I’m delighted to have Beth Vogt, one of my writing BFFs, as my guest blogger today. I met Beth through My Book Therapy. She is the Soul to my Heart.
Beth K. Vogt provides her readers with a happily ever after woven through with humor, reality, and God’s lavish grace. She’s a non-fiction author and editor who said she’d never write fiction. She’s the wife of an Air Force physician (now in solo practice) who said she’d never marry a doctor—or anyone in the military. She’s a mom of four who said she’d never have kids. Beth has discovered that God’s best often waits behind the doors marked “Never.” She writes contemporary romance because she believes there’s more to happily ever after than the fairy tales tell us. Beth is also a leader in helping women realize a satisfying life doesn’t require perfection. To learn more about her, visit her site at www.bethvogt.com.
Leave a comment along with your e-mail address for a chance to win a copy of Beth’s debut novel, Wish You Were Here.
Sometimes you have to let go of your idea of “perfect” to find what’s right for you.
In my debut novel, Wish You Were Here, the heroine runs away from her oh-so-perfect happily ever after. Why?
Because Allison faces walking down the aisle and saying, “I do” to everything she thought she wanted for the past six years . . . and realizes she can’t do it.
Everything that seemed so right feels so wrong.
In front of hundreds of wedding guests, Allison pulls a Run Away Bride Redux.
Some of you might call Allison a coward for abandoning her fiancé at the last possible moment.
But Allison’s decision to say, “I don’t” instead of “I do” to Seth Rayner, her husband-to-be, is Allison’s first courageous act in a long, long time.
It wasn’t that Allison didn’t love her fiancé. But somewhere along the way to happily ever after, Allison lost herself. The romance became more about safety and security – and less about being her true self.
Funny story:I overlooked how my own life mirrored the fictional life of my heroine until the final edit phase of Wish You Were Here. And then I had an “Oh, yeah!” moment when I remembered Allison Denman wasn’t the only woman who ended an engagement.
I broke off an engagement too.
No, I didn’t leave my fiancé at the altar.
But there was a ring – and a lot of people thought I made a huge mistake when I gave the ring back. I remember one friend asking me, “How can you break up with such a perfect guy?”
I let this friend – and all the other people who doubted my decision –have their say. I was the one who’d been in the relationship, not them.
Yes, I let a (supposedly) perfect guy go.
But I was doing what was right for me.
And in the end I found romance again – and love that surprised me and led to an “I do” that has spanned decades. Funny thing is, when my husband and I got married, people took bets against us. We looked like anything but the ideal couple.
One of the truths I embrace is that life doesn’t have to be perfect to be satisfying. This holds true for romance too. That perfect guy? He just may be all-wrong for you. But the one who doesn’t measure up to your dream-come-true ideal? Look again. He just may be your Mr. Right.
If you had to choose: Would you pick happily ever after and losing yourself along the way? Or would you choose less than perfect and staying true to yourself?
Remember to leave a comment along with your e-mail address for a chance to win a copy of Beth’s debut novel, Wish You Were Here.
Good morning. Before I comment, I want to introduce myself.
My name is Jennifer, I live in Texas with 2 kids, a husband and 4 dogs. I'm a writer, a journalist actually, but dream of the day when I will have a published novel.
I don't think that it would be happily ever after if you lose yourself along the way.
I would have to stay true to myself.
When my husband and I married, no one believed we would last more than a year. That was tough to hear family members say.
Each anniversary that passed they thought would be the last. After five years, I think they finally gave up.
It's been 15 years and I don't hear anyone talking anymore. In fact, in that time some of those family members have divorced their spouses.
Following your heart is the best reward.
Forgot to leave my addy….whoopsie
Jennifer, thank you for stopping by. I agree–I'm not so sure it would be a happily ever after if you didn't stay true to yourself. Congrats on your 15 years of marriage. It's frustrating when others try to pull at your romance, but know in your heart you're doing the right thing.
Good morning, Lisa!
It's so fun to be visiting with you today — thank you for having me as a guest on your blog.
And, Jennifer, I appreciated hearing your story. You and I have more in common that just similar romantic adventures — no, not the four dogs. :O) I'm a journalist too — and I've now crossed over to the Dark Side to write fiction.
Follow your heart!
I've done the HEA and lost myself–not that everyone thought he was the perfect one. But I learned very late in life, that I must stay true to myself, who I am in God and not let someone else dictate my life.
Great post, Lisa and Beth.
Absolutely the less-than-perfect option. Besides, the thing is, if the guy seems perfect, I'm always going to feel pressured to match that perfection. And that would NOT be a fun place to be.
Beth, I love WYWH. Having been privileged to be in your home, I saw close to perfect. I'm thinking your God-given and grown love has helped each of you find (and give) your best self. Brava! Thanks for sharing.
Just read & enjoyed your previous post, too–want to keep up w/ more of them. My email addy is email@example.com
Lisa, thanks for the congrats. 15 years seems like just the beginning when there's a lifetime to go. (Gosh, did that sound like I was being negative)I meant it in a positive way.
Beth, I'm always so excited to meet a fellow journalist on the same path as me. Even if they don't have four dogs :)Which is a strange story since I'm a cat person. 2 are chihuahuas…so they should only count as one hehehe.
Can I have Happily Ever After and Staying True to Myself? 🙂 My husband and I started dating when we were seventeen and we were a perfect fit – the problem was that many people thought we should "spread our wings" in college – becuase how many highschool relationships end in "Happily Ever After"? His mom even called my mom to encourage us to "see other people." Yikes! (Note: My mom never suggested we do this and I love my mother in law…now). 🙂 Sometimes staying true to yourself is not listening to the advice people are so willing to offer.
Four years later, when we were married, our pastor told my mother in law that if our marriage didn't make it, he was in the wrong business. It's encouraging to get some positive comments, too. 🙂
Wow, so very true. People were at our wedding, saying we wouldn't last. That was umm, 20+ years ago. Has it all been easy? Absolutely not. Worth it all? Yes, very much so!
Thanks so much for sharing!
Ah – being true to self… that's not always easy to know. Especially at 17 (me when I met my husband) and with enough baggage to sink the Titanic, the kind that interferes with knowing who you really are. So we rode off into the sunset after the wedding with hopes of happily ever after, and then proceeded to run into lions, tigers, bears… oh my. Apparently we'd taken the yellow brick road. The cliffs, flying monkeys, roadblocks, and storms we've encountered, the scars we've collected.
Thank God that the GRACE of God is very real and living and powerful. We've weathered every storm with God's help, and we both know now, 29 years later and counting, without a doubt, we were meant to be, by the grace of God. Which the OZ guy would say we had with us all along. What journey God assigns, he provides for. And only by facing each of those challenges have I learned who I was and therefore to whom I needed to be true. Pretty awesome. Thanks for asking. 🙂
And HUGE blessings on Wish You Were Here – a very fun, thought provoking story!
What a question! I'm thankful I don't have to answer it in my real life. Congratulations, Beth, on an awesome book!
I'm sure people took bets against my hubby, Eric, and I – we couldn't be more opposite – but there was common ground that made it work. We have spanned a few decades too.
I look forward to reading the novel.
It's funny…I think you might think one person is perfect for you until they break your heart. Then, you step back and realize that there were problems in the relationship, things you didn't see because you didn't know any better. That was me with my first boyfriend, who I dated for 3.5 years and thought I'd marry.
Turns out, the guy for me was a friend I never considered. But he was always there, and when it was time, God opened my heart to him.
I've been blessed…I didn't lose myself AND I got the perfect guy. He just didn't seem perfect for me at first. I love how God changes our perspective in so many ways!
And Lisa, I've already got a copy of Beth's awesome book, so no need to include me in the drawing. 🙂
I am so enjoying this conversation — and I appreciate hearing each woman's story. Thank you so, so much for sharing today!
I just want to say: I loved WYWH! I love how the heroine developed and sought her relationship with God before she ever allowed the hero truly into her life. If only others would follow this wonderful example, there would not be so many divorces even among Christians.
Great post, Beth. I'd have to say staying true to myself and my beliefs would have to trump the decision. Absolutely loved WYWH!
I've had a wonderful time here today, Lisa. Loved everyone's insights.
Can there really be a Happy Ever After if you aren't true to yourself? Hhhmmm, I think not.
Sometimes it takes courage to not do what others expect, but if we don't, there will come a time when we resent what we didn't stand up for.
Gotta be bold and courageous!
p.s. I absolutely LOVE the cover of your book!!!!
sherrinda (at) gmail (dot) com
I loved this book! Very fun without sacrificing take away value.
I loved this story too! And i think you can have HEA and be true to yourself…but it has to start with being true to yourself and working for the HEA. When I married my awesome hubby, I knew we'd be happy, but getting there took forgiveness, commitment, effort and the willingness to say that HEA is a state of mind, or perhaps an attitude, not a place. JMHO.
Beth, I was in B&N; last night and our mutual buddy, Paula M., highly recommended your book. She knows what I love to read. So, I'd love a chance to win your debut novel. How fun!
As for HEA, I found mine at the tender age of 17. We married at 19. Now, 37 years later, we've been blessed with two amazing boys and six fabulous grands. Life has thrown us curves, but my hubs has been my prince who helped me hold it together.
i am always looking for new authors to read and your book sounds really good. Glad I discovered your site