Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Real Life Out of the Boat Stories: An Interview with Marcia Moston

We spent last week talking about what it means to me to be Out of the Boat. (If you missed it, you can read about it here).

Today, I'm thrilled to introduce you to someone who got out of the boat, or in her case, out of the country, and followed the call of God to a remote village in Guatemala. My dear friend Marcia Moston's book, Call of a Coward - The God of Moses and the Middle-Class Housewife, will be released on August 7th. I want you to meet Marcia, but first...a little backstory.

If you've followed this blog for over a year, you may recall that I reviewed Call of a Coward in July of 2011. What happened next is the kind of thing that should be impossible...unless you happen to believe in a God who does all sorts of impossible things.

Marcia's story, Call of a Coward, won the 2010 Women of Faith contest that included a self-publishing package with Westbow Press. The book went to print, Marcia began the not-so-fun but oh-so-necessary process of promoting her book, and then things got...well...the impossible happened.

One month after the book came out, Thomas Nelson offered her a contract (and if you don't follow publishing, let me just say that this is HUGE). It's been a roller-coaster kind of year for Marcia as everything went on hold while Thomas Nelson worked their magic. (I personally think she should write a book on the adventure of following God through the crazy world of publication).

And now, a year later, the book is going to show up on store shelves all over the country and I'm so excited to see what God is going to do ... if it's anything like what He's already done, it's going to be awesome!

So now, let's meet Marcia and read a few excerpts from Call of a Coward - the God of Moses and the Middle-Class Housewife.

Q:  Tell us about yourself.

A: Although I hold degrees in sociology and Christian education, most of what I’ve learned has been by the proverbial seat of my pants. I’ve taught English in a Christian high school, worked with orphans in a Mayan village, led mission teams to Central America, delivered Yellowbooks, stuffed vending machines, and lived in everything from tepees to parsonages.

I love to share the stories and lessons I’ve learned along the way about what a very real God can do with the smallest of our offerings. My first and most dear word from the Lord is Be still and know that I am God—Psalm 46:10.

Q:  What do you hope readers will glean from your story, Call of a Coward-the God of Moses and the Middle-Class Housewife?

A: A fresh confidence in the Living One Who Sees Them. A sense of expectancy in encountering him. Both the story and its path to publication are examples of the possibilities of an ordinary life in the hands of an extraordinary God. I hope readers will be inspired and encouraged that whether they travel a thousand miles or a thousand feet, God can do exceedingly more than they imagine.

Q: Tell us about Call of a Coward-the God of Moses and the Middle-Class Housewife.

A:  It’s about laying aside your hopes, dreams, and fears to follow God even though where He’s leading seems to require credentials you lack and courage you don’t think you have. And about discovering just how personal and gracious He is. Here’s my opening:

The problem with promising God you’ll follow Him wherever He leads is that you just might have to go.

I suspect it would be easier if you were certain of His calling—like stepping out the door and seeing the lilac bush on fire and hearing a voice commanding you. But when it’s your husband who is delivering the message—well, that leaves a little room for wonder.

At least that’s how I felt when my husband rocked my comfortable middle-class afternoon with his belief God was calling us to pack up and move to a Mayan village in Guatemala.

Permission link: Excerpted from Call of a Coward: The God of Moses and the Middle Class House-Wife. Thomas Nelson ©2012. Used by permission of Thomas Nelson, Inc. www.thomasnelson.com.

(Lynn here: I've added in another excerpt because one is not enough and because this gives you a feel for how beautifully Marcia writes...I dare you to read this and not squeeze the arms of whatever chair you're sitting in...)

The road exceeded my worst expectations. Cliffs rose straight up on one side and plunged straight down on the other. The dusty, rutted trail between the two was wide enough for one vehicle. It was one thing to ride a scary road with a husband you could yell at; it was another to ride a scarier road with a stranger who said with the same equanimity, “There’s a good view from the overlook up ahead,” and “The brakes are bad, that’s why I have to pump them.”

Hernando downshifted, pumped the screeching brakes and entered the river. I couldn’t decide whether to look ahead at the slippery rocks on the steep bank, look behind from where we had safely come, or simply bury my head in my lap. If I needed a sign from God, this was it. I decided there was no way I could ride this road to go shopping, to get our mail, to find a doctor, to do anything ever. When, and if, I met up with Bob in the village, I was going to have to tell him so.

Permission link: Excerpted from Call of a Coward: The God of Moses and the Middle Class House-Wife. Thomas Nelson ©2012. Used by permission of Thomas Nelson, Inc. www.thomasnelson.com.

Q:  Is there anything else you would like readers to know?
A:  It was with fear and trembling that I put my name on the same line as Moses’, but the story is not about me or Moses; it’s about the God who is the same yesterday, today, and forever.

Call of a Coward: The God of Moses and the Middle-Class Housewife is available online at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Christian Book Distributors or from your neighborhood bookstore.

Your turn: If your husband (or wife...I know there are some guys who read this!) came home and said "I think God's calling us to...." how would you respond? Or how would you hope you would respond?


dlkoontz said...

You're right Lynn...Marcia's experience, relayed in her book, is intriguing and very inspirational. Reading is always a joy to me, but her book made it a journey too...a journey into an unknown place, an unknown culture, where I could relate to her fears and joys, but from the comfort and security of my comfy little couch. Thanks to you both!