I was born in a small country town in Queensland called Murgon, to my lovely parents, Salvation Army Pastors (now retired) Majors Alan and Jenny Peterson. My childhood years were fun and spent largely around the church, piano lessons, books, school, having wonderful adventures with my siblings and moving houses.
As part of my parent’s pastorship, we would move towns, cities and sometimes states, every few years. Though it was very difficult for me to leave the friends I grew so quickly to love, I did, however, have the opportunity to experience living in many different places and meet many different people.
My family moved from country Queensland towns, to Sydney and other cities in New South Wales, and then back to Queensland again where I met my future husband at a Bible camp. I recall returning home and announcing to my mum that I had met the man I was going to marry. Seeing as I was only 15 at the time, I’m sure my mum wondered, ‘what on earth!’, but, thankfully, she trusted my judgement. Three and half years later, Tony and I married and now have four children—two girls and two boys.
The greatest honour
My greatest passions growing up were music, writing and to be married and have children. Now a writer, piano teacher, wife and mother, I consider it such a wonderful blessing that God knows the desires of our hearts and that these things came to be.
I love being a mum with all that is involved. I’m not candy-coating it, because I know being a mum is not always glamorous and not everything is fun. There were many sleepless nights, painful births and endless nappies. But there were also giggling babies, wonderful moments of ‘first-times’ walking; talking; going to school etc. and many celebrations of birthdays, special times together and precious bed-time story moments where little people settled down to hear their favourite sleepy book read to them.
Mums need to be psychologists, referees, chefs, managers, cheer-leaders, nurturers, discerning, flexible and available. It is a full-time, multi-tasking job and often thankless. But it is also the greatest thing I will ever do, and the greatest honour to be given four little souls to raise and watch over to the best of my ability.
Though my children are older now, this is a season I relish for all that it is and have drawn much of my writing inspiration from. I am so grateful that God is the parent of all parents, guiding our steps in this very special role and great responsibility.
Beauty from trials
I certainly cannot boast of having an easy road though. As a teenager, I had a chronic illness for five years which, thankfully, was shocked out of my system when I fell pregnant (funnily enough) with my first child in my early 20s. In our early marriage years, our house was burgled multiple times, we struggled financially when my husband fell ill, and then, during a very difficult time during the global financial crisis a decade ago, I was involved in a head-on vehicle collision. This caused ongoing health issues, which put the word ‘difficult’ on a whole new level for me.
I can now look back and thank God for the trials of fire we went through, because they are the times that really tested my faith and caused me to make the decision to lean into God like never before. The one thing that is never changing or shifting is the dependable, faithful love of God in my life, and I have grown to love him and rely on him so very, very much.
My career life began after grade 12 with my first job at a bookstore. This was a very good fit for me as I had loved books, reading and writing stories ever since I was a child. One school teacher prophetically told me that one day I would write a book.
During the 10 or so years of being a stay-at-home mum, I studied creative writing, wrote and submitted stories to publishers, and took on a couple of small entrepreneurial projects.
Once the children were all in school, I took a job offered to me as a swimming instructor. I was not athletic, and certainly not a swimmer, but it was the only job within school hours I could get at the time, so I took the role and proceeded to complete all the training required.
It was during this time that the car accident occurred and, looking back, though God didn’t cause the accident, I can see his hand was all over it. Of all the places it could have happened, my car crashed right outside a publishing house. Within a year, opportunities arose for me to have my writing work published through Christian Today Australia (under the mentorship of Dr Mark Tronson), as well as through many other publications and media over the years.
The realisation of a dream
Five years following the accident, my first book First to Forty was published and early 2019, my second book Pizza and Choir was published. These books are what we like to call ‘real-world devotionals’, filled with short stories and poetry that can be read in the time it takes to drink a cup of tea or coffee.
The stories in these books appeal to both men and women of all ages, however, there is a heart connection for mums, busy women and those who need a quick boost of godly encouragement. These stories are funny, personable, and real, revealing that Jesus knows everything we are going through, and he is right there in the midst of it with us.
They come right from the heart of a mother who has been through the colourful life of motherhood and through some of life’s very difficult trials, only to find that hope, joy and peace are the jewels found deep in our souls when we seek Jesus with all our hearts. It doesn’t matter what we go through, God will not shift. He has already gone before us and is not surprised by anything. He is the giver of hope and of the peace that passes all understanding, as written in Philippians chapter 4 verse 7:
‘And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus’.
Now, as an author, columnist and editor, I am following the calling on my life to spread stories of God’s works into all the world through the establishment of our publishing company. Here our clients share our mission: to ‘Publish his glorious deeds among the nations. Tell everyone about the amazing things he does’ (Psalm chapter 96 verse 3 NLT), and we can’t wait to get their stories out into the world. In this new phase of life, I know God is going to use all things for His glory, and with an expectant heart, I longingly follow his lead.
Dr Mark Tronson is a Baptist minister (retired) who served as the Australian cricket team chaplain for 17 years (2000 ret) and established Life After Cricket in 2001. He was recognised by the Olympic Ministry Medal in 2009 presented by Carl Lewis Olympian of the Century. He mentors young writers and has written 24 books, and enjoys writing. He is married to Delma, with four adult children and grand-children. Dr Tronson writes a daily article for Christian Today Australia (since 2008) and in November 2016 established Christian Today New Zealand. Dr Mark Tronson’s Press Service International in 2019 was awarded the Australasian Religious Press Association’s premier award, The Gutenberg.
Mark Tronson's archive of articles can be viewed at http://www.pressserviceinternational.org/mark-tronson.html
Dr Mark Tronson is a Baptist minister (retired) who served as the Australian cricket team chaplain for 17 years (2000 ret) and established Life After Cricket in 2001. He was recognised by the Olympic Ministry Medal in 2009 presented by Carl Lewis Olympian of the Century. He mentors young writers and has written 24 books, and enjoys writing. He is married to Delma, with four adult children and grand-children. Dr Tronson writes a daily article for Christian Today Australia (since 2008) and in November 2016 established Christian Today New Zealand.