All the water in the world cannot drown you unless it gets inside.Eleanor Roosevelt
Last week I announced the looming inevitability of view number 1,000,000 here at DerekMaul.blog. Inexplicably, I didn’t hear a word from CNN, the BBC, USA Today, or even Oprah. Go figure? Not even a “Thank you for putting us on the map!” from my hosting site, WordPress.com. That’s nuts, don’t you think? I’m still waiting to see if – maybe – some major publisher wants to snatch me away from writing obscurity. But nada, nothing, zilch, crickets, the sound of one hand clapping.
Other than being snubbed by national media, I did garner a good number of responses from readers hoping to be the magical visitor who pushed the needle from 999,999 to 1,000,000.
I noted the names, I consulted my WordPress statistics, I narrowed down the timeframe, and then I pulled out the name of clinical psychologist Deborah Yesu. You will find that she is smart, articulate, encouraging, compassionate, inspirational, and full with grace.
Dr. Yesu absolutely rocked when it came to the interview. So much so that I needed to edit down her answers just a little (Because this is the Internet, and America’s attention span isn’t quite what it used to be!).
So here it is – my interview with Deborah Yesu:
- Deborah, what would you like to read? “I’d love to read your book, Pilgrim in Progress, if that is still available.”
- What makes you keep coming back to derekmaul.blog? “I really enjoy the message and tone. I always find a message of love and peace, whether it’s the Bible message, pictures of beautiful places and people, or a point of view that makes me think about a topic a little differently.”
- Where do you live, and what makes that a great place to be? “Western Massachusetts. I come from a long line of Southerners, and I grew up in Southern Ohio, so never thought I’d be a New Englander. But Massachusetts has been home the last 20 years, and it’s a wonderful place to live! We are only a two-hour drive from big cities, small towns, mountains, and beaches. We have wonderful schools and communities, with some of the oldest history of our country to enjoy. Most of all we have my husband’s extended family.”
- What is your profession? “I am a Clinical Psychologist, and I work with families and children in a private practice. I’m very lucky because I love my job and the work I get to do with families.”
- What can you share about your family? “I have been married to my New Englander 23 years. We met on a blind date and have been together ever since. We have a daughter in college and a son in high school. Our family is rounded out with 2 cats (Cocoa and Twix), 1 dog (Aiko), and a Beta fish (Louie).”
- Share an inspirational quote you find helpful during this crazy Covid time. “All the water in the world cannot drown you unless it gets inside” (Eleanor Roosevelt).” More on this below…
- What gives you hope, and makes you optimistic for the future? “First my belief that “Love always wins.” Gandhi said the way of peace and love has always won. Then Mr. Rogers, one of my all-time favorite people. His Mother told him, when bad things happen, “Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.” If we remain in the way of love (Gandhi) we can be those helpers, even in the worst of situations, and in everything we do. That gives me hope for the future, no matter how negative other people feel things are.”
Thanks so much, Deborah! That adds up to a lot of positive, faith-charged, inspirational energy for today. Now I’ll give Deborah the final word, her explanation for choosing the Eleanor Roosevelt quote:
Peace and love, always – DEREK
Our Covid experience was very difficult, as my husband had Covid-19 in early April. He was seriously (but not critically) sick for over 4 weeks, and while he didn’t have to go to the hospital, he had to be quarantined away from our family. He stayed alone in the basement of the fixer-upper house we were working on, and we couldn’t visit him. Our life kind of stopped for a few weeks – I delivered food and medicine, while masked and gloved, and made sure he was still okay via FaceTime. I was with our 2 teenagers at our house, making sure they got their schooling done from home, while continuing my job (seeing patients via tele-health). Every night I went to bed with this saying in my head, that “The water cannot drown me if it doesn’t get inside“. That if I was okay on the inside, we’d be okay on the outside. It helped me to know that I had the ability to calm myself, with the help of friends, family, and lots of prayer. I could stay “above water” for my kids, and for our little four-person family, to get through that difficult time. We are all okay now, and very grateful that we had so many resources and blessings, that we could make it through, and be fine today.Deborah Yesu, PhD
Derek has published seven books in the past decade (you can find them at https://www.amazon.com/Derek-Maul/e/B001JS9WC4), and there’s always something new in the works.
Before becoming a full-time writer, Derek taught public school in Florida for eighteen years, including cutting-edge work with autistic children. He holds bachelor’s degrees in psychology and education from Stetson University and the University of West Florida.
Derek is active in teaching at his church: adult Sunday school, and a men’s Bible study/spiritual formation group. He enjoys the outdoors, traveling, photography, reading, cooking, playing guitar, and golf.