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Hannibal Courier - Post - Hannibal, MO
  • "Just Add Hope”: Wendi Miller takes a leap of faith in order to follow God’s direction

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  • The dollar bill that is tucked away inside a greeting card and pinned to a bulletin board adjacent to Wendi Miller’s computer isn’t the first dollar that this inspirational writer ever earned, but it is possibly the most meaningful.
    Following God’s direction, Wendi authored a newsletter between the years 2001-2009, focusing on uplifting messages. She delivered these newsletters to nursing homes and residential facilities, hoping to reach people with restricted mobility, and who needed a pick-me-up.
     By return mail came a note from a Hannibal woman of limited means who was so touched by the message, that she was inspired to send a dollar to help with the ministry. That dollar pinned to Wendi’s bulletin board serves as a reminder to stay focused on the message God sent to her so many years ago:
     “Write.”
    Beginning in 2001, she did what God told her to do.
    “I tried to do a really good job,” she said, writing stories for her inspirational newsletter, while also working a full time job in order to pay the bills. Then in February 2014, she heard God speak to her again.
     “You write for me and I will make it so you can meet your needs. No distractions, no worries. Just write.”
     “It was a gut thing,” Wendi said. She wrote down the words. “I realized that I never really trusted Him enough to make a leap of faith. I needed a paycheck.” She heard Him say, “I need you to trust me completely. When are you going to listen to me? I need you to write.”
    So she quit her job, and turned her attention to sharing God’s message.
    “My first project was putting two books together, and starting a ministry website,” Wendi said.
    “I had no clue how to set up a website. I had to trust Him every day to guide me to the right webinar and training. The first complete month was on-the-job training,” Wendi said. “He has allowed me some growing pains.”
    She repurposed 30 stories previously written for her newsletters, and found that she had enough material for two books. “I started with a smidgen of scripture, a dash of devotion and a pinch of prayer,” she said, plus “each story has its own devotional section.”
    She researched self-publishing options, and found a company with few upfront costs. She followed guidelines on how to set up the layout of her books, utilizing fonts that accented her writing style. She edited and re-edited her work, until it met her own high standards. Now, the print-to-order books are available for sale on her website, www.LoveThatAmazes.com, and at Amazon.com by searching wendi miller.
    Page 2 of 2 - Wendi is in charge of the marketing for her book, but once again, she believes she has a partner in this mission.
    She heard God say: “I told you to write. I will take care of the rest.”
    Her marketing plan includes sending out daily scriptures via email, and writing blog posts three or four times a month. Her mission is to help people realize their own value.
    “I always felt I was a little bit less than …” she said, her voice trailing off before finishing her sentence. “We are all valuable in God’s eyes. That’s what I’m all about.”
     
    Shelby the
    Shepherd
    Now that her books, ‘Just Add Hope,” volumes I and II are complete, she is moving forward.
     Next on her agenda is a children’s book, which she will have ready for Christmas.
    The story is about Shelby, a little shepherd.
    “He came about last Christmas when friends were talking on Facebook that they wished that there was an ‘Elf on the Shelf’ alternative.
    “Shelby the Shepherd is a little guy and he only gets one sheep – named Little One - to tend to.
    “Little One gets lost, and Shelby finds him in Bethlehem, at Christmas.”
    The moral of the story is that Shelby doesn’t think he is very valuable, because of his size. “Then he finds out that he is,” Wendi said.
     An illustration contest is currently under way on her website, and will continue until July 11. She encourages those with artistic talent to enter. Once Shelby’s design is finalized, Wendi will make dolls to accompany her book.
    “The world is getting meaner,” Wendi said. “People have to try harder to be nice. I want to encourage people to be who they were called to be,” regardless of society’s influences. “I wish I had learned it earlier.”
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