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I'm a redeemed child of God and the momma to four vivacious daughters. I'm passionate about finding hidden blessings in the trials of life, living it out in an honest and open way, while encouraging those around me to believe in better.

4 Feb

it’s here!!

It was last Tuesday and I’d waited all day. But it never came.

In the afternoon, I picked the girls up from the bus and took them to run some errands and out to dinner. It was dark when we’d returned and I’d sort of forgotten about it.

Almost.

Until I parked the car and looked to the front step and there it was …

my proof copy of 31 Days of Forgiveness!!!

Elation! Excitement! Disbelief! Anticipation!
Excitement! Excitement! Excitement!
Surrealness!

Total surrealness! My words … well, in all fairness, God’s words … but still! OUR words right there in front of me between a beautifully designed {thank you Erin!} front and back cover! Surrealness, right!?!

and ohmyheart!!!

When I took the book out of the packaging, Hunter — my package hound — grabbed it and exclaimed, “Is this your book?!”

“Yes babygirl, it’s mommy’s book!”

She ran back outside where my others were taking doggies potty, and showed each of them … with awe and excitement … it brought tears to my eyes to see how important it was to them. They know the hours of heart and soul I’ve poured into it and there they were treasuring it as if they’d just found a block of gold from the deep.

When Hunter showed it to Taylor, Tay looked straight at me {an important detail when we’re talking teens} full of awe and seriousness and said, “That’s really cool mom!”

The proof has been approved, details are being finalized, and 31 Days of Forgiveness {through the eyes of grace} will be launched this Wednesday {February 6}!!

I’ve got some FUN things planned for release day, so be sure to come back Wednesday for all the nitty-gritty — dare I say awesomesauce — details!!

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Posted in 31 days of forgiveness, forgiveness, writing


21 Jun

purpose

Some of you know … some of you don’t … that I’ve been walking through a raging fire for some time now. I don’t talk about it or carry on {too much} on the blog here. But it’s there. The pain. The fire. It’s always there.

I have a lot of thoughts rolling around and I’d like to flush them out here … writing them out, here in my space, it helps bring purpose and sense to what I’m feeling.

I read something the other day and screamed “YES! YES! That’s exactly how I feel!”

“Blogging has profoundly changed me … I am a mess. I am a contradiction. I am brave and also not.

Working those things out in writing helps me to have peace with it rather than fight it so much. Thinking about my own contradictions in my head brings anxiety. But writing through them gives me courage. Yes, I am a mess. But that doesn’t mean I have nothing to offer.

Hope profoundly motivates me.

I see the world as a half-full glass.

I risk Pollyanna by writing that way but I don’t care.” Emily Freeman, Chatting at the Sky

“I risk Pollyanna by writing that way but I don’t care.”

That’s how I feel. A lot of the time.

I’m in pain. I’m walking a nightmare. But I have hope.

I always have hope. “Hope profoundly motivates me.” And causes me to continue to share … reach out … and breathe Truth into your souls.

I shared just two days ago of my hurt. And y’all responded with love and kindness. To be honest … the purpose of that post wasn’t meant to be about me and my pain. It’s purpose was to be real, to let you know I have real hurts and pain, but I have hope. And it’s purpose was to encourage you with that hope.

There’s always hope.

Many times I absolutely feel “I risk Pollyanna,” when I carry on about hope, and truth, and promises. Sometimes my Pollyanna-like thoughts stifle me. I fear you might be across the screen giving me the proverbial eye-roll. That fear stifles my words and causes me to shut down.

But then a truth comes. Hope blooms. The promises reveal themselves to me once more urging themselves to be shared.

And so … as Emily so sweetly put it, “I may risk Pollyanna but I don’t care.”

It’s my purpose. And I won’t let my pain happen in vain.

Today I’m linking up with Write It, Girl.

Write it girl

 


Posted in encouragement, write it girl, writing


20 Mar

i’ll wait. he’ll answer.

Standing in the middle of the Christian book section at Barnes and Noble, I find myself completely overwhelmed at this sudden thought, “What can my writing possibly add to what’s already been written.”

And written good. From real writers. Who’ve wanted to be writers for as long as they can remember. Who know what all the technical terms of the English language mean. Like a participle. Or a hanging participle.

I failed English in high school. I had an English teacher who was short, seemed at least 100 years old, and wore her hair in a beehive … with pencils in it. I didn’t like her. And she didn’t like me. And she failed me. But I totally deserved it.

I still don’t like English much. You know, proper English, and proper sentences. Most of the time I can’t think of the words I need … the really fancy ones that razzle-dazzle. I’m more of what you’d call a four-letter Scrabble queen … the five and six letter words seem to allude me. And I might be a little proud of myself for just using the word “allude.”

That’s the real me.

But I digress.

I have a passion burning inside of me to write my story. To share my story. But it absolutely intimidates the heck out of me to think that my four-letter-word writing could have a place on a bookshelf with the greats.

Not to mention … as I mentioned … it seems everything’s been said, done, told, and shared.

Overcoming, Healing, Grace, Gifts, Encouragement … it’s been said thousands of times and thousands of ways.

How is my story any different? How would my words impact in a way others haven’t already?

And then I remember … it’s my God-given story, and my God-given passion.

Sure, I may feel overwhelmed and discouraged at times, but worrying won’t get me anywhere. So instead …

I’m still and He’ll move.

I’ll pray and He’ll listen.

I’ll wait and He’ll answer.


Posted in write it girl, writing


6 Mar

write it, girl :: it’s back

When I made this declaration last November, I had no idea what was in store! And P.S., after reading over the comments in that post I’ve been blessed and encouraged all over again! Thank you!

31 Days of Faith has indeed been birthed. And that second thing, that writing my story thing . . . I’ve put together a book proposal for a contest with Tyndale House Publishers. They’re offering one lucky winner a publishing deal. The finalists and winner were supposed to be announced by now, but the conference and contest have been pushed back ’til later this Fall. So no news on that just yet.

Today I’d like to share with you about this writing thing . . . it’s a funny thing . . . not the actual writing, but the writing “world.” Oh my. Like any other specialized hobby, sport, craft, or interest . . . writing is a planet unto itself and I’m still trying to figure out how to land on it.

I continue to do research in understanding the best way to go about writing a book. I’m finding a critical element is having a platform, a tribe, people who will be interested in what you have to say. It seems gone are the days where books sell because they’re good. In are the days where tweeting, retweeting, facebooking, and social media sell books.

It seems to be all about who you know and who knows you.

The release of 31 Days of Faith was a bit anticlimactic for me. Please . . . please know I’m beyond blessed to have it finished and out there for others to grow from . . . but allow me a moment to speak “aloud” what’s in my heart?

It was beyond exciting to finally release the book and see it climb in ranking. But equally disappointing to see it’s ranking plummet the very next day. When the book is being promoted and talked about, the ratings seem to go up . . . but one can only be so obnoxious with self-promoting before said person causes readers and followers to do the proverbial eye roll, while muttering, “Really?

Okay. maybe that’s me and my fear. But still.

I’m not a salesman, and in this writing world, it almost seems you need to be. Or at least have a tribe of friends who’ll pitch it out for you.

The other day, a famous well-known blogger released an e-book and I watched as it burned up a planet called Social Media.

I will fully admit to you . . . in a very non-Christian, envious way, with the whine of a four old, I could be heard saying, “Why aren’t people talking about MY book!?” Yeah. I went there.

Truth is, at times I still do.

I think it’s the whole “please notice me, please notice me . . . I wanna be part of the club too!” school-girl mentality.

I need to be mindful, prayerful and remember, I’m writing His story, His heart. I’m writing for an audience of One. As long as I’m walking in obedience with what He’ll have of me . . . the rest will come. It may not come as a best seller or top ten. But it’ll happen just the way He planned it to happen. Nothing more, nothing less.

Anyway. There ya have it. My heart unveiled . . . the good, bad, and sometimes ugly.

But isn’t that the miracle of our God? If I ask, He’ll take my ugly and turn it into something beautiful.


Posted in writing


10 Feb

a book proposal …

Blessed is she who has believed that the Lord
would fulfill his promises to her!
Luke 1:45 {NIV}

This is the one where I whisper to you that I’m finally pursuing what He whispered to me back in 2009.

Apart from the upcoming 31 Days of Faith e-book release, I’ve been working on another writing project … putting a book proposal together … for a real-hold-in-your-hands book!

Here’s the scoop … I saw a writing conference announced last year and was intrigued by it. But … given that I’m single mommying it right now, I wasn’t real sure how I’d pull off getting to San Diego for a conference. So I let it go and figured if it was meant to be, it’d come back around again.

And it did. But even better.

I first saw the conference announcement on Sarah Mae’s blog. That was when I put it aside. Only then, she announced it again but this time with a bonus! One commenter would win an hour of “coffee time” with Sarah Mae. I commented. And I won.

On my birthday no less!

Coincidence? No.
God? Yes.

So that’s that …

In the meantime, I felt a stronger and stronger pull to put an e-book together with my 31 days of faith series. And so I did. And spent the better part of January working on it. When it was finally finished and off to the designer for formatting, I was breathing a sigh of writing relief.

And then.

Something, somewhere, in the back of the ol’ noggin I vaguely remembered a contest for a publishing deal {offered through the writing conference}. And so I checked. And sure enough, the contest was still open, but I had only a week to put together an actual proposal and get it submitted.

YIKES! with a capital YIKES!

One week.

Items required in the proposal:

  • a two sentence snapshot of your story {‘scuse me? two sentences!?!}
  • an overview of your story and the societal need for it to be told
  • a title. and subtitle
  • competitive landscape {including title, author, publisher} on like subjects
  • how your book will differ from those gone before you
  • author background and what makes you the one to tell your story
  • benefits your book will have on readers
  • potential endorsers
  • chapter summaries
  • a full chapter

Did I mention I had exactly ONE WEEK to pull all of this together?

But I did it. With the help of an amazing and encouraging editor, I did it.

Actually, I can’t take all the credit … each time I sat at my keyboard, I asked God to join me … using my fingers as His instrument. There isn’t a single doubt in my mind that He met me just as I asked. I absolutely could not have finished on my own.

I’m not sure if I should be sharing all this … I notice other bloggers/writers suddenly announce they got a book deal! But there was no mention prior. I guess I’m the girl that announces pregnancy as soon as I see the “plus” sign! I figure if something happens, I want people to mourn with me, so why not let them in on the rejoicing part too?

And that’s where I am. Rejoice with me? Even if I don’t “win” this contest, I am forever thankful I have this proposal put together. It gave me direction, excitement, and commitment to tell my story.

Ten finalists will be announced February 15 and the winner on March 3. Oh, and did I mention the publisher sponsoring the contest?!

You may have heard of them? Tyndale House Publishers! :)

So there ya have it folks! I’ll keep you posted! And ‘member that sneak peek and promise of details? Hoping to have a set release date for you next week! And can I just tell y’all thank you? Thank you so much for the encouraging response I received via comments, emails, twitter, and facebook on the sneak peek … I was seriously blessed and encouraged! Thank you!

Stay tuned …

 


Posted in writing