Thursday, August 27, 2015

Butterflies, Godiva and Other Writerly Metamorphoses

with guest Jessica Nelson.

My chrysalis exploded.

It happened a couple of years ago. I was a content caterpillar, munching my way through life when plants grew scarce, the heat turned up, and I got really, really tired. So I made myself a comfy bed and thought I'd rest for a while...little knowing that my world was going to change forever.

Fast forward to a few weeks ago. The lovely Seekers invited me to post and of course I said YES! I mean, it's Seekerville! An educational haven for all writers in various stages of the writing journey. So I flitted over to reread my past posts here because I didn't want to write the same things over and over (knowing me, the recycled topic would involve chocolate and procrastination). 

I read what I posted over a year ago. And wow. 

I'd almost forgotten the terrible places I've passed through. When I reread this post (, happy tears pricked at my eyelids and thankfulness filled my heart.  

Because I'm far from the desert now. 

My chrysalis cracked wide open, I crawled out and even though my wings are still damp and don't happily flutter on the breeze every day, I still have a whole new perspective on my habitat. I'm seeing past those dry places and hot sands that used to surround me. When the new wings get tired, I just land on a flower or rest in the shade of a gently furling leaf.

What does the metamorphosis of some lady named Jessica Nelson have to do with writing?

Good question. Not much...but...I can share what I'm learning. 

A writer's personal life affects her writing. That's just the way it is. We are creatures of expression, art, truth telling in story form. The ripples of living sometimes shake us, sometimes drown us but sometimes, just sometimes, ripples turn into waves that buoy us higher than we expected, into strange and beautiful places.

When I broke out of that safe, comfortable chrysalis, it hurt. As the sun warmed my untried wings though, I began to wake up. Slowly, I've started daydreaming about characters like I used to. Thinking of great new story plots. Feeling excited to write.

Are you in the throes of metamorphosis? Perhaps you are in that place where you enjoy writing. Or maybe you're burned out and worry you'll never be in love with your characters again. Don't stress! Take care of yourself and when you get to a new season in the writing life, a time where you're strong and healthy, remember these few tips for metamorphosis:

1. Challenge yourself. Do you write 500 words a day? Try 600! You used to write in the morning? Try during the afternoon. Spread those wings, write a book in a different genre, soar upward. You might bump your head on a tree limb but that's okay! You're flying. :-)

2. Dive into different types of promotion and networking. Why be afraid to try something new? There's a bright world out there, waiting for an adventurer like you. The tried and true is great but it's sometimes a new life calls for different actions. If you've never participated in a Facebook party or tweeted or applied for an ad with BookBub, now's the time!

3. Moderation never hurt anyone. In all the awesomeness of trying new things, don't exhaust yourself! You don't want to tear your wings. So keep in mind that the habits you practiced to become strong, the choices you made in the past that brought you to change, are still important. Get to know who you are now and love that person. 

4. Writers should be a little wild. Then again, maybe you have some extra energy to burn off. In that case, rip through that cerulean sky. Swirl and swoop and let yourself fly free. Take some risks because you never know how they might pay off and let's face it, you're a different creature now and you can handle different situations. It's time to test your abilities.

5. Never forget the past. Whether you loved being a caterpillar or hated it, the fact is that there is much to be learned from that point in your life. Embrace those lessons and let them guide you in the future.

A metamorphosis can be a painful experience but it's also an unalterable part of life. Don't let the fear of future metamorphoses keep you from emerging from your chrysalis. 
Also, what does Godiva have to do with this article and why is it in the title? 

The answer is because Godiva is an important and necessary part of this writer's existence. And even though I'm now a colorful butterfly instead of a fuzzy caterpillar, some things should never change.

On that note, what has been the biggest life change you've experienced? Can you look back now and appreciate the person you were? What advice would you give to entering a new situation or season of life?

Share about your own metamorphoses and what you've learned, and get a chance to win Godiva and my newest release, The Matchmaker's Match. Winner announced in the Weekend Edition.

Romantic Times Book Reviews 4 1/2 Star TOP PICK!

He has three months to find a wife—or lose his estate. Spencer, Lord Ashwhite, doubts he'll find a suitable bride among the ton, until the unconventional Lady Amelia Baxley agrees to provide a list of candidates. It should be an ideal arrangement, were Spencer not growing attached to the one woman Amelia refuses to consider as a prospect: herself. 

Independence means everything to Amelia, who has been burned in love before. The charming marquis is quickly putting her entire life in turmoil, and controlling her stubborn heart has never been such a challenge. But does the ever-practical Amelia dare to go from bride-finder to wife?

*side note: my contemporary romance Forever Love will be free on Amazon from August 27-30, 2015 and The Matchmaker's Match is being given away on GoodReads starting August 24-28, 2015* Check it out here.


Jessica Nelson believes romance happens every day, and thinks the greatest, most intense romance comes from a God who woos people to himself with passionate tenderness. When Jessica is not chasing her three beautiful, wild little boys around the living room, she can be found staring into space as she plots her next story. Or she might be daydreaming about a raspberry mocha from Starbucks. Or thinking about what kind of chocolate she should have for dinner that night. She could be thinking of any number of things, really. One thing is for certain, she is blessed with a wonderful family and a lovely life.


  1. Wow Jessica, RT 4 1/2 stars, top pick. I'd said you have plenty to teach us. Congrats! I'm a bad one to try and over commit, so I especially like your moderation comment.

    Please enter me in the drawing and since I know Helen will bring the coffee I brought the juice.

  2. HI Jessica,
    Congrats on your new title and RT stars! Happy to see you're doing so great.

    Thanks for the thoughtful post. I have a lot of thinking and praying ahead. Will see what path God takes me down in the next few months. Grateful for as far as I've come already.

  3. Congratulations Jessica on your new title and being RT's Top Pick. Such an amazing endorsement!

  4. I am usually quite a content caterpillar. Loved the post thank you.

    A big congratulations.

    Count me in thank you.

  5. Congratulations on your new book Jessica! I really like the cover!.

    I think staying in one's cocoon can feel safe an familiar but in order to change and grow we do need to climb out of it and spread our wings. Thank you for your post.

    I would love to be entered into your giveaway! Thank you!

    Smiles & Blessings,
    Cindy W.

  6. Thank you, Terri!!! :-) Yum, juice. What kind?

    Hi Lyndee, God does take us down some winding paths but thankfulness seems to make a huge difference. Thanks for the congrats. :-)

    Thanks Kara!! I was pretty amazed. *grinning and blushing*

  7. Mary, lol, I loved being a caterpillar. :-) You're in! Thanks for the congrats.

    Cindy, so true. Smiles and blessings back to you!

  8. Jessica, I loved your butterfly analogy. You have encouraged me in many ways. Please enter me for your matchmaker book. It looks like a fun read. Have a great day!

    1. Thank you Bettie! I'm glad the post touched you.

  9. Making the decision to withdraw from the Honors Program in undergrad was something I ended up in tears over (grades obsessed/overachieving oldest child that I was/am) --but God sent me a friend and our conversation on the way home gave me perspective. Of course, I wish I was able to finish, but it enabled me to take some amazing classes and meet some wonderful instructors (who had great impact on my future) I wouldn't have otherwise.

    1. It's amazing what a great conversation can do. I'm so glad things worked out for you!

  10. Congratulations, Jessica!! :-)

    Good post, and I love the cover——glad you're moving forward!

    1. Thanks Mary!! I absolutely adore the cover too.

  11. Beautifully written post! And congrats on that 4.5 star and TOP PICK!

    Big life changes... I've dropped out of grad school, changed countries, had babies (six!), quit my job as a librarian and decided to write a book. Not sure which of those would be the biggest life change... maybe my first child? I was COMPLETELY unprepared. LOL. Maybe it was the colic. Maybe it was the fact she was so tiny. I just remember asking the nurse to come home with me. :D

    I read your post twice. You have a gift with words. Carry on!

    1. Oh my goodness!!! lol You are cracking me up! I was the same with my first. So clueless. Sigh. And some days I still feel clueless. lol

  12. P.S. Can I just say I love how the comment section says "Choose an identity" instead of "sign in".

    I'll be Batman, thanks.

  13. Welcome, Jessica. What do butterflies eat? Well it's croissants this am! And perhaps chocolate ones! Great to have you with us again.

    CONGRATULATIONS, you slacker!! 4 1/2 TOP PICK from RT. Were you sit down blown away! What an honor.

    So what's next for you??

    1. And I'm honored to be here. Chocolate croissants for sure. ;-) I was totally blown away. Still am!!
      What's next...ahem...something. lol

  14. And look, Batman is here too. Welcome VIRGINNY!

    I'll be Supergirl.

  15. Ha! I've had so many reinventions that my chrysalis is worn out. But life sure is interesting. Never boring.

  16. Jessica, Thank you for letting us know about your free book. It is now on my Kindle.

    Right now I am in a stage where it is difficult to write because of health issues. Yet in the mean time I am continuing to read as I am able including craft books so I will be ready to move forward when I am able to write again.

    I am waiting now on a call from the nurse as to when I can get in to see the doctor today. I am so tired of the extreme headache and earache pain and finishing up a 2nd round of antibiotics. In addition I have bronchitis. I was thinking earlier this week that perhaps if I could drill a hole in my head to let all this pressure drain but then I might also loose important brain matter. I have learned through the many seasons of change in my life that the Lord is so faithful and is always with us even in the rough seasons.

    I will update later today as to what the doctor says. I am so grateful for Seekerville. Please enter me in the drawing.

    1. Wilani, I'm so sorry about your health challenges! I'm praying for you right now. It sounds like you have an amazing attitude that will take you far in writing. :-) Thanks for downloading my book! I hope you enjoy it!

  17. Congratulations on the 4 1/2 stars top pick from RT!!

    My most recent life changing moment was more of a life changing weekend. It all started this time last week as I prepared to attend my first writing conference/workshop The Writers' Police Academy. I stepped outside my comfort zone and flew (by myself for the very first time) to Wisconsin. I met Tina and Debby, as well as other writers I've admired from afar for years. Actually, I think I scared Tina. She was standing in line to sign in, and when she turned around and I recognized her, I squealed her name. I guess I still need to learn how to tone-down my exuberant personality when I'm at conference.

    So, besides crime scene knowledge and a greater appreciation for law enforcement and investigators, what was the number one thing I took away from WPA? The knowledge that I can step outside my comfort zone (aka my tiny home town) and take the steps necessary to reach my dream of becoming a publish author.

    1. That is too funny!! I bet Tina doesn't scare too easily though. :-) I was so jealous of all the police academy pics on Facebook. What a cool thing to go to!

  18. This is brilliant.

    Brilliant, I say, and I never say that. Clearly I mean it, brat, and I love that 4 1/2 Stars and TOP PICK!!!!

    KUDOS and brilliance. Jess, this is your day!

  19. I'm feeling an Austen urge, so just call me Jane....

    And I brought tea and scones, with custard and clotted cream.

    Of course.

  20. Jessica, your post is as lovely and encouraging as you are! Thanks for the reminder that when life brings challenges we can either fold our wings or reach for the sky. And you girl are flying high! Congrats on that RT review! 4 1/2 Stars is an accomplishment, but Top Pick? That's extraordinary!!! Can't wait to read The Matchmaker's Match!


    1. Thank you Janet!! The funny thing is that I wrote it the lowest part in my life. It was a real struggle to churn out the wordage on this book but I'm so glad I did.

  21. Ruthy, scones with custard and clotted cream--be still my heart! You know how to serve up breakfast!


  22. Wilani, so sorry you're sick! And antibiotics aren't clearing it up. Praying for that doctor visit. You may need a steroid nasal spray.

    Hugs, Janet

  23. Congratulation on the fantastic review from RT, Jessica! What a thrill that must have been. Stepping outside of our comfort zone and spreading our wings, can be scary, but oh...sometimes the payoff is so sweet. Beautiful cover!

    1. Thank you Jill! Yes, I really love my
      Cover too!! :-)

  24. Jessica, I LOVE your metaphor of the butterfly to describe those times in our life when nothing seems to be happening. We feel dry, and it's a dark place.

    I've been through my own metamorphosis. As most Seekers know I was a successful, published author 20 years ago, and then crossed my own desert of doubt. After retiring as a book editor, I thought I'd never write again, but my crysalis broke open at the first of the year. I've finished a 95,000-word historical romance, but no one's picked it up yet. I'm considering whether to shorten it by 20,000 words and have my agent submit it to Love Inspired.

    That's the great thing about waiting on God as a writer. Sooner or later, He always provides a meadow for us to soar as butterflies, even if it's not in our timing. I'd love a copy of your book to review!

    1. I don't think I realized that! Wow!! Huge congrats on finishing your story. I'm excited for you and I love the image of a meadow. Flowers...:-)

  25. Jessica, wonderful post and congratulations on your 41/2 stars!!!

    My biggest life change came 5 months ago when my husband died after a 2 year battle with pancreatic cancer. Everything in my life changed and it'll take a long time to adjust. But no matter what happens to any of us we have to adjust to the present reality. For one thing, I needed to downsize from a large size house to a small one. Moving was hard and tiring, but I've done it and I think it'll help me to get a new start on life. Mainly, I see how fragile life is and how important it is to seize opportunities when they come along. Don't put off what you really want to do and assume you have a long time ahead of you.

  26. And a big congrats, Jessica, on the 4-1/2 stars and Top Pick from RT!! Whoo-hoo!! Amazing. :)

    RUTHY, you're a lifesaver. A blueberry scone with clotted cream and some Earl Grey tea with more cream, please. Even the thought has me thinking in a British accent.

  27. I started to comment last night but don't see it! That shows how easily distracted I am. LOL

    We're so glad to have you back with us, Jessica. Such a great post on making it through those dry times. (I went back and read your old post as well.) I'm so glad you've blossomed into your true writing self! I've had some tough times myself but feel like I'm rolling along again.

    Are you still working part-time outside your writing?

  28. Congrats! I guess I prefer to stay a caterpillar :) I did come out of my cocoon when I was machine quilting for friends. I really like reading & reviewing because I can do it all from my home :)
    Toss me into the draw, I'd enjoy reading your book!

  29. Rhonda, I'm so excited for you stepping out of your comfort zone!! And don't worry about scaring Tina. I do that to her all the time when I see her so she's not jumpy anymore. LOL

  30. I loved reading this post, Jessica, and where you are now. You're right, we shouldn't forget who we were in the dark times, or the lessons we learned. I love your suggestions on learning to fly. So good, for writing and for life. Congratulations on all that you've been able to do—and two books to share? Yayay!

    I want to be a butterfly. I feel like I'm in the chrysalis right now. I don't exactly like being here, but it's where God has me. My lesson to learn: Contentment with God's timing. I seem to ebb and flow in my acceptance of it. :)

    Please do put me in the drawing.

  31. Virginia, I remember that feeling of wanting the nurse to come home with me after my first baby too! I was terrified he wouldn't survive in my hands. LOL

  32. Wilani, I'm so sorry you're sick! Please let us know what the doctor says. I hope they can see you today.

  33. AWESOME, awesome post!!!!!!! Saving this to chew on some more later. Lots of good brain think fodder to ponder.

    Thank you for sharing it with Seekerville and huge congrats on the 4 1/2 star top pick too. *yayyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy...*

    Went and downloaded those freebies you've generously provided. Must wait to get home to my Kindle though...*heavy sigh*

    I'm choosing Toothless as my id today. I'm in need of training (and he's such a cute dragon...)

  34. Jen/Artist Librarian, I can relate to being the oldest child overachiever. :) I'm glad you made the decision that was best for you. But I can only imagine how difficult that was.

  35. Congratulations, Jessica!

    Thanks for sharing your encouraging story. I'd love to have my name in the drawing.

    Tough times? The past seven days have been tough. It's been a challenging summer both physically and emotionally. But I keep leaning on God and trust He has a plan for my writing.

    Batman? I have loved Batman since I was a little girl. And I've seen all the movies. Even the sad one with Heath Ledger as Joker.

    I used to want to be Batgirl.

    Tina, you're right. Life is interesting!

    Have a great day!

  36. Jeanne, amen to that (waiting for God's timing). It's not easy!

  37. Big congrats on your RT top pick - Well deserved!!

  38. Hi Jessica:

    You wrote:

    "The lovely Seekers invited me to post and of course I said YES! "

    That sentence woke me up for sure this morning! I immediately wanted to know exactly which Seekers are the lovely ones!

    This seemed funny to me because Seekerville has been discussing 'crystal clear' writing of late.

    Then your topic today was almost psychic. Sunday, while at a water therapy session, I met a new member, my age, and she started talking about metamorphosis. I thought she was talking about person change or transformation. However our conversation was not making much sense. Finally she asked me if I'd read it. I said, "read what"? Had she mentioned a self-help book and I didn't hear it?

    "The 'Metamorphosis' isn't that what we are talking about?"

    "Oh, I thought you were talking about person change."

    "How funny,"
    she said.

    Then we started talking about the book and our conversation still wasn't making much sense.

    Finally I asked her, "Are you talking about Kafka's 'Metamorphsis?"

    "No, I'm talking about the real one, Ovid's 'Metamorphses'."

    So I said, "we just met but we miscommunicate so well people will think we're married."

    I can't wait to see her next week!

    Even more amazing today, just as I was writing these very words, the phone rang and it was my daily VA MOVE! Motivational call. The talk began with: "What will you change today!".

    This is stranger that fiction. I didn't make any of this up!

    Now, about metamorphsis: I suggest writers view their lives as framed in variety of very different POVs. This can work wonders. This can let you try out many different metamorphoses without the discomfort. (It also helps to be a plotter.)

    For example: my old boss, the creative director, would sometimes suggest changes in approach that I was 100% opposed to doing.

    "It just won't work," I'd tell him.

    He would always tell me, and I hated it each time he did it, "Well pretend this is your idea and you really want to make it work. What would you come up with then?"

    Of course, my traitorous mind would go into high gear, against my will, and come up with some really good ideas to make the boss's stupid idea work!

    Then he would always say, "Good, try those ideas for a start. I know you can do it."

    Sometimes the best way to think of creative ideas is when you are trying not to think of creative ideas! Life can happen when you are not looking.

    I already have your, "Forever Love," on my Kindle. Please include me in the drawing for "The Matchmaker's Match". (I assume this story is not about the first modern, self-igniting match which was invented in 1805 by Jean Chancel*.") :).


    *If the book is about Jean Chancel, I'd sill like to read it.

  39. Jessica, it's great to have you as our guest today, and so much wisdom here! Life is all about change, so we don't do ourselves any favors by holding on to something when it's time to let it go and move on.

    I can't even begin to name the most significant change in my life. Marriage, kids, moving several times for my husband's job transfers . . . and definitely moving off Unpubbed Island!

    Okay, maybe the biggest change I had to adapt to was my husband's retirement and having him underfoot all day long. THAT was an adjustment and a half!!!! At least over the years he's learned to keep himself busy with projects and now substitute teaching occasionally. Um, too much togetherness isn't always a good thing. ;-D

  40. Lovely post, Jessica. Thank you for sharing your heart with us, and I'm so glad things are going better for you now.
    Congrats on your latest release!! Such a beautiful cover.
    Enjoy your three boys - - kiddos grow much too quickly.
    Hugs from Georgia, Patti Jo :)

  41. Vince, I'm laughing at the changes and opportunities to change! God is good!

    Change builds us. Change forges us. Iron must be changed to become stainless steel.

    Change forces us to choose. We are pushed out of the ordinary with a chance at the extraordinary.

    None of that works without change.

    Of course I am a woman who wore her hair the same way for nearly 30 years, so what do I know????

  42. Morning Jessica, Welcome to Seekerville and thanks for joining us again. I really like your post. It is amazing when we look back isn't it? We csn so see God's hand when we really look.

    I've had so many changes it would take a book. Oh wait, maybe I should write a book. LOL

    Thanks for the free books too. Always fun to get those for a rainy day.

  43. Vince, how funny about your and your new friend communicating like spouses!!! :) :)

  44. Jessica, I learned not to be afraid to just ask for help a long time ago, but it had nothing to do with writing. (Although it carried over to my writing.)

    I was shy and too embarrassed to ask people questions. So 10-15 years ago, I went to my first cattle auction to buy baby dairy calves. As a kid, my dad took my brother to the auction, but never me--even though I asked to go. So with 4 little kids at my side I went to the cattle auction where all these farmers and ranchers gathered. I sat by an older man and tried to ask him how the bidding worked, but he seemed very annoyed. So I finally got up the courage to go downstairs and talk to the lady who did the paperwork. "I'm sorry, but this is my first time here," I laugh nervously. "How does this work?" And then she politely explained it to me. Wow! That wasn't so hard! And she was nice.

    I still didn't understand the auctioneer or the fact that the babies were priced by the head and the cattle were by the pound. I bought 2-3 calves that day and didn't know what I bid until I paid my bill. But hey, I figured it out.

    Point is, that day helped me get over my embarrassment of asking questions and approaching people. No one was there to do it for me. If I met my-most-sough-after editor today, I'd still be afraid I was making a fool of myself, but I would approach her and do it w/my head held high.

  45. I feel like you wrote this to me ;-} At my critique group last night there was a conversation about my WIP and suddenly the clouds parted and my vision cleared and I finally understood what direction God wants me to take my writing!! He rocks (as do Maggie, Kim and Patrice)!!!!


  46. Good afternoon, Jessica! Lovely post today! I love that you said writers need to be a little bit wild. Since I took up writing again...seriously this time...I've found myself wanting to try so many new things, just for the experience. It's amazing what expressing yourself and following God's will, whether that means publication or not, can do for one's courage.

  47. Jessica, this was the post for me today! Well, and your post from 2014 which I just finished reading before posting a comment. Thank you for both. I feel like I am in the biggest funk of my life, but I realize now that it is just one of many and on the other side is always something brighter.

    I have gone through many changes (from child birth to moving across the country and beyond) and right now it is all about waiting for a big one. I have been working at a Christian radio station for 8 years. It has been sold to a MAJOR network and will be eaten up in the process. I am glad that our town still will have lovely Christian music still, but will miss the outreach, the community involvement we've had, and well..MY JOB! :) I am trying not to focus on the end, but each day as they come. Not easy.

    I think your post is just what I needed (not to mention I loved Vinces POV idea). I am going to regroup and move forward. First will be to get back to writing. This change and the fact that I've had it over my head for over six months has starved my writing. Thanks for the boost.

    OH! Congratulations too on your newest book! I would love the chance to win that...and much needed Godiva. Thanks for the free ebook as well! I'm going to crack into, it as well as you can digitally crack into anything, at lunch!

  48. Who exactly is unknown? Come on. Fess up!

  49. Jessica, your blog was/is so lovely! And great food for thought. I've caught myself testing my wings at times. When the wind is right, I can soar. Then at other times, I come down to earth, and wonder if I'll ever fly again. Life...and especially the writing life...takes courage and determination, as you've expressed in your beautiful prose today. Sounds as if the sun is shining and you're in a good place, which makes me happy!

    I fondly remember meeting you at the RWA book signing in Florida. Oh happy day!!!

    Love, love, love the cover and blurb of your newest release. A 4 1/2 star review from RT! You go, girl! Congrats!

  50. Waving to Rhonda!

    So glad we could share the WPA weekend together. Weren't those SWAT Team guys the greatest? God bless them all.

  51. The doctor said the asthma attack I had a month ago triggered the sinus infection that then triggered the ear infections and bronchitis. I am now on several new medications some will be long term including a nasal spray. Hopefully this will help me to feel better quickly. Thanks for the concern and prayers.

  52. Good news, Wilani. Hope all the meds help and fast!


  53. WILANI, so sorry about all the health issues! Praying all the new meds help quickly!

  54. Wilani, I'm glad you got answers! I hope you feel better quickly.

  55. Wilani, I'm praying the new medications work quickly!

    Debby, I'm waving back at you!! I could have stayed in the SWAT class for hours!! Wouldn't have minded on bit. They were cute and smart!!

  56. I'm with you on that SWAT team, and they were all Christians.

    (Love that new profile picture, Rhonda!)

  57. I didn't even see our buddy Kara Isaac's peek in there from New Zealand!! Waving to her!!!

  58. Jessica, Thank you so much for sharing your story of metamorphosis. As with anything in life, sometimes the road we know is safer and easier than the off-ramp. For the past month, I've been adapting to getting used to writing while my children are in school. At first I set an easier word count goal for the week, and I've adjusted it upward to try to use my writing time more wisely.

    I love your point about getting to know yourself. To thine own self be true. My husband always says it's knowing how you like your eggs (I said that once and someone told me it was from a movie, but I've forgotten which one).

    For those entering a new phase of life, enjoy it. If nothing else, ask for advice. As a mother of twins, I asked for a lot of advice, and the six weeks following my twins' birth were very difficult physically, but with a lot of prayer, I made it through.

    Loved the post and the tips on recognizing the need to change and living it. Thanks.

  59. Hi Jessica,

    I read this post what feels like weeks ago (just a really long day) but never got back to comment until now.

    Thank you for sharing your beautiful story. I think the one thing that is most helpful to people going through a bad time is knowing that there is hope that it won't always be that way.

    I remember going through a particularly tough time years ago. My husband had the television on in another room and I heard some comedian talking about the depression he had suffered through. What caught my ear was that he was talking about it from the other side. He was looking back on how he had been feeling. I still remember the strength I took from that, the sense that, Wow, someday, I too can be on the other side looking back at this time. I've clung to that thought whenever things got tough.

    Kudos to you for working your way through and emerging in your whole, beautiful spirit.

    And congrats again on the TP and 4 1/2 stars.

  60. Wilani, I'm so glad you got new meds. Hope they help!

    "Unknown" I pray for you at this difficult time. I hope there are unexpected blessings coming your way.

  61. I read this about 18 hours ago, sitting in the emergency room with my son (as I discovered that it is possible for teenagers to get heartburn). Now getting back to it again as I've been looking after him most of the day. (He seems better now.) My writing goals for today were totally blown. :-)

  62. Jessica,
    Lovely post for a lovely lady! I grabbed a copy of your free book!
    Your upcoming LIH looks wonderful, too!

    CARA LYN, I'm so sorry about your husband's passing. I somehow missed this. You have been through an incredible change in your life, and I pray you can turn the bad into something good.

  63. Meghan, YES, we should write for the experience and the pleasure too. :-) Sometimes we lose site of that.

    Unknown, that is definitely a huge change! I hope it all works out for you and that something beautiful happens. :-)

    Thanks Debbie! I have enjoyed meeting you too. :-)

  64. Cara Lynn, I had no idea of the sadness you went through. I'm so very sorry for your loss.

  65. Okay, when I commented on my phone, it made me think I was replying directly to a commenter but now I see just a long list of my comments! lol Sorry everyone!!

  66. Thanks Sherri!

    Vince, too funny. :-) I hope your next meeting with her is equally exciting. And that's kind of interesting how a theme seems to touch several people in different places at the same time.

    Mary, kudos to you also for getting through that time. It's hard but so important to see that hard times are just one part of the journey.

  67. Cara Lynn, I didn't know that either. I'm so very sorry. Hugs!

    Tanya, YIKES!!! Twins? *gulp* My hat is off to you. lol

    Stephanie, those aha moments are the best! :-)

  68. Congratulations ! I guess you could say my metamorphisis came about when I no longer had to change diapers every day. Yep, with 12 children diaper changing was a daily thing for over 20 years. My youngest is 4 and a real breeze compared to some of the others. Now with all in school or done with school except for the youngest I have more time for myself so my workload is not as much and I have more time for reading. I am so excited about the Love Inspired line and would love to read yur book.

    Deanne Patterson
    Cnnamongirl at aol dot com

  69. OOOPS Tina! "Unknown was me." I was logged into my office email and apparently that doesn't work out right when you are typing comments. I'm the one whose job will soon be at an end. But God has gotten me through worse.

  70. I loved your post. It seems like I am always in the middle of change of and changing. I would love to read your book.

    Thanks for the chance.