My First Book Signing Ever

Gratitude Day 371

Mon., Dec. 2, 2019

Ecclesiastes 5:3a: Remember: Dreams come with many cares.

This past Saturday was a special day.

It was an amazing day.

It was full and active, but my heart was very full.

It was the day of my official book launch and signing event.

The morning began with over 30 ladies making porch pots in the original carriage house on our property. My sister Debbie and her staff were excellent. They helped these ladies design and make attractive and beautiful Christmas porch pots. Each porch pot was unique and different; created to match the personality of the person who made it.

We received so many positive comments, how the porch pot workshop was crazy fun. It helped people get into the Christmas spirit. I wished that I would have had time to ooh and aah over every single pot. Unfortunately, I didn’t.

Why? Because I was in the house preparing for a book signing for my first official book that I have published! It’s called The Mary Experiment – When DOING and BEING Collide. It’s based on the biblical story of sisters Martha and Mary. Martha is a busy woman, taking care of Jesus and the other guests at her house. Meanwhile, Mary simple sits and Jesus’ feet and drinks in everything he tells her.

I am a Martha who yearns for more Mary in her life. The last couple of years, I have worked towards finding more Mary moments. The book captures my struggle and journey of trying to implement little bits of Mary into my daily life.

It was not lost on me that I planned a completely Martha day on Saturday. Lots of activities. Lots of food. More than could really be done in a day. But I try to do it all.

I was instructed that my main role for the day was to sign books. I spent a chunk of the day in a chair, personalizing books as I signed them, sharing the story of how the book came to be and reading a short section of the book.

One woman said to me as she came through the line, “I have never been to a book signing event before.”

I responded by saying, “I haven’t either. Today is my first book signing event as well.”

As I planned for the day, I just put it together the way I thought it might work. Knowing that I often take too much on, when people volunteered to help me, I accepted their offer. This is difficult for me and yet, an opportunity for me to practice what I wrote. With lots of help and patient people, it truly was a wonderful day.

Let me share a few other highlights of the day:

For the past 18 months, a group of ladies were involved in helping me with the book. These God Squad ladies would meet with me every month or two. I would share with them a couple chapters that I had written, and they gave me wonderful feedback. While not all of the ladies were able to attend, many did. They presented me with an apron that says, “Hospitality Badge,” which was so fitting! If you want to understand the story behind this, take a look at chapter 5. It will make more sense.

On Friday, two of our grandchildren decided to stay overnight with us. My sister’s family and other helpers were already planning on staying with us. When grandkids want to stay overnight, you make it work. Nine-year-old Ellie was excited to be a part of Saturday. When we got to our house, she immediately wanted a job to help out. Little Dylan came to me and wanted to know if he could have a copy of the book. I think he envisioned a children’s book and was disappointed there are not more photos in the book. I did make sure and point out the picture and Grandpa Rick and me. Both kids wanted me to personalize their book for them, which I was happy to do.

Ellie was so enamored with the thought of me being an author that she asked if I would help her write a book. What Grandma wouldn’t want to do this? Ellie asked for a notebook and started jotting down ideas. I pray that there will be a day when together, we will publish a book. In contrast, Dylan’s favorite part of the day? All the shrimp he got to eat. Seriously. I am told he ate platefuls of shrimp. And maybe a cookie or two as well.

It was so interesting and fun to see people from different stages of my life. I was impressed with those who took time to travel a bit and be present with me. How deeply meaningful this was for me.

As I was thinking about Saturday and a message that I could share with those in attendance, I decided this was the message that I wanted to share: chase your dreams. Go after them. Don’t be afraid. For years, well decades, I have thought about writing a book. It took until I was 52-years-old for this to happen. Yet, I also did not want to wake up one day and think, “I wish I would have tried.” Whether the book is successful or not, I followed my dream. And this feels good.

What dream have you been putting off? Why? What is one step that you can take this week towards beginning the process of achieving your dream? Is this dream inspired by God? If so, what is holding you back from going after this dream?

What’s next for me? I’m not sure. What I do know is following a dream inspired by God is worth the effort.

For God-inspired dreams, I am grateful.

Dear God – I pray that when You place a dream on my heart, I listen. I pray that when You inspire me, I take heed. May You be THE guiding light in my life. Amen.  

Blessings –

Dianne

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When God Speaks …

Gratitude Day 363

Sun., Nov. 17, 2019

Luke 10:41-42: The Lord answered, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and distracted by many things. One thing is necessary. Mary has chosen the better part. It won’t be taken away from her.

Self-promotion isn’t my deal.

In fact, it goes against most every grain in my body to even type these words and talk about something so near and dear to my heart.

But here goes.

Today, the first book that I have authored officially launches. On Nov. 17, 2019, The Mary Experiment: When DOING and BEING Collide, is available for all the world to see, read and explore.

It’s a book about life. Finding an appropriate tension between doing, working and constant activity versus being, sitting and experiencing a more realistic pace of life.

This recovering Martha has felt challenged by this her entire life. She still struggles with when to sit. When to do. When to be. When to “git ‘er done.”

I’m still discovering more about this every day. Quite honestly, I’ve accepted the reality that this WILL be a place where I will feel stretched most days of my life.

And this is OK.

Why did I create my own Mary Experiment? Over and over, people have shared with me their struggles with this issue. I’ve watched friends and listened to people opened up their hearts about whether they were making right choices. I don’t have all the answers. I simply wanted to create an opportunity for the Martha’s of this world to know they aren’t alone. And for Mary’s to learn a little more about their Martha friends.  

The real reason I wrote this book? I heard God speak to me. Interestingly, via Hubby Rick. He literally stopped me in my tracks when he asked, “When will the things that I say are ‘most important’ truly become my top priorities? When will I be available for something other than work?”

Rick’s words challenged me to look deeply into the story of when Jesus visits sisters Martha and Mary. Martha is BUSY. Mary SITS at Jesus fit. Rather than saying one is “right” and the other is “wrong,” why can’t we have both? Likewise, what does this story say to modern-day Mary AND Martha’s? How can I encourage myself and others to create more joy, peace and contentment in our lives?

From this context, The Mary Experiment came to life. For the next few days, the Kindle version of The Mary Experiment is FREE! I pray folks will download the book and begin their own Mary Experiment. Just as Hubby Rick needed to get my attention, possibly, this book might get your attention. Or you will share this with someone you know who struggles with these issues.

If you prefer a non-Kindle version, a paperback version is available as well. Here’s the Amazon link for either version: https://www.amazon.com/Mary-Experiment-DOING-BEING-Collide/dp/1734228008/ref=sr_1_1?crid=1ZC6CE7Z46H09&keywords=the+mary+experiment&qid=1573937653&sprefix=the+mary%2Caps%2C339&sr=8-1

There are questions and a prayer at the end of each chapter. I encourage you to use the complete Journal and Reflection Questions guide available here for free to develop your own Mary Experiment: https://app.convertkit.com/forms/designers/1110952/edit

As challenging as it is to self-promote something I’ve written, I do so for one reason. God spoke to me. Possibly, God will use me to speak to someone else. It took me awhile to listen. Honestly, I AM STILL trying to listen to God. My deepest prayer is that the words of this book will become an opportunity for someone to re-examine their choices and life. If just one person thinks, “I can so related to this book. I feel like she’s talking to me,” I will feel like God has worked through me.

This recovering Martha is at a sheep show on the day her first book launches. Here’s Black Jack checking out The Mary Experiment before he moves to his new home in Rhode Island.

For God speaking to me via Hubby Rick, I am grateful. 

Dear God – When we are BUSY, it is so easy to keep going and not STOP and examine WHY we are so BUSY. Thank you for speaking directly to me. I pray the words of the Mary Experiment will bless and speak to someone else. Amen.  

Blessings –

Dianne

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The Mary Experiment is Becoming Real … Very Real!

Gratitude Day 348

Tues., Oct. 29, 2019

Luke 10:41-42:  The Lord answered, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and distracted by many things. One thing is necessary. Mary has chosen the better part. It won’t be taken away from her.”

Good Morning, Sunshine! We have SNOW here in Wisconsin this morning, which means there will not be sunshine until maybe later today.

But I’m feeling very sunshiny, sun or not … because today, I’m sharing something that has brought so much joy to my life.

Almost two years ago, I began a quest to change some things in my life. After serving as a pastor for over 18 years, I stepped back from pastoral ministry to pursue other ministry opportunities I felt that God had placed on my heart. One of those ministries was being more consistent in sharing how I see God in my everyday life through this blog. I’ve turned this into looking for gratitude in the simplest of ways in my very normal life.

Behind the scenes, I also have been writing a book. Today, I’m so excited to share that the book is in final production stages AND will be released on Sun., Nov. 17. I know … like in 19 days.

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Let me introduce you to The Mary Experiment: When DOING and BEING Collide. This book is written for people who struggle to keep the right tension between feeling like they do enough while allowing themselves to simply be in God’s presence.

I have personally felt this challenge for decades. Too often, I have allowed my life to be over-full, over-committed and over-scheduled. Yet, I have yearned for a deep and satisfying relationship with God, those around me and myself.

Years ago, I realized there was a biblical story that addresses the tension I feel. It’s the story of sisters Martha and Mary. Martha is a doer. When Jesus comes to visit them, she is the one making sure every detail is handled. Meanwhile, her sister Mary sits at Jesus’ feet and drinks in very word he teaches.

Ms. Busy-Body Pants Martha becomes upset that Mary is not helping host their guests. Martha goes to Jesus and asks him to tell Mary to help her. Martha is surprised, maybe a bit annoyed, when Jesus tells Martha that her sister has made the better choice.

So much for help in making those fancy ham sandwiches.

The Mary Experiment captures my struggle towards becoming a recovering Martha. I share how I have tried to navigate my journey towards embracing my Martha-ness while building more Mary-ness in my daily life.

Many years ago, I read that everyone should write a book. But not everyone should have it published. Well, I am self-publishing this book. My dream is that this will be the first of many books that I will write.

Because I am self-publishing my book, I am responsible for every aspect of marketing the book. This is where I am looking for some assistance.

Would You Be Interested in Helping with The Mary Experiment?

There are a few ways that I invite you to consider partnering with me as I prepare to launch The Mary Experiment:

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  • Become part of my Launch Team. If you feel the topic of this book speaks to you and you would like to help spread the news about this book, please consider joining my Launch Team. Launch Team members are committed to reading The Mary Experiment before Nov. 17. I will make a PDF of the book available. Then, on Nov. 17, you will download a free Kindle copy of the book from Amazon AND post a review of the book online, preferably a positive review! It is not necessary to own a Kindle to download the book. You can use a Kindle reader to access the book. To leave a review, you must have purchased $50 on Amazon in the last year. Launch Team members will help promote the book in other ways. Most importantly, Launch Team members will help with the book BEFORE it is actually released. If you are interested in joining the Launch Team, please send me an e-mail at dideaton@hotmail.com. I will begin communicating directly with Launch Team members by the end of the week.
  • If you want to support my book but want a less involved role, please join the Pre-Release Team. I will personally let these team members know when the book is available online. The first few days, the Kindle version will be FREE. I’ll keep you in the loop about when it is available and how you can get a copy. Providing a review would also be very helpful! Join the Pre-Release Team by emailing me at dideaton@hotmail.com.

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  • Attend my Book Launch and Signing Event! On Sat., Nov. 30, I will have copies available at my house from 1:30-3:30 PM. Please stop by our home at 424 N. Franklin St., Poynette, WI. I will be personally signing books. You can hear a short reading of the book at 1:45 PM and 3 PM. We’ll have some fantastic treats as well! Bring a friend and stop by.
  • I have another Book Signing Event scheduled for Fri., Dec. 13 in Augusta, WI. It will be at Creative Touch Floral as a late afternoon/early evening event. I’ll have copies of the book available that I can personally sign as well as share some short readings from the book.

I welcome other opportunities to promote and share my book. If you have an idea of such an opportunity, please let me know. This book would be excellent for a book study. Read it together with a group of friends. I have a free accompanying Reflection Questions & Journal that is designed for such purposes. It is also a tool to help you develop your own Mary experiment.

It is SO HARD for me to ask and encourage people to partner with me in promoting The Mary Experiment. It’s not part of my normal MO. Yet, I am anxious for as many people as possible to have access to the information captured in the book. It is full of personal stories and examples of how I have struggled with the tension between doing and being. I know that I am not the only person who has lived this struggle! This is why I have been so passionate and committed to publishing this book.

When I began this blog, I had no idea that I would write and publish a book. Thanks for reading along and sharing feedback and insights when something touches your soul. Thanks for being a safe place for me to explore and share my ideas about a variety of topics. It’s been a joy for me to sit at my computer and share how God is woven into my daily life. I pray The Mary Experiment will continue this journey.

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For friends who follow Simple Words of Faith, I am grateful. 

Dear God – every day, You place before us new opportunities. I pray that we can honor the tugging’s of our hearts and follow Your leadings. Thank you for opening up new opportunities for me. I pray that others hear Your voice and keep You close to their hearts. Amen.

Blessings –

Dianne

If you have enjoyed this blog, please pass it along to someone else who will also enjoy it.