’t write suspense. (wink) Know you’re safe because I’m a believer in Christ who’d rather love and unite than plot revenge.
But that doesn’t mean I won’t place you in a story, at least, a part of you. Similarly, just because you can deeply relate to a character doesn’t mean I wrote about you.
Unless you’re Mrs. Eldridge, Ainsley Meadows’ mentor (from my debut novel) and my former third grade teacher. Then yes, I created this character in honor of you and the impact you had on my life.
It’s funny, it’s been three decades since I’ve seen this woman, and honestly, I don’t remember a word she said. I don’t remember the lessons she taught or the homework assigned. But I do remember her gentle smiles and the love she showed me, day in and day out. She left a lasting impression, enough of an impression that her influence extended well beyond my life and into Ainsley’s.
I thought of Mrs. Eldridge this morning, as I read Genesis 15. After a long and frightening journey (Gen. 12-14), Abram arrived in Canaan and pitched his tent. Now that Abram’s there in the land God promised, God reassures him of His protection and blessing.
How does Abram respond?
“But Abram replied, ‘O Sovereign Lord, what good are all Your blessings when I don’t even have a son? Since You’ve given me no children, Eliezer of Damascus, a servant in my household, will inherent all my wealth.’” (Genesis 15:2 NLT).
Leaving a legacy, passing on your belongings to one who would continue your family line and carry on your name, was very important in biblical times. Because somehow, the patriarchs understood how temporal material things truly are. They worked too hard to see their earnings fritter away once they died.
They wanted to make a lasting impact, one that would continue for generations.
Isn’t that what we all long for? But how do we do that? How do we become part of something bigger than ourselves? How do we make a positive, lasting impact, like the one Mrs. Eldridge had on me. And Ainsley?
Through love, my friend. Engaged, involved, consistent, intentional, and focused love.
Engaged. May we truly listen when others speak.
Involved. May we carve time from our busy schedules to form and build relationships.
Consistent. May we persevere, even when things get hard or progress isn’t seen.
Intentional. May we prayerful ask for God’s guidance.
Focused. Reaching out to the masses is great, but I believe real change occurs through close and ever-growing relationships.
Let’s talk about this! What can you do today to create a legacy of love, to leave a lasting impact? Join the conversation!
About Beyond I Do:
(Released Sept. 2014)
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.
About the author:
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!
Jennifer loves helping aspiring authors grow in their craft, and has editing slots open beginning in November. Find out more.
Visit with Jennifer online at JenniferSlatteryLivesOutLoud.