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A few years ago, I published a book, In His Way, for the purpose of sharing how God had radically changed my life and my marriage. I was walking around lost and broken, not even realizing it. My perception of the world around me was in 2D and black-n-white, dull and flat. Once I began to open my eyes and heart to God, I could suddenly see the beautiful 3D vibrant world that God created, all around me. The possibilities ahead of me seemed endless and fascinating!
As I’ve said before, and will continue to say, I am not a writer. I like the simplicity of numbers and equations. So when God planted the desire in my heart to write my testimony out in the form of a book, I put it in His hands when I published it. Through people, places and circumstances I realized the importance of sharing what God had done (or is doing), but had no idea how to get this into the hands of others.
They (believers of Christ Jesus) triumphed over him (Satan) by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony ~ Revelation 12:11
I know God has a plan and purpose for this book, my testimony, and has it timed out perfectly. Since I published In His Way, and left it in God’s hands, He has brought many wonderful opportunities to me, with very little effort or thought on my part. God is so wonderfully good isn’t He?
I’ve been featured in a few magazines and newspapers. I’ve also been blessed to participate in a few radio interviews and even a local northern California television show, Love Your Life Ministries.
God has done it again! A few months ago, the 700 Club , a television show on the Christian Broadcasting Network, contacted me. They said they wanted to explore the possibility of doing a segment on my husband and I about our testimony, which they discovered through my book. I was walking on clouds! God continues to amaze me! I don’t know why I’m always so surprised. Probably because I can’t understand how or what I could possibly do to make any kind of impact on any ones life. Thank goodness there is no need to understand what God will do or how He will do it. We must simply be willing to obediently act when He calls upon us and trust He will, in all ways, enable and equip us.
Now may the God of peace, who through the blood of the eternal covenant brought back from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheep, equip you with everything good for doing his will, and may he work in us what is pleasing to him, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen. ~ Hebrews 13:20-21
About a week before Christmas, I received the call to schedule the interview. They wanted to come and film for an entire day, in our house. I was excited and felt as though I could barely function. My head was spinning and my to-do list suddenly grew a mile long with the thought of having them over to film in our house. The dusty blinds and cluttered corners were no longer acceptable, but how would I find the time or energy to get my house prepared for such a big event?
Thankfully, not only were we praying, but many others were praying for us as well. So I was warmly comforted by God’s peace and reminded He would give me the time and energy to get done what He desired I attend to and nothing else. I have to confess, we did have a moment of panic, worrying our house needed something to make it look presentable. We found ourselves at the store about to lay down a lot of money for new valances for the front room, which is where we planned to do the interview.
I’m glad God knew we would have this moment of weakness and made sure there wasn’t enough of anything we liked. After we stood around trying to figure out what we were going to do, we came to our senses and left the store, empty handed. We remembered God had it covered and it was going to be exactly what He wanted it to be regardless of what the valances, or lack of, looked like.
The day of the interview has come and gone. It was a beautiful cool Northern California day, perfect for a few shots outside. I enjoyed getting to know the ladies who came to film. I think I might have asked them as many questions as they asked us. They were kind, thoughtful and extremely talented in their field of work. I was sad for them to go. I could have chatted with them for hours. I find their jobs intriguing. They get to travel, meet with people in their homes and hear how God has transformed their lives. Sounds like a slice of heaven to me! I don’t think there are many other jobs as wonderful as that out there.
So stay tuned! I will definitely post a link to the interview after it airs. I’m excited to see what God will do through our testimony. I’m also ecstatic to see what God will do next, for and through my book.
My prayer for us today ~ Father God, thank you for the testimony you have given to ever believer all across the world. I pray we would obediently and boldly share it with those You place in our lives, Amen.
Get Wisdom at Any Cost
Listen, my sons, to a father’s instruction; pay attention and gain understanding. I give you sound learning, so do not forsake my teaching. For I too was a son to my father, still tender, and cherished by my mother. Then he taught me, and he said to me, “Take hold of my words with all your heart; keep my commands, and you will live. Get wisdom, get understanding; do not forget my words or turn away from them. Do not forsake wisdom, and she will protect you; love her, and she will watch over you. The beginning of wisdom is this: Get wisdom. Though it cost all you have, get understanding. Cherish her, and she will exalt you; embrace her, and she will honor you. She will give you a garland to grace your head and present you with a glorious crown.” Vs 1-9
Listen, my son, accept what I say, and the years of your life will be many. I instruct you in the way of wisdom and lead you along straight paths. When you walk, your steps will not be hampered; when you run, you will not stumble. Hold on to instruction, do not let it go; guard it well, for it is your life. Do not set foot on the path of the wicked or walk in the way of evildoers. Avoid it, do not travel on it; turn from it and go on your way. For they cannot rest until they do evil; they are robbed of sleep till they make someone stumble. They eat the bread of wickedness and drink the wine of violence. The path of the righteous is like the morning sun, shining ever brighter till the full light of day. But the way of the wicked is like deep darkness; they do not know what makes them stumble. Vs 10-19
My son, pay attention to what I say; turn your ear to my words. Do not let them out of your sight, keep them within your heart; for they are life to those who find them and health to one’s whole body. Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it. Keep your mouth free of perversity; keep corrupt talk far from your lips. Let your eyes look straight ahead; fix your gaze directly before you. Give careful thought to the[c] paths for your feet and be steadfast in all your ways. Do not turn to the right or the left; keep your foot from evil. Vs 20-27
This chapter tells us the wisdom God is offering us will cost us all we have. We must die to self, give up all our old ways, to live a new life in Christ. We are not to forsake, swerve from, or forget the teachings of His wisdom. If we regard it with respect and admiration, we will receive His grace and glory.
When we speak, or act, using the wisdom He gave us, there will be no interference or mistakes. There’s no need to worry about these things, because He’s got them covered, just keep moving forward, focused on God’s will for you. What we do need to concern ourselves with is keeping our eyes focused on the glory of the Lord and not the ways of the world. We must continually guard our hearts from the world. The world demands our attention, daily, but we must not swerve to the right or to the left, but keep our heart, mind and soul focused on God and the path He has for us.
This chapter ends by continuing to warn us about the importance of guarding our hearts. We must fight against the temptations of the world. Keep our speech and actions from being perverse or corrupt. God’s supreme wisdom will give us the ability to be transparent and speak truth with love and grace.
My prayer for us today ~ Father God, thank you for the gift of the Holy Spirit which helps us to discern between Your wisdom and the ways of the world. I pray we take action using your wisdom, trusting Your calling, Amen
Wisdom Bestows Well-Being
My son, do not forget my teaching, but keep my commands in your heart, for they will prolong your life many years and bring you peace and prosperity. Let love and faithfulness never leave you; bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart. Then you will win favor and a good name in the sight of God and man. Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight. Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord and shun evil. This will bring health to your body and nourishment to your bones. Honor the Lord with your wealth, with the firstfruits of all your crops; then your barns will be filled to overflowing, and your vats will brim over with new wine. My son, do not despise the Lord’s discipline, and do not resent his rebuke, because the Lord disciplines those he loves, as a father the son he delights in. Blessed are those who find wisdom, those who gain understanding, for she is more profitable than silver and yields better returns than gold. She is more precious than rubies; nothing you desire can compare with her. Long life is in her right hand; in her left hand are riches and honor. Her ways are pleasant ways, and all her paths are peace. She is a tree of life to those who take hold of her; those who hold her fast will be blessed. By wisdom the Lord laid the earth’s foundations, by understanding he set the heavens in place; by his knowledge the watery depths were divided, and the clouds let drop the dew. My son, do not let wisdom and understanding out of your sight, preserve sound judgment and discretion; they will be life for you, an ornament to grace your neck. Then you will go on your way in safety, and your foot will not stumble. When you lie down, you will not be afraid; when you lie down, your sleep will be sweet. Have no fear of sudden disaster or of the ruin that overtakes the wicked, for the Lord will be at your side and will keep your foot from being snared. Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due, when it is in your power to act. Do not say to your neighbor, “Come back tomorrow and I’ll give it to you”— when you already have it with you. Do not plot harm against your neighbor, who lives trustfully near you. Do not accuse anyone for no reason— when they have done you no harm. Do not envy the violent or choose any of their ways. For the Lord detests the perverse but takes the upright into his confidence. The Lord’s curse is on the house of the wicked, but he blesses the home of the righteous. He mocks proud mockers but shows favor to the humble and oppressed. The wise inherit honor, but fools get only shame.
The Lord is reminding us that if we keep His commands, the wisdom we receive from Him, we will receive life and prosperity. Verse 3 says not to let love or faithfulness leave us, but let it be a binding around our neck. Meaning let the love we receive from God be overflowing from us to all those around us. The love of God can win the heart of the non-believer, but we cannot. God also wants us to offer any help we can to those around us without hesitation. The wisdom we receive from God and share with others is incomparable to anything else we could possibly do or give. Who have you shared the wisdom of God with and how?
My favorite verse in this chapter is verse 5.
When I read it, it sounds so obvious and I think ‘well dah!’ Unfortunately, it’s not as easy to do as it sounds. I sometimes find it hard to continue moving forward without understanding how things are going to work out. I occasionally push God aside and take the wheel and begin steering myself around the obstacle course I find myself on. Thankfully, God is patient and gracious. So when I realize what I have done and ask for His forgiveness, He gives it and helps get me back on course, His course.
The end of this chapter tells us God curses the wicked, mocks the mockers and the fools receive shame. Those who are righteous will be blessed, the humble will receive His grace and the wise will inherit honor. I don’t know about you, but I would rather give my all to God, even if I don’t completely understand His actions, because I believe His blessings, grace and honor are better than anything I could receive from man. How have you won the favor of God over man?
My prayer for us today ~ Father God, thank you for the choice of free will. I pray Lord that You would give those who choose You the words and courage to share Your wisdom with others, Amen.
Moral Benefits of Wisdom
My son, if you accept my words and store up my commands within you, turning your ear to wisdom and applying your heart to understanding—indeed, if you call out for insight and cry aloud for understanding, and if you look for it as for silver and search for it as for hidden treasure, then you will understand the fear of the Lord and find the knowledge of God. For the Lord gives wisdom; from his mouth come knowledge and understanding. He holds success in store for the upright, he is a shield to those whose walk is blameless, for he guards the course of the just and protects the way of his faithful ones. Then you will understand what is right and just and fair—every good path. For wisdom will enter your heart, and knowledge will be pleasant to your soul. Discretion will protect you, and understanding will guard you. Wisdom will save you from the ways of wicked men, from men whose words are perverse, who have left the straight paths to walk in dark ways, who delight in doing wrong and rejoice in the perverseness of evil, whose paths are crooked and who are devious in their ways. Wisdom will save you also from the adulterous woman, from the wayward woman with her seductive words, who has left the partner of her youth and ignored the covenant she made before God. Surely her house leads down to death and her paths to the spirits of the dead. None who go to her return or attain the paths of life. Thus you will walk in the ways of the good and keep to the paths of the righteous. For the upright will live in the land, and the blameless will remain in it; but the wicked will be cut off from the land, and the unfaithful will be torn from it.
In this chapter of Proverbs, God is telling us the benefits of seeking out His wisdom. He desires for us to not only listen for it, but also use it and continually search for it. This will give us knowledge and understanding that will help shield and protect us from the wicked ways of the world. We will be given the ability to discern who is speaking truth and who is stretching the truth to suit their own personal agenda. It will help us draw closer to God Almighty, the creator of heaven and earth. When have you felt shielded by God’s understanding and wisdom? How have you experienced a ‘dead spirt’ come to life through God’s wisdom?
My prayer for us today ~ Father God, thank you for the protection you offer us through seeking your wisdom. I pray Lord, for the courage to share with others the wisdom you give to those who believe in You and Your Son, Jesus Christ, Amen.
Purpose and Theme
Vs 1-7: The proverbs of Solomon son of David, king of Israel: for gaining wisdom and instruction; for understanding words of insight; for receiving instruction in prudent behavior, doing what is right and just and fair; for giving prudence to those who are simple, knowledge and discretion to the young—let the wise listen and add to their learning, and let the discerning get guidance—for understanding proverbs and parables, the sayings and riddles of the wise. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction.
Prologue: Exhortations to Embrace Wisdom
Warning Against the Invitation of Sinful Men
Vs 8-19: Listen, my son, to your father’s instruction and do not forsake your mother’s teaching. They are a garland to grace your head and a chain to adorn your neck. My son, if sinful men entice you, do not give in to them. If they say, “Come along with us; let’s lie in wait for innocent blood, let’s ambush some harmless soul; let’s swallow them alive, like the grave, and whole, like those who go down to the pit we will get all sorts of valuable things and fill our houses with plunder; cast lots with us; we will all share the loot”—my son, do not go along with them, do not set foot on their paths; for their feet rush into evil, they are swift to shed blood. How useless to spread a net where every bird can see it! These men lie in wait for their own blood; they ambush only themselves! Such are the paths of all who go after ill-gotten gain; it takes away the life of those who get it.
Vs 20-33: Out in the open wisdom calls aloud, she raises her voice in the public square; on top of the wall she cries out, at the city gate she makes her speech: “How long will you who are simple love your simple ways? How long will mockers delight in mockery and fools hate knowledge? Repent at my rebuke! Then I will pour out my thoughts to you, I will make known to you my teachings. But since you refuse to listen when I call and no one pays attention when I stretch out my hand, since you disregard all my advice and do not accept my rebuke, I in turn will laugh when disaster strikes you; I will mock when calamity overtakes you—when calamity overtakes you like a storm, when disaster sweeps over you like a whirlwind, when distress and trouble overwhelm you. “Then they will call to me but I will not answer; they will look for me but will not find me, since they hated knowledge and did not choose to fear the Lord. Since they would not accept my advice and spurned my rebuke, they will eat the fruit of their ways and be filled with the fruit of their schemes. For the waywardness of the simple will kill them, and the complacency of fools will destroy them; but whoever listens to me will live in safety and be at ease, without fear of harm.”
The first section of this chapter, verses 1-7, explains that we, the reader, are to be right, just and fair. To do this, we must seek wisdom. Having wisdom will help us to understand proverbs, parables and riddles. I don’t often find myself struggling to understand many proverbs, parables and riddles (except recently). I think this is saying we should be open to the advice, or counsel, of others because it will help us understand what is truly fair and just. Kind of like the saying ‘two heads are better than one’. Seeking another’s opinion, or God’s help, is better than trying to make a decision alone and possibly not seeing the entire situation. Who has God used to help you better understand a situation? When has your wisdom helped someone avoid a time of trouble?
The next section, verses 8-19, is a warning. Listen to your father, do not forsake your mother; they are to grace and adorn you. Beware of the enticement of sinners. Do not go with them, they lie in wait of their own blood. They take away lives. I think the part about the parents should be plastered on the walls of all teenagers. Don’t give your parents a hard time, they do what they do because they love you. Two of my kids are teenagers and the other is 12, so I’m seen as someone who doesn’t know much quite often. We also receive a strong warning to stay away from those who try to convince us to sin along with them. If an opportunity seems to good to be true, then it probably is. We are not to seek things dishonestly or improperly. It may bring physical or financial gain, but it will also cause us to lose something spiritually and/or emotionally. How have you recently been enticed to sin? When have you walked away from a tempting situation you knew was wrong?
The last verses we’re covering today, verses 20-33, warn us of what will happen when we reject the wisdom that is offered to us. Wisdom calls and cries out. If we don’t rebuke wisdom, we could have her heart and know her thoughts. When we reject and ignore wisdom, we will be laughed at and mocked by her when seeking her during times of calamity, disaster or trouble. Ignoring wisdom will kill and destroy. Those who listen to wisdom will live in safety. God is always offering us wisdom through the people He surrounds us with as well as the Holy Spirit that dwells within us. This wisdom is to help us make decisions that will keep us on the path God intends for us. When we ignore His wisdom, we are likely to stray and lose our way. We shouldn’t dismiss God’s wisdom at the time He offers it to us. His timing is perfect. So when troubles come because we have chosen to ignore God’s help, it’s our own fault. He has already offered us the help we needed to get through the trouble because He knew it was coming. We are to continually listen when He calls upon us and seek His advice in all we do. How have you seen God use someone to avoid a troublesome situation?
My prayer for us today ~ Father God, thank you for the wisdom you offer to us. I pray for the ability to discern your wisdom, Amen.
Over the past few months I’ve felt a lack of words to write. I’ve drawn a blank over and over again as to what to share. If you know me or have ever had a conversation with me, you know this is odd. 99% of the time I have plenty to say. People usually have a hard time bringing our conversation to a close because I wont shut up. I keep sharing. Why do I keep sharing? Because I love love love sharing. I enjoy getting to know others and learning what makes them who they are and telling others about what makes me, well, me.
I’ve been spending a lot of time praying, ok, maybe complaining, asking God what I should write about. There have been plenty of things going on in my life, which is usually what I write about, but God seems to have something different in mind for me.
I’ve recently noticed how God continues to put the book of Proverbs out in front of me and how it’s 31 verses are perfect to be covered in a month. I, of course, make sure He is aware of the fact that I’m in the middle of studying Joshua and will be studying Revelation at BSF (Bible Study Fellowship) in the fall. Yes, I know He already knows all this, but I was building up to the questions I had for Him….
- When do I have time to fit this into my schedule?
- How will this help me with my blog?
- Why should I cover Proverbs, I haven’t even read all of Proverbs?
Have you heard, or read, that if you pray, you will receive an answer? Well, it’s true!
I can’t say I received the answer I was hoping for, but I did get a very clear answer.
- You will have the time that I give you
- It’s not meant to help your blog, it’s to grow closer to Me.
- Because I’m asking you to & then you wont be able to say you haven’t read it.
God then continued to reveal His plan for me covering Proverbs. One day at a time, reading and reflecting on His word. Then sharing, with you the readers, my thoughts. To be perfectly honest, I tried to ignore what I felt God was asking, or telling, me to do. I went to my computer and started typing about one of the many things going on in my world. About 2-3 paragraphs down, I would draw a blank. I couldn’t complete it. It would seem irrelevant and pointless. I now have 3 incomplete posts. Maybe someday God will give me the ability to finish them.
Please join me on this journey as I ponder the Proverbs. Starting tomorrow, July 1, I will list and reflect on a different verse from the book of Proverbs each day. Starting with verse 1 and ending with verse 31 on July 31st. At least that is my hope. I could use your daily prayers as I walk through this with God. Prayers that I would seek Him first each day, and have an open heart to hear what He wishes me to share with you. I will pray for you, the reader. I will pray that God gives me the words to write that will draw you closer to Him.
My prayer for us today ~ Father God, thank you for drawing us closer to you. I pray we act promptly when feeling your gentle nudge, Amen
About three years ago I heard the gentle whisper of God saying He wanted me to share with others my struggles. He wanted me to write how He helped me overcome my trials as I walked through them. At first, I laughed and blew it off. Yes, I use to do that when God first asked me to do something I’ve never done before. Especially if it’s something I’ve never even considered doing. Then as He usually does, He continued to remind me what He wanted me to do, until I sat down and talked to Him about it.
My excuses not to write my story were endless.
- I’m not good at writing
- I don’t know proper grammar to write a book
- I don’t know what to write about
- Who cares about my life and what I’m going through
- I don’t have time to write
- I don’t know the first thing about writing a book
As I gave God all of my excuses, which I thought were pretty good ones, He continued to tell me what I was to do. Once I finally decided to try, not because I wanted to, but because I wanted to show God how I couldn’t, He either put people in my path, or directed me to people, who would help and encourage me to write.
Now may the God of peace, who through the blood of the eternal covenant brought back from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheep, equip you with everything good for doing his will, and may he work in us what is pleasing to him, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen. ~ Hebrews 13:20-21
It’s been an amazing three years! I feel blessed by the many wonderful people God has brought alongside me to complete the task of writing my story. Actually, it’s not just my story. It’s a story about family, marriage and coming to faith. So it’s my family’s story, written in my perspective. Below is the brief description of the book, which you’ll find on the back cover of, ‘In His Way’.
Throughout much of my married life, I lived under the illusion that I had it all together – it was everyone else that needed fixing. Several years into my second marriage my husband, a Deputy Sheriff, became a workaholic and was never home. Meanwhile, I became a volunteeraholic, too busy to face the fact that we had become two strangers under one roof, raising three kids.
God revealed Himself to me through the different women I volunteered with. As my heart slowly opened to God’s presence, my marriage came crashing down around me. As I cried out for God’s help, I discovered my husband’s affair. I found myself surrounded by faithful people who gave me the strength to face the problems in my marriage and the tools needed to begin fixing it.
Over the next four years, my husband’s health deteriorated and he was forced to retire. Through this God continually showed me I was In His Way and then, when He knew He had my attention, He would proceed to show me how to do things In His Way. In the end, what God told me to do, saved my husband’s life, and our marriage. What was broken is now fixed by the grace and love of God.
I wrote this book for God and now I give it to Him, trusting it will be read by everyone He wishes to read it. My hope is that it helps others understand the love God has for them. I hope it turns people to God and the beautiful life He has planned for them. I hope it helps others get out of God’s way so they too can do things In His Way.
My book is now available on Amazon in paperback and ebook (Kindle). If you choose to read it, I would appreciate it if you would leave a review on Amazon. Even if you don’t like it. I just ask that you ask yourself how you would feel if someone wrote that about you before leaving your comment. I look forward to hearing your thoughts.
My prayer for us today ~ Father God, thank you for the encouragement and enabling You give us to step out and be all You know we can be. I pray we each take time to be quiet and still so we can hear Your gentle whisper, Amen
I had the pleasure of meeting Christine Andrews 10 years ago at Callison Elementary School. She was a third grade teacher and I was a parent. I volunteered to help hand out snacks to the students each morning prior to taking their end of year state tests. Christine helped me understand which snacks best provided the energy children needed to fuel their minds, not their bodies. I was excited to hear she put her passion with health and scripture together in a book to help us understand the importance of taking care of our bodies. I asked her to share how this all came about, as well as give us insight into her book.
My desire to write about health
For 25 years as an elementary school teacher I taught hundreds of 7-9 year olds how to write. I never thought of myself as a writer and as a young student I struggled with writing. I loved to bring out the best in students in their writing, and loved the whole process of transforming a draft into publication. After my retirement and subsequent new profession in the holistic health care field, I get asked lots of questions. The internet is an easy avenue for discovering new information, but it can be deceptive and the majority of people have a difficult time deciphering truth from myth through the myriad of web information. Writing about health affords an avenue in which to answer common and unique questions backed by scientific and clinical sources while bringing the truth about health. Writing broadens peoples’ knowledge about the importance of eating the right foods and how this can affect their health.
How did God Guide Me?
About four years into my health and nutrition practice I felt a calling to write my first book. If began after a meeting with my nutrition mentor and some notes that he had written up for Christians and their health. After studying these notes and through much prayer and encouragement from my nutrition mentor, I began to dig deeper into scripture and scientific articles to find out what the Bible had to say about health, disease, emotions, and natural remedies of that time. God, the master nutritionist of all time and the creator of nature defined very clearly what to eat and drink. The Bible has always been our source of information for everything we need including fundamental principles for how to approach health. The more I delved into this topical study, the more excited I became to share this wealth of knowledge with others. After reading a quote from John MacArthur, although timid and nervous, I knew God was revealing to me to pursue penning my first book. “An uncompromising life is characterized by an unashamed boldness that calls us to an uncommon standard. Allow God to do with your life as He pleases, that He might broaden your influence and glorify Himself.”
Food Isn’t What It Used to Be: A Biblical Approach to Health by Christine Andrew. From four thousand years ago and earlier to current times, food has taken a dramatic transformation. The consequences of this change are taking a drastic toll on our health. The reader will learn what God’s word reveals about food, beverages, our health, and what responsibility we have in caring for the bodies with which He has entrusted us. Compounding the effects of poor food quality with the magnitude of onslaughts from toxins, is there any hope? This book will indulge the reader with guidelines for healthy food and beverage selections, as well as remedies aligned with God’s word giving renewed hope.
To find out more about Christine, please check out her website at www.christineandrew-cnc.com. Her book, Food Isn’t What It Used To Be: A Biblical Approach to Health, is available for purchase from Amazon or WestBow Press. If you’re in Northern California and would like to stop by her office to purchase a signed copy of her book or chat with her, you can at 348 Cernon St, Suite A, Vacaville, CA.
I’d like to introduce you to Victoria Newman. She’s married to Brent, who works for the California Highway Patrol and together they have 4 children. She enjoys coming along side other Law Enforcement families to help them through the difficulties this line of work can sometimes bring. Today, she is sharing her story of how she came to write A CHiP on my Shoulder. Enjoy!
Worth the Wait
I had a dream.
From the time I was nine I wanted to be an author. But as life moved on, my writing became self-expressive poems; prose of things I learned as I processed the hurts and triumphs of life. Then after I married my man (Brent), I worked on a book for newlyweds called The Bride’s Guide to Wife Life. It included recipes, cleaning tips and relational advice – everything from soup to sex. I just knew it would be a success!
Brent and I had four children together. We moved around because Brent kept promoting with the California Highway Patrol. There were times when being a cop wife meant giving more than I thought I should, and at times simply exhausting. I made excuses for missing family events, frequently felt like a single parent, and explained moods away. I kept my chin up, but it was hard. I didn’t know until later that the life I led was common for police families.
Fast forward to 2005 when I took Bride’s Guide to publishers. I then struggled through a year writing, rewriting, accepting harsh criticism, and learning to write for an audience. In the end, there was no published book for newlyweds. It did, however, open up opportunities to help others write their books. This was beneficial, but not what I hoped for.
During this process, a wise friend suggested I consider writing about being a police wife. I prayed about it. The idea seemed right, and soon thereafter the title came to me: A CHiP on my Shoulder. In 2008, my husband was given the privilege of commanding the Academy. We were spending a lot of effort mentoring police families, so I thought it was time to begin writing CHiP, and planned as such.
But God had another idea.
I had been in Bible studies my entire adult life. I especially loved Precepts – and eventually became trained as a leader. I had taken the previous year off, and felt it was time to come back as a group leader. But then I learned that our Precepts program was about to disappear because our director moved on and no one was qualified to take the position.
My pastor was confident the position was mine. My husband loved the idea. I, however, threw a tantrum, crying out to God.
It meant putting my dream on hold once again for at least a year, maybe longer.
I called myself Mr. Holland. I was tired of waiting. I was weary of helping other people write their books. I wanted to write my own.
Somehow I got my emotions under control and stepped into the role of director. It wasn’t easy. I stayed on for another year. It got messy. It was hurtful. And in many ways, I failed.
But I learned tons.
I learned how to lead in difficult situations. I learned how to communicate. I learned how to teach. I learned how to deal with very difficult people. I learned to lead in spite of gossip. And I learned obedience. From God’s point of view, I was finally ready.
Somehow, in that second year of leadership, I began writing my book.
I wrote out of brokenness.
I wrote out of dependence on God – not just saying I trusted Him, but really, authentically, prayerfully writing from my heart. It just wasn’t about me anymore.
At the end of that second crazy year of Precepts, we finished the book of John. The last passage we studied was after Jesus had been resurrected and was sitting on the shore cooking dinner while the disciples were out in the boat fishing, unsuccessfully. Jesus called out to them, “Put your nets on the right side of the boat, and you will have a catch.” They obeyed, and there were so many fish their nets couldn’t hold it all.
I personally recognized this passage as the long-awaited invitation to step down from my leadership role in Precepts, and run wholeheartedly toward my dream. I saw it as an affirmation for my obedience and trust in Him.
I cried again, but this time it was different. For the first time, my dream and God’s will matched. I had struggled through two years, learning, changing, hurting, not bearing fruit like I’d hoped, even though I was led to the role. It was time to throw my net on the other side of the boat.
And did I find a catch!
By the time I finished A CHiP on my Shoulder, I had a book contract and a small group of supporters. These supporters introduced me to key players who had influence within the police community, and suddenly I had several endorsements from well-known and respected people. People believed in CHiP, and carried the message forward.
The book started selling, and I held my breath. Would it be well-received? Would wives connect with it?
All I can say is I have been blown away over and over, and it continues. I’ve been all over the United States, Canada, and the Philippines. I get letters from police families every week. Some of them say my book has saved their marriage. I partner with training companies to hold seminars on marriage for police families, and that continues to grow. Then in the midst of this, I ghost-wrote a second book about military that eventually took me to the White House. We saw full-blown miracles in the writing of that book, and it has perpetuated healing in many soldiers.
I’ve begun a third book.
These last three years have been a whirlwind that has been completely orchestrated and led by the Lord. His timing, not mine. A good lesson learned.
I had the pleasure of meeting Victoria at a Chaplains meeting in Sacramento last year and currently follow her on the world wide web. I’m excited to see how God continues to lead and direct her and her family. To find out more about Victoria or to order her book, please go to http://www.how2loveyourcop.com