It’s nearly spring, and as you know, here at FRESH START STORIES, we’re all about making positive changes, so when I saw Lucille Zimmerman’s new book, RENEWED: FINDING YOUR INNER HAPPY IN AN OVERWHELMED WORLD, I wanted to invite Lucille to share what inspired her to write, and what’s in this wonderful book for all of us.
I recommend this book for you if:
A. You struggle with understanding why you can’t keep and find joy or happiness, or know someone like that.
B. Are a writer interested in finding out what motivates characters. And for terrific insight into what happens in a counseling session.
C. You enjoy an intelligent, thoughtful and well-written book that explores the human mind.
So, basically, everyone should read it!
First, a little about RENEWED.
Women increasingly find themselves pulled in many directions, striving to balance the needs of others with the need to nurture themselves. RENEWED helps women understand the need to put themselves on “the list.” Through practical ideas and relatable anecdotes, readers can better understand their strengths and their passions—and address some of the underlying struggles or hurts that make them want to keep busy or minister to others to the detriment of themselves.
This is not another fluffy book that promises help and then lets you down. It includes anecdotes and research—within a Christian perspective—so that hurting people can find their way to sound mental health and happiness.
FSS: What motivated you to write RENEWED?
Lucille: This book was mostly about wanting to pass on what helps people heal. I was in such a painful place for so long and realized there are radical things people can do to make the pain heal. I really do hope it helps.
FSS: Why should women read this, aren’t we already quite busy?
Lucille: Christian women yearn to give themselves permission to step off the treadmill, to take time to do the things that give them passion, and to nurture themselves. But many Christian women feel guilty doing anything that might look selfish and self-indulgent. My book provides clinical research, story, and encouragement for women to put themselves on the list.
FSS: It sounds like you went on a personal journey to write this book.
Lucille: My graduate program was intense with academic and self-reflective aspects. That time of learning psychology, and examining my life history, was the best but most painful time of my life. When I found relief for my shame, depression, and anxiety, so readily, I became angry that I had been stuck for a dozen years. I was frustrated that I had tried to find my emotional healing in scores of Bible studies.
Please hear me: I am grateful for every one of those studies and for the Godly people who surrounded me. I just wished I had known about the psychological tools and the safe people that would bring me swiftly into a place where anxiety, depression, and shame loosened their grip.
During and after that intense time, I holed away in my basement office and wrote. I wrote about everything that hurt and I wrote about everything that helped. I researched, read, and counseled others.
I spent years attending writing conferences. I found an agent then switched to another agent. I wrote queries and proposals. When the first idea didn’t sell, I re-worked it using much of the same material. Finally, the project was sold to a publisher. That was 18 months ago.
Editors, agents, copy-editors, friends, authors, and counselors helped me chisel and refine the book. The seed of the book has been growing for six to eight years. Finally, it is blooming!
I am so proud of this project. It is not another fluffy book that promises help and then lets you down. It includes anecdotes and research—within a Christian perspective—so that hurting people can find their way to sound mental health and happiness.
FSS: Thanks, Lucille, it’s been a real pleasure having you here. I’m going to read and re-read, and buy copies for my friends. God’s blessings on your ministry!
Lucille Zimmerman is a counselor, professor, author, and blogger. Two events changed her life: the Columbine High School shooting in her hometown of Littleton, Colorado, and visiting firefighters and police officers with the Billy Graham Prayer Center at Ground Zero shortly after the 9/11 attacks. She was a stay-at-home mom but had a passion for people who are suffering, especially those experiencing trauma. She went back to graduate school and started a private practice. RENEWED is her first book.
Quotes I highlighted (from Kindle version)
“When people blow up or overreact, it usually isn’t about what we did wrong but about how much those people are hurting or how affected they are by their own emotional histories. The more we are able to back off and see a bigger picture, the more we stop allowing others to direct our lives.” (location 224)
“As people grow and heal, they learn to recognize when they are being triggered, and they learn to ask for motherly, fatherly, or friendly bits of love from others.” (location 255)
I’m sure you’ll find many gems as well.