Julie Arduini loves to encourage readers to find freedom in Christ through surrender. She’s the author of the Amazon bestseller, Entrusted and co-author of The Love Boat Bachelor and Unlikely Merger. She also shared her story in the Amazon bestseller infertility devotional, A Walk in the Valley. She’s the fiction contributing editor for the digital magazine, Imaginate, and 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.
The Vows We Make
As a child, I’d eat almost everything and my weight showed it. However, there was one food I wouldn’t touch no matter how hard my mom begged or put vinegar on it. Brussels sprouts. Not even the dog would touch it. I figured if the pet won’t eat it, why should I? I promised myself I’d never touch a Brussels sprout when I was an adult nor would I make any children I have eat it, either.
When I became a teen, I observed some behaviors within the home that caused stress for everyone. I seemed to notice the dysfunction first, and in a time when people didn’t talk about those things or even know the word “dysfunction.” Even when the behavior stopped, my wounds were fresh enough that I made a declaration I’d never do those things.
Although I’ve stayed true to the Brussel sprout oath, I didn’t last long staying away from the choices that caused our family pain. There was so much anger bottled up in me that my college years were filled with a quest to squash the hurt and make everyone around me feel my wounds. Thankfully, my friend shared what Christ had done in her life and I asked Him into my life. It took a while to heal, but at least breaking that vow was short term and not life altering in the way that I had grown up under.
That’s why I added a vow to my romance, Entrusted. My writing is all about surrender and I remember the struggles I’ve had making vows, positive and negative ones. Of course, my marriage is a beautiful covenant I’m glad I made. But it’s hard work. In my adult years I’ve caught myself making proclamations to shield myself from unpleasant things. Honestly, it wasn’t the wisest choice.
It’s the same for Ben Regan, my hero in Entrusted. When readers first meet Ben, it’s hard to sympathize with him because he comes off as quite the hothead. As they get to know him, they not only like him, they relate. He’s grieving due to death and change. When Ben looks for the common denominator, he comes up with the senior center. He makes a vow to never enter the doors of the senior center again. In fact, Ben even campaigns to close it down. That’s where the conflict comes in because the heroine, Jenna Anderson, moved to the area to become the director of the senior center. She vowed to belong in the mountain town even though she’s a city girl.
It all creates a fun romance, but those vows we make can sometimes do us in. My goal is to instead take my hurts to the Lord and let him deal with it. His ways are so much better than my wall building disguised as a vow.
Can you relate? Have you made a vow that was more of a choice to protect yourself?
Jenna Anderson, sassy city-girl from Youngstown, Ohio, plows–literally–into Adirondack village, Speculator Falls, with a busted GPS. She gets a warning from the sheriff but has ideas for the senior center to prove she belongs in town as their director. Town councilman Ben Regan is as broken as the flower box Jenna demolished. He’s grieving and wants to shut down the center before there’s too much change and heartbreak. They work on community projects and build a slow relationship, but the council needs to vote on the senior center’s future. Can Jenna show Ben both her and the center are worth trusting?
Where you can find Julie:
Books for Life book club, BFLBC, kicked off with Entrusted, starting September 17. Each Thursday new discussions will be posted for readers to interact with Julie. She will also be live from 8-9PM EST to talk about the chapters and share behind-the-scenes information. Entrusted will run for 6 weeks. There will be a short break and then Annabelle’s Ruth by Betty Thomason Owens will begin.
Books for Life book club link: https://www.goodreads.com/topic/group_folder/283245
Thanks for stopping by, Julie.