Last of my three-part guest spot at Kathy Ide’s blog about Mount Hermon. If you missed them, here are the links to Part One and Part Two. PITCH-A-PHOBIA I have a secret. I am pitch-challenged. I suffer from a gut-wrenching, chill-producing, chokehold case of pitch-a-phobia. You may be laughing, but I know my career could take off or...
I am doing a three-part guest spot over at Kathy Ide’s blog about my awesome week at the Mount Hermon Christian Writer’s Conference in March. If you missed part one, you can find it here. Miracles at Mount Hermon: Journey of No Expectations. Fan Girl Some people drool over rock stars. Others salivate over hunky actors. I get...
Margie Lawson, writing teacher extraordinaire, is donating her talent to Brenda Novak’s Diabetes Auction! I started taking Margie’s online classes over a year ago and attended her immersion class last October. Margie is amazing. She teaches concepts no one else touches. Concepts that rocket the emotion off the page. Take...
I am doing a three-part guest spot over at Kathy Ide’s blog about my awesome week at the Mount Hermon Christian Writer’s Conference in March. My Journey of No Expectations: Part One When God opens doors, He widens them stadium-size. I’m embarrassed to admit I’ve walked by more than a few opportunities in the past....
Please welcome my friend, fellow YA author and North Texas Christian Writer’s pal, Rachelle Harp. Rachelle did an amazing thing this year. She not only won Novel Rocket’s Launchpad category contest, she won their overall contest.
You can find Rachelle hanging out on her blog: www.rachelleharp.com
Here’s a quote from Rachelle’s blog about the contest win:
Last month, I wrote about the 2013 Launch Pad Contest by Novel Rocket. My novel, The Breakout, won the Speculative Fiction Category. I’m so excited to say I found out today that The Breakout was chosen as the overall winner for this year’s contest!
I’m still having random urges to jump up and down, but I won’t fight them today! The people who put on the contest will work with me to help connect me with agents, with the goal of helping my book get published. That would be a dream come true, an answer to many, many prayers. So, I’ll keep everyone updated on this new phase.
Rachelle is visiting today to share her Novel Rocket Experience. Welcome Rachelle!
I almost didn’t send it in. The contest deadline was on me. But what if my writing wasn’t good enough? Should I still submit my entry? I hadn’t won any other contests, and agents weren’t exactly lining up to sign my work. My finger hovered over the submit button, shaking.
“For God has not given us a spirit of fear…” (2 Timothy 1:7 NKJV)
The words ran through my mind. Maybe I was supposed to enter the Launchpad Contest. Win or lose, it didn’t matter – I’d win by submitting and overcoming my fear of rejection. So I held my breath and hit the button, even though doubts still flew at me.
The next month of waiting seemed like three, trying to second guess what the judges would say. All participants were guaranteed a critique. Would the judges love my story, or hate it? And then there was the part where I can’t stand suspense of not knowing. Just ask my husband. I can never keep his Christmas present a secret for long – I always tell.
The category winner was to be announced online, for everyone to read. I wasn’t sure what time the name would be posted, so I checked my email like any other day. My friends who had already read the blog announcement emailed to congratulate me, and that’s when I realized my book had won – its first win!
Then, the hard work started.
I needed to revise the entire manuscript to make it the best it could be. (I’m a little perfectionistic…it’s the musician in me.) I applied the judges comments as best I could. With only three weeks to make changes before the deadline for the final round, I was stressed. Plus, I’d already committed November to writing 50,000 words of my new first draft for National Novel Writing Month. What was I thinking?
It was crazy. Writing. Editing. Drinking coffee. Writing. Revising. Reaching for more coffee.
But the weeks passed, and both the revision and the first draft were completed on time. I did a happy dance as I submitted the final entry. Then waited another ten days or so before the final announcement. I checked the blog at midnight because I was so anxious to find out. The results: my book, The Breakout, had won the grand prize!
Recently, I learned my book won another contest that I submitted to around the same time as the Launchpad Contest. With these two wins, I’ve been encouraged to send my work out to agents, and been fortunate to find others who are eager to help my book get published. I’ve had several requests for partials and even a full manuscript. While I’m still in the submission process, waiting and praying, I find new hope that it won’t be long before I get that coveted offer.
I think back to that email, nearly hitting the delete key, and I’m so glad I didn’t. God reminded me of His plan and timing that day – not mine.
“And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge —that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.” (Ephesians 3:17-19).
A powerful word. An even more powerful emotion. Love can hurt. Love can heal. It all depends who wields it.
Imperfect. Distracted. Selfish. Those words describe me. Those words describe my love. I try. And sometimes I succeed. Often, I do not. I am not a great wielder of love. Just ask my husband and my kids.
But God is an amazing wielder of love. The only place I can find perfect love is when I look at Him.
I cannot stand under the power and magnitude of His love. Cliché or not—the fact that He directs His love toward me blows me away every time. Because I don’t deserve such affection.
No matter where I am in my life, in a good place or in a bad place, He loves me.
He gave Himself for me and when I accept that kind of love, He works in and through me, perfecting the way I share love with those around me.
There are times when I don’t feel Him near. Those are the hours or days or months I choose to walk forward in faith and remember His words–I am rooted and established in love. My trust isn’t about what I feel, it’s about what I know.
I don’t need to wonder or guess how much He loves me. I am grounded in Him. He wanted me first. Before I even knew of His existence. His love is a promise. Not something to be earned. Not something to strive toward. Not something bartered, or stolen, or begged. His love is guaranteed.
In my bad moments, I lean on that love and bask in who God made me to be. In my best moments, I fall against Him and love those around me in His strength and perfection, grateful I’m not on my own.
PRAYER: Lord, thank You for loving us. For caring enough to make us part of Your family. In every situation, in every moment, remind us we are loved.