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)

 

HOPE FOR EATING DISORDERS

NO TRESPASSING

NO TRESPASSING.

Today, as I was strolling along the back roads of a remote country highway near the outskirts of Nashville, I was struck by a scene I saw alongside the road and pulled some insights from it as it relates to guarding our hearts.

IMAGINE a rickety, old, rusted fence thinly-lined across a once-paved cemented driveway that now only covered itself with weeds and overgrown grass. To it’s immediate left stood a small “NO TRESPASSING” sign that appeared to have been slapped on over a black and grey half-grafittied sign from someone else’s failed attempts to speak somethingProcessed with Rookie about this property. And directly behind was found an old, broken-down, washed-colored home…left abandoned and barely standing.

At first, it was the fence that began to speak and reveal some thoughts to me. A wiry piece of metal hung fifteen feet from one metal post to another. Weak and powerless to stop intruders…yet there with some semblance and artifact of an original attempt to protect. This fence seemed to whisper to me its similarities to the ones found hidden inside many of our hearts, including my own.

Proverbs 4:23 says to guard our hearts above ALL ELSE because out of it flows the wellsprings of life. Easier said than done, right? Especially when it comes to the area of love.

We want to be loved. We are made to BE loved. But what if your heart looks like the house described in this scene? Broken and abandoned. What if you haven’t set up a strong enough fence to begin with and have allowed trespassers and intruders alike to walk about freely on the precious soil of your heart? Maybe you sincerely believed a “NO TRESPASSING” sign would be enough to ward off those sweet charmers, yet your loneliness seemed to always find a way to let them slither themselves right back in? Or maybe you have a hard time believing you are something worth guarding, so then what good is a strong fence worth having anyways?

The greater we value something, the stronger we set up the guard to protect it. I can guarantee if you had a massive diamond from Tiffany’s, you wouldn’t just leave it sitting out on your front porch. You would guard that beaut like nobody’s business! See, that’s the thing with some of our hearts…we hang that sign and attempt to post guard, yet deep within have a hard time seeing we are worth being loved and protected.

If you relate to any of this, be encouraged that there is hope! Because just like this house, you may feel weak, weathered, and of little or no worth, but…you…are…still standing. And the truth is you ARE of PRECIOUS WORTH and absolutely worth guarding that beautiful heart of yours! So, start now…Begin on the reconstruction of the house of your heart by securing a new fence using the building blocks of truth of what God says about you and reminding yourself daily of your precious worth. And, also by setting stronger guards of surrounding yourself with people who value you not only with their words, but also with their actions, too.

Now, go ahead and with new authority, stake that “NO TRESPASSING” sign over your heart, and watch your heart grow stronger and more secure with the best love out there—God’s. You ARE loved and worthy of being loved.