Good grief— it’s been a crazy May so far and my expectations have been changed, met, derailed, exceeded, and everything in between! My apologies that it’s been a while but I did warn you I would be sporadic 🙂 I like to be a woman of my word. This is going to be a bit garbled, but let me start with my weekend of awesomeness in Seattle, where the theme for the Northwest Christian Writers Renewal Conference  was “EXPECT THE UNEXPECTED”…

 

This was my first writers’ conference EVER (I know, it’s shameful) and I honestly had no earthly idea what to expect. I’m not one for getting nervous, but I felt so out of my depth and out of the loop and out of control, I was tempted to turn around and drive home before it even started. But it’s a 7-hour drive and I had paid out of my hard-earned writing cash, so I didn’t. And am I ever glad I stayed. If you write, you need to go to one of these conferences. Seriously. Just do it.

 

1a

 

And not only for the amazing door prizes! I got to pitch my romantic suspense story to 3 agents/ acquisition editors and got some encouraging results, I took in some priceless instruction in workshops on marketing, websites, writing, blogging, social media, and then 2 phenomenal sessions with our keynote speaker, author of over 130 published book (what?)… Angela Hunt.

 

1b

 

I was reminded that books have the power to change lives.

 

That’s huge. And to expect the unexpected when it comes to writing and being published. To be obedient as a Christian writer when God opens doors. (Writers rather like to stay inside their study where it’s safe and they can write in peace.) To actually LIVE my life and then draw from deep places of experience to write words on paper.

I particularly love the fact that I’m not to concern myself with being a multi-genre author (and let’s face it, pre-school, picture book, middle grade, teen/YA, and adult fiction and non-fiction kind of puts me smack dab in the midst of said category)— as long as I’m following God in obedience.

 

And I think I’m safe in saying that carries over for all of us, writer or teacher or mom or banker or architect or ballerina… most of us wear many, many hats on any given day and worry about spreading ourselves too thin. How about asking God if that’s a hat HE wants us to wear, and then following in obedience? Sometimes that means popping a hat in the closet for a season, and sometimes it means donating it to the charity box forever and ever. And when we obey, we need to prepare ourselves to expect the unexpected…

 

Talking of multi-genres (see how smooth I am…) I have been working with my publisher Dancing With Bear Publishing on my upcoming middle grade chapter book, The Candle Maker. Going into schools with my books and presenting the joy of reading and writing is such a highlight for me! Kids always exceed my expectations when it comes to books— last week I had a ten-year-old who was in the middle of War and Peace.  Seriously. My little book is quite, umm very different—it’s set in Victorian England and involves a boy and a bulldog and an eerie candle maker. Let’s just say that it’ll be coming out very soon… SQUEAL!

 

1c

 

Amidst writing and assignments and editing and conference, I did make time this week to have some retail therapy and a city fix in Seattle (phew) and to come home and celebrate my birthday and our 27th wedding anniversary. I know— we were like 10 or something when we got married. Another expectation exceeded— the husband surprised/ shocked me with the most beautiful pearl necklace. Pearls for the Bride  is the book I wrote last year when my sweet girl got married, and now Pearls for the Wife are around my neck. He’s a keeper, that one!

 

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I started last week’s conference with my dear old grandad’s famous quote “expect nothing and you won’t be disappointed” ringing in my ears. It’s best said with an Eeyore voice actually. I was then fed “expect the unexpected” and was rather excited about that prospect in every area of life. And then at our church home group our topic was hope/ disappointment/ expectations, and now I’m thinking that I WILL expect great things from God. I WILL hope for the important things. I WILL try to walk in obedience. Because God never disappoints or let’s us down. He is our ultimate hope. He guides and steers and encourages us along the way… and not always the way we expected or asked for! Sometimes we are scared to expect too much. Or too little.

But we can have great expectations with God, friends!

Until next time,

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Linking up with some fabulous encouragers! Check them out:

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