Friday, June 11, 2010

My First Book Contract - Doorbell-Ditching is Not Allowed

When I was a little girl, I loved to doorbell-ditch. Quietly, I would creep up to the front door of an unsuspecting friend or neighbor's house, knock on their front door, or ring their doorbell and skedaddle. The object of the game was to get the person inside the house to open their front door and discover no one there.


To a ten-year old, this is loads of fun, to an adult not so much.


God’s Word says, "So I say to you: Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened.” Luke 11:9-10 NIV


The Lord wants us to ask Him for things. He uses the analogy of knocking on His door, and then reminds us that when we do the knocking He does the opening.

Is there something you’ve been asking the Lord for? Does it feel like you’ve been asking forever? God’s time is not our time. When He puts something on our heart, our job is to ask, seek, and knock. When what we're asking lines up with His will, in His good and perfect time, He opens the door wide for us to walk through.


For years, I’ve been knocking on His door with my prayers. Lord, I have a desire to write a book for moms. I must be crazy to even ask you for this, since I don’t  know the difference between a hanging participle and a hanging plant. If this book is not what you have purposed for me to do, please take this desire away from me. But, if writing this book is in your will for my life, please open the door of publication wide open.



Have you ever asked the Lord for something, and the minute He gave you the green light and began to open doors, you ran? I can see Him opening a door for me and if I stopped to think about how I’m not qualified, or count all the reasons I am not worthy, I want to run too.


Except, I don’t want to doorbell-ditch God.


God has a plan and a purpose for each child He creates. Until the end of time, He has a job to do and invites His beloved children along to accomplish His plans. For those of us who feel unable for the task, that's OK. It’s exactly where we need to be, because when we are weak He is strong. When we know we can't do it ourselves it's God who gets all the glory, as it should be. 

This week, nestled inside the most beautiful FedEx envelope I've ever laid my eyes on, I received my very first publishing contract from Beacon Hill Press. After going over the details with my literary agent, Rachelle Gardner, it's official. A 50,000 word manuscript is due in the hands of their publishers in five months.

My nonfiction book, The Radical Sabbatical – How To Journey From Busy to Blessing is becoming a reality.


The Lord has flung a door wide open. Like that little girl who loved to doorbell-ditch, I want to bolt right off of God's front porch.

But, Lord, I don’t know how to write a book. I’m not sure exactly where to put commas or apostrophes. I don’t have a degree in English, remember? What was I thinking knocking on your door?


What if I allowed fear to hold me back? God’s plans will succeed with our without me. He doesn’t need me for this, He allows me to take part in a small sliver of His work on earth because He loves me. And you know what? I don't want to miss out on any of it, not one misplaced comma, not one apostrophe, or hanging plant!

 *******


And, still my heart races, while the Lord confidently smiles and reaches out His hand for mine. Taking deep breaths, I attempt to settle my rising and falling chest. He softly pulls me by my hand, up against His side, tucking me safely under His arm.

I squeeze my eyes shut and feel Him begin to move me forward. Taking small steps together, I walk blindly by His side. My other arm wrapped firmly around Him, He whispers, "Lean against me. You can do this because I can do this."


Clinging to His robe, we walk through the open door together.





45 comments:

Mariel said...

Congratulations! can't wait to read it!! I pray the process goes well!

Heidi Bylsma said...

WHOOO hoo!!! Yay, Joanne! So glad it is completely, perfectly "official" now! God will do the work in you. :-)

Karen said...

What great news! I am so happy for you!

Loved this that you wrote today...

"Lean against me. You can do this because I can do this."

Lynnette Kraft said...

AHHHHH!!!! Joanne, I'm jealous! No, not really - but I do think you should put a good word into to Rachelle for me! I just emailed her a query letter today for my new book (He Heard Hannah).

Being an author myself, I just have to say how much I rejoice with you! What an exciting time!! Let me know if I can do anything for you. Want an endorsement from me? Since I'm so important and everything. hee hee

Praising God with you.
Lynnette

Lynnette Kraft said...

And... I can't wait to read your book. Sounds like a good one.

Sheri said...

I needed to read this today...you and I have similar dreams. I'm glad God put you in my life as someone I can learn from. I am proud of you.

Katie Ganshert said...

Congratulations! Thanks for such a beautiful post. It reminded me to ask and knock. Sometimes I don't do enough of that part. I feel like I'm imposing on God or something. I forget that he wants me to ask.

RefreshMom said...

Congratulations Joanne. You're right; it's so easy to want to run the other way when one of these big dreams is just waiting to come true.

But with any kind of ministry, He calls us to things that are bigger than our own skills/abilities/education/talent so that "(His) strength can be made perfect in (our) weakness."

Rejoicing with you,
Mary Hampton

Sue Harrison said...

What a great title! What a great concept! So happy for you. Blessings, Sue Harrison

Mari said...

Hooray! I'm so happy for you! And I loved what you posted here. It applies to all of us, in whatever dream we may be praying about. :)

T. Anne said...

What an amazing, uplifting, beautiful post!!! I'm praising God for all of your blessings. May He give you more than you ever imagined!

Dawn said...

Heartfelt contratulations! This post is beautiful, and encourages me today to allow God to walk me through a door I, too, am scared to go through right now. Thanks so much for dancing fingers on your keyboard. May they make the same beautiful waltz for your publisher!

Joanne@ Blessed... said...

Thanks so much everybody, I wish I could hug you all. Your words have blessed my heart.

dawn said...

Joanne, thank you so much for your gracious comment at my place. I started reading your blog a few months ago and love it. If you are really interested in my "door," I wrote a post about it today...but scheduled it to post tomorrow. Today was all for my hubby....

Many blessings

Elizabeth M Thompson said...

I'm so excited for you Joanne! Congratulations! I hope you are celebrating.

elaine @ peace for the journey said...

A very good day!

I don't have enough words to say all that my heart is feeling. Just consider yourself hugged and congratulated and all around celebrated!

peace~elaine

Jody Hedlund said...

Congrats, Joanne!! Sounds like a wonderful book! :-)

Rachel Pudelek said...

I love this post!

I feel that way too! I have this deep desire to write. I prayed and prayed. I also didn't get an English degree. But, I felt led so I did it. I wrote a whole book. Then I waited and sat on it because I was too scared. I prayed and prayed and then I felt like it was time so I submitted my query. And that same day I had an agent request a full. Amazing.

Needless to say, a very touching post. And congratulations too!

http://rachelpudelek.blogspot.com/

Denise said...

Congrats sweetie, so happy for you.

Jessica Nelson said...

Yay!!! Congrats. :-)

I played that game when I was a kid too. *grin*

Mike Golch said...

Congrats on the book.as far as the doorbell thing,I did that as well,unfortunely I got caught.and man was my butt sore,I learned my lession and never did that again.

Beth.. One Blessed Nana said...

oh, so excited for you! God is so good!

I pray that one day, I get the same opportunity. If it is God's will of course.

Jaimie said...

Whoo-hoo! Congratulations!!

This was an encouraging post to read, too. Don't doorbell-ditch God. I love that concept. I will remember it... such a vivid picture! I can see you're a writer!

Keli Gwyn said...

Congrats again on your First Sale!!

It must be incredibly exciting to hold that contract in your hands. The scrapbooker in me suggests getting a pic of yourself holding that beautiful FedEx envelope while wearing a HUGE grin.

Lisa C. said...

Looking forward to reading your new book, Joanne!

Tea With Tiffany said...

Believing for BIG things for you as you pen from your heart to encourage other moms. You bless! And because of that God has blessed you. Keep knocking and no more ditching.

Love you, friend.

Walk right on through that open door with confidence that God will NOT fail you!

Coleene VanTilburg said...

Hi, Lynette Kraft sent me over to Congratulate you, and in reading your blog, I am now an official follower. Such truth you spoke in lining up your will with God's will and then watching Him open up doors. I can relate to that. As an aspiring Christian writer myself, I have seen God do some amazing things already through my writing and hope to be blessed as you are now. Congratulations and with God's "team" of people in your life, I am sure you are going to produce a words in a book to bless many. Thank you Coleene VanTilburg

Celia said...

Congrats, friend! Isn't it all about God, anyway? This is a lovely post, especially the part about God LEADING you! Hugs!

Susan Panzica - EternityCafe said...

As you know, I am THRILLED for you! This was a wonderful post. I am reminded that He gives us the desires of our hearts - not necessarily WHAT we want/desire, but He places the desires in our hearts.

Somewhere I read:
The will of God will never lead you where the grace of God cannot keep you.

You are so gifted. Praise God that you are not burying your talent, but investing it, my dear friend.

Lenore Buth at www.awomansview.typepad.com said...

I rejoice with you, Joanne. Great title, by the way.

I know that pit-of-the-gut feeling when you actually get the book contract. Keep on trusting and know He'll supply the words AS you need them and usually not a moment before. At least, that's been true for me, with every book.

I've been working on another book, this one aimed at moms. I have one proposal in and I need to pull together a bunch more.

This morning I found myself wondering again whether anyone cares what I think. That question out-shouted the urgency that usually nudges me to the computer. I couldn't shake it, so I asked God for some encouragement.

Later I clicked on your "About the Author" section. I read to your closing, which is Luke 1:45. Hmmm. I've read the verse before, of course, many times. Today it speaks to the depths of my doubt. Thanks. I'll take that as an answer ... and feel blessed.

May you feel His smile every day as you work on your book. (And just between you and me, I pray for a FedEx envelope of my own one of these days.)

Rosslyn Elliott said...

Congratulations, Joanne! I am always even more excited for an author's book deal when she is a fellow Word Serve client. :-)

Hope you enjoy the moment of blessing.

Jennifer said...

I'm so glad I popped over from Elaine's blog. This was exactly what I needed to hear today!!! God just opened a door for me and I want to run very fast in the other direction. However, I have said Yes to God and I am following Him because like you I don't want to miss out on a second of what He has planned for me.

Congratulations on your book!!!!!

What a blessing.


Jennifer

Barbara said...

WOO-HOO!!!! What an amazing thing for you? And who says you can't write...anyone.. I repeat ...anyone who can use that southern term "skedaddle" as efficiently as you did...not being a redneck girl.....you CAN write! Seriously Joann..I am so excited for you.....just remember God doesn't call the qualified..he qualifies the called...that's you girl!!! Keep us posted!!

Wendy said...

Joanne,
Words cannot express how happy I am for you!! Congratulations!! Great analogy of the doorbell and running when it's answered--that is exactly what I feel like doing, and I am only in the position of anticipating God answering my prayers to be published this year! ("What if someone actually asks me to write something?!" I fearfully cry out to God) It's because we believe in God that we believe He will answer our prayer to be published--but then isn't it funny that we don't think He will answer our prayer to "write through us" (in other words: enable us to write)--to accomplish through us what He has given us the opportunity to do!! Joanne, you've been really writing my feelings lately! But, you know what? That's the sign of a great author! Way to go, author! (And I pray I can write this same post very soon!)
Blessings,
Wendy
Faith's Firm Foundation
www.wendygunn.net

Joanne@ Blessed... said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Joanne@ Blessed... said...

Heading out for an early walk before church...and praying for each one of you. Your words of encouragement have blessed me more than I can say.

LisaShaw said...

My sister, I love you and I'm REJOICING with you in the LORD big time!!!! How exciting!!!!! GOD IS SO GOOD!!!

I will be praying specifically and diligently for you on this God ordained assignment!!! Keep pressing in. What an exciting time for you and your family.

GOD'S PURPOSES UNFOLDING....

Love you.

I am not online today but someone text me and asked "Did you read Joanne from Blessed... link today so you can pray for her?" I didn't know if there was a prayer concern so I jumped online. It's not someone I normally get a text from so I was a bit concerned BUT I thank GOD that it was a good reason to pop in. Now I'm back offline until Monday but wanted you to know I love you and I'm praying for you.

Kristen @ ladybug-blessings.com said...

oh yay!! Congratulations!!

Nana's Nuggets said...

Hi! Joanne, Post was so good! and the refresher course on "God's door" was wonderful. It is so wonderful to read different thoughts on God's word! Loved It!Congrats., on your answered prayer.See God knows what He is doing, even if we don't "feel" like it." It sounds like God is calling you!! Run with him! To god be the Glory. *Blessings*.

sanjeet said...

Congratulations!!
PPC Advertising India

Lynn said...

Oh Joanne,

I am thrilled for you and for all the Lord has in the future. You bring Him great delight and honor.

Girl, praying over the next five months. I know there will be days where you are struggling or stuck. That is when you call me on the phone and we pray together. Holding you and rejoicing with you. Love and hugs, Lynn

Shawn said...

Joanne, I'm so happy for you! What an opportunity. God has gifted you for this work.

Angie said...

This made me smile all the way to my toes!

I read it first in my e-mail...and then finally TODAY came to read it in full. And smiled.

Our Father is taking you places!!! Trusting in HIM! To the full!

Tammi said...

This was a blessing and an encouragement to my heart! So glad the Lord led me to your site tonight. Congratulations on this opened door! I know what you mean about feeling "unequipped" for the task---but like you said, just lean on Him and His strength--what He requires, He enables! God bless. Can't wait to see the end result! :o)

Mary said...

Love you and SO VERY EXCITED!!

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