by Andrea Renee Cox
One of my Facebook friends recently had her first book published, and I am so excited for her. I’m also excited to share her with you today, friends. Stay tuned to the very end of this article. Gabrielle is offering a giveaway that I know you won’t want to miss.
Inspiration from Home
by Gabrielle Meyer
I’m easily inspired by life. I can drive down a tree-lined street in my hometown and notice a unique architectural detail on a historic home and be inspired to write a full-length story. I can hear a snippet of a story about life on a century-old farm and be inspired to write a sweeping saga. I can read a short advertisement from 1855 and write a story about a young woman looking for love along the banks of the river, from New Orleans all the way to the headwaters of the Mighty Mississippi.
Inspiration is all around me in the most unexpected and often mundane places.
But I have a greater source of inspiration that propels me to pursue publication: my mom. There’s nothing like a strong, courageous woman to look up to.
My mom is one of those ladies who had to make a decision early in life. Was she going to let life’s circumstances bring her down, or was she going to use them to launch her high above the storm clouds? She chose the latter, and because of it, I was taught how to reach for my dreams and pursue my passion.
|Gabrielle (right) and her mom
My parents were married at the ages of seventeen and eighteen, and my oldest brother was born six months after they said their vows. My mom didn’t graduate from high school, and my dad was forced to drop out of college to provide for his family. Theirs is a story of hardship and perseverance. My second brother was born two years later, followed by me three years after, and my sister two years after me. By the time my parents were twenty-five, they had four children.
Just after their last child was born, my mom was diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis. The disease hit her hard at the age of twenty-six. But my mom chose not to let any of this define her. In her early thirties, she went on to get her high school diploma and graduated from a community college. She started her own business and eventually became the Executive Director of our local tourism bureau. But she didn’t stop there, either. She became the second female mayor in our town and served for eight years.
When I think of inspiration, I think of my mom, Cathy VanRisseghem. She’s determined, dedicated, and dauntless. As I watched her as I was growing up, I always knew she would overcome any obstacle put in her way. She once told me I could do anything I put my mind to, and I believed her, because I saw her do it.
My mom also taught me how to embrace what I love. She homeschooled all of us, and when she saw one of us develop an interest, she immersed us in that topic. She knew I loved reading and history, so we spent hours at the library and the local historic sites. She taught me all she knew about our local history, and her love for our community became the source of my love for our community. I dreamed of one day writing stories set in central Minnesota, so I could share that love with anyone who would listen.
My mom has inspired me every day of my life. Her determination to overcome has blessed countless people. I can’t think about inspiration without thinking about her. She’s a one-of-a-kind lady, and I’m so thankful God gave her to me.
Gabrielle Meyer lives in Minnesota on the banks of the Mississippi River with her husband and four young children. She enjoys writing historic fiction inspired by real people and events.
About The Most Eligible Bachelor Collection
Meet nine men from bygone days who have all the qualities of a true hero and who all the single ladies wish to court—though some are unassuming and overlooked until their worth is revealed. The socialite, the architect, the doctor, the masked vigilante, the missionary, the postmaster, the archaeologist, the wealthy widower, and the heir can have their pick of brides, but which one will they choose?
About Four Brides and a Bachelor
In 1852, missionary Luke Longley travels a hundred and fifty miles downriver to convince a stranger to marry him, but when he arrives at the Belle Prairie Mission, he discovers there isn’t one single female missionary, there are four, and all are eager to become his bride. He only has one week to choose, but can he pick the right one before time runs out?
About The Convenient Bride Collection
Join nine brides of convenience on their adventures in a variety of times and settings gone by—from a ranch in California…to the rugged mountains of Colorado…to a steamship on the Mississippi…to the dangerous excitement of the Oregon Trail…into high society of New York City. No matter the time or place, the convenient brides proceed with what must be done, taking nuptials out of necessity…and never dreaming that God might take their feeble attempts to secure their futures and turn them into true love stories for His glory.
About A Groom for Josette
In 1855, Josette LeBlanc has a shipping empire to inherit, but only if she can find a husband before her half-brother turns twenty-one in three weeks. With no real prospects in St. Louis, Josette answers an ad from Little Falls, Minnesota, promising a hundred eligible bachelors for every single lady. Josette never imagines her marriage of convenience will turn to love, but when it does, it causes a whole new set of problems…
Everyone who comments (US residents only, due to shipping costs) will be eligible for today’s giveaway: one (1) copy of The Most Eligible Bachelor Collection. The giveaway is open until the evening of Friday, May 22. The randomly chosen winner will be contacted via email, so be sure to include your email address. The winner will also be announced here on Writing to Inspire next Monday.
Gabrielle, thank you for sharing your mom with us today! Moms are such a crucial part of inspiring growing children, aren’t they? And, as I learned last week when I was down in my back, they’re also there when you need them once you’re all grown up. Congratulations on your first published book, Gabrielle! Both of these collections sound absolutely scrumptious! I know there will be many more published stories to come for you.
Readers, how have your parents inspired you? How have they encouraged you to pursue your dreams?
Thanks for stopping by today! I look forward to hearing your thoughts in the comment section below. And don’t forget to drop by next Monday for my latest article.