Thursday, July 24, 2014

Fabulous Friday Feature-Michelle Rayburn

Today I welcome author: 
Michelle Rayburn

To win a copy
Michelle's book, 
The Repurposed and Upcycled Life

Scroll to the end of the post 
to see how to get your copy.

I met Michelle at the Write to Publish Conference. Although a member of the faculty/staff, Michelle's warm and friendly spirit encouraged conferees to chat with her. She never rushed away but always found a time to laugh or talk with us. When I saw her again this year, she invited me to her table. Sure enough we were laughing in seconds. I asked Michelle, "How has God led you on your writing journey?" This is what she replied:

A Renewed Sense of Purpose

I always knew I loved writing, but didn't know I wanted to be a writer. I was one of the unusual students who enjoyed a writing or speaking assignment from a teacher, and disliked multiple- choice exams. I remember a seventh grade assignment to write a short dialogue between two people. Emphasis on short. I turned in a thesis-sized manuscript of a fictional conversation between two opponents playing tennis. Yawn. I showed ambition with the ridiculous length of the mundane conversation, but poor Mr. Breytung, who had to grade that foolishness.

And that's why I don't write fiction. Youre welcome.

I didn't figure out what I wanted to be when I grew up until around age 32. That was more than ten years ago. 13 years more than, to be specific. Yeah, you can do the math.
I had been a registered nurse, then a stay-at-home mom. I tried wedding coordinator, rubber stamp demonstrator, custom painter and decorator, craft instructor and web designer. In my free time, I enjoyed drawing, quilting, scrapbooking, and reading. But, I still didnt know what I wanted to do with my life.

A writers' conference provided a compass in the midst of my career wandering and hobby-exploring and offered a new and unexpected direction. I returned home from that conference and never followed through on any requests to send a manuscript to an editor for consideration. Wouldn't that have sounded so much better if the reverse had happened? Confidence didn't come automatically.

However, I did return home with a renewed sense of purpose. I realized that all of my hobbies, career attempts, and talents and abilities weren't as random as they might seem. Like a dot-to-dot puzzle, as I made the connections and saw how everything established a solid foundation for providing writing material, developing skills, and beginning a speaking ministry, I could see the big picture and it all made sense.

I return to that conference nearly every year, and now write for various publications. Yes, I did eventually follow through! I love what I do. The variety keeps me hooked on my careerthe longest one Ive ever had outside of motherhood. On one work day, I might write a devotional. Another, an article. Still another, I'm working on a newsletter for a Christian ministry or creating a marketing flyer for a client. Some days I'm prepping for a speaking event, and others I'm free to have lunch with a friend.

In 2013, my first book came out. The Repurposed and Upcycled Life: When God Turns Trash to Treasure is a book that helps women reexamine the junky stuff in their lives to see how God uses our worst experiences to teach us and to show his glory. The book was born out of my love for repurposing yard-sale junk into budget-friendly decorations for my home (I blog about that passion on my website). I realized, if we can appreciate trash-to-treasure finds with all of their flaws, maybe it's time to learn to appreciate others, and ourselves, despite our imperfections. God is the master at turning trash into treasure. Writing it was a significant part of my own spiritual journey, and the process was therapeutic.

As you look at your own journey, where have you seen God at work even when everything seemed to fall apart? 
What about your own before and after story points to the greatness and goodness of God? 
Please comment below with how God has repurposed your junk.

Michelle wants to help you connect the dots between faith, creativity, and everyday life and discover the joy of finding God in the most unexpected places. Michelle is the author of The Repurposed and Upcycled Life: When God Turns Trash to Treasure. She has written for Chicken Soup for the Soul, Vista, Christian Communicator, Focus on the Family, and more. She has also written several Bible studies for She and her husband, Phil, have been married for nearly 25 years, and they have two college-aged sons.


Special Offer TodayThe Repurposed and Upcycled Life is free for download on Kindle, July 25 only for all visitors!

Book Trailer on YouTube: The Repurposed and Upcycled Life

To enter the contest for  
Michelle Rayburn's book: "The Repurposed and Upcycled Life":
leave a comment (and email address)
AND become a follower of this site, 
OR sign up to receive posts by email
if you aren't already.

Sorry, U.S. only for the hard copy
BUT on July 25 anyone visitor can download a copy! 

Winner announced on my facebook page.

Thank you, Michelle, for Joining us This Weekend!

Don't forget to comment!


Janice said... sounds like what I need! Thank you for sharing. I was always a nonfiction reader until I discovered Christian fiction. Now I love both. Thank you for giving the ebook to your blog friends.

I have seen God give unexpected provision, and also little coincidences along the way to keep me alert and encouraged that He has not forgotten me during long waits for better days.


Mary Vee Writer said...

Hi, Janice!
God is good that way, yah know. :)

Cynthia Ruchti said...

Michelle is an amazing person and a great writer. It's a joy to see her outreach expanding even further through her books!

Rebecca Peterson said...

Way to go Michelle! Congratulations awesome lady!

Mary Vee Writer said...

I totally agree, Cyhthia.
Nice to see you here today:)

Mary Vee Writer said...

Hi Rebecca,
Thanks for stopping by and encouraging, Michelle:)

Connie Porter Saunders said...

Congratulations Michelle! I am a day late checking Mary's blog so I've missed the free download but I hope to read your book soon. Continued best wishes and blessings to both you and Mary.

Unknown said...

Thanks Connie!

Mary Vee Writer said...

You're still entered in the drawing:) Thanks for coming by today. We were waiting for you :)