Monday, July 6, 2015

It's release day!

Well. Its here.

Two years in the making this has been.

What started out as a vision God gave my former publisher (and dear, dear friend), Andrea, has morphed into so many various things since, and is now a part of a new gift book series.

To say I'm humbled that the Lord allowed for Ellanie's story to be used in this way is an understatement.

For 10 years I've been on the other side of the publishing fence. And let me make known, I love what I do. But this side of things... it's been eye opening. I have a new respect and understanding for the authors I work with and how hard writing, with a mission mindset, really is. Writing to simply entertain... I almost think I could do that more easily :)

But writing with the ultimate goal of ministering to hearts. To peel back the layers of your heart and life's most painful moments in hopes that Christ's glory will be revealed to someone... that's different. Its a whole other level of difficult because flesh wants to get in the way. Whispers from the enemy that there's nothing you could possibly say to help reveal that kind of hope to someone creeps in.

And now, as a publishing professional, I get it. I see the kind of ministry our authors pour themselves into and I'm humbled they choose to let us take part in the journey.

So, here it is. The ebook version is available for purchase now and the print will soon follow. That's also been an interesting experience, by the way. Selling your own book into retailers and bookstores. Yep. It's been a ride! But, God's been in every step. And I'm so grateful to have something to place in someone's hands now when they tell me they're hurting and want to know where they should go from where they are.

Oh, what a privilege.

I hope you enjoy this little sample my publisher has made available. Share away. And please come say hello August 8th at Lifeway Christian Stores in Hoover, AL :) I'll be speaking about this little gift of hope and signing some copies too. I'd love to hug your neck and tell you "thanks."

To God be the glory, great things He has done!

Monday, June 22, 2015

Little conversations... they add up.

Things are starting to really marinate and register with my daughter, who's five, and it's so amazing to see. There are some days when she says things that are a result of little conversations we've had and lessons of truth we've tried to give her, but then some days... she says things that are just a result of God's grace working in her life and His choosing to reveal Himself to her, bit by bit. And those days... they are indescribably joyful!

I'll be honest though. Hard questions come up along the way that I don't really want to attempt to answer. Her fifth year of life has had her thinking a lot and I can see, she's trying to make sense of things.

When she was three years old, she was given a certificate at a preschool end of the year program that named her "most quiet." There could be worse things, I know. (And if you know my child and have a carried a conversation with her you know this to be untrue). But that identification did something to her. I can't really describe it other than to say, whatever newness that was getting ready to bloom outside of her budding personality was just kind of crushed. All of a sudden, she felt because she'd been given this identity from the world, she had to live up to it.

The blessing out of this was that it created the opportunity to tell her who she is in Christ and a lesson from 2 Corinthians 5:17. I wanted her to understand that no matter what parts of her personality the world recognizes more than others, her identity is found in Jesus... alone. And each of her character traits make her unique in Him.

Over time, the Lord has paved the way for other little conversations too that I've prayed will only marinate on her heart to teach her more about who He is and His great love for us.

Yesterday on our way to celebrate Father's Day with family, she said something I'll never forget. We were talking about Father's Day (honestly, I was giving them a speech on how the best present they could give daddy for the day would be to behave) and Emmalyn interrupted me and said,

Mommy? I'm really glad I have two dads to celebrate on Father's Day.

I was driving so i couldn't turn around and look at her and now, I'm kind of glad she was refrained from seeing the look on my face.

I said, Emme, what do you mean... two dads?

I mean my daddy and my God.

I should've known what she meant. Heck, I should have already had that thought myself.

But, in that moment I cried tears of thanks to Him for somewhere along the way helping her to grasp how much he loves her. So much so that she would look at Him as Father.

And it also caused me to realize that all of these little conversations about life, faith, and God. They add up to produce fruit in their lives that will prayerfully have them seeking Him all of their days. Her view of him and her view of herself is transforming and that memory... is what matters most.

Sunday, May 31, 2015

When Life Presses In...

So much of why I write is not because I want anyone to hear what I have to say, but because its healing for me. And in that healing, I hope that others can relate as well and find encouragement and truth in words.

For the first time in my life, I've experienced what it's like to write with a deadline and while experts closely analyze my words. This is new territory. And parts of it have been eye-opening.

The vulnerability and rawness has been life-giving.

You're forced to work out your motives when you're pressed to produce something that will leave a legacy forever.

I've always worked best under pressure, but this...

This has been different. The more I lean into Him and ask Him to reveal parts of myself unknown the more He shows me this faith journey isn't a straight shot. It's full of road curves, pitfalls, obstacles - pain.

I'm learning the pressure... yes, that thing in your life that's uncomfortable and making you want to do everything BUT run to Him today- It's positioned there by Him strategically on purpose.

And instead of fleeing from the pressure. I'm leaning into it. Finding Him in it. And learning more about myself through it.

Come July 6th, all of the raw, messy, uneven parts of my daughter's story and the last 3 years of our journey through healing from infant loss will be in print. Like- you can go to any bookstore near you and buy it- print.

And instead of being scared to death, I'm going to choose to lean into Him as He swings open that closet full of vulnerable expression and dusty stories because He's greater. And He has me...