Neena Gaynor is a former nurse who has spent much of the last decade traveling with her husband, Wade, a former professional baseball player.
Throughout the 29 changes of address and the stresses of moving a young family, Neena learned to embrace the peace that only comes from the steady accompaniment of Christ in her heart.
Today, Neena is ecstatic to be back in her old Kentucky home, beekeeping, writing, and being Mom.
Neena is offering a giveaway: The Bird and the Bees in ebook format to someone who joins our chat below.
Neena Gaynor: A Story Behind the Story
Writing a novel about a nurse and tall/dark/handsome professional baseball player, the grit of a relationship, learning to trust another and the Lord was very autobiographical for me. It was easy to pull from experiences, especially those times when life was a whirlwind of bleacher seats, late suppers, and travel-sized toiletries.
I will never forget washing my baby’s bottle in a hotel sink. We had just moved “home base” for our family for the fifth time in three months. I’d made the inaugural grocery run that accompanies every move: peanut butter, diapers, and Lysol wipes. After hauling the extra bags and a road-weary infant up six flights of stairs (the elevator was out), I was exhausted and frustrated. I turned on the radio, tuned to the local sports broadcasting station, and prepared to cheer on the AAA Baseball team, the Toledo Mudhens. The phone rang.
As the announcer described the competing team, Wade was on the line telling me to start packing. After the game, we were being moved yet again. Another city. Hotel. Team. We said our goodbyes and good lucks, and the commentator went on to announce Wade Gaynor as the night’s starting third baseman. Tears raced down my cheeks as I rinsed the bottle, and I felt the Lord drawing me into His gentle arms. I heard Him whisper to my heart, “Am I not enough?”
After being delivered from Egypt, the Israelites were led to the desert where they muttered and moaned to Moses and grumbled against God. Even still, this same wilderness was where God provided for their every need: food, protection, and more.
Neena Gaynor Insights
The Minor League Baseball lifestyle is its own sort of wilderness, as can be motherhood, empty-nesting, infertility, losing parents, losing children, or losing jobs. But where delight is dehydrated, who walks with us and provides for our needs?
He does. God will lead us through the wilderness just as He led Israel. With eyes wide open, we see how completely He fulfills our every need and the pure desires of our hearts.
When we moved to our next team, we leaned into the constants of our lives: Our Lord and our gift of marriage. It wasn’t easy—another grocery trip, another hotel with a rattling AC or broken elevator, and more professional uncertainty. It was a season of our lives that I naively hoped for something different than a demotion. But we ended up with front row seats watching God provide for our greatest needs through a community of fellow believers. Everywhere we went, God delivered support through faithful coaches, players, player’s wives, chaplains, family, friends, and more.
Ten Years Later
Wade is now retired from baseball, and I’m a stay at home mom of our two little boys. Our ten years of marriage have been a blessing because Jesus is a central part of our relationship.
Something happens when you marry a professional athlete—they encourage you to pursue your own dreams. I had learned so much about our gracious Lord, I wanted others to know. My hope and dream is that through a contemporary romance novel, readers will not only be entertained but fall deeper in love with Jesus … because, friends, He’s more than enough.
Neena Gaynor: The Bird and the Bees
When Larkin Maybie buries her mother in the foothills of Appalachia, she is left all alone. Her only inheritance? A crazy aunt, a mountain of debt, and a run-down, secluded cabin left by a mysterious benefactor. Larkin thinks an escape to cabin miles from anything familiar might be exactly what she needs. But the quick answer to her problems only leaves her with more questions… Questions concerning her true identity.
As Larkin searches for her link to the Lewandowski Estate, she begins to accept the kindness of strangers on Presque Isle. And the affection of professional baseball player, Ketch Devine. Charged with caring for the cabin’s honey bees and haunted by past choices, Larkin struggles to move forward in a new direction. But she is running out of time. With summer and baseball season coming to an end, she must decide: what is the value of true love?
Neena Gaynor Links
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Lord, please bless each word Neena writes for You.
For Jesus’ sake