If you do the math, this averages out to about 75 cents a book. Not even a tithe of the purchase price. After Amazon took its cut, the publisher got theirs (which they shared with my editor), and my agent received his meager share, 142 dollars remained. Did I mention I gave my intern a bonus because she works hard, too? And I tithed on it?
My husband made me proud that day. Instead of saying, “Are you crazy, woman? What are you thinking?! You could be working a REAL job and earning REAL money,” he said, “Well that’s an unexpected bonus.
I love that man.
He gets it.
Not that I wouldn’t someday love to earn an income from my writing, but there’s more to what I do than the bottom line in our bank account. My husband works hard, manual labor to provide for our family, and part of that provision is enabling me to fulfill the calling God has placed upon my life.
Four years ago, when our youngest daughter’s high school graduation galloped over the hill toward us, we had a talk about what I should do once my tenure as homeschool teacher extraordinaire was complete. The logical option was to work more in my profession—dental hygiene. The other option was to pursue the writing and speaking ministry that was stretching its fledgling wings against the walls of our nest.
Since we’d now be paying for the education we’d been providing at home, it made sense to seek out a job that would generate income. Duh, right?
Only the doors to more dental hygiene work remained closed. Despite almost 30 years of clinical experience. Despite a stellar work history. Despite enthusiastic references. Despite a personal referral.
But the doors that led to the publishing world were swinging open. My mentor and editor, Sue Duffy, recommended me as her replacement at Reach Out, Columbia magazine—small salary, great ministry. Then my blog, Hungry for God … Starving for Time grew legs and began to walk. No pay, but the chance to share God’s truth with thousands around the world. Then invitations to speak to women’s ministry groups popped up in my email box. Love offerings—oh, I hope they love me.
The choice was obvious, and my wise, sacrificial, God-loving husband said, “Go for it. God will take care of us.”
Have I mentioned that I love that man?
Now, four years later, the lights have stayed on, the children are as educated as they want to be, and we’ve even taken a 30th anniversary cruise. I wake up every morning and sit before the Lord, eager and excited about what he wants to teach me. Like receiving a Whitman’s Sampler on Valentine’s Day, I can’t wait to unwrap the gift so I can share it with others. Take a bite of that one; there’s something good inside.
There is no greater satisfaction than ministering in the name of the Lord. Every time God uses my humble, imperfect writing to encourage, convict, or challenge someone, my heart sings. The Hanes underwear company’s slogan in the 1990s was Hanes—Makes You Feel Good All Under. Well I’ve got news for you, Mr. Hanes. It isn’t underwear that makes you feel good all under, it’s working with Jesus.
Thanks for putting up with my nostalgic rambling. It must be my advancing age that’s causing me to wax eloquent. Or maybe it’s humble gratitude that 1 Thessalonians 5:24 is true:
“He who calls you is faithful.”
What about you? Is God nudging you to take a step of faith for him? May I encourage you to step out? I promise—you’ll never regret it.
Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, "Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?" And I said, "Here am I. Send me!" (Isa. 6:8).
Just in time for Mother's Day -- a special "Pamper Me" giveaway. Please feel free to share this on Facebook, Twitter, and through email. I'd love for one lucky mother to win a gift package that includes a paperback copy of Hungry for God and gift cards to Target, Amazon, Starbucks, and Chick Fil A!
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May I tell you about my new book, Hungry for God … Starving for Time, 5-Minute Devotions for Busy Women?
Today's women want to connect with God, but in the craziness of life, it’s just not happening. You want practical, biblical answers to situations you face every day, but you don’t have hours to pore over Scripture.
You need a resource that answers the questions you’re afraid to ask out loud. Questions like:
• Is my situation hopeless?
• If God already knows what he’s going to do, why bother to pray?
• Why have you allowed this to happen to me?
• No one appreciates what I do. Why shouldn’t I quit?
Each devotion begins with a Facetime question and ends with a biblical answer wrapped in a modern day parable. Like a spiritual power bar, Hungry for God … Starving for Time is packed with enough scriptural nutrition to get you through the day. Wherever you are—in break rooms, carpool lines, or wherever you can snatch five minutes of quiet reflection—Hungry for God … Starving for Time, 5-Minute Devotions for Busy Women is for you.