What Lies Do You Believe? and more


What Lies Do You Believe?

truth lies single woman lies

Have you ever given much thought about the power that lies have in your life?

Maybe it’s that persistent thought that, “I’m just not good enough.” Or what about the idea that surely God’s forgotten about you or that your past can’t be forgiven.

Sometimes the lies become so loud and so frequent that we start to actually believe them. That’s when we must offset lies by turning to God’s Word for truth. It’s this battle that is the subject of a new book by my friend, Allison Flexer.

Truth, Lies, and the Single Woman (Beacon Hill Press) is targeted at Christian women who long to be married and have children but who remain single.

I know I’m an unlikely reader for Allison’s book, but I wanted to read it because she’s a dear friend, a sincere and devoted woman of faith, and super-smart. I knew it would be a good read, even if most of it was not “on point” for me (I’ve been married since I was 24—19 years—and have 3 kids).

So, I opened the book on my Kindle as I was going to bed the other evening. Honestly, I thought, “It’s late. I’ll just skim this, get the gist, and take away the highlights. I really need to go to bed.”

But guess what? I couldn’t put it down! I’d conclude one chapter and flip the page, only to be sucked in again. Allison’s writing is so thorough and compelling. She writes from a solidly biblical perspective, offering a real feast of God’s truth, goodness, and encouragement. The best part is that no matter where you find yourself on the relationship spectrum—single, married, engaged, widowed, divorced—you can relate to Allison’s story. I firmly believe this book will resonate with everyone in some significant and meaningful way.

SingleTruthBanner

Allison graciously agreed to spend a few minutes answering my questions about the book and the writing process.

I hope you enjoy learning more about this book and getting to know Allison.

Q&A With Author Allison Flexer Allison

Allison K. Flexer is an author, speaker, and blogger who is passionate about communicating the love of God to others. Her first book, Truth, Lies, and the Single Woman (Beacon Hill Press), tells the story of her single journey and gives practical steps for letting go of the lies that destroy the joy and confidence of unmarried women. Allison was also a contributing writer for Fulfilled: The NIV Devotional Bible for the Single Woman. You can connect with Allison on her website at www.allisonflexer.com or on Twitter: @allisonkflex.

Q1. I suppose you could have gone in a hundred different directions with a book about being a single Christian woman, but I really appreciate your taking the lie/truth approach. Why did you feel compelled to write from this perspective? 

Actually, I didn’t start out writing from that perspective. In the early stages of this project, I started writing a book about advice that women of the Bible might give to single women today. As I wrote, God kept bringing up the topic of lies versus truth in my own life. At the time, I struggled with my singleness and found it hard to hold onto hope. I had a good friend who challenged me to figure out areas where I believed lies instead of truth. As I worked on this in my own life, God brought healing as I rejected lies and accepted his truth.

It became clear to me that God wanted me to write a book about my single journey with the truth/lies approach. It wasn’t an easy process for me. Since I was dealing with a lot of these lies in my own life, it took me almost four years (on and off) to finish the book. Many times, I had to set it aside for long periods of time. During one of those breaks, I became convinced that all of the writing was just for my own healing. I was okay with that, but God had different plans for it!

Q2. Tell us the story of how the book came to be published.

In 2013, I was engaged and planning my wedding. I hadn’t pursued publication for the book in quite some time. It was mostly complete, but I had been rejected by many publishing houses and thought it wasn’t God’s plan for the book to be published.

Out of the blue, I received a call from Beacon Hill Press of Kansas City. They had been interested in the book years before, but nothing came of it. A new editor found my old proposal and called me about it. I sent her the manuscript to read. In August 2013, I was in the middle of my “trial run” with a stylist for my wedding hair and makeup. The editor called me and said, “We want to publish your book. I’m sending you a contract.”

After all that time, I couldn’t believe my ears. I was overwhelmed with the beauty of God’s plan. I got married and signed a book contract in the same year. So many answers to prayer in such a short time!

Q3. What do you believe is the most damaging lie that single Christian women believe and how does that affect them? 

It’s hard to choose the most damaging lie because I believe everyone is different. The enemy might attack me in the area of self-image while he may choose another vulnerable spot to attack you. The ten lies I chose were ones I personally experienced and saw most often when speaking to other single women.

To answer your question, though, I believe the lies about our sense of value or self-worth affect almost every other area of our lives and are critical to understand. The first half of the book mainly addresses these lies that impact our relationship with God. The truth about our identity in Christ—we are accepted, love, valuable beyond measure—combats these lies. Once we know we’re fully loved and accepted by Christ, we can better counteract some of the other issues, like the temptation to settle or believing something is wrong with us.

Q4. I have to ask a writing question because I love to talk with authors about the writing process. Specifically when writing Christian nonfiction, I find it challenging to write about something with which I struggle. It’s probably Satan attacking me so that I’m less effective for God’s work, but I feel that I have little to no authority to “help” others if I myself haven’t triumphed over those obstacles in my life.

Did you deal with these feelings during the writing process? If so, how? If not, why not? What advice would you give to other aspiring writers—particularly of Christian nonfiction—as they struggle with answering God’s call to write but also wrestle through their own sin and shortcomings on the very topic about which they write?

Absolutely! This is such a great question. I struggled with everything you mentioned here during the writing process. At the beginning, I kept telling God I couldn’t write a book. I’ve never heard God audibly, but every time I prayed, “I can’t” what popped into my mind was God saying, “You can’t, but I can do it through you.” One of the things that kept me moving forward was the idea that my single journey had a purpose. I found purpose in sharing what I had learned and communicating God’s love with others.

You also mentioned Satan’s attacks in your question. I didn’t recognize it as a spiritual attack at first, but every time I started focusing on the book, I became anxious and depressed. When that happened, I would stop writing. I finally realized it was a spiritual attack, which I believe was so strong because of my topic about lies and truth. I don’t mention that to scare anyone away from writing but only to encourage you to be covered in prayer and rely on Jesus during the process.

Finally, I encourage writers to definitely write about areas where they wrestle the most. People want to relate with you and come alongside you on your journey. I prefer to read books written by people who admit they don’t have it all figured out instead of those claiming they’ve conquered all their issues. From blogging, I know that the posts I cringe about as I hit “publish” are the ones that get the most positive response.

Allison, thank you so much for taking the time to chat!

Readers, get your copy of Truth, Lies, and the Single Woman now.  If you’d like to try to WIN a book, Beacon Hill Press is giving away 10 copies of Truth, Lies, and the Single Woman on GoodReads. Click here to enter to win.

SingleTruth_chosen2

This post features affiliate links. Should you make a purchase using my link, I will receive a small commission in exchange for my referral.

What Lies Do You Believe? is a post from: Mary Bernard

    

Waiting for Empty Laundry Baskets

Waiting for Empty Laundry BasketsDoing laundry drives me a little bit crazy.

Tell me you get this. I mean, we wash, we wear, we wash, we wear. Over. And over. And over again.

The monotony of household chores, in general, bores me to tears. More than once, I’ve raised my hands to God to say, “Why? Why the same thing over and over?”

My family members, especially, are not good stewards of their dirty laundry. They do not alert me to stubborn stains. They do not separate whites and colors as they stack dirty clothes in piles. My daughter often wears layers and pulls everything off at once, leaving me a tangled mess to unravel at the washer—socks and inside-out pants, underwear, tanks, and tees. And my husband rolls up all his dirty clothes at once into a ball. I have often found a surprise black sock in a load of whites because it was tucked into an undershirt.

So, there I stand at the washer. Treating stains and unfolding pants legs. Plucking out socks where they don’t belong.

All the time and most everyday.


With each garment I untangle, clean, and fold, I’m bringing in the kingdom.
Click To Tweet


Today, as I did the same—turning Saturday’s softball pants inside out and extracting wadded-up socks from the cuffs—it occurred to me just how godly this act is. I so often struggle to find significance in the routine of everyday, that I was thrilled for this glimpse into my greater purpose.

Doing Laundry Is Doing Kingdom Work

With each garment I untangle, clean, and fold, I’m bringing in the kingdom. I’m making things right. I’m cleaning the dirt away. I’m restoring order to chaos. I’m re-aligning the seams and folding at the creases and smoothing the wrinkles.

As we work in this creation to impose order and beauty and truth on an otherwise broken world, we reflect the image of Christ. We push a little more of Jesus into the darkest and dirtiest recesses.

And we do it everyday. With laundry and dishwashers and diapers. All the time. Over and over again. Why?

Because God’s love and grace is inexhaustible.

And because we do not labor in vain.

We have assured hope that God is making all things new. Our dirty clothes (both literally and figuratively) will one day be totally redeemed. Filthy rags will become robes of pristine glory.

And our dirty laundry baskets will be forever empty.

Photo Credit: Biblioteca de Arte-Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian via Compfight cc

Disclosure: I am not a medical doctor. Any statements made on this blog about essential oil use are not meant to treat, diagnose, or cure any condition. My statements about essential oils are my opinion and are based upon my own experiences and research.

I occasionally feature affiliate links in my blog posts. Should you follow my link and make a purchase or join a membership website, I will be compensated for my referral.

Waiting for Empty Laundry Baskets is a post from: Mary Bernard

    

The Beauty of the Butterfly

butterfly

Disclosure: I am not a medical doctor. Any statements made on this blog about essential oil use are not meant to treat, diagnose, or cure any condition. My statements about essential oils are my opinion and are based upon my own experiences and research.

I occasionally feature affiliate links in my blog posts. Should you follow my link and make a purchase or join a membership website, I will be compensated for my referral.

The Beauty of the Butterfly is a post from: Mary Bernard

    

Guest Post Today at Blonde Mom Blog

Blonde Mom Blog guest post | 5 Easy Changes to a Better You

I’m thrilled to let you know that I have a guest post today at Blonde Mom Blog! Jamie is a longtime friend of mine and now a colleague as we’ve worked together for a couple of years.

I love her blog, her wit, and her writing. If you’ve not checked out Blonde Mom Blog, you must!

And while you’re there, check out my post, too, in her 15 Minutes to Fabulous summer series (intro below):

5 Easy Changes for a Better You

You’ve probably heard the old adage, “How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.” No matter what’s going on, what task you’re facing, or for which goals you are reaching, you must take baby steps to get there.

Little bites of elephant one at a time.

That’s why I love the idea of 15 minutes to becoming fabulous. Those 15 minutes here and there add up. You start nibbling at the elephant and before you know it, you’ve cleaned your plate!

And so, I’m challenging you with these small bites you can take today, this week, or this weekend for all-around life improvement. Generally, they are so easy to incorporate into your routine that you’ll probably find they become healthy habits before you know it.

Read the entire blog post here.

Disclosure: I am not a medical doctor. Any statements made on this blog about essential oil use are not meant to treat, diagnose, or cure any condition. My statements about essential oils are my opinion and are based upon my own experiences and research.

I occasionally feature affiliate links in my blog posts. Should you follow my link and make a purchase or join a membership website, I will be compensated for my referral.

Guest Post Today at Blonde Mom Blog is a post from: Mary Bernard

    

What I Learned While Mowing the Yard

What I Learned While Mowing the Yard - 4 principles for reaching goals

A few weeks ago, I decided to surprise my husband when he came home from work.

No, no. It was nothing romantic and didn’t even involve his favorite meal.

What brings a smile to my man’s face and a “Wow, honey!” to his lips?

Our yard—freshly cut.

That’s right. I mowed the yard.

Now, I’m no stranger to mowing the yard. I grew up on a farm where our yard was three huge grassy areas. I have mowed my share of yards. I have logged my time on mowers—both riding and push.

But it’s been oh, several years now that I’ve done yard work. And it’s sort of an understatement to say that I’m out of shape.

These realities did nothing, however, to quell my zest for getting work done! For surprising my hubby! For feeling productive!

The first half hour of mowing the yard in the 90 degree heat was riddled with pain and misery. I clobbered my ankle as I was retrieving the mower from its storage place. I pushed and pulled and heaved the mower through the backyard grass. Sweat poured down my forehead and started to sting my eyes. The mower died once. Twice. Three times. Oh, my goodness, what is wrong with this machine?

And then the world almost started spinning as my arms, legs, and back were aching from the unfamiliar twists and turns.

I turned off the mower and walked as quickly as possible into the house, afraid that I may pass out before I got inside. My heart was pounding in my ears, I was breathless, and hot and sweaty. I collapsed on the bed with a giant cup of ice water.

And I lay there guzzling water, wiping my brow, and breathing deeply. I know I’ve been out there for like an hour, I thought.

Uh, no. It had been all of 20 minutes.

So, I lay there and wondered what to do.

Quit? Yea, I should quit. But I didn’t feel like giving up just yet.

OK. I can at least finish the back yard. And I’ll rest here until I believe I’m ready.

Hey. I’ve got all day.

And so, the rest of the mowing went like that. Several rest and water breaks. As I worked, I set small goals for myself: I’ll finish this little patch and then I’ll rest. I thought of my 75 year-old neighbor who mows and landscapes several times a week. No way, I’m letting that old man beat me! I’ve got a master’s degree! I’ve birthed three children! I’ve survived post-partum depression! I can mow this yard!

I worked little by little, taking it slowly and pushing through the obstacles. I got sore arms, tired legs, and nasty blisters on my fingers. The heat was brutal, and I was soaking wet. The mower would die and I would revive it. Or I’d let it rest and come back later.

I discovered that early on I hadn’t been using the self-propelled feature (no wonder I was struggling), but once I learned my tool, the work became easier.

Oh, I even lost my sunglasses. But that didn’t deter me, either. I found an old hat and carried on.

And guess what?

I finished the yard!

And it was beautiful and my husband was surprised and pleased.

As I was thinking on this day, I realized that my lawn mowing experience is no different than any other goal we set:

  1. Obstacles will stand in our way of finishing what we start. Sometimes, you may need to rest, recalibrate,  or recharge. With a new perspective and renewed energy, confront them head on.
  2. You only fail if you quit. As long as you’re moving forward, you’re making progress. Every little bit contributes to the larger goal. Keep going. Take as long as you need.
  3. The more you work at your goal, the more you’ll learn about the tools with which you are working and the better you’ll become at using them. You’ll learn how to compensate and improvise when something goes wrong, doesn’t turn out as you expect, or distracts you from the task at hand.
  4. If a 75-year-old man can do it, so can you! You’re probably not the first to tackle what you’re after and you probably won’t be the last. In a real sense, it’s not rocket science. Others have blazed the trail. Learn from them, use them for motivation, and follow in their footsteps.

I’m not sure when I’ll be mowing the yard again. But I do know that I can do it.

And I know that it’s a great motivator for accomplishing other goals, too.

Photo Credit: GmanViz via Compfight cc

Disclosure: I am not a medical doctor. Any statements made on this blog about essential oil use are not meant to treat, diagnose, or cure any condition. My statements about essential oils are my opinion and are based upon my own experiences and research.

I occasionally feature affiliate links in my blog posts. Should you follow my link and make a purchase or join a membership website, I will be compensated for my referral.

What I Learned While Mowing the Yard is a post from: Mary Bernard

    

More Recent Articles


Click here to safely unsubscribe from "Mary Bernard." Click here to view mailing archives, here to change your preferences, or here to subscribePrivacy