Shannon here: I’m excited to have Stacy Monson visit today. We used to blog together and we’ve actually met at the ACFW conference. Twice I think. Stacy’s sharing her inspiration for her latest Contemprorary Romance, The Color of Truth. Comment or answer the question at the end of the post to enter the drawing for a copy. Deadline: June 17th, 11:59 pm central time. Here’s Stacy:
Many people have asked me about the title of my new book, commenting that they’d never thought of truth as having a color. The older I get, the more I see it’s many shades, intensities, and variations. I’m not talking political or moral or religious truth here – I’m talking about our own truth. How we see ourselves, what we believe about ourselves, and why.
Think back to your childhood. What messages did you get? Were you in the way? Did people laugh at you? Were you the center of attention? Did you see yourself as special or deficient? Acceptable or in need of change?
Sometimes we can look back and reframe those messages through an adult lens, but on many occasions, the weight or depth of the message is nearly impossible to shake. If you were treated as stupid, you might question the value of your opinion in a work setting. Perhaps you were overweight as a child, but are now living a healthy lifestyle; are you still “that fat girl” inside? Did you have to keep a smile on your face so people don’t suspect there’s chaos in your family? Then you might fear being authentic with people you meet as an adult.
That was the thinking behind The Color of Truth. We don’t get to choose the family we’re born into, or the living situation. As children, we absorb the world around us like sponges, trying to figure out what to do, how to act, who to believe, based on what we see and hear. And what we absorb follows us into adulthood – into our jobs, relationships, decision making, parenting, etc.
Marti Gustafson has dyslexia. Because her home life was chaotic, she never got the diagnosis that might have changed how she learned. Instead, she carried the weight of being “stupid” through her school years. She saw it in her test scores, heard the cruel laughter of other kids. When she had to quit high school to get a job, it was a relief.
Sam Evans has been unable to move forward out of the disaster his life became through an unexpected divorce, getting fired, and being falsely accused. The childhood messages he received were “man up” and “shape up” from his relentless law enforcement father. He never knew what he was doing wrong; he just knew he was a failure in his father’s eyes. His disastrous adult life only confirmed the truth.
When Sam and Marti meet, Sam sees a bright, beautiful young woman with a heart for others and a fierce loyalty to her younger sister, while Marti sees a smart, kind, caring man whose smile melts the ice in her heart. It will take a crisis of trust and truth before either can see in themselves what the other sees.
Will it take a crisis in our own lives to recognize and celebrate our unique qualities? I sure hope not! Is it even possible to change our perception of ourselves? Definitely, and we don’t need a crisis for it to happen! It starts when we choose to see ourselves, and those around us, through the lens of our Creator. When we choose to let His voice speak truth into our lives, drowning out the lies. When we choose to see past the black and white of who others say we are, and instead allow the colors of God’s love and truth to wash over us.
Scripture is full of assurance that we are loved just the way we are, the way He made us. We don’t have to measure up to anyone else. Phew – isn’t that a relief? Hopefully that’s the message conveyed through The Color of Truth. When Sam and Marti discover the truth of who they truly are, it changes everything. While it’s a bumpy, even dangerous road to those truths, the final realization makes a difference not only in their own lives, but also in the lives of those they care about, and even in the community.
What we can know is that I matter just the way I am. YOU matter just the way God designed you. How do we know? Because God says so! And that’s the truth!
About Stacy: Stacy Monson is the award-winning author of The Chain of Lakes series, including “Shattered Image,” “Dance of Grace,” and “The Color of Truth.” Her stories reveal an extraordinary God at work in ordinary life. A member of ACFW (American Christian Fiction Writers), Stacy is the past president of MN-NICE (where the writers really are nice!), and serves as the area coordinator for ACFW in Minnesota. Residing in the Twin Cities, she is the wife of a juggling, unicycling physical education teacher, mom to two amazing kids and two wonderful in-law kids, and a very proud grandma of 2.5 grands. Learn more: Stacy’s Website
About the book – The Color of Truth:
Truth isn’t always black and white. Sometimes it takes the unexpected to reveal its true colors.
Marti has been on her own since she was 15, determined to build a life for herself and her sister despite the threats of a man intent on keeping her from revealing his secret.
Sam Evans’ turbulent teen years prepared him for the perfect job—counseling troubled youth. Then his pregnant wife walked out on their marriage and his life imploded, leaving him without a family, a job, or his hard-earned reputation.
With her sister in danger, they’re forced to divulge the secrets, lies, and half-truths they’ve kept hidden from each other, and from themselves. If they can’t face the brilliant colors of God’s truth, the consequences may be deadly.
Can’t wait for the drawing? Get your copy now: The Color of Truth
Question for Readers: What special quality do you bring to relationships?
I’ll go first. I grew up in a funny family (as in ha-ha funny), although I’m the least funny of the 4 kids. But my sense of humor and quirky way of seeing the world brings levity and laughter to my marriage and my friendships. Laughter is what I love best about my 35 year marriage.
Come back June 9th for Ginger Solomon!