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Chapter 1: Project Michigan

Bills.

They have a funny habit of causing one’s life to change.

Most people would get a job, and I did. In Michigan! This might not seem like a stretch for someone living in Michigan, but I was living in Spokane, Washington. In today’s world, you have to go wherever the work is, even if it is located in a different state.

The only problem was that I just knew, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that this was not God’s perfect will for me. This job certainly fell within the scope of His permissible will but it was not part of His greater plan for us.

With my rising stress level and the failing real estate market in Spokane, my bride and I decided to move ahead and take the Michigan job. April 2010, I boarded a plane and headed for Detroit, Michigan, while my bride of 3 years remained behind to sell almost all of our worldly possessions and take care of other pressing business matters.

I don’t know if you have ever operated within the scope of God’s permissible will instead of His perfect will, but that was what we chose to do. The difference between His permissible will and His perfect will is that when you are living in God’s perfect will, you are right where He wants you to be. When you are living in God’s permissible will, you have not left the protection of His arms but have disrupted His divine plans for you. For me, living in His permissible will became quite stressful. Not to worry though. I just had to remind Him frequently that there really was no other option than for me to move ahead with my own plans. Little did I know!

As I began working with Ramesh, Rita and Jim in Michigan, life was good. The pay was decent, the work was in my area of expertise, and the temporary housing was more than anyone could really ask for, other than the fact that it was temporary. Although I deeply missed my bride, I continued to have this overwhelming feeling that I was operating outside of God’s perfect will for me. This feeling weighed heavily on me daily until I became so agitated that I quit my job.

In Michigan, without a job, and my bride still living back home in Spokane, Washington, what was I–nuts? Ramesh, the guy I was working for, sat me down and asked me point-blank what my options were. I had none. Before I could leave, Ramesh and I agreed that I would stay on and continue to be his online marketer. Nevertheless, I still had this nagging conviction that I was not operating within the perfect will of God.

While waiting for my precious bride to arrive from Spokane, Washington, I took up residence with a friend from church named Gabie. Those were hard times for me. I missed my bride badly.

We talked every day and some days I cried from utter loneliness. With previous spouses, I had gone through both death and divorce, but being without my beloved bride because we were living in two different states was new to me; new and very unpleasant.

Finally, the day came when my bride was to join me in Michigan. The cellphones were in constant use as I was receiving moment-by-moment proximity reports of how close she was getting to where I lived in South Lyon, Michigan. Anticipation became excitement that then exploded into pure joy when I was finally able to hold my bride, Irene, in my arms once again.

Irene arrived driving our burnt orange Ford Focus with most our earthly possessions packed tightly into it, including my sweet Sassy cat. Now, if you name a cat Sassy there must be a reason, right? I still consider her sweet despite her sassy little personality. Sassy has been through a lot with me since 2001, including a couple of times when I thought I’d never see her again. Both my bride and my Sassy cat were and, boy, was I happy!

Nevertheless, I still knew I was not living in the perfect will of God but I did not know what to do about it. One day, I decided to drive down to the store to buy some Tylenol® PM to see if it might help me sleep better; I had been having a lot of trouble sleeping at night.

That night, I was talking to God, as I tend to do when I can’t sleep. Suddenly, He spoke to me. No, it was not an audible voice but more of a mental impression. God had marching orders for me.

“Prepare your family to move to Texas.”

TEXAS?

I am sure there are people that love Texas but, for me, Texas was the same as being sent to Siberia.

I knew absolutely no one in Texas. There was no job prospect for me in Texas and no living arrangements. I knew I had finally gone crazy. Not only would Texas be the last place in the world this online marketer would ever live but, somehow, I knew God was behind this impression to move to Texas. I did what any logically thinking online marketer would do in a struggling economy and put the idea completely out of my head. However, the impression didn’t stay away; it kept coming back stronger and more insistent. Actually, the impression woke me up in the middle of the night and I was unable to get back to sleep. We were to obey God’s marching orders and move to Texas.

Let me say right here that I have never seen greener, more beautiful grass than the grass in Michigan. The lakes there are also quite amazing as are the people. Now, I was being directed to give up my stability and move to Texas? I would not go!

A funny thing happens when you strive to live within the perfect will of God yet refuse to follow His calling; He removes His peace, or at least He did in my case, until you decide to follow His perfect will. Like any rebellious young child, I fought back with everything I had. However, without the peace of God, I am a total basket case. Eventually, I gave in and agreed to move to Texas.

About that same time, something would happen that showed me we really needed the finances and could not leave Michigan at that time; I went back on my agreement with God and arranged to stay in Michigan. Right then and there, God took away His peace and withheld it from me.

This went on day after day for a couple of months until my stubbornness was completely worn away. Reluctantly, I approached my boss and advised him that Irene and I were moving to Texas.

“Texas?”

“Yes, Texas.”

“Do you have family there,” he asked?

“Nope.”

“Do you have a job, a house, anything?”

“Nope.”

“Then why would you move to Texas?”

“Because I’ve been given marching orders by the God I serve and I must follow them,” was my response.

I am quite certain he thought I was nuts. If he didn’t, I certainly did.

My boss tried to convince me to stay, like he did when I first arrived, but this time my resolve was strong. I had lived long enough outside of the perfect will of God. While the permissible will of God may seem to be easier, there is nothing quite like living within His perfect will.

There they were, Ramesh, Rita and Jim, all bidding my Sassy cat, my bride and I farewell as we drove away in our burnt orange Ford Focus. We must have been quite a sight.

Unedited Sample 

Chapter 1: Project Michigan
Bills.
They have a funny way of causing one’s life to change.
Most people would get a job, and I did. In Michigan! That might not seem like a stretch for someone in Michigan, but I lived in Spokane, Washington. In today’s world you have to go where the work is and that was what I had set out to do.
The only problem was that I knew without a shadow of a doubt that this was not God’s perfect will. It certainly fell within the scope of His permissible will but somehow it was not part of His greater plan.
Given my stress level and the failing Real Estate market in Spokane my wife and I decided to move ahead anyway. So in April, 2010 I boarded a plane and headed for Detroit Michigan while my bride of 3 years remained behind to sale off almost all our worldly possessions and take care of other pressing business matters.
Not sure if you’ve ever operated within the scope of God’s permissible will instead of His perfect will but that was what we choose to do. See, the difference between preferred and perfect is that when you are in God’s perfect will you are right where He wants you to be. With the permissable option you have not left His arms but His divine plans. For me, this became quite a stressful proposition.
Not to worry though, I just had to remind Him frequently that there really was no other option. Little did I, know.
Anyway, as I began working with Ramesh, Rita and Jim life was good. The pay was decent, the work was right up the line of any true online marketer and the temporary housing was more than anyone could really ask for other than the fact that it was so temporary.
Combining that with the fact that I deeply missed my bride and continued to have this overwhelming feeling that I was operating outside of God’s perfect will began to plague me day in and day out. I got so agitated during this period about my plight that I actually quit my job.
In Michigan, without a job and my wife back home, what was I… nuts?
Ramesh, the guy I was working for, sat me down before I left and asked point blank what my options were.
I had none.
So before I had a chance to fully make my exit we agreed that I would stay on and continue serving him as his online marketer. Never-the-less, I still had this nagging conviction that I was not operating in the preferred will of God.
I took up residence with a friend from church named Gabie while waiting for my precious bride to arrive.
Those were hard times.
I missed her bad.
We talked every day and some days I cried from pure outright loneliness. I’d gone through both death and divorce with previous spouses, but being without my love simply because we were in different states was incredibly new to me. New and unpleasant both.
Finally they day came.
The cell phone dialogs commenced as I was receiving moment by moment proximity reports of how close she was getting to where I lived in South Lyon. Anticipation mounted into excitement which exploded into pure joy when I was at last able to hold my Irene in my arms once again.
She arrived in our burnt orange Ford Focus which contained most all our earthly possessions including my sweet Sassy cat. Okay, so if you name a cat Sassy there must be a reason. I still consider her sweet despite her sassy little self. She’s been through a lot with me since 2001, including a couple of times when I thought I’d never see her again. But here she was. Here they both were. Boy was I happy.
Never-the-less, I still knew I was not in the perfect will of God but certainly didn’t know what to do about the matter now.
One day I was driving down to the store to pick-up some Tylenol PM to see if it would help me sleep better. I’d been having trouble sleeping. A lot of trouble. Serious trouble.
I was talking to God as I do when He spoke back.
No, it was not an audible voice but more of a mental impression.
He had marching orders for me.
Prepare your family to move to Texas.
TEXAS???!!!
I’m sure there are people that love Texas but for me it would be kin to Siberia.
I knew absolutely no one in Texas.
There was no secure job prospect in Texas.
No living arrangements existed for us in Texas.
Now I knew I was losing it. Not only would Texas be the last place in the world this online marketer would ever move, I somehow thought God was behind this.
So I did what any logical thinking online marketer would do in a struggling economy. I put the idea clear outside of my head.
It didn’t stay there though.
Actually, it woke me in the night and I wasn’t able to get back to sleep. It, being God’s marching orders to move to Texas.
Let me say right here that I’ve never seen greener more beautiful grass than in Michigan. The lakes there are also quite amazing as are the people I met. Now I was going to give up my stability to move to, to Texas? I wouldn’t do it.
Funny thing happens when you strive to live within the will of God and yet refuse to follow His calling. He removes His peace, or at least He did for me.
And like any rebellious young child I fought back with everything I had. But without the peace of God I’m literally a basket case. So eventually I gave up and agreed to move to Texas.
It was at about that time that something would happen which showed me we really needed the finances and I could not leave Michigan. That’s why I would rescind my agreement with God and reposition myself for staying in Michigan. This would result in His peace being taken away again and there I was once again, stuck.
This went on day after day about a couple of months till my resolve was completely worn away.
Reluctantly, I approached my boss and advised him that my wife and I were moving to Texas.
Texas?
Yes, Texas.
Do you have family there, he asked?
Nope.
Do you have a job, a house, anything?
Nope.
Then why would you move to Texas?
Because I’ve been given marching orders by the God I serve and I must follow was my response.
I’m quite certain he thought I was nuts at that point. If he didn’t, I certainly did.
He did try to convince me to stay like he did when I first arrived, but this time my resolve was strong. I had operated long enough outside of the perfect will of God. While the preferred will of God may be easier, there is nothing quite like living within the perfect will of God.
So there they were. Ramesh, Rita and Jim all bidding my cat, my wife and I farewell in our little burnt orange Ford Focus. It must have been quite a sight.

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