Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Exhaustion

I'm.

Tired.

Goodness, am I tired.

It is the best tired EVER though!

The ACFW conference last week was... amazing. Exactly what God ordered. I needed a mental break from "life" as it is and it totally delivered. I got to focus on networking and reconnecting with friends... ADULT friends... ones that don't (usually) whine for food or poop their pants or require scheduled medications to be given to them or scream when someone else hits them (although I'm sure they would if someone actually hit them, but thankfully that's typically frowned upon at Christian conferences!)

But while I feel emotionally and spiritually recharged, and had some GREAT appointments with my agent and a few editors, I'm now physically running on sleepy fumes. (as evidenced by the fact I am writing this at 9pm on Monday night and my eyes are burning and yelling at me to close them STAT!)

That said, here are a few fun highlights of conference (NOT all inclusive, as that would be impossible to list!)

  • I met the amazing Lauraine Snelling and got to chat a bit with her at dinner on the last night #starstruck
  • Cheering fellow Nashvillian Patrick Carr on as he won the Carol Award for Speculative Fiction, roomie Jody Hedlund on as she won the Carol Award for Historical Romance, and Alleycat Laurie Tomlinson on her Genesis win. There are SO many others that I screamed super loud for too!!!
  • Handing out Sandwich pins! Lots of friends reported being asked, "What's up with the sandwich?" including a few editors! I even sat down at a pitch session with an Editor with Tyndale and she asked me about it! It was super fun to represent the sandwich!!
  • I got to MEET my new agent in person! She was just as amazing as I thought she'd be!
  • I got to HUG SO many friends, too many to mention!!!
  • I had 3 of the BEST roomies out there, Jody Hedlund, Sarah Forgrave, and Janice Boekhoff.
  • Spending time with my Alleycats -- my sisters-of-the-heart.
  • Two pitches that I was INSANELY nervous about but they went much better than I could have hoped for. God reminded me, though, that He has a great plan in mind for my books and it is SO MUCH BETTER than my plans. Continuing to lay my book into HIS hands and trust
*yawn* GOODNESS I'm tired. I know there are a ton of other things I'm missing....*yawn*

Okay, so that's gonna have to be my update.

Now I must go to bed. Tomorrow (today when you're reading this...) is filled with laundry and cleaning and repacking for my NEXT trip...

Hubby and I are going to the moutains for a few days to celebrate our 15th anniversary! My inlaws are coming to help take care of the kiddos.

So while I'm emotionally filled but physically exhausted.... rest and recuperation are near!!!

OH! I have a billion and one pictures. Please feel free to visit here to view them! (It's my personal FB page... but I have the pictures set to public so anyone can see them! At least I think so...)

Thursday, September 25, 2014

ACFW BOUND!!!

Today's the day!

Heading out to the annual American Christian Fiction Writer's Conference in St. Louis!

My bags are packed, the van is full of gas, my onesheets are printed, my smile is in place, and my pitch is kinda ready. (I'm convinced that at some point, ya just gotta wing that one otherwise you sound like a robot when giving it!)

My goals for the next 4 days?

1.) Have fun. I spend most of my days knee deep in diapers and gtube feedings. FUN is definitely on the docket!

2.) Lots of hugs. This is my... 5th... conference (well, technically 4 1/2 but whatever.) Conference is like a bit of a homecoming, seeing old friends, meeting new ones, meeting friends you've met online but never had the opportunity to meet in person.

3.) Networking. HUGE part of conference! You sit down at lunch and the person next to you might very well be the next author who is willing to endorse your book or an editor who could be your biggest champion. These GOD-given moments are so important for a writer! And I also have several appointments with a blogger and my agent and such that are going to be SO much fun!

4.) Pitching. At this conference, you are scheduled appointments to "pitch" your project to agents and editors. I already have an agent (who will be doing my pitching for me to editors eventually) but I utilize the time as a way to connect a face to a name, and put a bug in the editors ear about my next book my agent may be sending their way soon!

(And yes, this book is NOT a Sandwich book, and is a full-length start of what will hopefully be a new series!)

5.) Not a lot of sleep. Because sleep is TOTALLY overrated.

6.) Marketing. I have bookmarks to hand out, Sandwich pins to beg people to wear, and my first book, Sandwich, with a Side of Romance, will be on the conference bookstore! A Side of Faith won't be in the bookstore this year, but that doesn't mean I can't hand out bookmarks to help get the wrod out!


But aside from all that, I have TWO prayers for this weekend.

1.) God's will be done. Because I can have lots of dreams and hopes and plans, but God's plans are MUCH higher than mine could ever be. So I'm going in with an open heart and open mind. It isn't about books or writing or any of that. It's about Jesus over all else.

2.) Rest. EMOTIONAL rest. I've tried to be real and honest about it, but yours truly is emotionally exhausted. While I won't get a lot of SLEEP this trip, I'm praying that my soul is renewed and refreshed. While I type this, Annabelle has tried to wrap furniture in Christmas wrapping paper that she found and is now spreading bottles of her formula all over the kitchen floor. Sigh... yes, rest. This is what I need!

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Father Abraham - Performed by Annabelle

Because sometimes.... ya just gotta have a little Father Abraham singin' while only half dressed and sittin' on the kitchen table.



Happy Tuesday everyone!


What were some of your favorite "songs" to sing when you were little??? (or maybe even now...)

I loved me some Father Abraham, but also did a mean Jesus Loves Me and "Give Me Gas for my Ford, keep me truckin' for the Looord..." too.


Thursday, September 18, 2014

God doesn't break the broken -- a call to FIGHT!

A week and a half ago, on a Monday, I had a particularly low day.

I won't go into a lot of details, but yeah. It was just a tough day.

The last 4 and a half years have been filled with some crazy roller coasters (the wildest of the ride being the first two years or so.)

Sometimes, it feels like I've been broken. That God has, for some reason, allowed me to be beaten up and thrown to the ground.

Most days, I'm okay with that. I've always loved the analogy that sometimes you have to "break" things in order for them to be put back together, stronger, and correctly. (Think of an arm that has to be rebroken in order for it to be set correctly to heal.)

The problem is... I don't feel put back together. I don't feel like my "emotional" bone has ever truly healed. In fact, it feels like every time it starts to mend, the pain starts to subside, something else comes along to rebreak it.

It's like a big bully that who, when his victim us getting up off the floor, gives him a little kick to send him sprawling again.

It's just a little kick. It's not the big punch that sent him crashing to the ground in the first place. But it's enough to put ya right back down on the ground once again.

That's what Monday was. Except a bit of a forceful one, because I had been finally feeling that I was kinda sorta getting my bearings again for the first time in a while.

But then on the floor I went again. Broken. Frustrated. And really, really tired.

I was driving the next day, trying to talk to God, but not really knowing what words to say. I told him the above... that I felt like he was breaking me yet again, and if he really needed to, then fine. I would accept that, but he had some putting back together to do, because I was DONE.

And this thought came to me. I'm fairly certain it was from God, because it brought full circle a LOT of things he's been impressing on my heart lately.

What good does it do to break what is already broken? 

Not super insightful, I know. But it was what kept going through my head.

But it made me pause. If God wasn't trying to break to me with this circumstance, what was He trying to do then?

I kept driving, contemplating this, a new perspective kinda rocking my world. In the past, when life has happened, I've taken my hurts, my brokenness, and snuggled up in my Father God's lap and said, "I can't do it, you can, I'm just gonna sit here under your amazing wings and let you handle it."

And sometimes, that's exactly what God wants us to do. Surrender our burdens to Him.

But God brought another word to me.

Fight, Krista.

Fight? What? Hold on a second. I thought I was to SURRENDER. To lay it all down. To let YOU do the work because, well, my strength is pretty much in the negative right now. You've got plenty of it. YOU do it.

Fight, Krista. 

Now, a bit of a confession moment here. I'm a fix-it kinda girl. Back in the day, God calling me to take up arms and FIGHT for something would have THRILLED me. But I've spent so much time "giving in" to God and letting HIM do the fighting... that I think, maybe, perhaps, somewhere along the line, I stopped "giving in" and started "giving up."

A remnant of my old self that lays dormant in my heart started to stir. Fight? Really? Are you sure God?

I prayed all the way to into town, asking God to confirm if this is was really HIS words or my own.

And just as I was praying, a song came on the radio. I don't even remember the name of the song, but the lyrics talked about us being SOLDIERS and to STAND UP in the BATTLE.

My heart stirred even more. I've not been standing, y'all. I've been sitting down in the name of letting God go before me, but forgetting that I have to FOLLOW too.

Yes, sometimes God wants us to give "in" to him and let him fight the battle for us.

But other times, He tosses us a sword and a shield and says, "Get your butt moving. It's time to fight. I've got ya covered."

It's been over a week since God has called me to fight. I haven't done a fantastic job of it, I'll admit. I'm rusty as all get out, but it feels good to be trying. It feels good to stand on my own two feet and not let the bully kick me down.

I haven't won any wars, or even any battles. In fact, I've lost a few it seems like! But God is on his throne, and I'm not fighting alone. I'm fighting with HIS strength, not my own. With HIS might, not my own.

And I'm trusting that in the end, we'll throw down our weapons and dance in the streets with a battle cry the likes of which has never been heard before!

Let's Chat!

We're all in different places. Sometimes we're in a "healing" phase and other times we're out on the battlefield. Where are you today? Is God calling you to rest in him or take up arms and join the fight?

Monday, September 15, 2014

Schedule Change Up!

I'm on a mission!

Life is SO crazy busy lately... (I mean, I honestly don't remember a time in the last few years when it HASN'T been that way) but God's been on me lately to rise above.

But that's not what this post is about.

It might be what THURSDAY's post though.

THIS is just a notice that I'm changing up my schedule, in the name of reorganizing Krista and trying to live a HEALTHY life, honoring God and family with my time.

It's a little change. I'm still trying to blog two days a week, I'm just moving it from Monday/Thursday to Tuesday/Thursday... with Thursday being a flex day.

The thing is... Sunday's are busy, and I HATE THAT. Sunday should be a day of REST, and God's been reminding me lately that I need to honor that, instead of viewing it as just another day to "get things done." I mean, we always go to church, but afternoons were a time to fit in writing, or do a project around the house, or to clean the house. (Last year we hosted small groups in our house, so Sunday afternoons were hurry-and-clean-before-people-get-here)

But not any more. Sunday's are our rest/family day.

I sat down tonight though, thinking, CRUD, I have to write my blog post for tomorrow.... and God raised his eyebrows and said, "Why?"

I responded, "Uh, because tomorrow is Monday? Blog post day?"

God rolled his eyes. "So?"

I sighed. God obviously didn't hear the blog rule of being consistant in your posting days. "Okay, so everyone says--"

The Almighty interrupted. "Since when did I care about what everyone says, Krista? Why can't you post on Tuesday? Hm?"

"But--but... tomorrow I'm supposed to post. People will come looking for something..."

He gave me that look that God is so good at giving, even when I can't actually see it.

I sighed. "Okay. Tuesday. That's a good idea, actually. Then I won't have to rush on Sunday nights to post, and I can do it on Monday. One less thing on my Sunday to-do list, so I can REST on Sunday."

God winked at me. "I'm known for my good ideas."

"Well, is it okay if I write a quick post, telling people that I'm changing to Tuesday?"

"Sure. Just tell them all it was my idea, kay?"

And that, my friends, is my slightly-fictionalized but pretty accurate account of what went on in my head between me and God.

And the reason that, after this week, you'll have a post from me ever TUESDAY instead of Monday... and most Thursdays. (Thursday I leave as an optional day... I'll usually post but the "optional" part relieves a TON of stress on busy weeks when I can't!)

As always, you can also sign up to have posts emailed to you!! (See sidebar for sign up...)

Discussion: So... how good are YOU about keeping your sabbath Holy and for REST... vs. to-do list catchup? Do you need a stern reminder from God too??

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Why I Hate the Gym

You ever have something you really don't want to do but when you do it, you love the results and you wonder why you always drag your feet?

I do.

It's exercising.

In the morning, I look at my work out clothes with dread. My to-do list is long... changing, carting Annabelle to the gym, getting all sweaty and nasty... ugh. Seriously, that TO DO list is not getting any shorter!!!

But then I put a hand to my stomach and remember the fat that isn't getting any smaller either....

Then while I grumble under my breath, I change, throw on my tennis shoes, load Annabelle up, and drive the five minutes to the gym.

For the next hour, I sweat and burn and torture my body.

Somewhere in that time, this amazing thing happens.

I stop hating it.

And start loving it.

Energy is injected into my veins. The drips of sweat carry away my disdain. I leave,energized and feeling 10x's better. I wonder why in the world I ever hated this in the first place. I'm ready to take on the world, baby.

Then I wake up the next day.

And see the exercise clothes...

And the process repeats.

Weird, huh? I've never once gone to the gym and been like, "Dude, this is stupid. I'm just going home." Well, except once, when five minutes into my workout, the phone rang, telling me a kid was puking at the school and I needed to come get them. Yeah. I wished I hadn't gone to the trouble that day.

But other than that....

So what about you? Are you gym goer? Do you thrive on it and look forward to it, or are you weird like me and have a love/hate relationship with it?

Monday, September 8, 2014

An Unexpected Visitor

Yesterday, my daughter and I were leaving to the grocery store when I heard her shout:

MOM! Look!

I looked...

And there was this very pretty black dog in our yard, no collar.

We live in a subdivision attached to 2 other subdivisions, so it isn't abnormal to have a dog roam our yard that got loose from their own.

We got home from the store, and he was still there.

Later that night, we left for small groups, and when we got home, STILL THERE, laying in our front yard, whimpering.

He's a sweet fella. A little skiddish and scared. We had to make a decision last night... we live backed up to a really road and my heart hurt at the thought of him getting hit, so we went ahead and put him in our backyard.

I posted to local FB groups, hoping to locate the owners, but all I found is that the dog has been roaming around our neighborhood for the last two-three days!

*sigh*

My kids have named him "Bear" because they think he looks like a big black bear. He kinda does! Annabelle took Daddy

While we would LOVE to have a dog, and my kids are already totally attached to the sweet man, alas, keeping him long term is not an option. Financially we are NOT in a place to afford vet bills and food for him, so I just feel it would be irresponsible. Which hurts my heart, because my kids beg for a dog daily.

My oldest (13) has even asked if she could get a job to pay for the dog. HA HA! Um, no. 

This is like hanging a carrot in front of their nose... (although they aren't fond of carrots, so a better analogy is probably ice cream or something!!)


A sweet local lady is bringing us by some dog food and a collar for him today, and we're going to try to get him in for a vet to check for a microchip tonight.

Please pray we can find Bear's owners, preferably. And if his owners left him on purpose (which would be SUPER sad) please pray that the perfect forever family can be found!