Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Exciting News!

            Many of you know my journey into publishing has been one of persistence and diligence.  It took me years to get any doors to budge.  For me it’s been a journey of endurance, and trusting God despite the years of turndowns.  Honestly there have been several deals that I could have easily taken, however every time I’ve been published they just weren’t times that I just took because they were offered to me.  I have refused to publish any work I do outside of God’s timing and the right publishing house for each project.  Each piece have been prayed about.  I’ve been honored to watch as some doors in the more recent years have opened. 
            So I had hinted at this news in my last blog and on social media.  I am so excited to get to make this announcement now that contracts have been signed.  I’d like to have a *Drum Roll Please*
            CrossLink Publishing will be publishing a devotional I mostly wrote over 12 years ago.  “Confessions of a Ninja Mom, A 40 Day Training Manual for Empowering Mothers,” is a comedic memoir on parenting.  I’d written 30 days of it when my oldest was an infant.  Then last year I took it off the shelf, blew the dust off of it, and added 10 more days to it.  I don’t have an exact release date yet.  It will be available wherever books are sold.  I am still gathering and praying about some endorsements.  I will release all these details as I get them.   
            As I signed the papers last night I cried.  I can remember when I tried to get my first book published about 13 years ago.  I was na├»ve and unfamiliar with the industry.  My first turndown came in the form of two in one day.  I wept.  Dan wiped the tears from my eyes and told me, “That’s okay, because when all of this finally happens you’re going to find the yes so much sweeter.”   He was right.  The yeses are always so much sweeter.  God is so faithful.  I just want to tell you all that no matter how impossible things seem to you, when God tells you to do something it’s possible.  Sure sometimes things take longer than you think possible.  But GOD IS FAITHFUL!

            God has awesome plans for your life. Get excited!

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

In My Own Ability

            I have a confession to make.  I am such a “Martha”.  If you are familiar with the Bible story I’m referring to, it’s in Luke 10:38-42. When I get an assignment from the Lord I have a tendency to throw myself in the middle of it, and work like a bulldozer, and sometimes that is unto my own detriment.  There is a place with needing to do this in your Christian walk.  Noah needed to build the ark before the flood, Joseph needed to allow God to prepare him in prison to be ready to meet with pharaoh, and the Israelites need to march around Jericho.  There are things you need to do in order to see the plan of God on your life.
            This has been a difficult season in our lives.  There are some things the Lord spoke to me before we left Florida that haven’t quite come together the way I planned (though they are totally coming together the way God planned).  We’ve also had a few surprises and watched God navigate us in some unplanned routes.  There has been some frustration in doing everything I know to do, and standing on the Word.  I have felt like I have been trying so hard to see what God has spoken to me come to pass that I’ve forgotten for a brief moment what it is to sit at the feet of Jesus and know He will intervene because that’s what He has promised.  While I’ve come to the end of my own ability on numerous times before, I found myself again with my arms in the air saying, “God, I need your help.  I can’t do this on my own.”
            Several weeks ago I heard the Lord nudge me regarding this.  I felt the Lord telling me to cease my laboring so hard.  He was nudging me to be at rest.  He was nudging me to step back and let Him take over the situation.  I felt he wanted me to take a month and focus on resting in His arms.  He wanted me cease from laboring so hard to make the situations work, but having stable faith that they would.  If you know me this is a very daunting task for me.  I don’t step back easily.  I’m a doer.  I want to get in the battle and fight.  I’m excited to say, that though the month isn’t even over I’ve seen some things begin to shift. (I’ll be making an announcement in the near future) It’s amazing what God can do when we step back and let Him do it!

            Matthew 11:28-30 (NIV)

28 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
            Trying hard to do what God is calling you to do is a good thing, but we all need to learn to rest in the fact that God doesn’t want us burdened down doing things.  There has to be a place where our ability stops and His ability picks up.  In order to walk in divine destiny we need divine moments that only God can bring us to. 
            In Luke 5:1-8, Simon and other fishermen had been fishing all night in their own ability.  When they were finished trying Jesus told them precisely where to cast their nets, and then their catch were so much they couldn’t contain it.  May we all learn that working hard is a good thing, but trusting that God can take you even further than you can imagine is what brings a divine catch. May we all learn to step back and trust God for He makes His pathways clear and He is always faithful.  Trust Him today with your own desires, talents, and future.  Watch and see what He can do with it.  I know it’ll surprise you.

God has awesome plans for your life.  Get excited.

Monday, January 12, 2015

In the times where you need a miracle. . .

            Last week we almost lost our dog, Mojo.  I say almost because my youngest daughter kept insisting he needed our help.  The temperatures last week were in the single digits and she’d gone outside to play at my parents’ house.  Our dog and my parents’ dog were playing and while we kept an eye on her no one thought much about it.  Until she came in frantically crying that our dog was stuck under their pool.  Honestly that child has a penchant for the dramatic and everyone kept saying “He’ll come out.”  But he wasn’t coming out.  Soon we realized that Mojo really was stuck under the pool.  We’re pretty sure he was chasing a rabbit, and somehow managed to wedge himself between a pile of dirt and the deck.  For whatever reason he couldn’t get out the way he came in.  Due to the extreme cold conditions we also knew that time was not on our side.    Four adults and a crying kid later it wasn’t too hard to find exactly where under the deck the dog was stuck.  However the problem arose as to what to do about it.  We couldn’t coach him out.  We were trying not to get the saws out in the middle of the deck.  Finally we managed to pry the board up.  A very cold, crying, dirtball came clamoring to the top of the deck.  Gratefully we got him in time and he was okay.  Given the conditions the scenario could have easily gone the other way.
            There are so many times in life we all could put ourselves in the same “shoes/paws” as my dog.  We find ourselves chasing something that we thought we wanted, then realize we’ve made our way to a place where we are stuck and aren’t sure how we’re going to get out.  Even King David had those moments.
Psalms 40:2 (NIV) “He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand.
            Calling out to God does not make you weak.  It means that you admit that you need help.  It means that you’ve done everything you know to do, and that you need a divine intervention of God.  Just like us intervening in this situation, Mojo wouldn’t have gotten out without our help.  Sometimes you just have to raise your hands to heaven and know that God will give you a firm place to stand. 
            Recently I was listening to a message from my pastor and something he said resonated in me.  He said that he and his wife made a choice that if God said something to him then they were going to choose to believe it, no matter what happened.  I love my pastors (Pastor Gary and Drenda Keesee) and their story of what God has brought them through is miraculous.  The beautiful simplicity of this statement seems too good to be true.  Will God really put my feet on a rock no matter what trouble I’ve gotten myself in?  The answer is yes, He will.  God loves to operate in the miraculous and the divine.  He is faithful to you.  He is no respector of persons.  Ask Him if you find yourself stuck.  Hear what He has to say.  Trust Him. Obey Him. (James 4)  Even if you feel you’re stuck with no hope, God can and will always make a way!

            God has awesome plans for your life. Get excited!