Understand: YOUR God

The Week of Guided Prayer retreat started yesterday at St. James.  This is my fifth year and by now, I plan my summer around this week.  So when my guide gave me  my readings for today, there was some confusion over one of them.  Usually there are three to choose from and none of them are exceptionally long.  So as she read them off, one verse of a psalm, four verses of Luke and two chapters of Deuteronomy, I knew something wasn’t quite right.  But hey, there are two others to choose from so why worry about it right?  Wrong!  Neither of the other two were the one I needed to read.  Don’t ask me to explain that.  I know because…well… I just know.  Logically, if the psalm was one verse, perhaps Deuteronomy was supposed to be one verse also.  I looked it up and nearly dropped the bible.

Deuteronomy 7:9  “Understand, then, that your God is God indeed, the faithful God who keeps his merciful convenant down to the thousandth generation towards those who love him and keep his commandments.”

Now in my bible, UNDERSTAND lines up directly above YOUR GOD IS GOD.  Immediately that jumped out at me.  And the next thought into my head was my post on The Salvation Cupcake (see April 20, 2009)… how it had been about God saving the world, not about God saving me.  I’ve drifted away from that idea of the cupcake, accepting little by little that God came into this world just for me.  But today, this was lightning bolt kind of stuff.

If I try to exlain it more, I’ll just muck it up, so straight out of my journal:

Understand: YOUR God IS God – Wow!  That won’t leave me alone.  I’m sitting here staring at the waves and it keeps repeating over and over and over.  This is what John means when he says AA teaches about a God of our own understanding.  This is MY God who pulled me out of despair, stood by me in my darkness, surrounded me with friends and insprires my writings.  This MY God who feels my pain with me, understands my frustrations, hears my cries and reassures me.  he surrounds me with beauty and shows me his face therein.  This is NOT about the God who so loved (past tense) the world.  This is about MY God who so loves (very present tense) me now – right now.  Understand.  Wow.  God, I’m gonna need so time.  My brain hurts.


One Thing Leads To Another

So my faithful readers, I have some wonderful news.  My first novel, Wholly Jane is now available on Kindle and on Nook.  The first question I faced from some of my relatives was, “What’s a Kindle and isn’t a Nook on an English Muffin?”  That was closely followed by, “Where’s the real book?”

I’ll clarify.  When I first started my novel about four years ago, I had no idea if it would ever see the light of day.  Quite frankly, I wrote it for myself and my kids and I didn’t give a damn if anyone else would ever see it.  That’s how all of my writing was at that point.  I would write poems and essays only to lock them up in my desk.  Then I met Deacon Ron, my spiritual director.

As Deacon Ron helped me to build an honest relationship both with God and with myself (and I can be such a ….well I don’t cuss on this blog), I found myself drawn to share my writing with others.  Within a year or so, I started this blog.  All the while, I continued working on the novel no one would ever see.  

Over time, my eyes have flared up and gone back to not-quite-normal and then this new technology came out – the e-book.  I was able to buy a Kindle and I love it!  I could read books again – everything from the Bible to The Millenium Triology.  It was such a blessing for me as reading is my second greatest passion.  Then the technology changed again.  Now it is possible to self-publish e-books.

See, there’s a catch 22 in the writing world.  Publishers want you to have an agent.  Agents want you to be published.  As the e-book market has grown and large online retailers like Amazon are knocking both independent bookstores and even some chains, like Borders, out of the market, publishers are growing ever more leary of investing in unknown, unproven authors such as myself.

It’s simply beautiful timing that as I was reaching the stage of the final edits, the technology caught up to me.  Despite the aforementioned catch 22, there was now a way to share my novel.  Don’t think for a minute that escaped the notice of Deacon Ron!  Here was the same guy who advised me to get an e-reader in the first place now giving me the links to Amazon and Barnes & Noble publishing sites. When that didn’t move me along fast enough, he gave me a two-week deadline, knowing I was ready and just stalling.

So I’ve published the e-book.  Now what?  I’d love to publish a “book book” to quote my mother.  But to self-publish a book costs money – big money for a divorced mom working part-time.  The day after I published,  I was offered a second job:  part-time, from home, doing writing for a marketing company.  I was referred by my current boss, who completely supports my writing dreams. 

So a self-published “book book” is back in the realm of possiblity, albeit down the line a bit.  A bit of trivia – for all you fans of The Shack – did you know it was originally self-published?  The big publishers wouldn’t touch it.  Look at it now.

I never knew where this novel would go when I started it.  I still don’t.  I just knew it had to be written.  I start work on my second novel tomorrow afternoon with the same knowledge.  It must be written.  Everything else will follow.