Julie Arduini loves to encourage readers to surrender the good, the bad, and —maybe one day—the chocolate. She’s the author of the upcoming re-release, ENTRUSTED: Surrendering the Present, as well as the sequel, ENTANGLED: Surrendering the Past, set for a spring release. She also shared her story in the infertility devotional, A WALK IN THE VALLEY. She blogs every other Wednesday for Christians Read. She resides in Ohio with her husband and two children. Learn more by visiting her at http://juliearduini.com, where she invites readers to subscribe to her monthly newsletter full of resources and giveaway opportunities at JULIE ARDUINI: SURRENDER ISSUES AND CHOCOLATE and the weekly e mail. SUNDAY’S SURRENDER AND CHOCOLATE.
by Julie Arduini
I enjoy creating contemporary romantic characters where I write the characters into a proverbial corner and watch them squirm. It sounds odd, but how the characters deal with their conflict also gives me the opportunity for transformation. My writing is about surrender and how free we can be if we surrender to Christ. It starts when readers relate to the characters, and I have faith it continues in the reader long after they’ve closed the book. But its fun placing characters with increasing tension.
It would be a short book if the hero and heroine prayed and surrendered right away, so I have stress relievers in place that the characters choose above all else. I can relate to that. I can’t tell you how many times I run to the cookie jar or clean the house before I share with the Lord my frustrations and ask for help.
That’s the underlying theme for the heroine in my upcoming release, Entangled: Surrendering the Past. Carla Rowling has been given everything she’s ever wanted, the chance to leave her job as sheriff and attend cosmetology school. The gift is so overwhelming she feels unworthy, still ashamed with herself after becoming a mom in high school. She can’t forgive herself, so she’s on a course to destroy all the blessings God’s given her. Carla has the support of her truck driving boyfriend, Will Marshall, but his kindness scares her. Her high school boyfriend and father of Noah, Wayne Peterson, has moved to town and has made it clear he wants another chance at love. Every time Carla’s in a corner, she runs.
When Carla’s overwhelmed, she puts on her sneakers and starts jogging. It can be the dead of winter and she has no coat on, but if things are starting to overwhelm her, she’s off. If she can’t do that, she makes choices that have her emotionally running. Entangled speaks to the place she finds herself, and to her pursuit to become a stylist.
If only we’d surrender right away. Yet retail therapy has a root, and I believe it’s our knee jerk reaction to stress. We choose food, opening up to other people, and even relationships we have no business being in. I’ve watched teens shoot baskets to solve their problem. Most choices aren’t sinful or bad, but they are our stress relievers. For me, they are the way, especially with Entangled, that I can add tension and conflict until something gives.
My prayer is that if you are overwhelmed by your circumstances, make sure you surrender yourself and the situation to Christ. He goes ahead of you. He is your rear guard. He surrounds you. He will not take you around the fire, but He will take you through it. Life won’t be easy, but I can tell you there is an eternal happy ending.
That’s way better than a cookie jar!
More about Entangled: Surrendering the Past:
Carla’s been given her dream, to leave her job as sheriff and attend cosmetology school. The gift is so overwhelming that she struggles with feeling unworthy, especially since she still feels guilty for becoming a mom as a teenager. When Wayne Peterson reenters her and their son Noah’s life, Carla creates some tangles between her and her steadfast boyfriend, the flannel-wearing, truck driver Will Marshall. Can Carla release her past and create a future full of highlights, or will she burn her options worse than a bad perm?
Where to find Julie:
Monthly Newsletter: http://eepurl.com/dCFG
Weekly Sunday’s Surrender and Chocolate: http://eepurl.com/bJ5yHP
Thanks for joining us, Julie, and talking to us about stress relief. I eat to relieve stress, for sure. What do you do?