Wednesday, June 26, 2019

FINDING JOY - Hope N Griffin - one Free Book

Welcome, Hope. What would you like for our readers to know about you personally?
Well, I love to write and I love to connect with others. If anyone wants to reach out via email or social media I’d love to connect. They can find me across social media @HopeNGriffin or email For those in Florida, I’m available to speak at events and at small groups. For those who are in need of articles for newsletters or blogs, I’d be happy to discuss writing for them. I currently work full time as a freelance writer.

Tell us about your family.
My family. I have three children who I adore and my soldier who is now learning to live the retired life. We live in Florida near my family, parents, siblings, aunts, uncles, and cousins. After spending so much time away from them during John’s military career, it is so nice to simply meet up for dinner or to go to the beach together.

Have you written other nonfiction books?
Yes. I’ve written a two-week devotional for every couple who has ever struggled to maintain a long-distance relationship, whether from a week-long business trip or a year+ deployment. To receive a free copy, readers can go to and sign up for my email list. Or go directly to

Do you have any other books in the works right now?
I do. I’m always working on something new.

What kinds of hobbies and leisure activities do you enjoy?
I love to paint. The girls and I have claimed the dining room table this summer. We’re working on worldbuilding for a fantasy world we’ve created. They’ve started writing short stories to go with it. I also have discovered my favorite date night is to go to Painting With a Twist or to go floating down the Rainbow River with my neighbors.

Why did you write the featured book?
I started writing Finding Joy as a personal journey through John’s first deployment. I ended up continuing through the second deployment and discovered I had something others needed. Finding Joy is about learning how to not lose your own purpose and self through the struggles of long-distance marriage. Distance adds a few challenges to marriage but that doesn’t mean it can’t work.

What do you want the reader to take away from the book?
I want them to not feel alone in their struggles, to know it is normal to be tired and frustrated. One young lady came to me and told me that she began her soldier’s deployment with big plans to lose weight, to keep the house perfect, and to be the support system he needed. Towards the end of the deployment, when she found my book, she was frustrated and felt like a failure. Finding Joy helped her realize things don’t have to be perfect. Deployment isn’t just about the one who is gone. Memories still need to be made. The house can be dirty, the weight doesn’t have to fall off. Instead she discovered that what she was missing was making her own memories and enjoying the journey. Honestly, if she is the only person that it impacts in that way, then I feel as though I’ve done my job. She got it! She found joy in the journey. That is what my book is about.

Is there anything else you’d like to tell my readers about you or your book?
Just because I’ve written a book on marriage does not mean my marriage is perfect. There is no such thing as perfect. Everyone struggles. Currently we are readjusting to a new normal of disability, VA appointments, and retired life. Every season of life brings new challenges. My book is not a guide to “do this like me and you’ll be the perfect wife.” Instead my book is simply my journey toward joy through some very difficult times following my daughter’s cancer diagnoses and my husband’s deployments. I’m on the journey with you. Reach out. I’d love to chat.

Please give us the first page or two of the book.
Dear John
FOR THE FIRST FEW YEARS, I anticipated orders to move. I waited anxiously. The day we arrived at Fort Bliss, I was ready to leave. When my husband joined the military, the one thing I was excited about were the moves every two to three years. I love uprooting. I’ve never before planted roots. Discovering new places, people, and opportunities thrilled me. Now we have been here over six years. I have lived here longer than I have lived anywhere else in my life. 

Today, I find myself in new territory.

I am content. I am deeply planted. I have no desire to go anywhere. I have found my place. I have a job I love with abundant opportunities attached. My youngest was born here. She is my desert baby and knows only the dry, dusty air of El Paso. My older two have finally adapted and no longer call the jack rabbits kangaroos. I no longer notice the constant layer of dust on the windowsills or the whistle of the wind as it arranges our patio furniture. They have transformed from minor annoyances to familiar friends. 

When we first moved here, I found myself empathizing with the Israelites as they wandered the desert in discontent. My needs were met, yet I desired something richer than manna. I complained. I learned to distrust FRG (Family Readiness Groups) and fear deployments. Housing was a source of contention, and neighbors were only neighborly when they had needs. I withdrew. 

Now I sit here, fully engaged with the culture of El Paso. I know which restaurants to avoid and the best ones to frequent. I can even tell you what was located in a building three businesses before the current one. It used to be when I ventured out, I could complete every errand without seeing one familiar face. Now it is impossible to go on one without running into a friend. I am engaged in the lives around me. 

So it should come as no surprise when I overhear my soldier telling his father that we are moving.
He has been trying to tell me for two weeks now, and every time he has brought it up, I simply respond, “Not until orders are in hand.” Or “The Army will change its mind.” I have an until-boots-are-on-the-ground mentality. We’ve been told Germany and Japan in the past, and I’ve jumped in heart first only to be shot down. But there is something different in the way he is speaking. He is making plans. Setting dates. Mapping it out in his head. And I want to stomp my feet deeper into the ground, hold on tight to the roots I’ve let burrow in, and fight to stay. I am content. So naturally, it is time to go. 

* * * 

I first took John home to my family under the pretense that my father would find something wrong with him and give me an excuse not to date him. John and I had met not long after I had ended a very tumultuous four-year relationship in which my parents disapproved, and rightly so. I was broken. Yet there was something about this man that I could not walk away from. 

When we met, I had thrown myself into my studies, no time for friends and definitely not distractions. I had tried and failed to discourage him. He pursued. Out of excuses, I handed him my scheduling book and told him to pencil himself in. He did. 

John first met my parents at a Chinese restaurant on the edge of Hot Springs, AR. The evening became more of an intervention from family insistent that I lighten up and give the world at large a chance. I was cynical, broken, and determined to regain control of my life. The universe that communicates through fortune cookies had other plans. It encouraged John, “Rome was not built in a day. Be patient.” He still carries the crumpled reminder in his wallet. 

* * * 

I am not an easy person to love. I know this because of the difficulty I have in loving myself. There is the need for perfectionism in myself that I am unable to obtain. Accepting God’s grace while struggling with guilt has often plagued me. In my head, I know the verses. I know the free gift of grace. In my heart, I wrestle with the fact that I am undeserving. I want to earn what I take. 

Where on the Internet can the readers find you?

Thank you, Hope, for sharing this book with us. I know there are many women who need to read it.

Readers, here are links to the book.
Finding Joy: The Year Apart That Made Me a Better Wife - Paperback
Finding Joy: The Year Apart That Made Me A Better Wife - Kindle

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Lucy Reynolds said...

When I waken each morning I tell myself “today I choose Joy” no matter the circumstances. Jesus first, Others second, Yourself last. The birds are singing their hearts 💕 out this morning on a beautiful day in WV.

Hope Griffin said...

Thanks for commenting Lucy. Love that "today I choose Joy" is the first thing on your lips. I'm currently sitting in my office watching lizards outside my window and listening to the birds too :-) but in Florida.

Connie Porter Saunders said...

Joy is one of my favorite words and I have several items in my home that share this message. Thanks for sharing your post with us.
Connie from Kentucky

Sharon Bryant said...

Enter me in your awesome giveaway!!
Conway SC.

Hope Griffin said...

Thanks for reading Connie. Every time I see something with the word Joy on it I'm tempted to buy it :-)