Shirley Brosius has been a friend since we met at Sandy Cove Christian Writer’s Retreat in Fall 2006. We seemed to be the only non-fiction writers there as newspaper writers and gravitated toward each other.
At that time Shirley had authored a beautiful devotional book, Sisterhood of Faith (Howard Books), 365 life-changing stories about historical and contemporary Christian women who have made a difference in the lives of others.
After the conference, our friendship continued as Shirley and I formed a Mastermind group — a daily 5-minute phone call in which we checked in with each other about our writing goals for the day. It kept us accountable and developed a close friendship.
The Mastermind continued for a year until I started working full-time. Since then, we have kept in touch by frequent email and Facebook. Shirley is a gifted speaker and I’m happy to introduce her and her newest book which she wrote with two friends:
Turning Guilt Trips into Joy Rides
(WestBow Press, a division of Thomas Nelson)
Shirley Brosius, Janine Boyer and Kim Messinger
1. Why did you write Turning Guilt Trips into Joy Rides?
Many women believe they need to be everything to everyone. Stay-at-home moms feel guilty for not earning a paycheck. Working mothers feel guilty at leaving their kids with a babysitter.
Janine, Kim and I wrestle with feelings of guilt. Kim is a teacher and Janine works in a family business. Both women have families. I am a Stonecroft Ministries leader and speak at several events each year. My extended family includes a husband, children and grandchildren. We three want to nurture everyone in our lives, but we often fail because we are so busy. Then guilt sets in and we’re unhappy.
During the time we’ve known each other, we’ve talked about our feelings and realized God does not want us to live under an umbrella of doom and gloom of guilt. We wanted to write a book that revealed ways God wants us to counteract guilt.
2. How did you three authors meet?
Janine, Kim and I met at a small group Bible Study in 1998. We led our first women’s church retreat in 2005. It felt so good that we named ourselves Friends of the Heart. Today we conduct 15 events together each year. Our website is www.friendsoftheheart.us.
3. Tell us how Turning Guilt Trips into Joy Rides is designed.
The book contains 183 devotions which are organized around the letters in ‘GRACE’ –God, Relationships, Acceptance, Challenges and Emotions.
The header of each page is “A Guilt Trip to Avoid”. The subject might be feeling like a poor role model. A personal experience story relating to that situation follows, then a scripture verse. The devotion ends with a brief upbeat “Take the Joy Ride” paragraph, which applies the scripture to life and helps women deal with guilt in a godly manner.
4. How long did it take to write the book?
We wrote the devotions from 2008 through 2011. The book was published in December 2011.
5. How did you come up with ideas for the devotions?
Any time a personal experience caught our attention, we wrote about it. For example, in summer 2011 my granddaughter Elizabeth arrived at my house to attend a local day camp. The first day she fell off her scooter and broke her arm. The doctor said she could not attend the day camp.
There was nothing I could have done about the accident and Elizabeth didn’t make me feel guilty about not going to the camp. But I still felt guilty about it. I reminded myself that God uses every experience from our lives to help us grow spiritually and prayed we would all learn something through it. David wrote about guilt in Psalm 38. When I wrote about this incident for the devotion, which I called ‘Not on My Watch’, I used this verse to reinforce that if we confess our guilt, we can trust God who holds us in his hands to keep us safe.
6. How can we purchase Turning Guilt Trips into Joy Rides?
It is available as a hard copy (soft cover) and as an E-book. We hope to sell copies during speaking engagements but will be happy to send copies via regular mail. Those interested in the book should contact me at email@example.com.
Available in softcover, ISBN 9781449732639, list price $17.99; hardback 9781449732646, list price $35.95; and e-book 9781449732622, $3.99 formats.
Also available at Amazon.com, BarnesandNoble.com or WestbowPress.com.
7. What advice would you give someone who wants to write a book?
Learn all you can, wherever you can. Go to writer’s conferences. Take local classes. Pray. And grab every opportunity to write!