This article is the very first feature published on J. Marie and what was then simply, Affirm The Word. Take a look at this quick Q& A read to learn about how we began.
For more, visit booklife.com/jones
BookLife Talks with J. Marie Jones
What started as Jones’s personal collection of scriptures, prayers, and affirmations has morphed into a Bible study companion, journal, and a mobile app. The BookLife Review of Affirm the Word called it “compelling” and noted that “specificity is one of the book’s strengths.”
What was the process of putting together the original Affirm the Word?
Affirm the Word actually came about during the process of trying to compile my own personal library of scriptures and affirmations to help others. At the start of the pandemic, while working to get my own house “in order,” I kept encountering customer service phone reps who shared feeling anxious, depressed, and at a total standstill considering all that was happening. I began to suggest that maybe saying things like “I’m overcoming anxiety,” instead of talking about “my anxiety,” and speaking affirmations might help ease such feelings. I also offered to share a few affirmations from my study notes, and Affirm the Word was born a short time after.
Was a journal always meant to accompany the book, or did it come later?
I actually had no plan to write Affirm the Word! I am confident that had it not been for the pandemic, the book probably would never have been created. However, I truly believe in the biblical instruction from Habakkuk 2:2–3 and the power of writing your vision so that you can remain focused on where you are going. That is where the idea for the book, and eventually the prayer journal, came from.
The Affirm the Word companion app was recently released. What was it like to develop that?
I originally thought that the app would follow the Affirm the Word hardcover, because I truly believe it is critical to fill one’s hearing with life-giving words every day. There are times when life can be so tough that we can’t find the words to say or just plain don’t want to say them. Yet, it is still critical to keep the
truth of the matter before our eyes and playing in our ears. Our all-in-one Bible study and inspiration app allows our readers to actually hear the scripture verses and affirmations included in the book. It also includes more than 100 translations of the Bible, daily scripture verse, a daily devotional, meditation and prayer music, nature sounds, and a motivation library to assist users in acquiring and maintaining their peace.
Do you have any advice for authors attempting to grow their brand? I am a believer, and without a doubt, I encourage everyone to keep God first in their lives. I know that Affirm the Word would not have come this far in such a short time if His hand were not in it. My faith also helps me to understand that my only objective is to bring glory to God—so I am not riding a wave of highs and lows in proportion to book sales and reviews. I would also recommend that they remain consistent in sharpening their message and the look of their website and materials and open to any opportunities to improve their work. There is always room for improvement.
How do you imagine readers at this moment will connect to Affirm the Word?
I imagine Affirm the Word readers will come away with a daily resource that provides an alternative to sulking, complaining, and just plain giving up when things aren’t as we’d like. This life guarantees that there will be times when we are faced with what we did not expect and don’t necessarily want to see. However, in choosing to speak life and focus on what we want to see and believe, despite our cur- rent reality, so much can happen to help us get the most from those experiences. Most importantly, we grow to greater levels of maturity, call upon God’s supernatural intervention to assist us, and bring glory to Him and encouragement to others when we overcome.