April McGowan

Gold

panningIn my last post, I wrote how excited I was to have my books with me at the writer’s conference. They were going to be on the tables for sale, and I would take part in the autograph party. Golden. It was going to be so very cool. I mean, can’t you just see it?  I sure could.

Well, the best-laid plans…

Despite my publisher’s great effort (it was considerable!) and many, many prayers, my books didn’t show up on time. In fact, oh the irony, they arrived on my doorstep the very hour the conference ended. I know this, because my husband texted me when they showed up. Yep.

I was heartbroken. I mean—hadn’t I been planning this for a year? I had everything ready (pens, price stickers, bookmarks) and yet, no books. Do you ever feel like no matter what you do, it just doesn’t pan out? There’s no golden moment, there isn’t even fool’s gold in your pan—just mud.

That’s where I was. Mud. Murky, depressed, bleh. Feeling pretty sorry for myself. I forged ahead and arrived emotionally exhausted at the conference. What was the point? I didn’t have my books! But, I prayed (and many friends prayed) that the Lord would make something out of this, that my attitude would change, and boy, did it ever.

During the conference, I got this message over and over, from just about every one of the speakers. Seriously. But, none said it quite as succinctly as Liz Curtis Higgs: God knows when the timing is just right for Him to get all the glory.

He can handle my book order. I mean, haven’t I trusted Him with harder issues than that? He is God. And if things didn’t work out according to my plans, it was because He had a different one. I’m not sure of all the lessons I learned, but here’s the biggest one: I had to have my plans tumbled just so I’d hear what I needed to (which also, was considerable) from all the speakers. I even got the courage to share about my novel with someone, and quite frankly, I wouldn’t have done so otherwise.

Do you ever feel like God’s out to thwart your plans? Have you taken time to consider His plans might be even better than the one you’ve imagined?

Isaiah 55: 8-9 “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord. “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.” (Full text here).

 

 

 

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Dreams

Release DaySaturday was an amazing day. Actually, it started Friday evening. I got home to discover that Jasmine was LIVE digitally, out there on Amazon (don’t worry, it’s becoming available on other formats as the week goes on-I’ll keep you posted). What an incredible feeling. I”ve been doing guest blog posts here and there, marketing and sharing and suddenly, there she was. I downloaded it to my Kindle right away. As soon as I flipped to the title page, I started to cry. I’d realized my dream of being published.

I’ve been so focused on guest blog posts and lining up marketing, so focused on the date on the calendar, that when my husband suggested we do a little something to celebrate, I couldn’t fathom it. Being the loving, wise, man he is–he completely ignored my protests and picked up some delicious gluten free cupcakes from Piece Of Cake (if you haven’t eaten their wares, you MUST) and a bouquet of beautiful flowers. At the top, you can see a cute collage photo of our celebration my daughter made.

I’m like a proud new mama–there she is, isn’t she pretty?

Have you ever realized a dream–or are you still waiting for one? I’d love to hear your stories.

And thanks for all your support in making this one happen for me.

 

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Let it Snow!

snowAs I sit watching tiny flakes of snow drift to the ground outside my window, I find I’m in a contemplative mood. Today is the last day of 2012. And what a year it was. I find I remember many joys, all coming at the end of trials. There were difficult times dealing with fatigue and exhaustion, soreness and illness. But, there were also the clear times when the Lord supplied my need and gave me joy despite my circumstances. If you know me personally, you’ll know my heart is preconditioned to be a pessimist. I don’t mean to be, and I’ve struggled against it, but there it is nonetheless. God made me a trouble-shooter (where you look ahead and see the possible negative outcome of just about everything and do your best to make sure it doesn’t go that way). Which is why I’m rather amazed at my ponderings.

Although there are many unknowns in my life right now, of which I’ve been sorely tempted to worry over—today I’m content. Dare I say hopeful? (GASP!) I can say with confidence that no matter what comes my way, the Lord will provide.

My prayer for you this New Year is that you’ll find yourself looking forward, not back. That you’ll grow in faith with the Lord. That, if you are suffering today, you’ll be able to see past your circumstances to the One who provides true joy despite difficulties sifting down around you.

May your blessings be many, and may He keep you tightly in His mighty grasp.

Happy New Year!

1 Peter 1:3-9  Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade. This inheritance is kept in heaven for you, who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time. In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, for you are receiving the end result of your faith, the salvation of your souls. (full text here).

 

 

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