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  • bhildebrand26

Are You Struggling?

The first “book” I remember writing was when I was in fifth grade. This 11-year-old girl’s heart skipped a beat when Mrs. Boycott announced, “You have a project due in two weeks. You’re to write a short story and illustrate it.”

Skipping up our driveway when the bus stopped at my house that spring afternoon, my mind raced with ideas for my book. Once inside, I went straight to my desk and pulled open the drawer holding my pencil with a big pink eraser, markers, and a ruler. Placing them on the side of the desk, I opened my spiral notebook and started writing.

It didn’t take long for me to create a story including a plot, a problem to solve, and a solution. After the story was written, I used the entire eraser on the pencil because I erased my drawings many times because I wanted them to be perfect.

I was nervous and excited when I handed Mrs. Boycott “The Little Owl”, and even more anxious a few days later when she said she had graded the books and began handing them out. I could hardly wait to see my grade, but Mrs. Boycott was giving every other student their books and at the end, she said, “Beth, will you please come to the front of the room and read the class your story?”

Really? I shyly walked to the front of the room and looked at Mrs. Boycott’s smile as she handed me my book. I didn’t see a grade, which worried me, but I began reading it. “One day a little boy went to pick some berries for his mother…” and continued to tell a story about this child who cared for an owl with a broken wing and how he nurtured it back to health.

When I finished reading, my classmates clapped while Mrs. Boycott whispered in my ear, “I gave you two A+’s because I think it’s so good!” She thought so much of it, that she took it to the elementary school’s front door desk and put it on display for everyone to see.

That day in April 1984, a dream was born. A dream to write and illustrate more books for others to read. Now, many years later, that dream has come true.

I’m excited to announce that my first self-published book will be released and for sale TOMORROW, April 19, 2022 here! Just as I felt that April day years ago, I’m nervous and excited to share it with you (and hope you think it’s an A+, too!)

But much more than that, I want it to be a book that gives you hope and truth, especially now when it feels like our world’s falling apart. I’ve learned a hard way how we all face struggles in our lives or know someone who is. I’ve also learned our struggles can be viewed as art instead of adversity. When we step back, we can see our struggles becoming transformed into a beautiful masterpiece.

The Art of Struggling: Finding Hope When It Feels Like Your World’s Falling Apart was written with the intention to guide you through struggling times.

Maybe you’re…

· living with anxiety or depression

· Grieving the loss of someone you love

· Daily battling a chronic illness

· Diagnosed with a scary health issue

· Living with a physical impairment

· In the middle of a divorce

· Hiding the truth about your abusive childhood

· Unable to become pregnant

· Struggling with a sin

· Feeling lonely

· Angry at the world and angry at God

· Questioning your faith or

· Wrestling with your purpose

· Normalcy is uncomfortably changing.

· Not understanding why a friend hurt you

· Worn out from being a caretaker

· Wondering why nothing ever seems to go your way

· Stressed, overwhelmed, or underwhelmed

· Exhausted most of the time from your busy life

· Fed up with the news and social media

· Thinking about harming yourself

· Worried about your child who’s struggling

· Having a really, not-so-good-very-bad day!

…then, this book is for you. Or for someone who came to your mind when you read this list.

The Art of Struggling guides the reader through a journey of spiritual practices to deepen her or his relationship with God while struggling emotionally, physically, or spiritually. Through a collection of written prayers, a story, reflection questions, Scripture, and an artistic expression option in each chapter, this book befriends the reader through times of struggling and how to persevere with hope.

Little did I know when I wrote that book in 5th grade, that one day I’d be like the child, who wanted to help take care of others who struggle with something broken in their lives and publish a book with hope to help them.

The Art of Struggling is on sale on Amazon as a paperback book or Kindle. Get your copy today!

(And if you’d like to write a kind review, I would be grateful!)


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