EXCITING NEWS!!!

OK, the news I’ve been waiting to share with you!!! (*drumroll, please*)…    photo-4

I. JUST. SIGNED. A. BOOK. CONTRACT. WITH. THOMAS NELSON PUBLISHERS!!!…Oh my, how dreams REALLY DO come true!

But, let me tell you a little somethin’-somethin’ about this because just a few months back, I was having a REALLY hard time believing they actually do.

There will always be a time along the road of seeing our dreams come true where all hope gets lost. And, it’s at this stop where the mark of “impossible” is clearly established. It’s also the place where our hearts find true surrender in trying to make the dream possible through our own strength with understanding that it will ONLY be the move of God bringing about the impossible.

One evening at church a few months ago, I found myself in that deadened, hopeless place.

Here’s a little bit of a back-story:

Last Fall I self-published a book called, “Caterfly,” a book about identity and how to live confident and free in this image-crazed world; A book that took over seven years to write.  (Oh and side note: it will be available to purchase until Spring of 2016 which is when my newly “renovated” version will be released by Thomas Nelson—yeeees!!) I was eager to get this needed message out to women of all ages, which is why I chose to publish it myself. BUT, in order to truly spread this message to the nations, as I have dreamt, I knew I needed the help of large, reputable publisher. I did my research and set my sights on the best, the well-known publisher–Thomas Nelson. Here is a list of just a few of their authors: Billy Graham, Max Lucado, Karen Kingsbury, Donald Miller, Lysa TerKeurst, Dave Ramsey, John Maxwell, Bob Goff, Judah Smith, Craig Gross, Charles & Andy Stanley, Neil Anderson, Ravi Zacharias, Dr. Henry Cloud, and so many more!! But, seriously…talk about the IMPOSSIBLE and me getting published by them?! I was told they would NEVER look at my book because I was not famous enough, so might as well give up hoping for this to ever happen until then. And, honestly, 99% of me did.

Until the divine moment at church a few months back when my pastor, Henry Seeley gave an invitation for those of us who felt hopeless in our dreams to respond in faith to believe again. My heart began to swell with tears. It took so much for me to believe again. I felt SO beat down and such a failure. Just four months prior, I took a crazy leap of faith and quit my job to pursue better health (Lupus challenges), as well as go after my dreams. But instead, I found myself living a life of a sojourner, like Abraham did staying in temporary dwellings, no income, living on food stamps, and battling disease in a fierce way. The thought of seeing my dream come true of being published by Thomas Nelson was consistently mocked in my head. It was hard to see beyond my circumstances and many times, I felt much despair trying to fight to believe. YET…I had a 1% hope left in me that JUST MAYBE, He has more for me!

God has a beautiful way of taking what’s seemingly dead and undeniably impossible…and bringing it to life!  photo-2

(Get ready for this next part because it’s SO good!)

Just…two…days…after the night I prayed at church to believe again for the dreams God had for me…an editor from Thomas Nelson contacted me and said they came across my manuscript and are interested in it. (*INSERT: CRAZY-WILD- DANCING-JUMPING-AROUND-SQUEELS OF JOY!!*)

They weren’t quite sure exactly how they got their hands on my book….but, I did ; ) His name is Jim Armstrong. I met him over a decade ago in a Kansas bookstore. He was a salesman for Zondervan publishers that I struck up a conversation with and can now see the divine appointment it turned out to be! He and his wife supported my ministry throughout the years and when he got ahold of the rough draft of my manuscript–he became one of my greatest cheerleaders. I will be forever grateful for his help in opening this door of a dream come true!

Since the initial contact with Thomas Nelson, it went fast with meetings, lunches, board meetings, conference calls and then officially signing a contract as one of their authors. WOW. GOD IS SO GOOD!

I hope you are encouraged by my story and pray that you, too, will believe again for the dream, the miracle you’re waiting on! Just because it doesn’t happen in your timing, doesn’t mean it won’t happen. Trust His plan for you. He will ALWAYS have your very best in mind. And, when it gets tough (and it will)…DON’T GIVE UP!! NO matter how dark, HOLD on! God has not forgotten you. And what is impossible with you…IS POSSIBLE BY GOD!

Your miracle awaits you!!<3

“I can bring beauty out of the ashes of lost dreams.” (Jesus Culture Devotional)

 

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ADVICE ON FINDING MR/MRS RIGHT

 

Many years ago, a few single girlfriends and myself decided we needed to get serious about this finding ourselves a huuuusband deal. So, photo-4naturally…what better way to show your gettin’ down to business about something other than to make it an official mission, of course, which also meant giving it a name, too. We called it, “MISSION H (for Mission-Husband and all things—“H”…and also ALL things cheesy!) Let me tell ya, we got really creative and cornballish with all the H-descriptions and declarations about this Hottie-Holy-Spirit-filled-Handsome-Helper-Heart-after-God-Holy-Hunk-of-a-Husband waiting for us at the end of this mission! I’m very happy to report that Mission-H was a HUGE success to almost all of our team members (who are now happily married to their H-MEN, I might add)…well, except one, that is. This chicita is still wearing her, “SOMEONE TO BRING HOME TO MAMAtee (ok, not really) and moving confidently forward with MISSION-H!!

What better way to find success in a mission than to learn from those who’ve gone before you and gotten it right, RIGHT??  

The Prophet Samuel was one such man. Like me, he too, was someone on a mission to find a King. He was sent by God specifically to the house of Jesse to anoint one of his sons to be the next one. Let’s look at this story in 1 Samuel 16.

“When they arrived, Samuel saw Eliab and thought, “Surely the Lord’s anointed stands here before the Lord.” But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” Then Jesse called Abinadab and had him pass in front of Samuel. But Samuel said, “The Lord has not chosen this one either.” Jesse then had Shammah pass by, but Samuel said, “Nor has the Lord chosen this one.” 10 Jesse had seven of his sons pass before Samuel, but Samuel said to him, “The Lord has not chosen these.” 11 So he asked Jesse, “Are these all the sons you have?” “There is still the youngest,” Jesse answered. “He is tending the sheep.” Samuel said, “Send for him; we will not sit down until he arrives.” 12 So he sent for him and had him brought in. He was glowing with health and had a fine appearance and handsome features. Then the Lord said, “Rise and anoint him; this is the one.” 13 So Samuel took the horn of oil and anointed him in the presence of his brothers, and from that day on the Spirit of the Lord came powerfully upon David. Samuel then went to Ramah.” (1 Samuel 16: 6-13)

Some questions/thoughts for us single folk to think about:

  1. Have you been so focused on looking for an “Eliab” when maybe God has hidden away a “David” for you? (ME: GUILTY.)
  2. Have YOU been living like an Eliab focused only on your natural/outward appearance and not the matters & character of YOUR heart?
  3. Are you open to allowing God to give you eyes of Samuel to see potentials you may not have considered? (Remember…David was FIIIINE AND also had the heart to make him the package-deal, he just wasn’t the natural-superman-type, like Eliab)
  4. Who’s “house” are you visiting, so to speak, to find this one?
  5. What qualities are you looking for in your Mr./Mrs. Right?
  6. Do your eyes just see the outward appearance with disregard of the lifestyle choices & heart of a potential spouse?
  7. David was busy serving his father along with being a faithful worker, as well. Is the man/woman you’re interested in responsible, humble, a servant and most importantly–has a heart for God? And, what about YOU?

I want to encourage all you singles out there, like me to continue to pursue God with ALL your heart. Be faithful to serve Him and His house in the often times-hidden and humble places. And keep those Samuel-eyes sharpened to be able to spot the Davids (or Davida’s for you fellas—hehe!) And, hey, ya never know…they may just be right around you and you MAYBE just possibly haven’t SEEN them yet? (wink, wink) Because, at just the RIGHT time, the appointed time…David was called out of the hidden places and anointed as King. Remember–God’s timing truly IS the best. He has NOT forgotten you! Stay focused on Him. Let the eyes of your heart be opened! Delight your heart FULLY IN Him and the time WILL arrive for your King to come! (And, a BIG thanks to Samuel for helping us out with a little advice on navigating some on the wild adventures of a single’s life! ; )