Did yesterday’s post make you smile? I know, you love me but come on, that was awkward and funny, right? Today, I want to tell you how God finally got my attention through this time at Proverbs 31 and gave me more than a nudge to write Fresh Out of Amazing. But remember, we there to talk about “Hope” and weary moms.
“As we began to talk about Hope for the Weary Mom, Lysa opened her copy and began to read aloud. In mid-sentence, I realized she was reading something I wrote. In fact, it was the original blog post that launched “Hope” called Steve Jobs, Me, and Being Fresh Out of Amazing. She read these words:
“I’ve pretty much fallen short in every category. I am tired and not really good for much right now. The trouble is, Lord, that I need to be amazing and I’m fresh out of amazing. At least it sure feels that way.”
Lysa closed her eyes and said, “Wow. That is so good. Fresh Out of Amazing is a book I want to read.” The sweat drops that had been collecting around my forehead while she read stopped dripping and Brooke shot me a knowing look. She said without words, “Girl, you have to write that book.” I smiled and said with my glance back, “Yeah, I know.” I then made a mental note: “Write the book, “Fresh Out of Amazing.” I had to do that because I didn’t have any plans at that time to write it. I didn’t even know it COULD be a book.
I had no idea when I wrote that simple blog post the power of that one sticky statement. God used Lysa that day to call out my story of being Fresh Out of Amazing. Sometimes the story is so close to our hearts that we don’t see it. When we live it every day, we need another pair of eyes to show us what sits just below the surface and how God can use it. Writing this book was not on my radar. I lived in the tension of needing to be amazing and feeling fresh out much of my life. I didn’t see that the phrase resonated with other women as well. Especially a woman like Lysa, whom I greatly admired. She knows a thing or two about book writing and ministering to other women. You might say her words dug down deep and made a lasting impression. I am truly grateful for her encouragement.
I was surprised as well by the response of the other women at the table. As she finished reading, each woman nodded her head in agreement. They all concurred they would read that book and wouldn’t it be neat if we had coffee mugs with that statement on it? Or, even better we could wear t-shirts and tell the world we were all Fresh Out of Amazing. (By the way, I’m still trying to figure out how to make that happen.) It spoke to each woman regardless of stage of life, from one end of the table to the other. As I glanced around the room, I found myself in disbelief. I had no idea other women felt this way too. In fact, I was pretty sure I was the only girl feeling Fresh Out of Amazing. I was confident I was the only one who had ever written about it. Google is handy for things like that. Yes. I googled it, later of course. Here I was in good company and had no idea.
Isn’t that just like the enemy of our souls to convince us of such things? The same one who first said to Eve, “Did God really say don’t eat from that tree…” also makes a habit of whispering in our ears, “You are the only one who feels this way. You better hide it for the rest of your life because if you tell others, they will think you are crazy.” His lies become the fuel for our fears. But the truth is, speaking such things actually gives women permission to nod their heads in agreement and say, “Me, too.”
The next day, January 17, 2014, Brooke and I signed a two book contract with Harvest House Publishers while sitting at Starbucks in Arsley Town, NC. We would be spending the better part of the next year writing the new “Hope” book and a companion devotional to go along with it. They would release within 11 months of each other so I was confident my time for writing anything else would be limited. Still, I looked ahead on my calendar and thought maybe I might squeeze in some time to think about it after the first book was turned in and before edits came back across my desk.
That meant the first time I would have to really think about Fresh Out of Amazing would be April 2014. For now, I had 15,000 new words to add to my current manuscript.
And that is what I set out to do.
Join me later for the next part of the story.