God is amazing. In December, HIDDEN PATHS was released. (Book info below) Little did I know I’d soon be facing my own hidden path. Let me explain a bit by sharing the blog post I wrote the first week of January…
It’s a new year! Don’t you just love fresh starts and new beginnings? It’s the one time of year where I sit down and take stock of what has been accomplished and what I’d like to see accomplished.
This year I had a shocker. As I sat down to write goals and pray over my writing and what direction God wants me to go in, God showed me something that still has my head spinning. You know, I’ve always said that I wanted to write to be a pen in God’s hands — to touch other’s lives and encourage their faith. I believed that, and yet, gulp… I found myself judging my success (or lack of) by the numbers of books I sold. In fact, so much so that I’m ashamed to say, I became addicted to checking my books rankings at least once a day and sometimes five or six times – within a 24 hour period. (I know – nothing like overkill!) Why is it so easy to get our eyes off the goal and become so sidetracked?
I knew I was going to need some help. I told my husband and one of my sons, who was sitting with us at that time, about my desire to lay my books, once again, at the foot of the cross. It is still my desire to allow God to use them however He sees fit. I asked Glenn and Jonathan to help me stay accountable. They gladly said yes and we made a deal. So, this is what we came up with… if I look at my books more than once a week, I need to wash and dry the dishes when it’s their turn. And you know what? Granted, we’re only three days into the year, but it’s kept me on track so far.
I realize without Christ, none of my “work” has eternal value. For 2012, I want to have a soft heart towards God. I want to completely give my writing – any and everything I do — to Him. And if He wills, and it’s time to move on from writing to something different, I want to be willing to give it up. For I know that when I’m walking in fellowship and obedience – that’s where He will be able to use me to be His hands and feet and bring about His purposes in my life.
What does that mean for my writing goals for 2012? Well, I’m going to finish the contracted project I have now and then I plan on just waiting on the Lord. I’m confident that He will direct my path. With a new project in the works or not, if I can keep my eyes fixed on Him, it’s going to be an awesome year!
Perhaps today you’re facing decisions for direction like I am (and the main character in this novel.) I’d like to encourage you to seek God and follow His direction. He’ll get you where you need to go.
Photo taken on our trip to Mexico this summer. (Yet another “path” I would have never envisioned for myself! ) Even though I don’t speak Spanish, I had the opportunity to share my testimony at the mission church. The woman next to me was my interpreter.
Hidden Paths a YA Inspirational Romance
Julie Hemmingway, a recent college graduate, is preparing to leave for the mission field. When she meets Adam Jacobs, her well-organized plans begin to go awry. Will she fight to hold onto her own agenda, or open her heart to a new – yet, Hidden Path?
Staying in Vermont on the family farm wasn’t what JULIE HEMMINGWAY had envisioned for her life. After all, she had just spent two years at the community college in preparation to join a mission agency to use her nursing skills overseas. However, those plans quickly change when her father suffers a massive heart attack and dies. Out of necessity, she stays at home to help her mom manage the farm.
To help make ends meet, Julie accepts a new job at a construction company where many unexpected things happen, including working with the handsome, ADAM JACOBS. Will Julie learn that she can trust in God and the path He has planned for her life – even when it looks totally different than what she expected?
Purchase Link for Hidden Paths also available at B&N and Amazon.com
Julie Hemmingway’s thoughts centered on one thing — and one thing only — the letter which had arrived yesterday. Her dreams were coming true at last. She hummed a little Christmas tune and pushed her cart to the return rack. Scooping up her bags, Julie turned to walk out of the grocery store. The next thing she knew, her face was planted against a wool sweater and a coat’s zipper. The paper bag filled with groceries crushed against her midsection with a sickening crunch. Thankfully, with a firm grip, she somehow managed to hold onto the second bag. She stood stunned for a moment. Please tell me I didn’t just run into the person behind me.
“Are you okay?” His warm bass voice vibrated through his chest and beat against her cheek.
So much for that wish. Julie wrapped her arm tighter around the bag resting between them to prevent it from plummeting to the floor and pushed herself back.
The guy gently gripped her forearms to steady her. “I’m sorry. I should have been paying closer attention to where I was going.” He pointed with his thumb toward the colored lights twinkling merrily in the window. “I was looking at the decorations. They’re amazing.”
Julie let her gaze travel up until she met his blue eyes. The second bag, which had managed to escape the fiasco, slipped out of her grasp. She looked down in horror at the mess on the floor. “Oh man, it looks like I just did some decorating of my own — but not the pretty or festive kind.” She groaned. “I think that bag had my eggs.”
“If that’s the case, they’re now scrambled.” He took the bag, with lettuce spewing over the side, away from her and stepped back to assess the damage. “Or at least, sunny-side up.”
Julie grinned at his quick wit as she kicked loose coffee beans off the top of her shoe.
With a crooked smile, he introduced himself. “I’m Adam.” Before Julie could tell him her name, he plucked a piece of lettuce draped over her sleeve like a scarf. “I must say, these lovely, um… accessories, don’t do your beautiful coat justice.”
“What a great story – and so true of how we serve God! How often do we serve Him by doing something we think He wants without seeking Him in prayer first? Usually it’s only to find out it’s OUR choice, not what He wants… It’s amazing to see how God works in the lives of these two – just like He works in the background of our lives.”
Donna Basinow — Reader — Posted at Amazon
Rating = 5 Stars
About JoAnn:JoAnn Carter writes stories that will encourage your faith through inspirational fiction novels and novellas. She resides in Vermont with her wonderful husband and four children. JoAnn is available for speaking engagements to book clubs, reader groups, library groups, womens’ ministries events, school events, and church retreats.
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