Thursday, September 29, 2016

When God Asks You to Write a Book

So there's a little secret I've been keeping from the internet . . .

God asked me to write a book.

And I wrote it.


Well, I didn't write it immediately. Actually, I sat on this feeling, this nudging from the Lord for quite a while. And when I say a while, I actually mean an entire year.

Because how in the world does one write a book? I had no stinking clue. Find an agent? Hook a publisher? How long is a typical non-fiction book anyway? Do I need to write book proposal first? Maybe I should just blog a while longer to up my experience and all the while, "keep praying about it."

365 days of excuses and ultimatums back to God that sounded something like "Ok, well if you want me to write this, then how about you plop the opportunity into my lap."

After some back and forth with the Lord, He clearly stated back to me "Child, sometimes obedience looks a lot like plain hard work. And delayed obedience is still disobedience. You are not responsible for the outcome, just your obedience."

Ouch.

As 2015 came to a close I spent every free minute researching the writing process, watching webinars, participating in creative writing prompts, listening to podcasts on book writing, etc. I even went to Barnes and Noble one day, bought an over priced coffee, plopped myself down in the Christian non-fiction section, opened the front covers of books that seemed to resemble my same theme/topic I felt lead to write, and wrote down names of agents and publishing houses.

And when the calendar turned January 1, 2016, I started to write. Every morning, seven days a week, before the girls woke up. 500 words a day, minimum. No filter. No editing. Just writing my (raw) story of desert wandering, and how I've learned to find hope and joy in the middle of it all.

This is why I've lost some blogging stamina this year. This is also why I have lost stamina to do things like, you know, laundry and dishes.

At the end of three months, I had a rough draft.

That rough draft is now turning into a final draft with a real title and a real table of contents, that is now being reviewed by the Editorial Department at WestBow Press.


ALL THE FEELS RIGHT NOW, FRIENDS! Insert each and every emotion showing emoji and you pretty much nailed it.

What is the book about? Here's a teaser my Editor drafted. . .

Through her battle against an eating disorder, discovering and addressing her daughter's disabilities, and the aching loss of a child, Brittnie Blackburn has walked the wilderness and come out the other side more certain of God's love and provision. In this honest, hope-filled memoir, she lays out how to overcame difficulty, chose joy despite circumstances, and how you can do the same. If you're feeling lost in your wilderness and long for a better, more joy-filled way, come learn how to sing the desert song.

They say one writes the lessons they need the most. I can attest to this theory. So I write these words not from a place of having mastered the art of joy despite circumstance, but one who still (sometimes daily) wrestles with this concept. Because sometimes the desert land feels never-ending, no?

My prayer is for those who have wandered or are still wandering their own desert land, that these words will somehow point you to Jesus, our good Father, whose character does not change, even when our circumstances do.

I wish I had a cover design to show you or a launch date to circle on your calendar, but we are not quite there yet. (Speaking of cover designs, if anyone is gifted in this area and would enjoy tossing around some ideas, please send me an email!)

I write not from my own strength, but from the strength He has given me. I write not for my name to be known, but for His name alone. My hope is for His glory and power and sovereignty to shine bright through the pages.

I am humbled and honored to share these words with you. Thank you for your love, encouragement, and support. More details to come over the next few months.

. . .

What act of obedience is God calling you toward? Is there a tiny step of faith you can take to move in step with His guiding? Remember, you are not responsible for the outcome, just your obedience. :-)

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

What's Been Keeping Us Busy. . .

While I love the lazy days of summer, (as lazy as you can be while still getting both kids out the door by 8:15am) what I love more is some structure and routine.

Shocker.

Thus, the fall routine was welcomed with open arms by this mama. And lets be honest, by the littlest child, too, because my social butterfly was no longer digging her lack of ability to express herself as class clown to her peers. 

Here's what's been keeping us busy the last few weeks of September. 

Making messes. . . 


Eating donuts. . .

Convincing daddy to buy you things such as this here candle stick from Home Depot. "It was just a dollar," he said. Ok, now what in the world are we going to do with it except pick it up off the floor 500 times a day?

Visiting Chuck-E-Cheese . . .


Attending our first Houston Dash game. . . (super fun, but a little too loud for Ms. Clara, so we left at intermission. Or half-time? Or whatever they call the middle of the game in soccer.)


Watching ice cream freeze. . .


Administering check-ups. . .

Giving and receiving manicures. . . (I promised Brandon I wouldn't post the picture of Camille painting his nails with pink glitter. But I never promised I wouldn't mention it.)



Introducing Camille to window crayons. . . probably a bad choice on our part. 


Practicing sitting on the potty . . .

Making dinner . . . (no worries, we were right next to her the entire time)

 Shopping . . . (aka browsing the fun stores but not buying anything)



Playing around at Gallery Furniture . . . (free ice cream and mini zoo for the win)




Enjoying time with friends . . .







Fun (non-pregnancy) announcement coming soon . . . stay tuned!

Thursday, September 1, 2016

First Day of School 2016

Most of you know that Clara, our oldest with Cohen Syndrome, attends a non-typical school year round. She has been in full-time school for the last 19 months and (despite much progress) has continued in the same classroom/level etc. Because of this, I never think to take "First Day of School," or "Last Day of School" pictures like most parents typically do.

#momfail

Well, this year, thanks to Brandon, I'm on top of my game. He bought the girls first day of school matching outfits and we kicked off Clara's year today, September 1st, since today is Camille's first day at her (new) mother's/children's day out program.






Here's to a new school year full of fun, adventure, growth, and learning!
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