The Spectacular Gifts Have Arrived

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What a blast!  Opening a box including books with my name on the cover!  This time last year I would have called you crazy if you had said this would happen in 2017 but it did!

 

 

I am truly humbled by this whole experience.  God has certainly taken the wheel on this journey because I never saw any of this coming.  I picked the books up on Monday and by Wednesday I had booked two book signings — one as the first author to do a book signing at a new, local bookstore in my neighborhood.  Listen, I am a sales professional so I can assure you nothing ever happens this easily or quickly.  Someone else is at work here.

Also, I did not pay a penny for these books.  The money to cover the self-publishing costs was supplied to me in a spectacular way.  Back at Easter I was trying to decide IF I was going to have the book published and, IF I did, how I was going to pay the substantial cost.  I prayed about it and came up with the idea that if I could, with the Lord’s favor, sell a few more insurance policies then I could fund the publishing that way.  But, that wasn’t good enough for God.  He impressed upon me during my morning quiet time that these books are to be a gift, like Jesus was a gift.  “Let me do something spectacular!” was the message I heard.  You see, I am something of a control freak.  I had already figured out in my head how I could WORK to pay for these books.  God had other plans.

The husband and I were in East Tennessee visiting our daughter and family for my May birthday.  While there, my brother-in-law handed me a check for a large sum of money.  He laughed and said it was for my birthday but I knew that the money was an installment payment from the sale of some jointly owned property.  I played along and put the check in my purse.  I even kidded with my husband about what I was going to buy for my birthday with MY big check.

The next Sunday, after missing church due to my trip to East Tennessee, a young woman came up to me with a thick envelope.  “This is for you.”  She said someone she didn’t know gave it to her to give to me but I hadn’t been there.  I slit it open and found a wad of $20 bills.  I was speechless (which is rare).  The note inside said it was for my books.

I was excited about the “spectacular” gift but it also made me feel a little sick at my stomach.  Where did this money come from?  Maybe that person needed the money more than I did.  Turns out I am a better gift giver than gift receiver.  Finally, I had to gratefully receive the gift and put it to good use.

So, OK, now I needed to get the rest of the money in some “spectacular” way.  As I discussed how much more I needed and by when, my husband said, “You already have the rest of the money.  That check, remember?”  Oh, dear, you guys are making this hard for me.  Accepting a wad of money from an unknown person is one thing but having my husband willingly support my project in this spectacular way was extremely humbling.

Two members of my church, who knew I was waiting for “spectacular” money, work at my local bank.  When I went inside to make my deposit, we laughed and cried a little about the spectacular gifts.  Together the two gifts more than covered all the publication costs of the book.

These spectacular gifts of love and grace will enable me to share this book with lots of broken people and God’s message through scripture will help them find some purpose from their brokenness.  I will sell lots of books and that will cover the cost of the next printing. But I will also be able to give some away because they were all spectacular gifts!

 

 

 

Glad it didn’t work out with the British

Last week was July the 4th and our annual neighborhood parade.  We have participated almost every year since we moved here in 2003.  While she was still able, my sweet mommy would ride in the front seat of the convertible and wave a small American flag to our neighbors standing in front of their houses as we passed by.

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The grands have rode in the parade many years with mixed levels of excitement.  I thought for sure my grandson who will be 16 next week would want to drive Grandpa’s convertible in the parade.  Instead, it was me driving, my embarrassed 12 year old granddaughter on the boot and my daughter holding her dog, Ace, in the front seat.  My grandson did not even get out of bed to watch us drive slowly by.

I think next year it may be me and Ace.Ace parade.png

All this got me thinking about how thankful I am to live free in a place where you can have a neighborhood parade.

 

I am glad the early colonists weren’t able to work it all out with the British.

My husband and I enjoy watching TURN: Washington’s Spies about the early days of the American Revolution.  Sometimes during the series, I will forget that I know the outcome and I will be worried for Washington and his Continental Army.  The methods of communication were painfully slow and unreliable.  It wasn’t like you could text someone and say, “The British are coming!”

Perhaps if there had been better communication, the founding fathers could have just picked up the phone and called someone on King George’s staff to voice their discontent with the taxation.  Better yet, John Adams could have Skyped King George himself and settled all the issues in one video chat.  I’m really glad they didn’t.

Broken communications can cause broken relationships.  Broken relationships can lead to broken hearts.  Like most brokenness, it sometimes takes years before you can find any purpose in all that misery.  Sometimes it takes 241 years.