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November 3, 2012

Excerpt: Fruit of My Spirit by Deanna Nowadnick

For those asking questions about our purpose in life, Fruit of My Spirit: Reframing Life in God’s Grace offers hope and help. Author Deanna Nowadnick fills her memoir of short stories with humorous insights gleaned life’s missteps and misdeeds. Rich in Biblical quotes and references, the book shares a refreshingly honest look at Christian life. The author builds her story around the Apostle Paul’s encouragement to the people of Galatia: “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.” (Galatians 5:22–23) .

This engaging personal growth book thus goes beyond the storytelling of a memoir; it employs vignettes that directly touch the heart. Readers instantly identify with the travails of a child who was brought up to be seen and not heard. Later hearts are touched as she recounts her time as a teacher of children with disabilities, “At that school, I found an unexpected contentment and a renewed sense of self, and in that room, with those children by my side I learned to speak—in love and compassion.”

What started as a single story for her sons about how she met their father quickly turned into a divine writing adventure in which she was able to tell of God’s love and faithfulness. Recalling the nine qualities of the Holy Spirit’s fruit, the author uses pictures to relate each attribute to its Greek equivalent. The chapter on “Joy” or chara (Greek for divine happiness) is paired with cherries; “Kindness” or chrestotes (Greek for goodness) is paired with strawberries. Charming black-white photos capture transformations through thirty years of marriage for Deanna and her husband Kurt, and family time with their sons Kyle and Kevin.

It takes a skillful writer to weave stories of personal transformation that resonate with more profound references from the Bible, and to that end, the book is part Bible study, part memoir, part confessional. The author’s wry sense of humor shines in poignant examples acknowledging that God is in the details. As she shied away from a more intimate relationship with Him and then as she was learned to accept His love and guidance, she found the strength and insight to reframe life in His grace. And then she found that answer to the really big question about her own special purpose in life.

Fruit of My Spirit: Reframing Life in God’s Grace is a spiritual memoir providing readers with priceless insights and inspiration. More important, the author’s stories remind readers how they can find the enormity of God’s grace in the details of their own lives.
Paperback & ebook
Published: January 2012 by Rhododendron Books
ISBN13: 9780983589723
Goodreads, IndieBound, Amazon 


Fruit of My Spirit: Reframing Life in God’s Grace



“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such there is no law.”

I’m a mess. The highlights in my hair hide a pre-gray drab. One hip and one knee have been replaced and another knee should be. I’m overweight and under the illusion that I’m going to wake days I whine and complain more. I’m impatient whenever life has the audacity to thwart my plans. to 125. When I remembered that the Bible says Moses only lived to 120, I decided on 119. I can’t imagine God needing me around longer than Moses!

Life has its challenges. Life is a challenge. I know my existence is about more than this body. I know on the inside, but honestly, I’m not so sure that the inside stuff’s any prettier. Perhaps I’ve been expecting With on the forehead and magically transformed into a loving, joyous, peaceful, patient, kind, good, faithful, and fresh nail polish. In thinking that, I’ve not only trivialized God’s love and forgiveness, but I’ve overlooked the fruit of His Holy Spirit that’s already a part of my own spirit in all that I do and all that I am.

So now what? Filled with His Holy Spirit, do I step back from life as I’ve known it? Do I need to If not wearing a white ensemble, something off-white? With His fruit, will I have this new aura about me that parts the seas and calms the storm within?

About the Author:

Deanna Nowadnick is a Pacific Northwest native and debut author. Fruit of My Spirit began as a love story to her sons. She just wanted them to know how she met their father. One chapter quickly became many chapters. One day, she said to anyone who’d listen, “I think I wrote a book.”

When not writing, Deanna serves as Client Service Coordinator for The Planner’s Edge, a financial advisory firm. Deanna is active in her church, playing the violin and editing the monthly newsletter. She loves to knit, adores chocolate, and most importantly, enjoys a blessed marriage to Kurt. They are the proud parents of two adult sons, Kyle and Kevin.

Deanna is currently working on Book 2. At the Corner of Grace and Mercy: Meeting God at Life’s Crossroads tells of those times when God has come alongside and guided, directed and turned her. The book is another collection of short stories, this time recounting how God has met her at life’s crossroads, when she’s been “on point” with God, not because of anything she’s done, but because a loving, gracious, merciful God was there time after time, again and again.


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