If you’re in your 20s, here’s a GPS to keep you ditch-free

Note from Christa: Four of my five children are traveling down Route 20-Something. Along the way, they’ve experienced their share of fender-benders, road rages, missed exits, traffic snarls, and speeding tickets. When I heard about Erin’s book, I couldn’t wait to read it. And I’m not disappointed. How could you not, as a parent, appreciate Erin’s “Things I Wish I’d Seen as Handicaps Sooner” when they include: regretting the past, wasting the present, and wishing on the future.

Read on. I’m on my way to order some books. I’m leaving enough for all of us!







My love for all things written goes back further than I can recall. I emerged from the womb with bookmark-shaped birth announcements in hand and cut my teeth on worn volumes of the Happy Hollisters.

The clincher hit about the time I began losing those baby teeth: I discovered Nancy Drew and there was no turning back-I was going to be a writer. My favorite way to escape the haze of a suburban Chicagoland summer was by heading off to the library for an injection of River Heights, sporty roadsters, and chums Bess and George. Life was a story in progress, and I couldn’t wait to turn the page for the next adventure.

Raised in Chicago’s western suburbs, Marshall graduated from Taylor University in 1994 with a bachelor’s degree in English writing and a minor in mass communications. Soon after college, she began freelance copy editing and proofreading before joining Tyndale House Publishers as a creative/development editor and eventually as a content editor. Her experience at Tyndale included product development for ABA and CBA specialty markets, writing devotional and Bible study material, writing cover and marketing copy, compiling content, managing manuscripts from the concept through publication stages, and editing fiction, nonfiction, juvenile Bibles, and gift books. 

Marriage in October 2003 brought Marshall to beautiful northwest Arkansas where she freelance writes and edits in a dream environment for the creative juices. She is an active member of a nondenominational, Bible-based congregation of several thousand with a diverse ministry scope in one of the country’s fastest-growing regions. 

She has written for several church publications and has been part of the women’s ministries leadership team. 

Those who share the passion know the excitement that bubbles inside at the discovery of the perfect blend of words to make an image leap off the page, invoke a tear, or nurture a smile. Writing and editing are in my blood; they are undeniable quests that fill each working hour with intrigue and purpose. To this day the scent of old bindings and well-worn pages is my favorite aromatherapy.

“All stories have something in common: They teach us to dream and reach out for more than what’s easily visible to the eye. So here I am, living my dream every day. And I still can’t wait to turn the page to see what’s next.”


In her latest release, Navigating Route 20-Something, Marshall shares openly and honestly about what she wishes she had learned in the years after college.  “Shoulda, woulda, coulda” might be a catchy phrase, says Marshall, but no one wants a life marked by the bygone hopes it embodies: “Shoulda risked, woulda quit comparing, coulda loved better.”

We emerge from the teens facing ten years chocked full of greater privileges, potential,and promise than we’d previously known. But as Marshall reveals, those years are also laced with less glorious experiences, such as greater fears, greater expenses, and greater mistakes as we learn firsthand how to work this thing called adulthood. With candid depth, Navigating Route 20-Something motivates readers to live thoughtfully and purposefully to make the most of these defining years and avoid common regrets. 

In recent years, the popularity of GPS devices has risen dramatically, with navigation systems now available in hand-held devices, cell phones, and as a standard feature in many new car models.  It makes logical sense—no one likes to be lost.  But young people today face challenges that are much more serious than simply missing a turn on the way to the mall.  A few poor choices could land them in places they never wanted to be.

So where can young adults find help for navigating the twists, turns, and roadblocks of life?  Speaking candidly, Erin Keeley Marshall looks back on her journey through “route 20-something” as she shares what she wishes she had learned in the years after college.

“God holds the map with the best route to get us to our ultimate destination, both in this life and for eternity.  While his pit stops along the way may appear as abrupt intrusions in our carefully routed geography, there is no dead ground on his road map of life.” 


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