Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Stepping into a lifelong dream

As I listen for God’s direction in my life, He often stretches me to a point it is not comfortable, but He knows it is for my good.

This happened to me in 2009. As I sat in an audience in Chilton, WI, I felt the prompting to offer myself as a speaker for the next year’s event. Whoa. Me? No way. I’m happy doing the behind-the-scenes work and being able to edit before I make things public. But I sensed a persistence that wasn’t my own, so I knew I was answering the Holy Spirit. As soon as I made the commitment, I felt such peace. (I’ve found that the feelings often come after.)

Then, for several months, I excitedly prepared for that engagement, gleaning all the best I could share with the audience and distilling it down to the right size again. Gleaning and distilling, gleaning and distilling. I lived and breathed for that upcoming presentation. I think I was so excited because it was something I knew I needed to do. Not of my own making, but something God wanted me to do.

Flash forward and I have now done that for several years. And, guess what? That same process of gleaning and distilling is what I recently used to write a book. Yes! I have wanted to almost all my life! God was preparing me and giving me practice and I didn't even know it. By taking that step of obedience then, I was one step closer to accomplishing a lifelong dream.

After Ted went to be with the Lord on May 2, 2013, my unfinished business of writing a book was calling to me. I did the hard work of grief for several months, then I started on the book in June 2014. I made myself a goal of writing at least 50 words a day, every day, so that I could work it into my already-full schedule. They were baby steps, but I was consistently inching forward.

Now, 21 months later, I am thrilled to have a manuscript that will soon become a book! How can I even express how excited and fulfilled I am to be in this place? In the process of writing and learning what to do next, God gave me purpose and brought healing. I began the project weeping and completed it rejoicing!

There have been (and still are) many steps along the way that are intimidating. I have never done this. It’s exciting and scary at the same time, and many excuses and doubts have crossed my mind. But I put aside those fears and step out in faith.

As I look back, I see how God has provided everything I’ve needed, exactly when I’ve needed it. (In fact, that's what the book is about.) Many wonderful people have shared their knowledge and encouraged me along the way. By following Him, one baby step and then another, I’m abiding on the Vine, and He is bringing a huge project to fruition.

I will once again be speaking at the Women’s Breakaway, on April 9, and hope to have the printed books in hand. Zach Westerman (my son) designed the cover.

Thank you, thank you, thank you, dear God! ... for knowing I needed a push, and for knowing everything I've needed along the way. It’s a tremendous blessing to step into a lifelong dream.

Do you have a baby step you know you need to take? 

Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go. Joshua 1:9


  1. Woot! Congratulations, Marilyn! This is wonderful news! Thank you for answering the Holy Spirit's call!

  2. The cover, the back, and your journey to completing this book brought me to joyful tears for you. Congratulations Marilyn!!!
    Sue S.