Starry-eyed or not, I was also a pragmatist--one who enjoyed eating regularly. Her words, while not specifically intended to discourage me, did make me think.
I’ve always loved writing. As a teenager, I spent many hours on the rocky shores of Narragansett Bay in my hometown of Bristol, Rhode Island, composing long, melancholy poems of unrequited love. When we moved to Columbia, South Carolina, I wrote for my high school newspaper, The Eyrie, and later served as its Editor-in-Chief. A brief stint laying out ads for The Lexington County Journal Bulletin concluded my newspaper years, and I entered Midlands Technical College to be trained as a Registered Dental Hygienist.
Recognizing the wisdom of my friend's words, I traded in my pen and paper for a mask and gloves and assumed it was time to grow up.
After several years our first daughter was born, and when she neared kindergarten age, my husband and I felt led to home educate her. Together she and I hated math and loved reading, writing, and books. As her writing assignments grew more complex, sometimes I’d do them with her, just for fun.
Five years into the homeschooling adventure, I accepted the position of support group leader of our local support group. My job description involved writing a monthly article of encouragement for the newsletter. Writing these pieces revived my passion for writing and invited me to pick up my pen again. Homeschooling moms would tell me how much they enjoyed my articles. “One day,” my friend Pat would say, “you’re going to write a book!”
I’d laugh and say, “Nah, I gave up that dream long ago.” For ten years I wrote articles of encouragement to the members of our support group. I kept each one, tucked into a folder where they gathered dust.
One day, however, on a whim, I accepted a friend’s invitation to attend Writers' Advance Boot Camp, a small writer’s conference in the mountains of North Carolina. Amidst award-winning authors of multiple books, I wondered what in the world I was doing there. I didn’t belong. I’d never wanted to write a novel, and I certainly wasn’t trained or experienced in writing.
As I was contemplating going back to my room to hide, Eddie Jones, publisher at Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas, took the lectern and shared his best piece of writing advice: “Don’t try to be someone else. Be who you are. Write what you know.”
Who am I? I asked myself. I’m just a homeschooling mom.
And what do I know? I know how to encourage other homeschooling moms. I thought of those ten years of homeschooling mom devotions tucked away in my notebook and on my computer.
After class I introduced myself to Eddie and said, “I’m a homeschooling mom with a notebook full of encouragement for other homeschooling moms. Is this book material?”
“Maybe,” he said. “Send me a sample.”
That whim of a conference, the words of direction and validation, and ten years’ worth of articles came together in a beautiful fusion of God-breathed events that ultimately became my first devotional book, Joy in the Journey – Encouragement for Homeschooling Moms.
That book led to a blog, which led to more writing assignments, which led to the editor’s position with Reach Out, Columbia magazine. A second book contract gave the go-ahead for my latest devotional book, Hungry for God … Starving for Time, 5-Minute Devotions for Busy Women, which releases Wednesday. If I survive this book launch, I have material in my head and my heart for the next devotional, and the next, and the next.
What have I learned in the last four years?
I’ve learned when God gifts you, he’ll make a way for you to use your gifts to further his kingdom.
I’ve learned when God calls you, he’ll also provide for you. Every step of the way.
I’ve learned serving God is a group effort. We need each other to challenge, exhort, rebuke, and direct.
And, most importantly, I’ve learned when God calls you to surrender a dream, it’s not because he wants to take something good from you. It’s because he wants to give you something better in its place.
Every believer is gifted to serve God and his church. What’s your gift? Have you surrendered it to the Lord and asked him to use it however he pleases? If you have, hold on tight. If you haven’t, what are you waiting for?
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LOOKING FOR THE PERFECT CHRISTMAS GIFT
FOR THE BUSY WOMAN IN YOUR LIFE?
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.
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