Thursday, July 19, 2012

Leavin' On A Jet Plane

So today, at 3 pm, I will be leavin' on a jet plane. I am flying to North Carolina, but it feels like I am jumping off the scariest cliff of faith. In case you missed it, which certainly would have been hard to do if you are one of my Facebook friends over the past couple of weeks, I am going to a Christian speakers and writers conference put on by Proverbs 31 called SheSpeaks!  There will be 650 women in attendance. 
You can participate on the speakers track or writers track – I am doing, not surprisingly, the latter.  I have loved to write since I can remember.  I have journals spanning just about every day from my time in high school to the years I dated Bray.  Sadly, I stopped for a few years but now feel right back at home using this blog as my old journal friend. 

I used to write fiction, mainly short stories, but never had the guts to submit them for publication.  They sit on my hard drive.  But in the summer of 2010, I started feeling called to women’s ministry.  Not traditional church bible study ministry for churched women, but one for working women (and working mommas) seeking something, maybe it’s God or maybe they can’t yet put their finger on it.  I have no idea what the calling looks like beyond that.  I have no idea if it even goes any further. 

Remarkably, I am going one step further.  A step taken in a crazy unrealistic faith way that I get palpations about just typing the words.   God, through a combination of divine intervention, generosity by my husband (both in time and in money), patience from my friends, and a lull at work, is sending me to this conference.  The day I registered, I cried. 

Here is what I have done in preparation for, through Christ who strengthens me, and what I will be doing, over the course of the next three days:

·         I edited my wedding preparation journal that I wrote when I was getting married and created, with incredible assistance, a one sheet (the marketing piece for the work) and a 22 page proposal for the devotional that is almost 7,000 words. 
·         I wrote the one sheet, proposal, and two sample chapters (plus the introduction) for my second book which I have been talking about writing for two years.  I needed at least 7,000 words for my two chapters to include in the proposal but it turned out to be 8,781 words and a full seventeen pages.  The words did not come from me I assure you.  That proposal, remarkably, is also 27 pages long. 
·         I am meeting with three publishing houses to pitch my two books – Harvest House, Regal Books, and Zondervan. 
·         I have “writer” business cards, 250 packed in my suitcase, to share with publishers, agents, and fellow travelers down this crazy path.
·         My assistant and I created a writers portfolio which takes years worth of my writing and synthesizes it into a bound notebook of hundreds of pages of words I have penned over the past decade.
·         I have a 750 article, an old blog post, that I will submit to a peer review critique group on Friday night (of which I am terrified).  It is the concept for my third book.
·         I have cell phone numbers for women I have never met that will be sharing my rental car tonight as we drive to Concord from Charlotte.  What a ministry that rental car turned out to be – only the Lord could have seen that coming.  And given what I’ve already learned about these sweet women (one from Chicago, one from Idaho, one from here in Houston), I will be the one coming away blessed.
·         My longstanding prayer partner will go on this adventure with me and serve as my roommate to keep costs down.  She and I have prayed every morning these past two weeks and that, in and of itself, was a great ministry to my parched spirit. 

Sweet bloggy friends, it is time.  I have no idea what is in store.  I do know this, and I was reminded of this as I wrote my chapter on who God says we are.  God has a very specific, intentional purpose for each of our lives.  I know this truth:

Ephesians 2: 10: For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.
Jeremiah 29: 11: “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
Romans 8:28: And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.

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