Why do you do what you do?
When you can answer this question, nothing will be able to stop you from achieving your goals.
You will continue to meet obstacles, but you will find another way! You will continue to meet people who will pour cold water on your dreams, but they won’t stop you! You will continue to fall down, but you will rise back up because you know why you are on this journey!
Every day think about why you are on this particular path. Every morning before I begin work, I write out my ‘why’. I may not finish what’s on my plate every day, but I definitely know why I’m doing it. And it serves as a great motivator to begin the next day with excitement.
So find out your ‘why’ and do the impossible!
For more information about Woman In The Pulpit
You can achieve any goal, if you don’t give up. Now is the time to stop being afraid to move forward. Now is the time to stop giving up on your dreams. Make up your mind that you are going to go after what you want. Do it step-by-step. That’s all it takes. One step at a time. Before you know it you will be well on way to reaching your destination.
This is your time to stand in your truth. Be committed to taking one action every day towards your BIG goal. Take responsibility for your life.
You are bigger than the forces which try to stop you. Make up your mind that no matter what happens you are not going to be stopped.
I now pronounce you UNSTOPPABLE!
For more information about Woman In The Pulpit
“I drew from my own experiences and I found it therapeutic to share some of the personal challenges and victories within these tales.”
This week I am continuing my conversation with Valeria Saulsberry Edmonds. She is the author of two books in the Real Women series, Star and I’m Every Woman. To read Part 1 of the interview: I’m Every Woman
Valeria has over 25 years Human Resources experience with a large global corporation. She is also a lay minister in Christian Counseling.
Valeria describes her book Star.
Star is a modern story of the challenges we face in marriages. It is based on the story of Esther and starts with issues faced by a dual-career couple that lead to divorce. The story shifts to focus on how Christian singles date and then deal with typical roles and power dynamics early on within a marriage.
Give a brief overview of some of the stories in I’m Every Woman.
There are a total of ten stories in the book. The story of the woman at the well in John 4 is adapted in a short story called Living Water when a woman who is living with a man she’s not married to meets a young minister who speaks to her about what true religion is and invites her to participate in a different type of worship experience.
The story of Ruth is told from the perspective of her mother-in-law and deals with the challenges of losing a husband as well as dating as a mature single woman. The story called Brother and Sisters deals with expectations that parents put on their kids and the challenges of living in your sister or brother’s shadow like the Bible story told in Genesis about Leah and Rachael.
Are any of the stories based on challenges you have faced in your life?
The characters are all fictional, but of course, there is some of my story in every one of the short stories. I drew from my own experiences and I found it therapeutic to share some of the personal challenges and victories within these tales. I’ve also blended in the stories of other real women friends.
Can you share a challenge you faced and how you were able to come through it?
I’ve had many personal and professional challenges which God has allowed me to overcome. Getting divorced after 13 years of marriage was the first big one that made me question God and my own capacity to deal with feelings of failure, betrayal, bitterness, courage and eventually forgiveness. I remembered that God inhabits the praise of his people and I knew that I needed him to help me so I learned to praise my way through. It may sound cliché but it worked. My kids were depending on me to keep it together. Most people at my job and at church had no idea what was going on with me because I learned to lean on God for comfort and strength.
What are some of the common challenges that women of today are dealing with?
It’s interesting that when you are going through something it’s easy to feel all alone in your struggle. However, if you’re willing to open up a little within the bonds of sisterhood you will find that there are so many others who have either dealt with the same situation or are dealing with it at the same time. There are other women dealing with infertility, learning that they have cancer, grieving the loss of a loved one, praying for a lost child, recovering from divorce, getting married or remarried, learning to make peace with their pounds, or trying to understand God’s calling on their lives.
When God brings you through something, I believe it comes with a responsibility for you to help someone else dealing with the same issue.
Are you planning any more books in the Real Women series?
Yes, I just finished a short story inspired by Tabitha in Acts 9. In it I deal with depression, which is not something we generally talk about, but it’s a common struggle. I’m hoping to have another book out by the end of the year which may be the last in this series, but not my last book.
Any other projects that you want to share?
I’m trying to write regularly on my blog: http://dvineinsights.blogspot.com.
Another book project that I’ve been working on is a personal coaching book to talk about the different seasons in our life and managing transitions both personally and professionally. I believe we are either arriving, striving, thriving or surviving in this world and I’d like to help people manage those transitions.
You now live in Doha, Qatar. What differences, if any, have you noticed in the women there compared to those in the United States?
Well I try in my interactions to focus on the things that we have in common so that I can build bridges across cultures. However, there are some stark differences that you can’t help but notice.
First, the dress, the national attire in Qatar is a black robe called an Abaya which protects their modesty. The Muslim culture requires that women’s heads are covered and some even cover their faces, including the eyes, depending on what their father or husband (if they are married) think is appropriate.
While most of us can’t remember it, there was a time when Christian women in the U.S. dressed modestly as well, in long skirts and long sleeves. However, behind the veil, you still have women who deal with the same issues and have the same dreams and aspirations as we do in America.
The other difference is that there is still a cultural requirement here for single women to be protected or chaperoned when in an environment where there will be men outside of their family. This creates some interesting work related policies for those women who work outside the home.
How can someone contact you for workshops, seminars, speaking engagements and book signings?
I’m currently on assignment in Doha, Qatar until 2018, but I do come home to the States each Summer for a month and would gladly plan around an opportunity to speak to other women. I can be reached via firstname.lastname@example.org
To read Star and I’m Every Woman click on the links below.
Read I’m Every Woman
Valeria Saulsberry Edmonds is a believer, a disciple, a minister and a witness to the gospel of Jesus Christ. She has a passion for helping others apply biblical teachings to their everyday lives. Because of her passion for women’s issues and her love of reading, she began to write as a way to positively affect the lives of women through fiction. Valeria brings the wisdom gained from her life to her stories. A mother of two from Memphis. Tennessee, Valeria currently lives in Doha, Qatar with her husband and son.
Today my guest is Valeria Saulsberry Edmonds, author of Star & I’m Every Woman. She has over 25 years of experience as a Human Resources professional and is a lay minister in Christian counseling.
You have two books in your Real Women series: Star & I’m Every Woman. Why did you write these books?
In my forties I went through a lot of changes and benefited tremendously from the support and wisdom of older women in the church. During that time I also heard a common refrain that said, “Your test becomes your testimony.” I believe that there is a calling on my life to minister to the needs of women. A small group of friends used to gather at my home to discuss the need to minister to women about everyday issues that we faced. We each had a passion to minister to women about real issues and find healing through the wisdom of the Bible. The Real Women Bible Study was conceived as we started to relate the Bible stories to modern issues. I loved to write and their questions helped to shape a modern interpretation that I compiled into the first collection of short stories.
Give a brief description of your book Star.
Star is a modern story of the challenges we face in marriages. It is written based on the story of Esther from the Bible and starts with issues faced by a dual-career couple that lead to divorce. The story shifts to focus on how Christian singles date and then deal with typical roles and power dynamics early on within a marriage. I tried to make it relevant to women in or pursuing Godly relationships. It also speaks to the issues of being a ‘worldly Christian’ and the apathy some feel towards the church, which is very similar to the situation the Jews found themselves in at this time in biblical history.
Star is a modern retelling of the story of Esther. Why did you think it was necessary to set the story in modern times?
Every challenge that we face in life is addressed in the Bible. However, it may be hard for some to see themselves and their issues within the historical context. I find it helpful in my meditation to relate Bible stories to my life so that I can internalize the lessons and really remain open to what God is saying to me through His Word. What good is knowing scripture if you can’t apply it to your life? The Bible says to be doers and not just hearers of the word, so I thought it was important to try to make the stories relatable and hopefully encourage more women to read the stories with a new lens.
Why did you title your second book I’m Every Woman?
I went through several potential titles for this collection of short stories. But just as I was planning to publish, the words of the song with this title kept coming to mind. It resonated with me because I think we can see a little of ourselves in all of the stories in the Bible. Every woman has a story. If we learn to empathize rather than just sympathize with the challenges other women face, we can learn from each other and encourage each other as sisters in Christ. Ministering to and encouraging others is part of our calling as Christians, but we can’t do it without feeling some of their pain and acknowledging our own struggles.
Give a brief overview of some of the stories in this book.
The story of the woman at the well in John 4 is adapted in a short story called Living Water, where a woman who is living with a man she is not married too meets a young minister who speaks to her about what true religion is and invites her to participate in a different type of worship experience.
The story of Ruth is told from the perspective of her mother-in-law and deals with the challenges of losing a husband, as well as dating as a mature single woman.
The story called Brothers and Sisters deals with expectations that parents put on their kids and the challenges of living in your sister or brother’s shadow like the Bible story told in Genesis about Leah and Rachael.
There are a total of ten stories in the book; some very short and some more detailed, depending on the depth of the story in the Bible and not wanting to get too far afield from the story’s plot.
What reaction have you had from women reading the stories?
I’ve only introduced my book to friends and family via Facebook so far, but the response has been great. In the last two months I’ve sold over 200 copies of Star and over 100 copies of I’m every Woman without any marketing. I’m hoping to expand the audience when I’m home this Summer. Here are quotes from some readers:
“I read ‘Star’ twice. It’s a must read as part of pre-martial counseling. I’m now devouring ‘I’m Every Woman.’ You have a calling on your life. I’ve never teared up so much reading a book, especially since my style has always been scientific self-help books. It touched so many nerves its unreal. Thank you!” -Jacinta Williams
“Loved the introduction to I’m Every Woman. Its real and true. Now on the 4th story!” -Leonie Janse Van Rensburg
“Star: A Modern Retelling of the Story of Esther is by my very dear friend, Valeria Saulsberry Edmonds. I will admit it has been years since I read the Old Testament and don’t recall the story of Esther. I did try to educate myself but every website got far too complicated. I got bored and gave up. Valeria’s books (she has another) put the lessons of women in the Bible into modern terms and concepts. I really enjoyed the book. And if you have a strong faith, you will particularly enjoy this book. Good job, my friend.” – Marina Beirne
What do you hope women get from reading your Real Women series?
I hope that readers understand that our issues transcend time and culture. I hope that by reading my collection of short-stories women will have a renewed interest in the truths of the Bible and that the women of the Bible will come to life so that centuries later we can consider their choices, their challenges, and the changes they went through in a new light. More importantly, I pray that God will minister to the hearts and minds of women today as they explore the implications of these stories for their own lives. We share a lot of common ground as women and we can help each other through being transparent in our testimonies about His goodness and mercy.
Next week we will continue our conversation with Valeria Saulsberry Edmonds.
Valeria is a believer, a disciple, a minister and a witness to the gospel of Jesus Christ. She has a passion for helping others see how to apply biblical teachings to their everyday lives. Because of her passion for women’s issues and her love of reading, she began to write as a way to positively affect the lives of women through fiction. Valeria brings the wisdom gained from her life to her stories. A mother of two from Memphis, Tennessee, Valeria currently lives in Doha, Qatar with her husband and son.
Read I’m Every Woman