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Letter From a Guy Who Loved the Book

Every so often I get an email from a reader who just pours love and encouragement into my life. I can’t even tell you how much this means to me. I want to share a letter from a guy who loved the book. Yes, a guy. This was my first letter from a guy, and I have been praying for him ever since.

The thing was that I almost deleted this email before I read it. I almost missed this email. I thought it was spam or something because the subject was GTMTOY. But he was abbreviating the title of my book! Once I figured it out, it was so so so sweet. Please read on to hear a little bit of this brother’s precious heart.

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Dear Chelsea,
My name is Benjamin and though I was born in America, I’ve lived almost my whole life in Spain.

So, I’m this 17-year-old missionary kid living in Mexico who’s searching for Christian fiction in Smashwords and … BOOM! I find Goodnight to My Thoughts of You by Chelsea Rotunno.
I just ended it a few moments ago!

Wow! Your book hit my spirit and soul like a bomb, honestly. At first, I thought I was simply going to read Christian romance but then I found this was one of those books God uses to talk to you, so I better read it all soon.

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I’m a guy and I think this book should be read by both groups of young men and women whose desire is to find God’s love and holiness in order to wait for the one He has prepared for you.

I identified with Charlie’s character. His weaknesses and affinities are pretty related to mine. Miriam’s situation with her mom made me think also I should value more my parents’ counsel. Her dreams about her future and how she learns to walk through the valley of the shadow encouraged me. Now I want to know what I can give to God instead of what should I have received.

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I just want to end saying that the most tremendous thing about this book is that you let God pour out his love through your hands and you wrote this awesomely well-written, too real book.

May God bless your ministry of words and I hope I can read your next book. God bless you and your family!

Kind regards,
Benjamin

.  .  .

So as I always do, I will include my follow up email and his response. Because this guy is so precious.

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Dear Benjamin, 

I just read and reread your email probably 7 times. Thank you for your kind words and encouragement! It’s like this payment from heaven. I am so rich right now because of what you just wrote in that email.
You know, when I was writing the story, I kept feeling God urging me to finish and get this story out there for his children. Not because he wanted to teach his children something, necessarily, but because He loves his children (you) so much!
 
Benjamin, he loves you so much. 
His discipline is so good. He is the best Father, disciplining and training his children like only he can.
I have had to go through so much discipline in my life in order to have the wisdom to make choices that are according to God’s design. God’s wisdom is all throughout his design for love, marriage, and intimacy. I pray that you will trust his design and experience that joy and freedom that comes with it. He will pour out his love on you.
But forgive me for preaching! I am just so happy that you enjoyed the book! 
May I quote your email on my blog? I love to share emails like this.
Also, would you be willing to write a review of the novel? It’s so important for readers to know that the book is worth their time. It’s especially cool to have a guy’s point of view on the novel. I don’t think any guys have reviewed it yet. 
Here are the links: 
Thank you so much. You are so kind to send such an encouraging email. You made my day. God bless you and your family too, Benjamin!
Love in Christ, 
.  chelsea rotunno  .

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And, of course, he said I could post his letter on my blog. Thank you Benjamin! Here is his reply:

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Dear Chelsea,
I’m sorry for any inconvenience you may had had reading my last email, because my first language isn’t English.  You don’t know how that “preaching” you wrote to me touched my heart. Because those words were exactly what I was looking for.  As I told you before, I can feel His love in your words.  Of course you can quote my last email! I’m just really happy you could take your time to read my last email and answer me. Also, I will write a great review in the links you showed me.  God amazed me and surprised me with Goodnight To My Thoughts Of You. I will recommend it to my English-speaking friends. I pray that someday your works can be translated into many, many languages. 
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I pray also that God will continue to touch the lives of teens like me by reading your book. May God bless you in every facet of your life!
Love in Christ,
Benjamin
P.S. By the way, I love to write poems and songs. Your poems in the book encouraged me to keep writing. 

P.S. 2  You made my day too.

 . . .

Go ahead and take a second to say a prayer for Benjamin to meet the most amazing, God-fearing gal in His perfect timing. It might not be for years to come, but I believe God wants to bless this guy and show him more and more of His amazing love through a marriage union.

Heavenly Here With You, the second book in the Charlie & Miriam series, is in the works. Be sure to keep in touch so you can help me choose the book cover! More info soon. You can subscribe to the blog here to receive free email updates. Thank you and God bless you!

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Best Emails Ever

The best emails ever are the ones from girls who read and loved my book Goodnight to My Thoughts of You. Thank you so much for your emails ladies!!! Here is the most recent email, from Grace:

Dear Chelsea,

Hope this finds you well. I’m Grace from Indonesia. I’m a Christian girl, a pastor-daughter, a teens-ministry teacher, and an amateur Christian-devotional writer. I just finished reading your novel Goodnight to My Thoughts of You. And honestly, it blew my mind, turned my heart upside down. Your novel touched me deeply.

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Thanks to you. At first, I did not want to read the entire novel, as the novel has two parts which I literally thought this would be a long way to go to read the entire parts. But the title successfully persuaded me to little by little, digging out each chapter. And here I am writing you an email just one day after I completed reading it. I experienced so much fun, joy, and even tears in your novel. It was so powerful. I can see the reflection of my self in Miriam character. (Well, it is not 100% of her, but may be around 65%.) There are several questions in my mind that have been answered in your novel. Thanks to you once again. I am now recommending it to my Christian best girl friends and my students. Your novel has also motivated me to start writing my own Christian novel (love story about my parents, 😀 since I’m still “Lady in Waiting” mode) to encourage my girls in church to stay pure in the eyes of the Lord before marriage. It is most likely in Indonesian language. For your information, it is so rare to find a Romance-Christian-based-novel  in Indonesia.

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I am really looking forward to read your next novel Heavenly Here With You. May God bless you through the writing process for the sequel. God bless your husband and the children.

Warmest love,

Grace

 

When I read stuff like this, I just cry and thank God for such a blessing. I mean, Indonesia? How awesome is that?!

I responded with this email:

 

Dear Grace, My sister in Christ,

I have prayed for you a few times already since I received your email — I prayed for you tonight too. I thank God for you and your sweet spirit! I hope I can express how grateful I am for your response to my novel; I am just praising God because my story has touched your life–all the way in Indonesia. And we have a sisterhood and a kindred spirit in the Lord Jesus. How amazing! I am so excited for you to write your parents’ love story. I would love to read it. If you look on my blog in the category called “On Writing” you will find a series of 5 posts about “how to start writing your story.” I hope you find them helpful! Please pray for me as I continue to write and prepare the next few novels. I praise God for the riches I have received from your encouraging words. God bless you, sweet Grace! One day soon you will know why your email came to me in perfect timing. Trust the Lord; he is so good. 

“Pleasant words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones.” Proverbs 16:24

Love, Chelsea Rotunno

P.S. May I quote your email on my blog?

P.P.S. Please leave a review of the book at one or both of these websites (Amazon and Barnes and Noble) so other girls will know you enjoyed reading it! Thanks!

 

And her response just melted my heart! 🙂

 

Dear my sister in Christ, Chelsea,

I was so happy to read your email. Thank you for your encouragement on my writing. I’ll take your advice and read in your blog. When I finish my writing, I’d like to share it to you. But may be it will take a longer time, since I am going to write in Indonesian language first to reach Christian girls community here. I must admit that in Indonesia, there are very limited sources for Christian novel, theology and or motivation for youth written in our language. If we have any, it must be in English and  compared to the majority of population who barely speak English, our teenagers / youth are inadequate to read it comprehensively. Yeah, this is a very sad condition. That is why I am hoping I can be a good writer to share God’s love to the next generation.

I have prayed for you to finishing the sequel of your novel for several times. I prayed that the Holy Spirit will bless you with wisdom and creativity to present a fresh story that speaks to the deepest soul of your reader just like the first one.   

Just when you feel discouraged, believe Him and read this below verse:   Isaiah 40:29 “He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak.”   

PS: It is my pleasure if you’d like to quote my email on your blog.

P.P.S: I also have written reviews for your book in those links above. Hope there will be more readers discover your book.

God bless each of us! 🙂

Warmest regards, Grace

 

Oh my goodness. Thank you Jesus!

Hey there! Have you read my novel Goodnight to My Thoughts of You ? It’s not too late to get your free copy of the ebook, or leave a review so other girls will know you liked it! And don’t forget to subscribe to the blog so you can get free email updates!

Thank you so much.

xo, Chelsea

 

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Broken Dishes


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I want an 8×10 print of a broken dish to hang in my kitchen. Or maybe an actual broken dish hung on the wall as a decoration. Because I need a constant reminder: it’s only a dish.

This little dish was part of a tea set that my daughter got for her 3rd birthday seven years ago. It’s a really cute little tea set. Was a cute little tea set.

It broke, obviously, when my kids were playing with it the other day. For some people, this is no big deal. Just toss it. Forget about it.

I wanted to toss it. Instead, I left it on the kitchen counter for a week, because I had to try to glue it back together. I had to at least try.

You see, I’m realizing that I have a really hard time letting things be broken. Just broken. Let it be broken and throw it away.

So after a week of staring at it, I threw it in the trashcan. And then I took it back out.

To take this picture.

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I think this plate was a reminder to me that it’s okay to feel broken, to be broken, to let things be broken without having to fix everything and put it back together and make everything whole again.

I think some other people might feel like me sometimes. Like nothing should break. We have to keep it all together, in perfect balance, every day.

Sometimes I feel like I’ve got those plates in a balancing act, spinning on the top of sticks, and the plates are wobbling back and forth. At any moment they will fly off the sticks and smash into the floor.

And then, instead of sweeping up the mess and throwing it all away, I’ll sit down to glue all the pieces back together and make it look like it never happened.

I’m trying so hard to keep everything together.

I don’t want anything to fall apart.

I don’t want me to fall apart either. I can’t. I have too many people to take care of to let myself fly off the handle and break.

I feel a huge pressure to raise our kids right. I have to protect them and give them only the best experiences to they will grow up to be strong and healthy in every way. I have to serve the healthiest food three times a day and keep everyone’s teeth brushed twice a day and wash all the sheets once a week and make sure there are no crumbs on the floor because our town has a lot of crickets.

And the more time I spend on the computer, the more pressure I feel to keep my home perfect and orderly and beautiful like everyone else’s, even though I have five kids in a two bedroom house.

I try and try and then something breaks.

And sometimes I scream and cry or say things I regret. And–sometimes–I keep the Elmer’s glue coming and make it look like everything is fine.

It doesn’t mean I have failed.

Because life isn’t a great big test, and we are not going to receive a report card at the end of our life and get a 4.0 GPA in Motherhood, Home Keeping, Wifehood, Remodeling, Healthy Meals, Church Participation, and Emotion Control.

Is it possible that it’s good to be broken sometimes?

To toss something that we thought was so valuable but really wasn’t that big of a deal?

To reevaluate some of our expectations of ourselves and others?

To reprioritize?

To remember: it’s only a dish?

. . .

By the way, Andy finally tossed the broken plate in the trashcan, and I didn’t take it back out. I thought about it, you know, in case my pictures didn’t look good enough and I needed to take more, but instead I just

chose

to

let

it

go

And I haven’t thought about it once since.

Not at all.

Not even one time about how I didn’t even try to glue it … and it might have worked.

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Let me know you were here! Give some love and leave a reply.

xo,

Chelsea

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