“God sets the lonely in families, he leads out the prisoners with singing…” (Psalm 68:6a NIV).

From aerobics instructor to award-winning author!

Michelle Medlock Adams and her husband Jeff

I first met fellow writer Michelle Medlock Adams when I was a freshman at Asbury University.

Bewildered by inner voices telling me I…

  • Wasn’t good enough…
  • Wasn’t thin enough…
  • Wasn’t pretty enough…

I joined an aerobics class that met a couple nights a week, across the street from my campus in Asbury’s seminary gymnasium.

It’s not that the hour-long fitness course changed my habits immediately, nor did it put a permanent stop to the negative self-talk. Rather, it was a step–a single, dancing step–in the right direction.

The effervescent personality of the instructor was inspiring. She was joyful, while challenging us to push ourselves toward aerobic health. To breathe deep. To stretch and move and have well-being.

Honestly, I don’t remember how many times I attended. I don’t recall the songs we danced to. Don’t recollect any other friends in the class.

What I remember is a glimmer of hope–like a ray of sunshine breaking through the clouds of late-adolescent anxiety and fear. Insecurity that held me back. Self-consciousness that kept me from moving forward.

It was a positive step toward adulthood that I took on my own. No parent held my hand as I crossed Lexington Avenue. No kindred sister ventured with me.

What transpired was growth, good growth that eventually led me to speak candidly with my health teacher, share about my eating disorder–my dysfunctional habits and destructive self-talk. And this was another positive step in the right direction.

Like a sprout, I was pushing towards the sun.

Fast forward nearly two decades.

2007. I was attending Write to Publish in Wheaton, Il for the very first time.

Michelle Medlock Adams with her new release, a delightful picture book about families–Love Connects Us All

I’m not certain why a mom of two young sons, both whom I was homeschooling, and still in the throes of adopting another child, would take a course on freelance writing as a career. But as I sat in that class, feverishly putting pencil to paper, I listened to the instructor tell how she had made writing a lucrative business. And I just kept thinking–

How do I know her? I know I know her…

It wasn’t long before I remembered, and I wrote to her–

Are you the niece of an Asbury teacher? He was my Art Appreciation professor. I believe a potter in Wilmore, KY, too, if I’m remembering correctly. And one more thing–did you happen to teach aerobics around 1988?

Michelle wrote back. Yes, Professor Rudy Medlock was her uncle. And yes, she’d been an aerobics instructor. More, we lived in the same dorm for one year prior to her transfer to Indiana University.

Such a small world! I was grateful to have answers, and I thanked Michelle–not only for her good writing instruction at the conference but also for being instrumental in my physical, mental, and emotional health. Again, not only had she helped influence my dream to become a writer, but her fitness class was indeed a step in the right direction, helping me heal after years of unhealthy eating and exercise habits.

And today, Michelle’s someone I consider a friend–a fellow writer and, like me, puppy dog enthusiast. Although we haven’t spent any time together personally over the years, we’ve crossed paths at conferences and keep up on social media.

Recently, I had the privilege of serving on a team to help launch her latest children’s picture book, Love Connects Us All. A prolific writer for children–devotionals and other books for teenagers and adults as well–Michelle Medlock Adams’ holds this most recent project near and dear to her heart. Because, not only is she an author, she’s mother to two adult daughters and “Gigi” to six very precious grandchildren.

In the course of her career, she’s met so many people–each with a unique “family” story. Love Connects Us All–illustrated by Sandra Eide–is a delightful book about families in their many beautiful forms. Written like a poem, it ends with a prayer of gratitude, thanking God for the gift of family!

It was a privilege and joy to be on Michelle’s launch team. After all, like her–like many!–I’m so thankful for my unique family. Blended though we are–with some in our brood that aren’t blood-related or even legally adopted–we cherish our families’ beauty. Furthermore, having instilled the importance of family in each of our children, we’re now witnessing its evidence as we watch our grown sons value family in similar ways. And daughter Allie, though still a teenager, does too!

While on the launch team, I wrote the following to encourage others to consider purchasing a copy of Michelle’s book–

Love Connects Us All.
Isn’t that true, especially when we consider the Source of love?
My life has been so blessed, so full of God connections, which I call ‘Godnections.’
Michelle Medlock Adams is one of those.
Little did I know that, shortly after the workshop in 2007, we would face the loss of a daughter through a failed adoption.
And our hearts would break.
But, looking back even farther, how was I to know as a girl of 18 that I would face infertility?
That all my children would come to me through the miracle of adoption?
Sometimes not knowing is a grace—
God’s way of guiding us one step at a time, giving us just what we need (often protecting us from what we don’t need to know) each moment of the way.
And all the while, LOVE connects us all—
For His glory…
And our good!
I’m so excited to announce this book’s birthday.
It’s message is beautiful,
And so is its author!
Perhaps you didn’t know all this, dear friend.
But now you do!
Thank you!
Yes, thank you again, dear Michelle! Thank you for writing this book. Thank you for being the inspiration you are–to me. To many! I really do hope we can visit again, face to face. You’re still that bubbly person who literally danced into my life all those years ago, and you’ve inspired me to be a better, healthier person. I’m beyond grateful! And you know what?

So is my special family!

Dear Jesus, thank you for this beautiful picture book. Love Connects Us All is a perfect title, and when You are the Source of love, You’re the best connector of all! Thank you for the Godnection I have with my sweet sister Michelle Medlock Adams. May You bless her abundantly! 

For a chance to win a copy of Love Connects Us All, please leave a comment. Tell me about your beautiful family or share a “Godnection” story from your own life. I can’t wait to hear. I’ll draw a name from those who participate. Deadline–5/10/23.

Love Connects Us all–Available on Amazon.