Sunday, September 22, 2013


My guest today is my dear friend and writing peer, JoAnn Durgin. She opens up her heart today. It is JoAnn's prayer and mine, that this deep sharing will encourage you. We don't always have the answers to our dilemmas.


Lately, I’ve been feeling weary. Not just I-need-a-good-night’s-rest kind of weary. I’m talking about the down-to-your-bones sense of being drained. So tired I feel like if I sit in a chair with nothing to do, I’ll fall into a quick, fast slumber. 

Granted, like a lot of women, I push myself to do everything. I want to fulfill the needs of my family—my husband, my kids, my mother, even my cat, and be all things to all people. I work a full-time, demanding job as a paralegal and spend a majority of my evenings in front of a keyboard pounding out stories about imaginary characters. Writing Christian fiction is my passion, but I can’t allow it to take precedence over my family.

What I’ve come to realize in the last few years is that I simply can’t do it all and be all things to all people. It’s impossible. Our three children are in school and live with us. They are a constant source of joy although they occasionally struggle with their own unique challenges. My mother is currently in rehab after knee-replacement surgery, but she usually lives with us. However, unlike many others my age, I still have my mother, and she’s sharp and otherwise active at the age of 82.

I’m increasingly feeling the strain and stress of also having my brother live with us, in a house I lovingly refer to as “the Big House.” At the age of 56, he hasn’t worked in many years and has no financial resources to live independently. He’s fairly healthy, attends church, helps a bit around the house and has no known vices. Perhaps most helpful is his availability and willingness to drive my mother to her various appointments and meetings. But what will happen when my mother is no longer here? What will he do?

The more I open up to others about this situation, the more I’m finding I’m not alone. Is it fair that I should support my brother when he’s perfectly capable of working? Is it wrong for me to feel this way? Should I be quiet and grateful he’s here to help my mother? How can I help him to function independently at his age? I’d covet your prayers and welcome any suggestions. You see, in some ways, my writing is also my escape.

We all struggle with our own issues, and I thank the Lord for each and every one of my many blessings. I understand my situation could be so much worse. I also know my problems are valid and important to the Lord. I am His and He is mine. Amen! He alone knows my innermost struggles and challenges, and what a joy that I can lay my heartaches at the foot of the cross.

Time and again, I’ve come back to Psalm 62, v. 5-7, and these verses give me that much-needed, soul-quenching rest:

My soul, wait in silence for God only,
For my hope is from Him.
He only is my rock and my salvation,
My stronghold; I shall not be shaken.
On God my salvation and my glory rest;
The rock of my strength, my refuge is in God.

JoAnn Durgin's latest novel

A woman torn apart by secrets.

A man held prisoner by the truth.

Can the greatest love of all

Serenity McClaren had it all before her life crumbled around her like the sand castles on her beloved beach, causing her to flee Croisette Shores and the only home she’d ever known. Nearly five years later and living in Atlanta, she receives a mysterious, unsigned note: Come home, Serenity. Things aren’t as they seem. Time to find your answers. Returning to South Carolina, she prepares to face her demons and the ailing father she left behind, hoping to make peace with both.

Child psychologist Jackson Ross is a man with a surprising past. He’s ready for the quiet life and  eager to establish his practice in the quaint, coastal village. After he hires Serenity to decorate his new office, he’s drawn to the beautiful and enigmatic woman yet sees she’s haunted by a past she can’t escape. Wanting to help her, he begins to suspect one of his young patients may hold the key to unlocking Serenity’s secrets. Jackson follows his instincts and discovers the shocking truth, but how can he tell the woman he’s grown to love what he knows—and set her free—without compromising his professional ethics and losing her forever?

Catching Serenity, a poignant story of faith, hope and love,
and discovering the everyday miracles from an all-powerful God.

Catching Serenity is JoAnn Durgin’s fifth full-length novel. The author of
The Lewis Legacy Series: Awakening, Second Time Around, Twin Hearts and Daydreams (Torn Veil Books), and a Christmas novella, Meet Me Under the Mistletoe and its sequel, Starlight, Star Bright coming in 2013 (Pelican Book Group/White Rose Publishing), she’s an estate administration paralegal in a Louisville, Kentucky law firm and lives with her family in southern Indiana. A member of the American Christian Fiction Writers (national and Indiana chapter) and the Louisville Christian Writers, JoAnn’s prayer is that her contemporary romantic adventures will touch hearts and lives with the redeeming love of Jesus Christ. She’d love to hear from you at or via her  Author JoAnn Durgin page on Facebook.