Wowza, That was Fun!


Just popping in quick to say a big, loud, cartwheeling thank you for all the comments and tweets and Facebook posts and words of support you offered on book release day yesterday. It was a wild day, full of love and praise for God and YOU! So thank you for making the launch of Spiritual Misfit so special.

I am honored and delighted to be over at Elizabeth Esther’s place today with a guest post. Elizabeth and I are publisher-sisters – she recently released her first book, a memoir titled Girl at the End of the World (which I read and loved), with Convergent, which is my publisher, too. So stop by Elizabeth’s to say hi, and leave a comment for a chance to win one of three copies of Spiritual Misfit that we are giving away over there.

I’m also visiting Outside the City Gates today, writing about what happens when you don’t get the lightning strike conversion you yearn for. Here’s a little teaser:

I wanted a miracle. Something dramatic and definitive, an experience so obvious I would have no doubt — hardly even a choice — but to believe. I yearned for an experience so life-altering that it would cement my faith forever.

I wanted the road-to-Damascus moment, like the instant Paul was knocked breathless to his knees in the middle of a dusty road, literally blinded by the startling voice of God.

Or the Augustine-in-the-garden moment, when he heard the chanting voices of children reciting a Bible verse and in a heartbeat dedicated the remainder of his life to serving God.

Frankly, I would have been satisfied with a Bob Dylan conversion. “How in the world can Bob Dylan, Bob Dylan for crying out loud, believe in God and I can’t?” I would wonder during my unbelieving decades.

…Click over to Outside the City Gates to read more about my slow, non-lightning-strike turn toward faith. And if you’re not familiar with this new-ish blog, get acquainted today – I LOVE what the talented team of writers and editors is doing in this space. And they are giving away a copy of Spiritual Misfit!

Oh, and one more thing: I didn’t get that many book order receipts emailed to me yesterday, so if you bought Spiritual Misfit online, email/forward the receipt to michellederusha1@gmail. com so you can be eligible for one of the lovely giveaways pictured here!




Welcome to the World, Spiritual Misfit!


I’ve mentioned before that I weep every time I read the acknowledgements section in my own book. If Brad sees me looking a little misty-eyed, he’ll ask, “Hey, have you been reading your own acknowledgements again?” And then we crack up, because it is a little lame to cry over your own book.

Writing and releasing a book is a lot like pregnancy and labor – a really, really, really long pregnancy and labor in my case. And you know when you have a baby how you get all weepy with gratitude for all the people who helped you along the way? Well that’s how I feel about this book. I am weepy with gratitude for all the dozens of people who helped birth Spiritual Misfit today.







Just keepin' it real, people!

Just keepin’ it real, people!

Thank you, Mom and Dad — Mom, for your example of unwavering faith and Dad for your partnership and companionship as we’ve wrestle-walked our way to God.

Thank you to my husband Brad, who always, always said I would find faith.

Thank you to my kids, Noah and Rowan, who show me the hand of God in everything from the call of a chickadee in the river birch tree to the gargantuan Great Plains grasshopper who scares the heck out of me.

Thank you to my late in-laws, Jon and Janice — Janice, for always knowing in your heart that this book would find a publisher; I know you are smiling down at this moment. And Jon, for rounding up every spare Barnes and Noble gift card in your house and wallet and handing them over to me so I could buy my very first Bible.

To my pastors Greg, Sara and Michael and to my church community at Southwood Lutheran Church. Thank you for helping me understand what the words “church family” mean.

To my person, Deidra Riggs, for cheering, cheering, cheering this whole long way.

And lastly, thank you to every single person who reads this blog – whether you just visited for the first time today or have been following along this journey for the last five years.

I told a group of women at a retreat this past weekend that I started blogging for one reason only: to build a platform to support a book I hoped to publish. I never expected to find such incredible gifts in this crazy blogosphere. Thank you for reading; for your encouraging comments and emails that have kept me putting fingers to keyboard all this time; for your friendship, compassion and empathy; and for showing me that God lives in the most unlikely places – even in cyberspace.

{Yeah, I’m weeping again}

If you read Spiritual Misfit and it resonates with you, please consider giving a copy to someone you think needs to read this story. I wrote the book for myself and for all those wrestling, wandering and questioning on the spiritual journey. It is my heart’s prayer that the person standing on the cusp of faith, wondering where and even how to start, will find the beginning of an answer in this book.


Okay, now the fun part! Let’s have a book baby shower!

I have a few sweet little gifts to offer you in celebration of Spiritual Misfit‘s birthday. If you order/purchase a book between today and next Monday, you’ll be entered into a random drawing to receive one of the five following gifts.

Simply send your online book purchase receipt or proof of purchase to for a chance to win.

One winner will receive this super-cute bird-on-a-wire necklace, six handmade bird-on-a-wire note cards and a personalized, signed copy of Spiritual Misfit. {which means you can give your purchased copy of the book to a friend}


Two winners will receive a selection of eight handmade note cards (made by yours truly) and a personalized, signed copy of Spiritual Misfit.


And two winners will receive a personalized, signed copy of Spiritual Misfit.

So today is the day! Order your own copy of Spiritual Misfit at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, or If you’re local in Lincoln, it should be on the shelves soon, if not already, at Indigo Bridge Books in the Haymarket and at both Barnes and Noble locations.


And…pop around and visit some of these lovely bloggers who have SO very graciously written reviews, conducted Q&A interviews with me and have been cheering heartily for this day for weeks now. These posts are written by the Spiritual Misfit book launch team, led by the uber-talented Lindsey Hartz, and let me tell you straight-up, I don’t think I could have made it through the promotional stage of this book launch without these folks!

Yahoo!! Thank you, thank you, thank you! Singing these words at the top of my lungs today: “This is the day that the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad and be glad!” (Psalm 118)

Spiritual Misfit reviews and interviews, link up here:

Hear It on Sunday, Use It on Monday: God Sees Us Through


We are enjoying a bit of Lenten quiet on Mondays here until Easter. I’m posting a verse, a devotion and a prayer. Peace and grace, friends… “O Lord my God, I cried to you for help, and you restored my health. You brought me up from the grave, O Lord. You kept me from falling […]

[Continue reading...]

Weekend One Word: Lead

favorite treewithverse

And a quiet little reminder: If you pre-order Spiritual Misfit and would like a personalized, signed birdie bookplate from me, click here to fill out the quick and easy form and I’ll mail you one. Thank you!  

[Continue reading...]

When You’re Not Sure What Transformation is Supposed to Look Like {I am a Spiritual Misfit series}


I’ve known Charity Singleton Craig awhile now and have come to both love her and respect her work on her own blog and as an editor for The High Calling. Just this past fall I was absolutely delighted to meet Charity at Laity Lodge in Texas, and let me tell you, she is even more […]

[Continue reading...]

Not Okay with “Okay” {and an opportunity to receive a signed book plate for Spiritual Misfit!}

book and birds

A few years ago a literary agent turned me down after he read my query letter and a couple chapters of my manuscript. After I received the rejection, I responded to his email with a question. “So is it the lack of platform,” I asked him, “or the quality of the writing…or both?” He answered […]

[Continue reading...]

Hear It on Sunday, Use It on Monday: From Far to Near

boys on rocks

We are enjoying a bit of Lenten quiet on Mondays here until Easter. I’m posting a verse, a devotion and a prayer. Peace and grace, friends… But now you have been united with Christ Jesus. Once you were far away from God, but now you have been brought near to him through the blood of […]

[Continue reading...]

Weekend One Word: Blessings



[Continue reading...]

Working For It, A Story From A Recovering Spiritual Misfit

Camealystained glass

I am delighted to welcome friend and fellow writer Kris Camealy to the blog today as part of my “I am a Spiritual Misfit, I am His Beloved Misfit” series. As I’ve gotten to know her better and better over these last few months, I’ve come to realize that Kris and I have far more […]

[Continue reading...]

When You Write the Book You Need to Read


My dad is reading Spiritual Misfit. He called me yesterday to tell me he’s on chapter seven, and that he’s only reading one chapter a day in order to savor it. Isn’t that sweet? He said he loves it. Of course, he has to say that, right, because he’s my dad? But my dad also […]

[Continue reading...]