Posts Tagged ‘Josh Garrels’

I made it to 1:11 PM today without any caffeine. This is a feat of epic proportions. And, all by itself, it might be worthy of a blog post. But since you were probably anticipating something with a bit more substance, I shall try to add words to this post. The caffeine hasn’t sunk in yet. Bear with me.

I’m officially caught up at my desk at the law firm. I’ve dabbled around editing the first three chapters of Rise of the Dark Sprite. And ideas for future books are nibbling at the corners of my consciousness, taunting me with their sweetness while giving no hint as to their substance. All in all, I feel–just a hint–more like myself. Although, that could have something to do with the love recently given by my niece.

Baby Evelyn held onto her mother’s hands today and walked with great determination and sweetness towards me. Sister Kate and I both watched in amazement at her new prowess. And it made this aunt feel very loved.

As for this moment… a little introvert time. Josh Garrels, Starbucks’ coffee (yay!), and writing. Yes. I’m in for a good couple of hours.

Blog Bonus Feature: My health hasn’t weathered all the travel of the last few weeks very well, but I’ve decided to embrace whatever this summer season brings. The adventure will be worth the exhaustion. My advice to you: Stop and smell the roses. Even if they make you sneeze.

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Josh Garrels, Mocha Frappuccino, and Mark of Orion pulled up on my computer… I did not even realize how into my story I had fallen. Until the man beside me asked me a question and I jumped out of my skin. It was like the jerking reaction you have when you wake up from a dream in less than a second. That transfer of reality that never goes quite smoothly.

I guess I really was into my novel. I had forgotten that I was in my body in Starbucks. Creepy? I think so.

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So here is the deal. I’ve got a lot of new followers and likes on this blog (thanks everybody!). Since my life story is a bit confusing, I thought I’d dedicate this post to the top ten highlights of who I am and what I do. If you are new, you can catch up without wading through the hundreds of posts I have made on here.

1) After I accepted Christ at age four I discovered an absolute passion for serving Him and teaching others the deeper truths of the faith. I taught the preschool Sunday school class before I had hit middle school myself. I loved it.

2) Creative and athletic from birth, I followed in my three siblings big footsteps to strive for excellence in much; but it took me a while to discover what I was really made for.

3) At fourteen I started playing the fiddle. As my fingers danced along the strings I was looking towards Heaven and an earthly career. Life swept me in a different course. It was when I put down the violin that I really picked up writing.

4) While writing and imagining is something I have always loved, my choice to become an author has much more to do with a calling than with a desire to do something I find pleasurable. After watching my Christian friends ingest trash called teen fiction, and then watching them leave the faith behind, I found my heart aching to reach them in literature, to provide them with something clean, honest, and adventurous to read.

5) When, at fifteen, God called me to take on the challenge of changing literature, I thought He was crazy. But, so clearly called, I pressed ahead. Discovering that a major part of the problem lay in publishing, I established Rebirth Publishing, Inc., at seventeen. My first series of novels, Issym, Asandra, and Xsardis, hit shelves in 2009, 2010, and 2011.

6) In February of 2013 (at 20) I graduated with a Bachelors in Organizational Management. While most people think it is crazy that an author went for a business degree, I am well-satisfied with my choice. All my life I have loved organizing and leading. At times, I find business more fun than writing and often just as creative an outlet. The degree serves me well as I direct Rebirth Publishing.

7) My passion grew until I began speaking and teaching in a variety of settings, showing kids and adults that the time to serve God with the whole heart is NOW. This is one of my favorite, albeit the most exhausting, parts of my varied job. I also lecture on business and writing, and mentor students personally through email and classes.

8) Fun facts: A) I have seriously desired to quit on publishing, writing, and speaking at least a half dozen times. Thanks to God’s steadfast counsel I never did and I now LOVE my job. B) I dabble as a singer/songwriter/guitarist/worship leader too. C) In high school I memorized most of the New Testament. No education ever served me better. D) The perfect writing setting for me involves a good view; my laptop; coffee; maybe a candle; and Josh Garrels or wordless, spunky music (like Lindsey Stirling) playing in the background.

9) As a single gal with a ridiculously supportive family and a network of friends throughout the country, I get to travel a lot for work. What I learn of life on my travels and at home, as well as what I learn from the students I teach, is purposefully crafted into my novels. Ever since Issym, I have determined to share my heart through my writing. You will get to know me in a new way when my next book, Mark of Orion, comes out Thanksgiving 2013.

10) I am on the adventure of life, learning more about the God I love, how He loves me, and how I can love others. It is my greatest joy to serve the King of kings. It is my honor to discover Him in writing, in nature, in music, in organization, in Scripture, in fellowship, and in the quiet and uncertain times of life.

So, there, those are the significantly inadequate highlights of my life. I will leave you with two verses that are my inspiration.

1 Timothy 4:12 (NIV, 1984), “Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith and in purity.

Philippians 3:12 (NIV, 1984) “Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me.”

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It is strange, but good to be back in Maine. I miss the life I left behind, the baby that I can still feel on my heart and the laughter of being consistently with other young people.  Yet I ached for this life and this home when I was away. I’m back to my fireside and my major household chore as ‘Master of the Blaze’; back to my nephews and their beautiful smiles; back to my Tempur-pedic and my gorgeous room; back to my attic-office and favorite candles  and white-board that together get the creativity flowing; back to the safety of family and friends.

It is a good thing to have safety in family. On Sunday two friends and I were heading out for a post-birthday dinner when a very creepy, clearly not in control of himself man lurked in our parking lot inches from my car. I’ve got to say that it put a start through me as I hit the locks and backed carefully out of my driveway. And while the cops were dealing with the issue within a couple of minutes it was a comfort to know that at the honk of my car my dad would have been outside in full battle mode in seconds. It is good to have support, and I am deeply grateful for the life God has given me. I drink in the beautifully simplistic moments surrounding me lately.

So as I take a respite in Maine, I’m finding that the creativity is steadily coming back to me and my marketing campaign is most certainly getting better. Doubts plagued me for years. It is so good now to live in clarity and peace. God is opening doors and blessing me with trust for what come next. Continue to pray as we look for new speaking engagements, new equipment, new authors, and as I search for new healing for my body. As the Xsardis peeps would say, “Kiash!”

Also, you’ll want to check out the five album give away from http://joshgarrels.com/. Don’t forget to tip him as all proceeds go to the work of World Relief in the DR Congo! The music is what I listen to in the background as I write and I highly recommend it.

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Innocence and wide-eyed wonder… The most beautiful things I have ever seen.

My three-year-old nephew has been blest with a heart that longs for God. He actually comprehends that Jesus died for his sins and that Christ needs to be the Lord of his life. Many a seventy year old cannot understand as much. My nephew loves Jesus and expresses that in child-like but profound ways–with songs that run through his head to concepts that astound me to witnessing to women at Dunkin Donuts. Because of that love for God, he has even more than the usual innocence that a child his age possesses.

As he sat on a table today, playing my guitar and singing ‘He’s still working on me’ (by far his favorite song) I was explaining to him the meaning of another song about God’s treasures mattering more than any treasures we humans could find. He got that, but wanted to know if it was okay for him to enjoy catching bugs–because he really liked that, but he wanted to like God more. I told him that God liked it when he caught bugs. When he asked me why, I answered, “Because God made this world beautiful for you.” And God did. He made a magnificent world for us to enjoy and work in and love in.

The world is a fallen place, full of misery and sorrow that was never meant to be here. But that does not mean that there is not beauty. I have recently discovered a new appreciation for the beauty of life–from laughter to landscapes to family to writing. God’s power and grace still remains. And if we’ll just open our eyes, we will see a whole new world. In the Spiderwick Chronicles (I’ve only ever seen the movie) the three siblings gain a new vision of an incredible world that always lived around them, but they could now see and appreciate it. In the same way, if we will just turn our eyes towards God again, we will see a whole universe.

I went on telling my nephew stories from The Xsardis Chronicles, I wrote beside him as we listened to Christian Folk singer Josh Garrels (a really unique style of music. His newest album Love and War and The Seas In Between is a free download, so check him out!), played games, and watched his imagination soar on his own. His youthful love of everything around him and his incessant desire not just to ask questions but to comprehend the true and lovely things in the world is so exciting. Innocence allows wonder which brings glory to God.

I get so caught up in depicting the awesomeness of mountainsides, but I often overlook the little things like the beauty of child-like love. After all, Jesus says in Mark 10:15, “I tell you the truth, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.” I can learn a lot from a three-year-old. Not just from the innocence, but the reverence of God, the solid belief beyond doubt that He is real, the fervent love that stops all timid silence…

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