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Monday, December 16, 2013
by: Tonya Lowentritt
SOUTHEASTERN STUDENT AUTHORS BOOK - Southeastern graduate student Kelli Smith, right, and Assistant Professor of Counseling Laura Fazio-Griffith, discuss Smith's book "Surviving the First Five: Insightful Encouragements for the Newly Married."
HAMMOND –Kelli Smith is a busy Southeastern Louisiana University graduate student working to balance life with her husband and three year-old daughter, a full course load as a counselor education major, and maintain a blog on life, marriage and parenthood.
With encouragement from readers, she turned her blog – learningkelli.blogspot.com -- into a book, "Surviving the First Five: Insightful Encouragements for the Newly Married."
The book, Smith said, gives realistic insights into what it takes to transition through the first five years of marriage, which she says are crucial because this is when couples are building their foundations.
"The book utilizes personal testimony, practical techniques and spiritual encouragements to help readers deal with everyday issues in relationships," she said. "All of the stories are based on my personal experiences and what I have observed in other relationships."
Some of the topics in Smith's book include communications, commitment to serving God, examining marriage vows, submission, trust, respect, fidelity, finances and more.
"Each chapter includes sample prayers, reflections, and additional readings," said Smith, who is originally from Baton Rouge. "The book is designed to work as a tool to help readers identify areas in their lives and marriages that they want to change with God's help."
It is no coincidence Smith is in graduate school studying counseling, specializing in marital, couple and family counseling. She says she has always felt destined to help people.
Smith said the information she has learned through Southeastern coursework, class discussions and personal reflections helped her develop her skills as a counselor and writer and find her voice.
"I've seen a lot happen in marriages, first hand and through observation," she said. "I wanted to show other married couples that they are not alone and that marriage is a process, not a pit stop. I chose the format because I don't tell people what to do, but instead offer them the opportunity to change and grow in every aspect of their marriage and lives."
Smith wants to write another book. She has several ideas about parenting, blended families and working with children. She may even write and illustrate a book for children, she said.
"Surviving the First Five: Insightful Encouragements for the Newly Married" is published by Crosslink Publishing.