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September 16, 2008


Gerry Blumberg

I love that you use "and!" Thank you for sharing your heart and giving us all a good reminder about God's sovereignty.


Mary, I know one thing: God is pleased with your heart because after "all that", you always come back to His plan, His sovereignty.

And, Mary, you've been a great marketer, worked hard at it, done it all. You're a good writer, talented, gifted in many ways. But I have to agree: it's Him who brings the increase. It's Him who draws up and designs the path. Ultimately, we have to follow His plan for us, not man's. Contrary as it may be to man's view(s) of success, He's who we serve.

I have always admired your heart, Mary.

Mary E. DeMuth

Thanks Gerry. There is so much to the word AND.

Nicole, thanks for your kind words. Always a blessing.

Suzanne Eller

Insightful and very good post, Mary.

sally apokedak

Great post, Mary. Thanks.

Kathi Macias

Thank you, dear friend and fellow wordsmith, for your humble and honest post. How well I relate! A few years ago, when I sought God for direction in my life/ministry, His words were, "Somebody has to set up the chairs." How I tried NOT to hear those words--but they wouldn't go away. I knew He was calling me to serve others in ministry and leave my own public ministry in His hands, regardless of the outcome. What a relief and joy it was when I obeyed! Though, like you, I still have to do the marketing part of my job--to one extent or another--I understand that the outcome is not my responsibility. I just need to be faithful to follow It's so good to have the joy back!!!

Sue J

Phil Vischer's story comes to mind immediately as I read your words. A man with an empire, albeit made of veggies. But he came to the same place where you are (after bankruptcy hit the empire) and came to the same conclusions.

There's such joy when you find your gift, and you take those first steps to seeing your joy increase as the gift is used and well received. And then something happens (I like to use 'and,' too), when you are on to the next thing. Consumed by your own joy, you try to top your gift by doing more, giving more, perfecting more....whatever more it is.

But the Source of the joy becomes lost in the what's next. Why do we do that? Even when we know better, why do we do that?

For me, the closer I seem get to Him, sometimes the further away from Him I can be. Throw that cold water on me, because I'm not worthy to pass the cup to someone else...not until I get some focus back.

Just remember, God is good! He has spoken to you and will continue to do so.

Mary E. DeMuth

A reader sent me this amazing prayer. It fits so well with what I wrote, that I thought I'd share:


O Jesus, meek and humble of heart, hear me.

From the desire of being esteemed, deliver me, Jesus.
From the desire of being loved, deliver me, Jesus.
From the desire of being extolled, deliver me, Jesus.
From the desire of being honored, deliver me, Jesus.
From the desire of being praised, deliver me, Jesus.
From the desire of being preferred to others, deliver me, Jesus.
From the desire of being consulted, deliver me, Jesus.
From the desire of being approved, deliver me, Jesus.

From the fear of being humiliated, deliver me, Jesus.
From the fear of being despised, deliver me, Jesus.
From the fear of suffering rebukes, deliver me, Jesus.
From the fear of being slandered, deliver me, Jesus.
From the fear of being forgotten, deliver me, Jesus.
From the fear of being ridiculed, deliver me, Jesus.
From the fear of being wronged, deliver me, Jesus.
From the fear of being suspected, deliver me, Jesus.

That others may be loved more than I, Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.
That others may be esteemed more than I, Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.
That in the opinion of the world, Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.
others may increase, and I may decrease, Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.
That others may be chosen and I set aside, Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.
That others may be praised and I unnoticed, Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.
That others may be preferred to me in everything, Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.
That others may become holier than I,
provided that I may become as holy as I should.

- Rafael Cardinal Merry del Val

Jeanne Damoff

Wait a minute . . . you mean Jesus didn't host win-a-free-healing contests and wear a bracelet that said WWID?

Lovely post, dearie. And that humility prayer is amazing. Hooray for sovereignty and rest and letting God ordain our steps. I never want to be so busy building my little empire that I miss the exceeding abundance He has prepared for me--even if that abundance will be found in setting up chairs as Kathi said. We are most fulfilled doing that for which we were created. Lord, deliver us from letting the world define "success."

michael snyder

Yep, I agree with the ladies. Stellar post. And timely too!


Mark Goodyear

Lots to think about here. Lots. And I've already started eating weird food since we visited the Insectorium and ate bugs and worms at the insect cafe.

Crickets taste exactly like trail mix when cooked properly. Seriously. I could eat a bowl of the buggers while I watch tv.

Meal worms tasted fine, but they had a distinctively wormy texture.

I'm not sure what this comment has to do with marketing. : )

Madison Richards

I was recently in Pismo Beach, CA and walked past a chocolate shop that specialized in chocolate covered insects! They had the usual worms and whatnot, but also boasted chocolate covered crickets and even SCORPIONS!! Yikes! Made me exceedingly glad I am allergic to chocolate!

(Great, great post Mary! I am with you that conclusion page...)


Mary Ellen Courville

As a new author, God has put me in my place, or should I say, reminded me of his place, of his sovereignty again and again. First, a small publisher produced a short story of mine, "Breathe" in an anthology. I paid for copies, and prepared to promote etc... The books did not arrive. In their place I was shipped an empty box. I lost any confidence in marketing the books, fearing that they would not "arrive" at their destinations. After months of e-mail and confusion, I finally received the books.

At my book signing, I did share the short story I'd written. I also read the devotional "The Empty Box" I had written during my wait for the books. In it I imagined God's pain at receiving an empty box from us, after he'd poured so many spiritual gifts into our lives. I accepted the challenge of returning the box of my life filled, by using and acknowledging the blessings he's given.

In my first signing, the focus became what God had done instead of my work. Now again, I face a challenge. This time I sought out a Christian publisher for a children's book "The Pilgrim's Basket." It was accepted and put into the publisher's calendar of steps: editing, illustrating, promoting etc... Again my promotion confidence has been halted due to production problems along the way. As I type, the illustrator awaits publisher payment for the final illustrations. I wait to promote and wonder what lesson I missed last time.

I pray that what God wants to accomplish with this book, he will. I pray that the purpose of this story will be accomplished and surrender to the fact that it's not my purpose.

I also pray that I will find the confidence and the publisher for my next book, "G-ma's Pearl". I know it is not mine but His. I am committing not to finding a set of steps to follow in order to submit it to publishers, but to praying that I would follow in his steps and submit it to his will instead.

Thank you sincerely for your empathy and encouragement. Sorry for such a long response...

Mary Ellen

writemaryellen at

Sharon Fawcett

I am feeling pretty ragged too, Mary, as I am trying to promote my new book, releasing next month. While I have been working night and day trying to find special markets, influencers, etc. I am trying to leave the results in God's hands. He can do much with very little...or with nothing!

For example, I spoke at a conference in May and the president of the national Christian women's organization holding the conference met me as they were placing the sign (with my topic title) outside the door to my seminar room. When she asked about me, I mentioned that I was a writer with a book on overcoming depression releasing in the fall. She got quite excited and, God multiplied that one little comment (my loaf and fish) into an offer from the president to promote my book through her ministry. She will include comments about it in her newsletter (as well as a promotional postcard) which is sent to 7,000 women. She will also have a review of the book published in their magazine in February.

My local Christian bookstore owner made a similar offer when all I asked was to have my book launch at his store. Next thing I know he's sending flyers about the book and launch to 3,000 of his customers and e-flyers to another 1,500.

So, I think that if we are faithful to do the things God shows us to do, He is faithful too. Perhaps what's happening for me has something to do with the fact that the book I wrote was not one I was really gung-ho on writing, but one I strongly felt God calling me to. I didn't feel qualified, but He opened doors every step of the way and made it happen. He's continuing to open them as the book moves toward its release. I feel like it's more His project than mine, I just typed the words. So, what He chooses to do with the book is His decision. Still, I will do my part as we work together to bring a message of hope to others through this book.

Sharon Fawcett

Vonda Skelton

Thank you, Mary! Oh, how I needed this today!
Blessings, my friend.
Vonda Skelton

Bob McGregor

"And" a comment. The Hebrew vav letter is translated 'and' and it starts a lot of OT sentences. And it is a good connector word indicating that this thought is connected to the one before.

and you write good, Mary.

Patti Hill

Oh, Mary, sigh, how did you know? I'm right in the middle of promoting my just-released book. I fell into the trap of silly contests, so I spent the better part of a day making and ironing transfers of the book cover onto cheap tote bags. I could have been praying for the recipients, but I was too mad at myself. I felt like I'd sold my soul. Not just because of the contest, but the anxiety I've felt about not doing enough of anything. Huh? And so, your post hit home. THANK YOU, dear one. And thanks to all the others for sharing so honestly from your hearts. Search the Scriptures? Bingo! (Which means "Amen, sister!" in Colorado.)

Already dressing funny and willing eat bugs if covered in chocolate,

Dianne Neal Matthews

Mary, thanks for sharing your heart. After having a couple of books published, I've been feeling overwhelmed with all that I'm "supposed" to do as a good author--get speaking gigs, round up interviews and blog tours, develop a database of emails, start a newsletter, increase the Internet presence, keep studying the craft, network every chance I get--and oh, yes, don't forget to write.

Your post caused me to remember that my most exciting marketing opportunities have been obviously orchestrated by God. Tomorrow, I will forget it all and take my Bible and notebook to a park and spend a few hours with the Source of my joy and my creativity. And I'll say a prayer for you and your ministry, too.



This was very sweet to read, as I am working on the PR for my first book. Yes, we can line up all of our worldly ducks in a row, do A, B and C, and God may have other plans for us.
Thanks for bringing this all up.
God was so wise to help me so that my first book was co-authored with 5 wise (and sometimes silly) writing partners, and a worthy publisher.
Almost all authors work alone. Yikes! I am so blessed.

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