When you’ve prayed and prayed for something: My new book on marriage now available in PRINT!

me & Ray
me & my husband Ray

Have you ever prayed and prayed about something, and it seemed like your prayers were just bouncing off the ceiling and weren’t working? That God was too busy, on vacation somewhere, or didn’t care?

That isn’t true, but sometimes when you pray so hard and nothing seems to be happening, that’s how you feel. I have felt that way many times about my marriage of almost 23 years to Ray.

Ray and I have been through so much together. From day one of our marriage, the enemy Satan has tried to destroy it because of the ministry calling of God on our lives.

Here’s just a few of the spiritual battles we’ve faced:

  • Adultery
  • Pornography
  • Financial crises (including our home foreclosing and bankruptcy)
  • Step-family issues
  • Ray’s career problems
  • and much more.

Currently the challenge we’re facing is that we’re trying to buy our rental home. We don’t know if the house loan is going to be approved or not, so we may be moving (again!). We’ve had multiple moves in our marriage, and it’s NOT fun–very stressful. Please keep us in prayer and I will keep you posted!

What are some of the problems you’ve faced–and overcome–in your marriage or in the marriages of those you love? With a frightening statistic of almost 50% of marriages ending in divorce, even for Christian couples, it’s hard sometimes to have faith and hope that your marriage will last “’til death do us part.”

The answer is always JESUS. Don’t stop praying! Being a believer doesn’t guarantee you’ll have an easy, happy marriage, but God can and will help you as you cry out to Him and walk in humble obedience to His word.

He’s able to do the impossible in your marriage, healing and restoring it, and making it resemble a beautiful, stained glass window, a picture of Jesus and His spotless, radiant Bride, the Church. 

Stained Glass & Marriage cover
Here’s a few tips from my new book on marriage, Stained Glass & Marriage: Reflections of Light and Hope by an Imperfect Wife:

  • Forgive daily. This is really hard sometimes, but God has forgiven you and me of so much. We need to extend that love and forgiveness to our spouse. Ask God to help you agape (unconditionally) love your husband or wife, the way God does you. This is a powerful prayer!
  • Pray for each other and with each other. Prayer can help to divorce-proof your marriage. One great resource I recommend isThe Power of a Praying Wife by Stormie Omartian. Often as we pray for others, God changes our own hearts, convicting us of sin. It’s also hard to stay mad at someone that you’re praying for! Your prayers are powerful. (James 5:16) God wants you to have a happy, blessed, fulfilling marriage. 
  • Have fun together. Go on regular dates. When you first met him or her, you did fun things together to get to know each other. After you marry, you both get busy, work, take care of the kids, do chores and errands, etc. Make time with each other–without the kids-a  priority. Dream again. Go have some FUN!
  • Learn to communicate well, not just yell (or ignore each other). Ray and I recently attended a marriage retreat in Kansas City, Kansas, taught by Roger and Laureen Traver of Mountain Top Marriages ministry. In the teaching sessions, they have couples volunteer to demonstrate effective communication versus bad communication. You can use “I feel” statements instead of saying, “You always” or “you never,” or express how you are feeling, without attacking, accusing, or blaming. Listening to your husband or wife is an important key because most spouses don’t really hear each other–the words or especially the HEART message. I encourage you to consider attending the Travers’ marriage retreats. This was our second one and we’d love to attend more.
  • Don’t give up. Satan is attacking Christian marriages hard today because he knows his time is very short and that Jesus is coming soon. What he’s really after is your children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren–your godly seed. (Malachi 2:15) Don’t give Satan or the people giving you ungodly counsel to just go ahead and divorce “to be happy” the satisfaction of your marriage being destroyed. (Even some Christian marriage counselors, family members, or so-called friends will tell you this!) Don’t quit! Too much is at stake spiritually.

These are just a few of the tips I cover in my new marriage book, which compares marriage to the traditional art of making stained glass windows. God wants to make your marriage like beautiful, multi-colored stained glass windows, displaying a picture of Christ and His Bride, the Church.

Stained Glass & Marriage book

I’m so happy to announce that this new book is now in print–a physical copy available for sale for you. You can find it here, and please share with your family and friends: https://www.createspace.com/6099550

This book is also available as an eBook for your Kindle at Amazon here: http://hyperurl.co/j1un48

It’s also available as an eBook for your Nook at Barnes and Noble here: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/stained-glass-marriage-beth-jones/1123488507?ean=2940157802592

Just click below to see the new video trailer for this book! (It’s less than a minute long!)
https://youtu.be/7EEnWmf4GLU

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I got the proof!

I’m SO excited! Today I got the proof!

The proof print, physical book, that is…for my newest book on marriage, Stained Glass & Marriage: Reflections of Light & Hope by an Imperfect Wife. 

This is the 12th book I’ve written and this time I’m testing Create Space as the POD (print on demand) printer to self-publish my book. I wanted to make sure their books don’t have inferior quality to the company I’ve been using.

Stained Glass & Marriage book

So what’s the verdict?

The book’s glossy cover of the stained glass window is beautiful, just like I thought it would be. If you’re choosing between a matte finish and glossy, I’d encourage you to get the glossy. It looks and feels so much prettier and smoother. I love the cover!

However, some authors (or their readers) prefer the matte finish. There’s actually quite a bit of controversy over matte vs. glossy. Some people think glossy screams “self-published.”

buy my book

I disagree and I LOVE the glossy cover. It’s in your court; you decide what you and your readers like best. I’ve always lived by this maxim: IT’S YOUR BOOK. Why write and publish a book that you don’t even LIKE? 

man with caption

As far as the interior quality of the book (the pages, margins, text, pictures, etc.), I think the ink seems a little faded on the words in the text. It’s not as dark black as I’d like it to be. But it’s acceptable and it’s not going to stop me from using Create Space from now on.

The formatting inside the book is fine, which was one of my concerns. You want to make sure the formatting looks professional in both your print books and your eBooks.

If this is not your area of expertise (and it’s not mine), then I highly recommend you OUTSOURCE the formatting.

Keep in mind formatting for a print book is very different than for eBooks. Also, formatting for the Kindle is different than for the Nook at Barnes and Noble. You can find out more here.

When I was first starting as a writer, I didn’t have one of my books professionally formatted inside, and you can really tell a difference! (It didn’t look professional. I won’t tell you which book, though!)

Live and learn! Now I’m sure to hire professionals with each book I write and publish. I focus on my areas of strength and anointing from God: speaking and writing, and I outsource the rest!

woman on laptop

PUBLISHING TIP: Hire a professional formatter, editor, and graphic designer if you self-publish! You want your book to look as professional as possible.

A poorly written, formatted, designed eBook or book can get bad reviews and/or much less sales. 

Also as Christian believers, we want all we do to be done with excellence, because we are representatives of Christ.

I hired a formatter at Fiverr to format it specifically for print at Create Space, and a graphic designer at Fiverr to design the front cover, spine, and back cover specifically for Create Space. 

Some book snobs would sneer at me using Create Space and Fiverr. They compare Create Space to be the “Walmart” or “Dollar Store” of POD companies. But since this is saving my husband Ray hundreds of dollars, he’s not sneering at all.

Do I prefer to use my previous graphic designer, formatter, editor, and POD? YES! I love them and I want to use their wonderful, excellent services! But this time I’m going a different route…and this way will make a dream I’ve had for three years now come true.

dream big

If this printed book had looked absolutely horrible and unprofessional, I wouldn’t do it. You just have to make sure you have the right people helping you at Fiverr! Hire people with high ratings and reviews!

Research all you can about Create Space. Talk to your author friends who have used them before. Ask questions. Create Space also has great customer service. They were very helpful and fast when I emailed them.

I’m VERY excited about this, as now it will be more financially feasible for me to get all 12 of the books I’ve written in PRINT–physical copies of my books that I can HOLD in my hands (like a baby!) and sell on the back table when I speak!

Jesus at wedding picture

After I wrote this book on marriage, at Amazon I saw a stained glass picture of Jesus doing the miracle at the wedding in Cana, turning water into wine, and ordered it. It arrived today, when my marriage book arrived. I didn’t think that was a coincidence, but very significant–like a confirming sign, a little nod, from God about this book and His purposes for it. 

The picture is beautiful, although it’s much smaller than I thought it was. I believe it is a prophetic picture for my own marriage, that God is going to do a miracle of healing and restoration for us.

Stained Glass & Marriage cover

You can read the story about Ray’s and my very painful, almost 23-year marriage in the eBook for your Kindle at Amazon, Stained Glass & Marriage: Reflections of Light & Hope by an Imperfect Wife, by clicking here

I’m going to hang the picture in our dining room. Today I’ve been doing the happy dance because now I can pursue a dream I’ve had for three years: getting all 12 of my books in print, physical books. Yay!

I’m working on proofing the print book, finishing the process at Create Space this week, and then I will let you know when it’s available for sale. 

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