Resting and healing last spring and summer sometimes felt unproductive and selfish, but the Lord reminded me my self-esteem is based in His perspective of Who I am, not on my ability to perform. My precious husband never pushed me to be productive. In fact, he prayed for me to rest Eventually I relaxed into the healing season and was able to thank God for it.
As fall came the Lord released me to work again. It shouldn’t have surprised me that the insights gained as I rested in God for the previous six month began flowing onto the computer screen as devotions. The fact that I no longer found it painful to write about the hard stuff is a beautiful testament to the healing the Lord gave as I laid down my dreams and looked to Him instead of forcing myself forward.
Striving and stress was non-existent in this work on the devotional book. Since there was no way it could release for 2016, there was no deadline. No inner push. Just writing with God about the great things He showed me.
Then one day the plan changed. And God did it without ramping up the stress levels. It started on a Saturday morning as I jabbered happily to my husband about how I now had almost a year’s worth of devotions in various drafts.
“Wait a minute,” my husband said. “What’s the word count on this book?”
I paused and did the math.
Because I was using a new program which allowed me to work in small chunks with multiple folders, there wasn’t a word count at the bottom of my screen that reflected the whole project.
“It’s too big for people to hold,” he said.
It dawned then. I had a year-long collection of quarterly volumes, not a single book.
A tiny thought pranced into my mind, “The first book in the series needs very little work.”
But it was November. Too late to follow my dream to release a devotional book for January 1st. Right?
I’d already decided this was not a book I wanted to hand over to traditional publishers, so its journey was just between the Lord, Jerry, and me (and anyone else the Lord invited into the process).
That day a very talented friend, Lisa-Joy, happened in for a visit. It was a rare treat because I hadn’t seen her in years. She was visiting Colorado, and we reconnected. As we drank our tea she asked what I was writing. When I told her about Soul Scents she offered to do the artwork! Lisa is not only one of the most gifted novelists I’ve read (her books are published under the name Lisa Samson), but her artwork is amazing, and she has recently started her own business offering coloring pages for adults.
Thanks to Lisa’s offer for artwork the niggling thought from the morning stood up tall. I had most of the components in place for a team who could publish a book–and not just a any team. This team was passionate, professional, and gifted.
By Monday, November 30th, Carmen (I told the Carmen story yesterday) and I decided we were going to trust God for a December launch of Awaken, the first book in the Soul Scents devotional series. By the end of the day we had the rest of the team in place!
The artwork which inspired the cover designs is what you’ve been enjoying throughout this post.
Pay attention to the progression of the design. Note the details–the color choice, the buds, flowers, leaves, the birds. Can’t you feel the maturing of the soul?
Lisa-Joy captured the heart of the Soul Scents message. When God plopped her into my lap He opened the way for a dream I thought was unattainable to become a reality.
As you dream your own dreams, remember there is ONE who is the Dream-Giver. He not only plants the dreams; He matures and births them. Nineteen years ago, heavy with baby number three growing inside, I surrendered my dream of writing to the One who asked me to slow down and focus on my children.
Over the years He’s slowly shaped the dream, allowing pieces of it to happen as well as asking me to hit pause periodically. But even when I was ready to toss the dream, He didn’t let me.
He keeps seeing my dream through, and He will do the same for you. After all, HE is the Dream-Giver.
PS Tomorrow I’ll tell you about the rest of the team and show you my amazing collection of all FOUR book covers!