Shannon here: Nonfiction author, Edie Melson shares the final installment of her real life romance, plus a chance to win a copy of her devotional: Fighting Fear: Winning the War at Home When Your Soldier Leaves for Battle. Every time you comment on any post dated Nov 7 – 11, your name goes in the drawing for Edie’s book or a copy of Rodeo Dust. Deadline: Nov 11, 11:59 pm central time. Here’s Edie:
Part Three—A Gift Beyond Price
I’d been married to my hero for almost twenty years. We were well on our way raising our three boys and I’d decided to return to my passion and my calling, writing. Before we’d had children I’d worked as a full-time technical writer, but when the kids came along I’d opted for full-time motherhood. While the boys were moving from baby to toddler to school-age, I’d done some dabbling, but nothing serious. Now, with all three in school I had time—and energy—to get back in the game.
I had no urge to go back to a corporate writing job, I wanted to enter the world of freelance and eventually move into books, specifically Christian books. God had given me so much, gifted me with so much, I really felt He wanted me to use my gift for His glory. But I knew there’d be a steep learning curve. I began attending writing conferences, joining online and local writing groups, as well as amassing a library of writing books. I also began to sell an occasional article and speak at a few women’s ministry events, but nothing that could keep up with the expenses of learning the craft of writing.
I began to feel guilty about the outlay from the family budget for what appeared to be an expensive hobby. I flirted with giving up the dream. I was discouraged and felt like maybe I’d misunderstood God’s calling.
That’s when Kirk gave me a gift I still cherish. We were out on a date night and I’d begun apologizing about even considering another writing conference. He stopped me and took my hand. “I’ve watched what God has been doing through your writing. You truly have a gift and I believe in it.”
“I would be more than happy for us to pay for you to return to college.” That grin I never could resist broke through. “That’s the way I view your writing conferences and classes. This is your college education.”
I couldn’t help it, tears began to collect in my eyes. “But what about when college is over? What if I still don’t make enough to pay for the classes and conferences? Should I give up then?”
“Of course not. Lots of careers require ongoing education. I’m in this for the long haul.” His eyes twinkled. “How about you?”
He stayed true to his word, and this month my second book this year will hit the store shelves. I still fight self doubt—I’ve discovered all writers do—but whenever they hit I remember my husband’s words and keep writing.
Edie Melson, author of Fighting Fear: Winning the War at Home When Your Soldier Leaves for Battle, has experienced the fear of sending a loved one off to war more than once. Her oldest son went from straight from high school, to Marine Corps boot camp, to Iraq, serving two tours there as an infantry Marine. Through her local Blue Star Mothers chapter, a non-profit 501(c)3, she works closely with others who struggle at home while their loved ones are deployed. She also has a website devoted to families living in the midst of deployment. (www.winningthewarathome.com).
In addition, Edie is a freelance writer and editor with over 16 years experience in the publishing industry. She’s a prolific writer, publishing over 700 articles in 2010. She also has a popular writing blog and is a frequent contributor to many others.
She’s also a social media expert. In keeping up with the leading edge of all things digital Edie has become known as one of the go-to experts on Twitter, Facebook, and social media for writers wanting to learn how to plug in. Her bestselling eBook on this subject, Social Media Marketing for Writers, is available on Kindle and Nook.
As a sought after writing instructor, her heart to help others define and reach their dreams has connected her with writers all over the country. She’s the co-director of the Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference and Southwest Christian Writers Studio, as well as a popular faculty member at numerous others. Edie is also the Assistant Acquisitions Editor for www.ChristianDevotions.us.
She’s been married to her high school sweetheart, Kirk, for thirty years. Together they’ve raised three sons and live in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains.
About the book: Saying goodbye to a loved one leaving for war is a gut-wrenching proposition. But for those left behind, their deployment marks the beginning of our battle. And yet, it is possible to find God’s peace in the midst of fear and conquer the terror that lurks in the darkness of doubt. In Fighting Fear: Winning the War at Home, parents, spouses and siblings recount their personal journey as God goes before His people during times of spiritual, physical and military warfare. Learn the secret to living a peace-filled life when a loved one leaves for battle. Fight fear; win the war at home.
Fighting Fear, Winning the War at Home brings hope and comfort to the families left behind when a loved one is deployed. — Gina Holmes, bestselling author of Crossing Oceans and Dry as Rain
“Edie Melson, author/editor, presents an honest, helpful book for those with family members serving in the military. She writes from experience and with heart, having faced the fear and anxiety that comes with having a family member overseas.” — Alton Gansky, author
“Edie gives readers a rare glimpse into the raw, intense emotions that military families go through when warriors are away serving our nation. This book will help you remember that, through the strength of Jesus Christ, you too can fight fear and win the war at home.” —Major Jeff Struecker, Retired, Black Hawk Down veteran
“Touches the heart. Nurtures the soul.”— Jack Cavanaugh, novelist