The Nudge Part 2: Master Nudger

By Jeannie McPherson, EMoon Author

With dreams, come nightmares. Not that we necessarily want them, realistically they happen. When God nudges us toward and through our dreams, we celebrate and express thankfulness. After many decades, I realize God also nudges through nightmares. After all, I don’t do a very good job thanking God when life is difficult.      

Test-taking was not just figuratively a nightmare for my young self, I had nightmares about the real thing. Writing was my academic salvation and more than once my letter grade went from a B to an A or even a C to a B when essays were a major component of a course. My first college English class was a disaster and no number of nudges were going to help me learn grammar, in all its confusing glory. In other academic areas, professors liked my unique way of expressing thoughts, facts, opinions, or positions. But, I still struggled through test taking.

My first graduate class required writing an essay question on why I would be a good school principal.  In no fewer than 10 rewrites, I shared my story precisely, concisely, and convincingly, to the extent the professor wrote, “You need to write and publish.” Writing was again the easy part.  In my career, I was typically successful writing grants, memos, and emails. In my personal life, I wrote Christmas letters and short stories and dabbled with a few manuscripts, but the word publish was as scary as test taking and nightmares. The word written on a note card was just… a nudge a long time ago.  

I found my career path, and soon started a family. I had fulfilled all the dreams I had conjured up, except for one; becoming a published writer. Retirement brought new opportunities but nothing that pushed me to attempt to concur the publishing world. For fun, I took a week-long writing class with a published author at my alma mater, the University of Nebraska. The writing I submitted brought me more positive compliments and assignments, like “write every day at least 550 words.” We discussed how to get an editor’s attention, thoughts on self-publishing, and lots of “stick with it, you can do it.” All these were nudges, but apparently, these were not enough to fulfill the dream of holding a book with the author’s name, Rogene McPherson.

In April 2015, God connected me with Rebecca, also a writer and survivor of personal tragedy. The complexity of this meeting could have only been organized by God and His angels. This nudge was not subtle. God definitely sent me a message that day. Then only a year later, God was at work, again at Christian Writer’s Conference in Omaha, when I met Laree Lindburg and her sister Erin with Electric Moon Publishing. I was immediately impressed by what Emoon could offer me:

  • Wide basis of technology without my becoming a techie, a valuable asset in the writing world
  • Multitude of services provided by Christian sisters including an editor and illustrator
  • Consistent support even when the proverbial nightmares interfered
  • Honest and educationally sound support when needed

I better stop before I sound like a marketing expert trying to get a job. I really only want to write. All of the Emoon Team providing the support indicated above have been like a gentle nudge. God in my world has a new name, Master Nudger. 

The Nudge Part 1: Little Pushes

By Jeannie McPherson, eMoon author

Dreams often begin with a nudge. One of my little pushes came during an eleventh grade English. It was likely a beautiful day outside, probably February, and one of the first signs spring was just around the corner.  It was 1967, nearly 50 years ago.  Some details have become vague, but the important parts are as vivid as if it happened yesterday.

One particular student had been giving the English teacher as much grief as anyone should tolerate in one day.  Just before the teacher’s meltdown, the teacher gave all of us an extra assignment.   I remember in my angst, going to the library, randomly choosing one of the 20 volumes in that year’s annual encyclopedia set. I flipped through a book and read the first page I came upon to get a possible idea for an essay topic. It must have been the “L” volume because I wrote an essay on one of Abraham Lincoln’s pearls of wisdom. 

The topic I chose was how to react when all suffer the consequences of someone’s poor choice(s).  My writing strength is to take a topic and figure out how to write a manuscript to fit the need. At sixteen, this strength was the last thing on my mind.  It was truly just my reaction to the teacher’s unfair discipline of one student. With my father on the school board, I knew better than to be outwardly disrespectful. So, I created a respectful and convincing essay.

I received an A , but the relevancy is the recognition I could write to express my feelings.  This is how I have often problem-solved difficult situations. At a minimum, writing has become an acceptable alternative to yelling. Has it always worked? No, but writing has likely made me a better person emotionally. 

That same disruptive student died in a car accident a few years after graduation. He knew nothing of my frustration nor my gratitude for this experience. I wish I could tell him how the Lord gave me some adult-life tools to cope with what was just the beginning of a life of trials, temptations, and tests. I wish I could thank him for what he didn’t know he had done for me.

Fast-forward to 2008.  It was Memorial Day weekend and the 40th anniversary of our class graduation. It was a simple gesture, but I placed a bouquet of flowers on his gravesite. I was still alive to honor those who need to be understood, to make something beautiful out of frustration, and most of all, glorify God in everything.  Did God nudge me to buy the flowers?  I know the answer. 

Now, I dream of the day I can officially call myself a published writer. I am counting the nudges I have had to make this dream come true.  God is good.  His nudges are gentle and kind.