Living For Him

I’ve heard it said that we should “live for an audience of one.” I’m learning once again how much easier it is to say that little phrase than to actually live it.

Last week, I posted about my book coming out, and I’ve been busy working on setting up a website, learning about Paypal and pre-orders, and doing final edits on Live Your Story! In the midst of all the busyness, I found myself struggling with motivation to move forward on these tasks, and I couldn’t understand why.

On Friday night, I set aside some time with Jesus and my journal to figure out what was going on. The short answer was: FEAR. As exciting as it is to be nearly at the finish line of getting the message of Live Your Story out for people to read, it is also scary. This book is not a story, it’s my story. The sooner it is published, bought and read, the sooner my journey is on display to be reviewed, critiqued, and picked apart.

I don’t know if you’ve ever read (or even posted) book reviews of Christian books, but some of them are brutal. If I’m honest, that scares me. Last week, without me even realizing it, the fear nearly prevented me from taking the next steps necessary to sell my book. I felt like I was busy working toward completing the tasks, but in reality, I was moving from one tab on my web browser to another, reading tidbits of information but getting nowhere with actually doing anything of value.

Since the weekend, I have begun to make (very slow) progress on finding the information I need to accomplish the tasks ahead of me. I am still on a steep learning curve, but I have begun asking for help from people more knowledgeable than I am on these jobs, and I am starting to move forward.

Am I still scared to put my life on display for those who read the book and open myself to whatever criticism people wish to offer? Absolutely! However, I have remembered they are not the reason I wrote Live Your Story; God is the One I wrote it for, and He is the One I want to please. I hope others’ lives are impacted by my willingness to share my story, but ultimately, that isn’t what matters. I have been obedient, and God can use the result in any way He chooses. This book was His dream before it was mine, and I trust that He will use it for His glory and my good.

I’ve probably asked this question on blog posts before, and I will likely ask it again: What dream has God given you that you need to act on? What’s stopping you? Today is a good day to start living for the audience of One, and take the next step no matter how scary it seems. Live to please Him alone, and He will always come through for you!

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Coming Soon

As I mentioned a few weeks ago, the time has come to publish my book. I’m excited for today’s post, because I can finally share the cover with you! Live Your Story: Walking Out Your Identity and Purpose with the Master Storyteller is coming! Pre-orders will be announced soon, and I believe the books will be ready to ship within the next couple of months. Stay tuned!

Final cover

I am very excited to share Live Your Story with the world. It has been nearly seven years since I first felt God was asking me to share my story and the message of identity and purpose I have learned. It’s hard to believe the process is nearly completed and the book is happening. I never imagined myself having a book published, but God has made a way.

I pray that Live Your Story will impact lives for the kingdom of God despite its unlikely author. God often chooses the least likely people to accomplish His purposes.

Has God asked you to do anything that seems outside your abilities? Take a risk and say yes. It can be hard and scary, but it’s always worth it!

P.S. For those who will wonder: No, those are not my legs. 🙂

The Time Is Now

In previous posts I’ve mentioned I’m working on a book. I’ve been working on this book for nearly seven years, and on many occasions, I’ve wondered if I would ever complete it.

Last week, a good friend bought me a gift: a mug declaring in bold letters “THE TIME IS NOW.”

I doubt the publishing process is what she had in mind with the gift, but the message certainly fits. I signed a contract a month ago with a publisher. For a while, not much was required from me to move the project forward, and it was easy to forget all that’s happening. Today, I am completing my review of the first round of revisions from the publisher, and I’ve been in contact with him about cover designs and finalizing a title. Suddenly, the reality is sinking in: soon, I will be a published author!

After years of doubting whether I would finish the book (or have the courage to publish it), the time is now. I am excited. I am scared. I wonder who will read it and whether they will like it. I imagine criticisms I will receive, and sometimes, I think of positive comments I might receive. (Why is it always so easy to imagine the worst and forget to dream of the best outcomes?) If I allowed the onslaught of thoughts and feelings to overwhelm me, I’d never take the next step of the process; I wouldn’t have started the process in the first place!

The time is now to take a step. The book is one area of my life where the time has arrived. I may have to take steps in other areas in the near future. Sometimes, these steps feel like leaps off a ledge more than a small stride forward. Fear is a close companion in these times of uncertainty. “What if…?” can become a debilitating question if allowed. Thankfully, the One directing the steps can be trusted!

Could it be time for you to take a step? I would wager most of us have some place in our lives where God is waiting for us to move, but He won’t force us to take a step.  We get to choose whether and when we move forward. We don’t want to move ahead of God, so it’s essential to seek His wisdom and timing. However, if fear is what’s keeping us in the same place, waiting for it to pass will keep us stuck forever. Sometimes, we just have to take a deep breath and step into the unknown with God, believing He is with us no matter what the outcome!

For some of us, I’m sure:

MUG

A New Book…

Wow, it has been too long since I’ve written here. Life has gotten slightly crazy the past couple of weeks with moving out of my house, last-minute gatherings, shopping, and packing for the big move!

I am happy to report that I have continued to set aside my time with God to listen to Him each day no matter how busy the days have gotten. I have begun to cherish this time, and I am enjoying both the confirmations of things I already know and the unexpected things that He is speaking.

Early this week, He surprised me with the words He spoke. Sunday morning, as I sat for the last time in my room, surrounded by stuff ready to be whisked away to new homes, God spoke of new beginnings. That topic in itself didn’t surprise me because I have known for some time that a new chapter was coming. The part that startled me is that I am beginning a new book…

God knows how to speak to me in a way I will understand, and so of course, He referenced Lord of the Rings. He said that though my story is far from over, I am at the beginning of more than just a new chapter; it is a new book. I am entering a part of the story removed from what has come previously in the way that The Two Towers is separated from The Fellowship of the Ring. Many – though not all – of the characters are the same, the story continues, and yet I cannot just flip a page and go back to where I was before.

During my last Sunday at church, the sermon was on leaving behind one chapter of life and being fully in the new. The speaker talked about the danger of trying to keep one foot in the old life when trying to begin anew somewhere else. It was a timely message for me, and I see the same caution in this word that God spoke recently. The characters in Lord of the Rings were never able to go backward in their story. Even when they went back to the physical location where the story began, they had changed and could not go back to the way it was before they left on their grand adventure. Some were able to adapt and find new ways to relate to their old environment, some found new homes and never returned to where they started, and some tried to go home and ended up leaving again because they could not adjust back into the old life.

I have been processing this week that whatever happens in this new book, however the locations and cast of characters change, life will never be the same. A new day has dawned, and it will change me in ways I don’t know yet. I may live here in Colorado Springs again, and I may not. I may stay in Ireland, or go somewhere else I’ve not yet dreamed of. Wherever I end up, the dawn has come. I am beginning to see glimpses of the day to come, and I so am excited to move forward into this new season! The winter is past, and I am expectant, anxiously awaiting the new growth, life and beauty that Spring will bring my way!