Categories: Book, Community, Faith



I finished at 9:45 p.m. Saturday evening and sat staring at my computer.

Is it really done?! After starting “the book” over four years ago, setting it aside–thinking it wasn’t going to be puslished–for 18 months, and having it edited and reworked three times, the writing and editing is done.


I really can’t believe it. Four years of a project being in the wings, you get used to think about it from one perspective. Turning a corner and coming at it from another angle is a bit jarring. I was alone and it was night. Somehow the quiet of the evening and it just being me, the book, and God after the slug fest this wonderful project has been, was the appropriate reverent response. No crowds, no big moment, not even ice cream (!). Just silence and stunned awe.

Now, I’m not done, done. Still need to work on the cover, the back cover, the acknowledgments, the formatting, the marketing plan, and figuring out tax stuff. But still, what makes a book, a book are written words that have been cleaned up from too many thats, justs, things, and not enough commas (my eternal flaw!). A huge hurdle after 14,597 attempts, has been been cleared.

I have so many of you to thank. If you read my first draft and this final draft, you’d see tremendous improvement in my writing. This space and your kindness to comment and share and just do life in the messy middle with me have grown me as a writer and observer. Thank you.

I’m aiming for a January release. Looming Transitions: Finishing well on the road to or from serving cross-culturally will be in the hands of those getting ready to go to the field, leave the field, or be teamed with someone in major transition. Isn’t “Looming” a fun word?!

Since there wasn’t ice cream, let’s go with my second love, a book giveaway! My friend Amy Sullivan is launching a book book series this week called Gutsy Girls: Strong, christian women who impacted the world.” Amy sent me an advance copy and here’s a gutsy girl I know reading book one about Glady Aylward.

Gutsy Girl

Can I tell you the truth? I’m a bit of a book snob and at times Christian books, children or adult, make my skin crawl at how cheesy they are. It’s embarrassing. So, when Amy asked me if I’d look at the series and see what I think, I wanted to help her for three reasons. 1. She has an awesome name, Amys need to stick together. 2. She was the first person who trusted me to guest post back when I was nobody. I’m still nobody, but I’ve never forgotten her kindness or the I compared myself to Mother Theresa (yikes!). 3. I’m all for gutsy girls (and boys).

But I also knew it was a risk because, you know, of the snob part.

Guess what?! This book is well written, the lay out is great, and the illustrations are engaging. Even Marsha Young, the expert on all things children’s books is impressed.

Amy has kindly offered to send one of you and electronic copy! Leave a comment and on Thursday, I’ll randomly choose one of you. Let’s celebrate :).

But this is a book worth buying and not just hoping you win because it comes with a card game and curriculum you’ll get free you free if you buy is this week. If you home school, work with Sunday School, lead Pioneer Girls, want some added material for your own kiddos OR know someone who does any of the above, this is an excellent resource. If you buy it before September 25th, for the freebies. Below this I’ll put more information about the freebies and how to get them if you’re interested.

Cheer with me, will you, that gutsy girls aren’t just a thing of the past as I’m feeling a bit gutsy myself (and scared that Looming Transitions will move from idea to reality).

Grace and Peace,





  1. You get the book early! Yay! But if that isn’t enough (what?), here are the other shockingly fabulous incentives.
  2. A PDF of Gabfest, conversation starters for girls. Simply open-up the PDF of Gabfest and print it. Later this fall, Amy will sell a printed version of Gabfest from this site, but for people who order Gutsy Girls early, Gabfest is free, free, free! Here are a few sample cards.




3.  You will be entered to win one of two Live Gutsy paintings completed by the illustrator of Gutsy Girls: Strong Christian Women Who Impacted the World, Beverly Wines.


4.  You will receive a PDF of a five page enrichment packet which includes activities to extend Gladys’ story long after you finish reading the book. This packet of enrichment activities is perfect to use with Sunday School classes, students who are homeschooled, small groups, or at the kitchen table with your own kiddos.



  1. Go to Amazon and order either an ebook or a paperback copy of Gutsy GirlsStrong Christian Women Who Impacted the World.
  2. Email Lisa at by Friday, September 25th, and let her know you purchased a book. We are using the honor system, friends. No need to send Lisa the Amazon receipt. She just needs to hear from you via email. Again, you must email Lisa for the freebies or we won’t know you purchased a book.
  3. Lisa will send you the shockingly amazing freebies. The winners of the Live Gutsy paintings will be announced via social media on Monday, September 28th.


Now back to the Amy who writes The Messy Middle ;)! Leave a comment — about anything: high fiving me, high fiving your favorite gutsy girl, high fiving the weather. Today is a day to celebrate! 

Leave A Comment

  1. Amy L. Sullivan September 22, 2015 at 6:17 am - Reply

    1. I really love it when people explain their thinking in list form. You get major points for that.
    2. JANUARY???? Woooo-to-the-hoooo. Keep me posted. I want to help.
    3. Christian books usually make me itch.
    4. Thank you for being a book snob who likes our books. Plus one for Amy and Bev.
    5. Gladys’ story amazes me. How was she so brave? How can I be brave?
    6. The free loot is not to be missed. Home schooling mamas and Suday school classes will gobble it up with a spoon.
    7. Appreciate you.
    8. That’s all.
    9. I can’t stop with the list.

    • David Rupert September 22, 2015 at 3:05 pm - Reply

      Amy, she missed your BVC church connection. Awesome to see your influence across the miles

  2. Michelle September 22, 2015 at 6:45 am - Reply


    I am so proud of you. I remember you writing on your red computer in the back part of the room. Congrats on finishing my friend. I am sure it will be great. As far as a book snob, it is a good thing. Own it.


  3. Laura September 22, 2015 at 6:50 am - Reply

    Congratulations!!!!! I’m so proud of you. You’ve been a great inspiration to me as I’m trying to tackle transitioning in my own life. I can’t wait to see the finished product of all your hard work. Well done you!!!

  4. Mike September 22, 2015 at 7:12 am - Reply

    CONGRATULATIONS!! And definitely a high-five! Amy, you’ve accomplished something that I’ve only been dreaming about for way too many years – finishing writing a book. Wow! Can I say it again? Wow!

    Recently several different events have happened in my life that unmistakeably point me to get on with writing my book. Maybe one of these days I’ll be able to post a similar one like you have posted today, celebrating my finished book. At least that’s my goal!

  5. Erika September 22, 2015 at 7:48 am - Reply

    Amy!!! A standing ovation! Thanks for the inspiration!

  6. Amy L. (formerly F.) ^_^ September 22, 2015 at 9:00 am - Reply

    Exciting!!! I’d buy one anyway for my baby girl when she grows up (Gutsy Girls), but wanted to comment anyway…now gotta get babbling baby that is waking up from her nap! AND, I look forward to buying yours,too! Whee! ^_^

  7. LeAnne P September 22, 2015 at 9:07 am - Reply

    What a wonderful way to end my day: learning I’ll have a whole book of Amy in January. Wait, does that sound creepy? Either way, I’m thrilled to pieces for you.

    What age is the target for the Gutsy Girls book? I’m on track for a Brave Boy myself, but I have many friends with girls!

  8. Kristi September 22, 2015 at 9:57 am - Reply

    Yay, Amy! Yay, Amy! Yay, Amy!

  9. Becki Bradshaw September 22, 2015 at 10:06 am - Reply

    Congratulations! As an editor, I know from the other side what an achievement it is to have completed a manuscript! A high-five from the other side of the pond (and I presume you already have a Publisher? :))

    • Avatar photo
      Amy September 22, 2015 at 10:57 am - Reply

      Becki, one of my greatest lessons has been the role of editors — when you have a good one (and I had two good ones) who get your project and are invested emotionally in it too, they make is so much better. I’m now saying, “The Holy Spirit is my life editor!” I’ve tried to get agents interested and no takers :) … so I’m pursuing the route of self-publishing.

      • Becki Bradshaw October 6, 2015 at 6:31 am - Reply

        Amy, still loving what you write over here! If you ever do want to look for a publisher in the UK, please do get in touch. In the meantime, I’ll continue to read and be inspired to pray and act fom your blog.

        • Avatar photo
          Amy October 7, 2015 at 9:00 pm - Reply

          Becki, this means the world to me. Thank you. If there are ways I can help you, also please let me know :)!

  10. Mark Allman September 22, 2015 at 1:01 pm - Reply

    What a great accomplishment! Congratulations!

  11. Julia September 22, 2015 at 1:21 pm - Reply

    Well, I think this would be a great book for my daughters! Thanks for sharing it! And congratulations on finishing your book!

  12. David Rupert September 22, 2015 at 3:04 pm - Reply

    Thrilled to see you at this point!
    You are an awesome communicator and I can hardly wait to see your words cast upon the world. Go book go!

  13. Erin O September 22, 2015 at 9:16 pm - Reply

    Congrats Amy! I just ordered the book for my Gutsy Girl. Looking forward to it!

  14. Danielle Wheeler September 23, 2015 at 11:03 am - Reply

    So excited for you that you’ve reached this milestone! Can’t wait to watch this book be birthed into the world!

  15. Tanya Marlow September 23, 2015 at 11:52 am - Reply

    Your book!!!!! Squeeeee! I wantitIwantitIwantit. Also – sorry for being so rubbish with initial edits. I really wish now that it hadn’t got lost in my email inbox and that I’d been able to helpfully input on it. BUT. This thing will fly without my help or hindrance, of that I have no doubt! So excited for you, friend.

  16. Amanda October 9, 2015 at 7:20 pm - Reply

    I’m a little behind in posting but i didn’t want that to stop me from publicly rejoicing with you! I am so very excited for you and your accomplishments in writing this book! I will definitely buy it! :) (I hope you eventually got some ice cream too :))

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