Writing a book was the furthest thing from Andrea Lennon’s mind. She had established a successful ministry through speaking. She even had a tagline that guided her instruction: know the truth, live the truth, and share the truth.
But women at her events still had a similar refrain: We love your guidance and instruction. Where can we find this material outside the event? “I would tell them, ‘Well, I’m not really sure,’” Lennon recalled. It was a friend who initially encouraged Lennon to pursue a book. But she needed more persuading.
“I just prayed about it, and said ‘Lord, if you want me to write a book, then I need your help,’” Lennon said. “So, I sat down and wrote the table of contents for my first book, and that was the beginning of my writing ministry.”
That table of contents provided a roadmap to her first book – on Romans 12:2 – and before she knew it, she had the beginnings of a book. “I always say to people now, just start,” Lennon said. “If you’re waiting for it to be crystal clear, it’s going to be really hard, but if you’ll just start with your main thought and develop it slowly, then, before too long, you will see that the book is actually helping you to discover the process.”
Since that first book, Reflecting His Glory: From Conformity to Transformation, Lennon has penned three other books – On the Road with Ruth, Free to Thrive, and God in the Window.
The impact on her, personally, and other parts of her ministry has been unmistakable, Lennon said. When she’s speaking at an event, she can see what is connecting with the audience; she can see their reactions and expressions, see when they lean in or take notes.
“The writing develops the depth of the content, because it forces me to slow down and really think through what I’m trying to communicate and what is the best way to do so,” she said. “The speaking side brings the relational aspects, so it marries the two together. The final outcome is so much better because these two sides of the ministry work so well together.”
Writing has been a journey of exploring life, faith, belief, and struggles. None more so than God in the Window, which shares Lennon’s personal experience of adoption, loneliness, and friendship struggles. On the other side of the book, Lennon says writing your personal story should be something everyone does.
“As you sit down and process your life, you’re going to see some patterns of struggle, you’re going to see some strengths, you’re going to see different tendencies and you’re going to see things that God used along the way that maybe you forgot about,” she said. “It was a way for me to process what has happened in my life and deal with those things so I could make improvements and connect with God on a deeper level.”
Another topic discussed in God in the Window is Lennon’s personal fight with dyslexia.
“If you had told my third-grade teacher that I would write and publish books, or even stand in front of a group and read scripture, I am sure she would have thought that was a far stretch,” Lennon said. “But God, he gives us strength in our weakness.”
No matter which of her books a reader picks up, Lennon wants them to connect with God and learn something new. “I want them to see something that maybe they have never thought of before and then also apply that truth to their life,” she said.
For more information on Lennon and her ministry, including her books, visit her website at www.andrealennonministry.org
Q&A with Andrea Lennon
How do you get in the right mindset for writing?
My books are faith-based, so the most important thing for me to do is pray and spend time in my Bible and ask the Lord to teach me or reveal a truth to me. As writers, it needs to be authentic; something that you’re passionate about; something that is true to you; and is applicable, vulnerable, and a place of transparency. For me, that’s always thinking about what I need to learn or what lesson would help me, or what struggle am I going through and then speaking truth into that particular area of my life.
Where do you feel you get the best writing done? Is there a place or setting?
The best writing for me is when I can go on a little retreat. I have friends across Arkansas who have a cabin or a mother-in-law quarter or something like that, so a couple of times a year, I try to get away for an extended period of writing. For my daily writing, I go to my kitchen table. If I’m on the couch, I won’t stay focused, but if I go to my table and spread everything out, I tend to stay more focused and disciplined.
How do you handle writer’s block?
The best thing I can do usually is close my computer, go for a walk, and give it some space. Whenever you’ve got some space, clear your head, and let go of the stress of that moment, usually, the writing begins to flow after that. Another thing that helps me is a deadline. If I put a deadline on a project or someone else has, then I’m going to figure out a way to get that completed.
Have you had a favorite book?
Each of them has its own strengths and qualities or things I enjoy about them, but there was something special about writing my story, writing God in the Window. It allowed me to go back and retrace the steps of my life and see the faithfulness of God in the ordinary and the mundane, in the small areas or aspects of life as well as the big ones. That book goes over my adoption and just God’s sovereignty to place us in the right place at the right time with the right people. It was through the writing of that book that those truths were solidified in my heart. I knew those truths in my mind, and I could teach them and share them with you, but there was something about writing it and seeing God’s hand in my story that really solidified that truth in my heart, so that was very special for me.
Thank you to the Conway Area Chamber of Commerce for featuring Andrea Lennon Ministry in your recent publications. I am thankful for the love and support of friends, family, churches, and communities. We are not alone in the journey! Just a few weeks ago at Andrew's graduation party, my parents were recounting my personal journey/struggle with school. Together we say, "But God!" He will use the difficult and the least likely for His glory. The desire of my heart is to point others to Him!