Wednesday, October 17, 2012

How to Limit God

I did something last week that I'm not proud of.

Something I rarely do.

I shot "low."

Not like, a gun or anything.

But my expectations. I lowered them for fear of being disappointed.

If you know me, you know this is NOT LIKE ME. I am a HUGE believer in BIG dreams and not limiting what you can do by speaking negatively or expecting too little.

If you shoot for the stars, you might make it to the sun... but if you shoot for the moon, you probably won't make it much past the moon, if at all.

Basically, I believe in opening up yourself to the realm of possibility that God wants to do BIG things with you, whatever they are.

But... that's a whole blog post in itself.

Today though. Today I confess to renigging on my own life philosophy.

As I blogged about before, last Friday afternoon I participated in my first "event" as an author... I spoke on a panel at the Southern Festival of Books. It was SO incredibly fun meeting up with the other authors and just being around a ton of "bookies"... many of them not writers at all, but just readers. How cool is that??

After the panel, there was to be a 30 minute booksigning where people could go buy our books in the bookstore then come and get them signed.

The whole drive there, I fretted. I had NO clue how many Christian readers would be there, who might be interested in my book. I'd heard tell that Friday afternoon was pretty poorly attended due to the timing (a lot of people still working or coming in Friday evening.)

So this is what I prayed:

God, oh merciful, wonderful God who knows how absolutely ever-loving terrified I am at this moment, please. Just PLEASE in all that is holy on this Earth, let me sell just oneeeeeeeee little book. It's all I'm asking for. I'll be content with just that one, I promise. If you could just to that, I would appreciate it and be tickled pink, just like my book cover.

Well, the panel went well. I spoke along with NYT bestselling author Julie Cantrell (and yes, I did rub her elbow hoping some sales would rub off on me too!), and guess what? People didn't fall asleep or throw tomatoes or boo or yawn. I even got a few laughs, so this is a good thing right?

Then... it was booksigning time. I went and stood, and everything was empty. Then this author came and sat two seats down from my "spot" and this very, very, very, very long line of people gathered, multiple books in hand. Not sure who he was, but he was liked, let's just put it that way.

And my line was... non-existant.

As I noted, this wasn't a surprise. Christian publishing is a bit of a niche and not for everyone. I know that. And most of my readers are moms or young women with jobs that aren't schlepping out to downtown Nashville on a very cold, Friday afternoon.

Then... this lady appears. And pulls out of her bag this VERY pink book with Sandwich, with a Side of Romance printed on the cover.

I signed it. We chatted. What's SUPER SUPER fun is that I found out that she is from Elkhart, Indiana! For those of you who don't know, while I was born in Sandwich, I spent much of my "growing up" and early married years living in Elkhart.

This lady, who didn't know me prior, just happened to live where I grew up, some 9 hours away. She helps run the 4H program there, and we had lots of talk about the fun 4H fair that Elkhart has that I used to go to EVERY year as a kid.

Small world!

So, I signed my one book.

And on my way home that night, I prayed and thanked God for answering my prayer.

You know what He said back to me, in what I imagined in a nice little smirk of a loving grin?

"Should of asked for more, goofball."

Lesson learned.

This author will no longer be limiting God.

My booksigning at Lifeway in Cool Springs is this Saturday from 11 -1.

This time, I'm asking God for a sell-out and have to order more copies for people to pick up later.

'Cause like I tell my kids, you won't get it if you never ask for it.

Discussion: How have you limited God?


*serious note*

While it'd be super cool to "sell out", REALLY my heart's prayer is that God uses whatever books I DO sell to impact lives and encourage people. That is my real goal... and book sales are not a measure of heart impact.

Book sales are still cool too though. :-)

8 comments:

Lisa Jordan said...

Krista, I think we all have moments of putting God in a box. We think he couldn't possibly understand what we're going through or be willing to answer the desires of our heart. You may have signed one book there, but you don't know what God has in store for you for future events. Just keep trusting and staying obedient to him!

AJ said...

:) Amazing that I happened upon 2 different Christian authors in one day... God has been telling me for a year to start writing... and I said no... wait...

then I read this post and thought (if she could...) hmmm ponder. I think I'll follow you! :)

Krista Phillips said...

Thanks, Lisa:-) In reality, I'm super pleased with selling that one book. Even if I'd prayed to sell 10 copies, I'd still have been happy to sell just the one, because I'd ahve know that was exactly what God wanted me to sell, and it wasn't me limiting him that did it, ha!

Krista Phillips said...

A pleasure to meet you, AJ! If God is telling you to write, then uh, you better do it. He's a bit persnickety when we tell him no for too long:-)

Jessica said...

We all have times where we put God in a box. But we can't stay like that. the first step is recognizing that you have done that and then fixing the problem. I am glad that you got to connect with that lady and glad that you learned a valuable lesson about not limiting God. I hope that your book signing on Saturday goes well and I will be praying for you!

Cindy Griessel said...

Krista--I have never officially met you except through this blog and your super awesome new book. My family and I call Ozark, MO home. What I find so funny is that next week, my 12 year old son and 10 year old daughter will be travelling to Elkhart, IN to compete in a Teen Bible Quiz tournament. My kids are memorizing the book of Matthew word for word. Talk about not limiting God. The task of memorizing a book of the Bible seems huge. What if I had told them it was too hard, too much. My 12 year old has 9 chapters done and my 10 year old has 8. Abolutely crazy. Think big always.

charity said...

i just have to say wow i dont think iv ever heard of anyone mention elkhart indiana. iv grown up around elkhart all my life and usually when we travel for vacations people are always like where is elkhart at. so thats really cool

Lis said...

Krista, I will be in Nashville this weekend, I think we will be at the Auburn/Vandi game but if we end up not going... I'll be there to get my book signed!
Tell sweet girl her Alabama mama said Hi!