A few years ago, I got a call from a friend saying she was going to drop off a bag. “Put it in the garage” I told her. When I picked it up later, inside were six large muffins with the note below:A few days earlier, she mentioned she needed some eggs. I pulled out about 18 eggs we had in our refrigerator from our chickens. “Thanks,” she said. “Would you like a dollar or muffins?” Hands down, I wanted muffins. She’s a great baker.
Her note exemplified our friendship, with her strengths complimenting my strengths. She’s talented in many areas, including baking. I’d rather “egg” it, meaning, I’d rather raise things, do things old-school ways. That’s why I taught history.
I have the privilege to share a brand-new, inspiring book about authentic friendships from an author I met this summer. Amelia Rhodes is the real deal, and it’s an honor to feature and giveaway her book this week!
About the Author:
Amelia Rhodes lives in Michigan and has been married to her high school sweetheart, Kedron, for 15 years. Together they have two young children. Amelia loves coffee breaks with friends and has a passion for encouraging women to share an authentic life together. Amelia is featured in Chicken Soup for the Soul: Here Comes the Bride, and is a regular contributor at Circle of Friends (www.ourcircleoffriends.org) and has been featured on The Burnside Writers Collective. When she isn’t writing or helping in her kids’ classrooms Amelia also enjoys running, gardening and sewing. You may connect with her at http://www.ameliarhodes.com or look her up on Facebook.
I asked Amelia some questions related to women, friendships, and authorship.
What do you see as the biggest barrier for women developing authentic, real relationships with one another?
A number of things can keep us from opening ourselves up for real relationships with each other. We’ve been burned in the past. We’ve suffered loss through death, distance, or disagreement. We lack confidence in ourselves or don’t feel we’re worthy. We’ve been the brunt of jealousy and selfishness. We’ve been caught in emotionally abusive friendships. We’re ashamed of who we are or something we’ve done. We’re afraid we’ll be rejected.
In writing the book, what is the one thing you learned about women that you think we need to hear the most?
In chapter two called “Brew a strong cup of friendship” I use the analogy of a climber and a belayer to describe what a strong friendship looks like. (I also tell a story of how terrible of a rock climber I am!) I love the analogy of a climber and belayer, because sooner or later we all hit these “rocks of impossibility” in our lives that we can’t see past. I’ve been on both ends of the rope. I’ve had women in my life call out sometimes hard truths to me when I needed it most. They kept me from falling and urged me on when I wanted to give up on my faith. I’ve also had the privilege of being the one who holds another woman’s rope and doesn’t let her fall when she wants to give up. We need each other, and if we can find a few women that we can be truly honest with, I think it can radically change the way we do life together.
This is your first book. I understand you set a goal last year to write a book this year, and here it is! What advice would you give to someone wanting to reach a dream-goal this next year, practical advice to make their dream a reality?
I did! After attending a conference where we were urged to write down goals with dates and pray over them I sat down and wrote a crazy goal: “Write a book by April 30, 2012.” I had felt this nudge to write a book for a very long time. But I had no idea what topic I would write on or if anyone would ever publish it.
For a couple months I scratched out some ideas. Nothing stuck. I submitted articles. I got rejected. A lot. But I kept moving forward. Then just a couple months after writing that crazy goal, an organization I had been blogging for, Circle of Friends, contacted me about writing a book. A real book. And their publisher already had a topic and a title. I read the e-mail at least a dozen times before I could believe it. After I agreed to write the book, guess what the deadline was. May 1, 2012. Only God!
So if you have a goal, something tugging at your heart that you feel God is asking you to do, write it down. Pray over it. And start doing something. Just take one step at a time and let God direct your path as you go. If you’re anything like me, you like to have the whole thing mapped out before you get started. I think sometimes God wants us to step out in faith and just get moving. When Abraham in the Bible began his journey with God all he knew was God said, “Go from your country, your people and your father’s household to the land I will show you.” (Genesis 12:1). And Abraham packed everything up and started moving in faith.
This week, I’m giving away her book! Enter to win a Coffee Break prize package from Amelia! The package includes:
1 copy of Isn’t it Time for a Coffee Break?
· 1 handmade coffee sleeve (made by Amelia’s mom)
· 1 handmade necklace with a coffee cup charm (made by Amelia and her novelist friend Susie Finkbeiner)
· 1 set of 5 handmade coffee themed notecards (made by Amelia)
· An assortment of coffee themed items such as a mini-notebook, pens and sticky pad
· A $5 Starbucks gift card!
To enter, email me at email@example.com with your name and physical address. Entries will be open through Wednesday, January 9. To enter more than once,
About the Book:
Isn’t it Time for a Coffee Break? offers humor and insightful Bible-based encouragement that will inspire a new outlook, as you begin to discover the beauty and fulfillment of “doing life together” with your sisters in Christ. Drawing from her own life experiences and the stories of others, Amelia takes a closer look at doing life together according to God’s plan.
Journey through topics such as:
The Aroma of Relationships: Love
Brew a Strong cup of Friendship
Share a Cup: Generosity
Experience the Variety of Blends: Hospitality
Filter out the Grounds: Unity
Sweeten Your Cup: Forgiveness
With six short, easy-to-read chapters, and discussion questions for each chapter, this book is great for small groups or book clubs.
Where to Find the Book:
Check for Isn’t it Time for a Coffee Break? at your local Christian bookstore, or online at these retailers.