Wednesday, June 15, 2011

The Author Post: Blog #11, "Through Constant Faith and Expectancy"

I want to tell you how AWESOME God is!  He wants to guide us to fulfill all our dreams, however he wants us also to realize HOW we got there.  For THIS is the greatest accomplishment.  My excitement is not in the fact that I am getting my first book published, the actual success.  My excitement is in the journey that God brought me through.  It is in His work in the long process, blessing me in every step along the way.  The KEY? remain in CONSTANT FAITH AND EXPECTANCY.

I did not write my book, it is an inspired work from God, and I give Him all the credit and Glory.  This is what must happen to become truly successful.  Using God as your teacher in all things and staying in tune with Him is a must.

On my road to becoming a signed author, I took an online children's writing course.  The first thing I read in the course manual as an introduction was not to get your hopes up to get published on the very first submission, and that you have to submit your manuscript to several publishing companies first before you become noticed.  I also read how not to personalize your query (cover) letter and just get right to the point. I sighed and thought, "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." "I know I can beat these odds." I started to believe and began planting the seeds of success.

After that course ended, I concentrated on my manuscript that I had begun some time ago.  I rewrote parts, editing it until I was pleased with the words.  I then wrote a "personal" and from the heart query letter.  Now, I needed a publishing company.  I prayed for God to guide me to the right one.  I got on the computer and Googled Christian publishing companies and Tate Publishing was number one on the list, being one of the top Christian publishing companies in the country.  I thought, "Okay, why not go with the best."  I researched their web site to the max and loved everything about them...  Especially when I read, "Christian-based, family-owned, mainline publishing organization with a mission to discover and market unknown authors."  "Join the Tate Publishing family today and make your dreams a reality!"  I thought, "Oh, this could work."  My faith told me that God brought me to them for a reason and I was at rest with my decision. Then, I read, "We receive tens of thosands of submissions and author inquiries each year, but we choose to accept only a small percentage of the authors who submit manuscripts to us."  Wow.  More doubt, but still pressing on through faith, shaking that doubt off. 

I went on to complete my manuscript, and the next step before submitting it was the most important step.  I held my manuscript, got down on my knees and blessed it, asking God to direct it to the right people who will love, nurture and accept it. THEN, and ONLY THEN was it ready for submission.

I received an email right away that confirmed they had received it.  Then, I waited about two weeks and received another email saying that it had been given to an Acquistions Editor who was assigned to me and she would be reviewing it within the next few days.  All this time in waiting, I continued praying, having the distinct and confident feeling of faith and expectancy that I would become published.

Finally, on a Tuesday night around 7pm, the doorbell rang.  I thought, "Who could that be at this hour?"  I opened the door and the UPS man was hopping back in his truck.  Inside the door he had left a Next Day Air envelope from Tate Publishing.  I immediately knew my manuscript had been excepted.  Why else would I receive such a package?  I opened it and read the words which began, "We are so thrilled to have the opportunity to issue you a formal offer for your book "A Man Named Noah." and that my book was "chosen on the basis of writing ability, concept and most importantly - marketability."  I then read the words written below by the Acquisitions Editor, "I enjoyed receiving your chapter book!  Great fit for Tate Publishing." ...and God knew it would be, all along!

Excitement and joy spread over me.  All I could think of was to thank God for His promise, which I did, and I wept tears of happiness for the blessings I had received.  I ran into my daughter's room, who, at my appearance, thought something was tragically wrong.  I handed her the letter and she danced around the room with me in great joy.

Always remember not to let doubt from the enemy creep in through negative people stating things against what you're working toward.  "Don't let the fear of striking out keep you from playing the game."  I, very humbily, became published with my very first submission, and with a "personalized" query letter, through the Grace of God and the people he led me to.

So, you see, it isn't the actual success that is exciting.  No, the REAL excitement lies in the relationship gained with God through the whole process.  You see, He will work for our good if we succeed and obey for His good..and when you DO succeed, let others know the incredible way you got there..with God, first and foremost leading the way. Our true success is knowing Him and letting Him become the author of our life.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

The Author Post: Blog #10, "Life is Like a Box of Chocolates.."

"Life is like a box of chocolates, you never know what your gonna get," as quoted in the movie, Forrest Gump, is so true, and one of my favorite sayings.  To elaborate on this quote, "Life is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you're gonna get", but you can set yourself up for great things!   When you put your trust in God, All things are possible and you know your "gonna get" abundant blessings!

When you live a life of expectancy, favor follows.  Live every moment of every day in awe of what God is blessing you with.  Be observant of His goodness.  Thank Him often.  Speak words of encouragement over others, sharing compliments at every opportunity.  Love those around you, especially those who matter most.  Thrive where you're at in life and God will bring you higher.  Pray continuously for strength, wisdom, power, and health.  Bloom where you are planted.

You never know what God will bless you with in this life.  But, if you keep your options open to God's ways, you know that things can only get better.  He wants you to live a life that will please Him..a life that He has perfectly molded to what He created you for and what He created you to be.

As an author, God gives me the inspiration to pour out my heart into my work.  I feel that is what I'm meant to do and to be.  I want my words to enlighten and enrich the lives of my readers, to bring hope, healing and a special knowledge of God and all He can do.  My life is becoming richer in spirit, faith, prosperity and joy.  New ventures are up ahead and I'm so excited at the path God is directing for me.

So, keep your mind pure and good, thinking nice thoughts.  Watch uplifting programs, read books of the heart, learn valuable lessons.  Think of ways you can help others and make a difference in this world, one random act of kindness at a time.

You, too, as many of you are already experiencing, can live in the splendor of the moment by becoming aware of what is around you, all that is good, and keep your faith right out in front of you.

I have become acquainted with dozens and dozens of fellow Christian authors lately that have spoken words of encouragement and praise to me.  It has given me a whole new sense of worth, and a whole new outlook on things to come, a feeling that, "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me!"  Philippians 4:13 New King James Version (NKJV).  Thank you, for giving me that renewed hope in my life.

We're all in this together..this life of striving to succeed.  Let your ventures begin with the face of Our Almighty shining through your lives and bringing you to the place of your dreams.  When you do this, you'll always get "the chocolates" you most desire.

Keep writing or doing whatever God has brought you to do, keep smiling (it is contagious), and keep me informed of your wonderful progress!  Love and Blessings to you all.