Have you ever felt a nudge or a looming thought about a dream or a desire? Something way bigger than your own capability or power? And you just said YES? Or maybe you’re scared to say YES?
I want to tell you the story of my book – for a few reasons. So, I have a record of all the crazy moments that led to the YES. And that maybe it will nudge you on your journey – maybe to start a business or a ministry, maybe to write your own story or maybe to take a risk in some way. And, truthfully, so my heart and intentions are always clear.
As you’ll see, it’s not without down times or discomfort or pain. I am finding the choice of obedience and His will always outweighs the wonder of the unknown. The what if of sitting still or saying NO.
The story of Lil Light O’ Mine (this blog, the business, the ABC Scripture Cards can be read about here). However, the goal has always been the same. I had a serious peace and passion in my heart: to empower moms and change little lives through innovation in the home. God has never wavered on the mission he has put in my heart. I have always had a giant desire to encourage moms and always had a huge calling to use gifts of mine (from above) of creativity and innovation to make him more known. I want little lights (our kids) to shine so bright. I believe they could change the world.
HOW that is going to happen is still unfolding. I thought it was a full line of products right away – that is still being discussed. One product is surely doing that. I thought it was a blog and some days that is harder than I imagined.
It is a daily struggle of refining and pruning. Being honest with my pride and human ways and asking God what he wants to do with me and all of this – for Him. For his story. What tiny part can I play so that others know His love?
Just after the Fall of 2011 (when this site launched), I moved to Orlando and I was SO excited that my Chick-fil-A family (the whole staff and all the restaurant Operators) were coming to town for a meeting. Kylie invited me to come by and say hi and visit. I was so thankful because I used to work there and it’s like a giant family reunion. I reached out to Lysa TerKeurst (her husband owns one) – and asked if she would meet with me and Kylie.
I truthfully wanted her counsel and advice as a new blogger and writer and a woman who has a heart to love and encourage women. As you can imagine, she was amazing. So helpful. So gracious. So Godly and profound. She said, “You and Kylie should come to She Speaks.” And we then learned more about this conference. It’s simply a way Lysa has extended her many blessings. She cannot mentor hundreds of women. So, she takes all of her connections – publishers, speakers and more and brings them together and then invites hundreds of women who are writers or speakers. And they get to learn from the best. And get refinement and encouragement. I was IN. I needed people like me, facing similar challenges to talk this through! Further me along and make sure I was on the right track.
So, we signed up and a simple question stumped me on the application,
“DO YOU WANT TO MEET WITH A PUBLISHER?”
I texted Kylie.. “about what?” What would I need to meet with a publisher about?
Fast forward and I clicked yes. A girl who NEVER, seriously NEVER dreamed or thought about writing a book said YES. Why pay a lot of money to attend and not at least meet with a publisher even just to learn? I simply asked myself, “If you ever had a chance to send a message to moms through a book – what would you want to say? one shot?” I got really excited at the thought of my idea and my passion and letting some key publishers take a peak. I almost vomited from nerves.
I met with Harvest House, Zondervan and Lysa’s agent.
They loved the idea. I was absolutely shocked.
I came back from She Speaks (Summer 2012) and immediately went to meet with Orlando new friends Robert and Bobbie Wolgemuth. I shared the proposal and I decided to sign with him as my agent because I had NO CLUE what I was doing and he is one of the best in the business. And Bobbie is an angel from above. He joked, “do you need a counselor or an agent?” And I said, “BOTH!” And I got both – Bobbie and Robert. Only God. (I can give you details later on why an agent – you don’t have to have one for a book.)
As the months passed, we refined the proposal and sent it out to 8-10 publishers and it was pure delight when I walked out of the View in New York to receive the text, “you got a contract from Waterbrook Multnomah.”
That would be the same publisher as Andy Stanley and Kay Wyma – same editor as my friend Kay Wyma of Cleaning House. I had tears streaming and called Katie and we just cried together. I had this overwhelming sense that I didn’t deserve all this, but I would dedicate every bit of it to the Lord. I had this weight so quickly over my heart that I was unworthy. That my kids were too little and I was not perfect enough as a mom.
And the enemy swept in as quickly as the celebration started.
As I have talked with my mentors – I have found rest in a few things. This entire project might be about ME. More about what I have to learn and less what I have to teach. Refining me as a parent. Humbling me as a person. Growing me as a mom. Even if I said YES for God to grow me in every area – it’ll be worth it.
Writing it has been more painful than you can imagine. There hasn’t been time and the stress has been a number on my health. The stress is often because I want it to be too perfect and I’m operating out of my power not His. However, I know without a shadow of a doubt this YES was the right one. I think about every new mom and teen mom and toddler mom – and if they ever asked me about parenting and Jesus – this is what I’d say. In 40,000 words. What a privilege and an honor to have a chance to share what God has done in my life and what he has shown me through my mom and other moms.
In This House, We Will Giggle isn’t about a perfect mom. It’s about an imperfect mom that desperately needs Jesus. It’s about many moms and many stories. It’s officially this – making virtues, love and laughter a daily part of your family life. Even if my closest friends buy it or only a few of you. I see God’s hand all over this process. I see a labor of love designed to show God’s great love. I am so excited to share it with you this Fall. So, when you see me touting it like crazy – it’s so much about the story of how he worked in me through the process and less about me becoming known. I pray you’ll see him and most importantly God will become very real in your homes – through giggles and fun. I pray you’ll feel empowered and encouraged and equipped.
The story is still unfolding and every turn just shocks me more. Would you believe this summer I’m doing two breakouts at She Speaks? The very conference that started all of this? If you have the desire to write or dream, I want you to come. It is an investment and it is scary and wonderful. It is filled with loving supportive people like Karen Ehman and Glynnis Whitwer and of course Lysa TerKeurst. I’d love to encourage you there on your journey. Sign up now!
I believe each of our journeys look so different. Some right there at home, never writing a book. Some painting a beautiful piece of art. Some caring for and raising children that lead ministries or became great parents like you. He will make it clear. Just keep asking and step out, one step at a time in faith. He’s got you and he’ll delight you in big and small ways when you do.