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Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Guest Blogger Allie Pleiter - Don't Try This at Home!

An avid knitter, coffee junkie, and devoted chocoholic, Allie Pleiter writes both fiction and non-fiction. The enthusiastic but slightly untidy mother of two, Allie spends her days writing books, doing laundry, running carpools, and finding new ways to avoid housework. She grew up in Connecticut, holds a BS in Speech from Northwestern University, spent fifteen years in the field of professional fundraising, and currently lives in suburban Chicago, Illinois. The “dare from a friend” to begin writing nine years ago has given rise to a career spanning two parenting books, eight novels including the multi-nominated My So-Called Love Life, and various national speaking engagements on faith, women’s issues, and writing. Visit her website or her knitting blog.

Don’t try this at home....

...Unless you want your life upended. And you’ve hidden all the chocolate. And you’ve warned those you love.

Now, I will be the first person to admit that my life may indeed be particularly complicated at the moment. I have two teenagers, one with some medical challenges, one in the throws of the college application/decision process. I’m chairing too many committees, and I’m working on a deadline (when aren’t I??). I do think of myself as a pretty even-keeled gal, someone who can roll with punches.

I have always given up something for Lent, even after my husband and I joined the Presbyterian Church. I have always felt that removing something from life can give it a new focus. Many times that practice has taken an usual turn--nothing simple like giving up coffee (NOT a chance--I’d never survive!), something less tangible.

This Lenten season, God asked me to give up control.

Whoa.

I am a first-class control freak. I have a multi-level computerized to-do list and I am one of the most task-oriented people you’ll ever meet. Frankly, I don’t do releases of control.

The more I explored it, however, the more sense it made. God wasn’t asking me to give up my skills or my effort, just my ownership of the results. It sounded one-half terrifying, one-half liberating. Most of life’s really good things are a combo of those, don’t you think?

So I, Allie Pleiter, control queen, surrendered control for Lent. Of course the wiser of you already know that I never really had control in the first place, but grant a gal her comforting illusions. So far, it’s worked. I’m not saying the world didn’t hand me some monstrous challenges in the control-reinquishing department, but I’ve managed to give control over to God every time I was tempted to snatch it back into my puny little hands.

So is it any coincidence that my March novella, Bluegrass Easter is about a control-happy knitting librarian who is coping with a surprise population explosion on her sheep farm? I don’t think so. The lessons of this book are the lessons of Easter, which is the ultimate control truth: God is, has always been, and always will be in control.

Even when things look downright disastrous.


ISBN# 978-0-373-87584-9
MARCH 2010

A “veterinarian on sabbatical,” widowed Paul Sycamore is not interested in answering his new neighbor’s constant questions about her expectant sheep. But the comfort his child finds on Audrey Lupine’s Middleburg, Kentucky, farm just may open his heart.


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