Good afternoon, friends! How in the world are you today?? Me? I’m just a wee bit weary and a LOT BIT HAPPY!! And encouraged and invigorated and thanking God for answering my prayers.
I wrote this on Facebook a few days ago: Been asking God to move some mountains, and he up and moved some totally different ones. Okay then, I’m flexible. I can re-route. I see what you’re doing here, God. Nice move.
I realize it’s a bit ambiguous, and I’m going to keep it that way (ish). But I can fill in a few details, because they’re fun and God is awesome.
If we’ve been friends (online or otherwise) for awhile, you know what’s been going on in our fam the past year-and-a-half-ish. Gabe’s heart attack, 5 weeks in Cambodia, God calling us to Cambodia, Gabe’s anxiety/panic attacks, having to quit his job, Ava’s trampoline accident, piles of hospital bills, lots of frustration and anger and heartache, counseling, finally losing our health insurance because we couldn’t afford it and Gabe’s meds both, hopes and dreams dashed, and on and on.
HOWEVER. Let’s talk about all the good that’s been mixed in there too. God never leaving us, friends and family not giving up on us, anonymous gifts (and not-anonymous ones), lots and lots of prayers being offered on our behalf, homeschooling, marriage muscles growing stronger, writing jobs, learning to lean on Jesus 100%, lots to write about, an amazing church family, Ava getting started on braces, still being able to be a part of what’s going on in Cambodia from here, and on and on and on.
The past few weeks have held some hard stuff that I haven’t shared (and won’t for awhile). And then a bright ray of hope. An appointment with a holistic doctor. Someone who can explain to us how and why Gabe’s plethora of meds are treating his symptoms but not getting to the root cause of his heart attack and subsequent anxiety/depression. And are, in fact, messing with his system, lowering his creativity, his motivation, his emotions, and making it impossible for him to “snap out” of this “funk.”
And that’s where I’ll stop with that part for now. We’ll share more as this new journey goes along.
The hardest part for me in all of this is having these big, huge dreams God has put in my heart and not having my husband share in my joy and excitement. He’s my most favorite friend, my partner-in-crime, and we make a really awesome team when we’re both at our creative, God-gifted best.
More on that in awhile too.
For now, I’ll just say this. God and I had some words. A lot of words. And some tears (well, I don’t know if God cried–maybe he did). A lot of tears. And then he gave me a gift. A big one.
He told me to go get ’em, to stop crying and mourning, to quit pleading for Gabe’s healing so we could go to Cambodia. (Well, not to quit praying for that, just to quit hanging my whole self on it and making every day a pity party when it wasn’t happening.)
He told me to look at the little lunch of loaves and fishes I already had in my hands and give it to him and watch what he did.
What’s my little lunch? My writing, my books, my online platform. All the stuff I gave to him back in January 2012 and said, “You can have this, God. I’m done with it. I’m all about Cambodia now. I won’t be needing this.”
And he’s showing me that I may have been done with it, but he’s not. And, if I’m willing to trust him, he’s going to use it all to get himself some glory AND (eventually) to help our family realize the bigger dreams he placed in our hearts.
And I started doing some of the book promotion stuff I usually despise and found joy in it. And God reminded me of how much I love blessing pregnancy centers with Expecting books, and he helped me get that up and running again. And then he dumped some writing jobs into my lap, ones that pay money. And on and on and on.
God is going to heal my husband, and I have work to do while I wait.
And here’s where you come in. In the past 2 weeks, YOU (blog readers, facebook friends, etc) have donated 80 Expecting books to crisis pregnancy centers around the country. HOLY COW. And I have a big ol’ growing list of centers who want books. And I’m just asking God to bless it and then working my tail off until he tells me it’s time to give it a rest.
And here’s where I insert a disclaimer, because I’ve been around the blogging block a time or two and know (know know know) that there’s a naysayer in every crowd, on every blog. And I’m not judging, because I’ve actually been her. And here’s what she’s thinking:
You say you’re blessing pregnancy centers with all of these books, but aren’t you pretty much just boosting your own book sales and amping up your royalty check?
Yes and no. Yes, this is good for book sales (especially for someone who has had two failed books), and yes, my royalty check (I get them 2x/year) will be higher.
But. I ask people for $5 a book. They actually cost me $8.80 apiece. That’s $3.80 per book out of pocket (and my royalty per book is less than $1). Plus shipping the books to the centers. Plus hours and hours of getting the centers’ info, e-mailing back and forth with them, signing books, packaging them up, and taking them to the post office. And when I do get my royalty check, a huge chunk of it goes right back into buying more books.
If I make any money from this in the end, it isn’t much. But the rewards are greater than any of that. I believe in this book, and I believe in the work of those who give tirelessly to care for pregnant women in need, and I believe them when they say the book is a blessing to them.
And I believe that I have some of the most big-hearted, generous, amazing friends (YOU) who are so quick to hand over $5, $10, $50 to be a part of the blessing.
Here’s what I need right now:
10 books for a center outside of Philly.
10 books for a center in Oregon.
10 books for a center in Kansas City.
10 books for a center in Kenosha, Wisconsin.
If you’d like to donate a book for $5, leave a comment or shoot me an e-mail.
And if you have a local pregnancy center you’d like me to add to my list, let me know! And if your church or women’s group (or whoever) would be interested in pooling your resources and buying an entire box of 40 for a local center, let me know that too.
Any questions? Don’t be afraid to ask. And THANK YOU from the bottom of my heart. I love partnering with you to bless these women! And I certainly won’t turn down your offer to pray for our family if you’d like.