Monday, July 02, 2012

Diary of a Writer: New Season!

Last summer I found myself at a crossroad. We'd just moved into a new house. I'd set up shop in my new office and... waited.

I didn't have a new book contract. The Wedding Dress was in edits. Love Lifted Me was with Sara and edits. I had one more book to write with Sara but otherwise I was an author seeking her next project.

Inspired by Prince William and Kate's wedding, I'd put together a Royal proposal and delivered it safely to my agent's hands.

But it didn't feel like business as usual. I felt like I was in a new season with more transition coming. Our unexpected house move was more than just, "Hey, a cool new home at a stellar price."

It was as if the Lord was showing Himself, getting our attention, proving Himself in this physical change.

We sensed change for my husband though we weren't sure what. He still worked part time as a teacher and full time as a pastor.

The summer months were calm. Busy with house guests and settling into our new home.

Then the fall came and a chance to sell my royal idea. When Zondervan brought an offer to my agent, I knew it was the right one. After six years with Thomas Nelson, it was hard to say goodbye. I've loved my time with them and working with such an great team.

But I learned about more than book publishing the last few years. I embraced core lessons of my heart that I pray never go away!

The doors of this new season in our lives were still opening and I prayerfully moved forward.

I never want to do anything out of conceit or selfish ambition. Though I fail at that goal, it is my goal. I want to walk with honor. I want what the Lord wants.

But sometimes He says to us, "What do you want?"

Ever read about Cain and Able? Cain kills Able his brother and God comes looking for a reason "Why?" He has a discussion with Cain about it, then pronounces his punishment. He'd be a vagrant and wanderer on the earth.

Cain argues back. "Hey, no way, others will try to kill me."

First thought I had was, "Well, dude, you killed your brother. You're lucky God is letting you live."

But the Lord of Host, in His infinite mercy and wisdom, replies to Cain, "I'll put a mark on you so no one harms you. If they do, seven times worse will come up on them."

Wow! I've not killed anyone and I struggle with God showing any mercy toward me once in awhile. "Rats, I mess up again."

But the Lord is willing and able to reason with us as we walk faithful and obedient. John 15 Jesus assures us if we abide in Him, He'll abide in us and we can ask whatever we will. God wants us to bear fruit. He glorifies Himself when we do!

So I reasoned with Him. I'd been praying for and asking about reward. I was writing books, working hard, doing all I could to write the best books possible but the reward was small.

Book writing is an intensive, slow turn around business. There are a lot of ambiguities. There's no real formula for success except "hang in there and keep at it."

My friend Debbie Macomber once said she was a twenty-five year, overnight success.

There is no guarantee going forward that I'll have a certain amount of success. I'm not even sure what "success" always looks like, but I have a few ideas. I'm presenting them to the Lord, talking to Him about it.

I know there's more for me. The churning in my spirit keeps my mind and heart alive with that hope. But I don't try to imagine the outcome. A good friend of mine gave me that advice once and I'm learning to embrace it.

This summer I was to write a final book for Sara Evans but we've put it on hold for awhile as she pursues other things. I'm so glad for her success with her latest album.

Once Upon A Prince will be my next book in 2013 and my first title with Zondervan. This month I'll be working on royal book 2, about a princess.

Other changes abound. My husband went back to youth ministry in November and this month, he's returned to church full time and will not return to teaching this fall.

We knew God spoke "reversal of the reverses" last year and it took eighteen months for us to know what it really meant. But we've seen it happen live and in person!

What an amazing God we serve. How He loves us, OH how He loves us.

Change is hard. Crossroads confusing. Everything is not always smooth and peachy keen but we are at peace. Full of joy. Always hoping and abounding in Him.


Melissa Tagg said...

I love this whole post, Rachel, and especially this:

"But the Lord is willing and able to reason with us as we walk faithful and obedient. John 15 Jesus assures us if we abide in Him, He'll abide in us and we can ask whatever we will. God wants us to bear fruit. He glorifies Himself when we do!"

It's so easy to forget God wants awesome things for us...because he is awesome. He's not waiting for us to earn them or reach perfection first. I love how you and your husband heard from God, prayed and waited in faith...and are now seeing the answers/blessings/etc. :)

Rachel Hauck said...

Grace abounds, MTagg, I love that John 15 verse too. In fact, Jesus says it way more specifically. "... so that you bear fruit. By THIS My Father is glorified."

Wow... we spend too much time focusing on what we "can't" do than on what we CAN do for the Lord!

Love all HE is doing for you, friend!


Daphne Woodall said...

Rachel it sounds like you are tuned in and show patience. Though I'm still trying to complete my first book, from my view you are successful as a writer. Perhaps not at the level you'd like at this point. I've read books that have touched a part of me that I think the author wrote it just for me. I may never share it with that person. We don't always see our reward immediately. I'd compare it to a pastor who prepares a sermon. He wonders if his members are listening or getting it. It may take years before someone finally understands what he was trying to teach. That was true for the time of Jesus and true today.

Rachel Hauck said...

Daphne, I agree! It all depends on persepctive. :) I am successful by being published. But there are always new heights and new mountains to climb.

It's always a writers goal to broaden and expand his or her audience.

I am always grateful when people write to let me know my books have touched them. It's truly an honor and blessing to be used by God this way.

Thanks for stopping by!

Blessing on your writing, Daphne!

Gabrielle Meyer said...

Rachel, I love your heart in his post. I love watching God work through His people - and when His people can articulate it into words and actions - wow, we're all blessed by it and that is how His seeds are planted. Thank you for being faithful to do what He's called you to do.

I love when you wrote: "I'm not even sure what "success" always looks like, but I have a few ideas." A few years ago I was at a MOPS Convention and I heard a speaker say that instead of aiming our children at "success" we should aim them towards becoming truly great. He said "It was the successful people running down the steps of the Twin Towers in 2011, but the truly great people running up the steps." I've thought about that a hundred times since then. When we walk hand in hand with the Lord and aim our lives at becoming truly great, we'll hit the mark every time. Success is a hard thing to measure, but being truly great isn't.

Rachel Hauck said...

Gabrielle, thank you! Such great insight. Aim for Greatness. But greatness is truly self sacrifice and giving above and beyond.

I appreciate you stopping by!


Laura Jackson said...

This was an encouraging post. I needed to read it. Thanks!