Day 356 – July 22, 2015

I saw a headline this morning, commenting on the disappointment of the Duggars, upon learning that their reality show was canceled. The quote was something like, “They thought the show was God’s plan.”

Okay, first of all, I must acknowledge that there are a million different ways this blog post could go from here. I’m sure some of you reading thought, “A reality show? Part of God’s plan? Ha!” (Or maybe I’m the only one who dramatically thinks “Ha!” on occasion.) But truthfully, I don’t see any reason that a reality show couldn’t be part of God’s plan. I’m not the one to comment on whether or not this particular show was part of God’s plan or not, but that isn’t the issue for me. The issue for me is the “They thought” part of the quote. To me, that implies that because the show has been cancelled, they are now doubting what they thought to be true.

I didn’t read the article beyond the headline, and I’ve never watched a single episode of their show, but I read enough entertainment news to have a working knowledge of the ins and outs of this particular scandal. But I’m not here to comment on that, either. The show was on for, what…six or seven seasons? But now, because the show has been cancelled, they must have been incorrect in their belief that it was part of God’s plan?

I believe strongly (in fact, I know) that it is not part of God’s plan for me to work in banking right now. But I also believe that for many years, it was part of the plan. The plan hasn’t changed. But that part of the plan has been carried out, and we’ve moved on to the next stage.Think of Moses! Don’t you think that when his “reality show” was cancelled, and he knew it was time to leave his privileged life as Egyptian royalty, there was at least a passing thought or two of, “But it seemed like that was God’s plan…”? And though I don’t believe that the Apostle Paul ever looked back on his days as Saul, a persecutor of Christians, with fondness and nostalgia, I do believe that while he was persecuting Christians, he believed he was following God’s plan.

If Moses had not spent his early years in the palace, he would not have been in a position to be a voice for the Israelites. If Saul had never persecuted Christians, we may not have cared nearly as much about anything he said and did once he became one. And if the Duggars hadn’t had a reality show, none of us ever would have heard of them.

Sometimes I think we mistake the plan for the goal. The plan is not the goal. We follow the plan to achieve the goal.


Day 355 – July 21, 2015

I was going to blog all about how stressed out I became tonight upon discovering that I had accidentally allowed my e-mail hosting for my website to lapse. But ultimately, I don’t want to talk about it. Talking about it accomplishes nothing, apart from stressing me out further. So then I thought perhaps I would entertain you with the lyrics to “Fast Blog” – an impromptu ditty which Kelly and I created together on the spot to express my intent to give the blog very little attention today. It’s sung to the tune of “Fast Car” by Tracy Chapman. Trust me when I tell you that it’s brilliant, but only to Kelly and me. You wouldn’t be entertained in the least, I assure you.

So, I suppose that’s it for the day! I wrote a fast blog. Fast enough so I can go to bed. I had to make a decision. Blog all night or get some rest instead.

So remember when I was writing, writing in my blog…

No. Never mind. Sorry.

Day 354 – July 20, 2015

I have a history of not-so-great birthdays. At least as an adult. It usually just comes down to something else happening on my birthday which really is more important than celebrating my birthday. Funerals, illness, being alone during a tornado warning, learning that JFK Jr.’s plane did, in fact, crash into the Atlantic… (My bad luck goes back a while, as you can see. But at least I did get to watch all of the latest news regarding that one on my brand new TV, which I had just gotten as a gift from my boyfriend at the time!) In spite of all of that, each July 19th Benedict Cumberbatch and I celebrate our shared birthday. (We rarely celebrate together.) And each year, I tell myself that I’m an adult and July 19th is just a day. But each year I also secretly harbor the hope that I will wake up to a day of exciting, wonderful plans, all centered around me. Just for that one day. Maybe I will be whisked away to a romantic location by my husband, or maybe family or friends will have secretly flown in from out of town, or maybe reservations will have been made, or gifts will have been wrapped. Or maybe there won’t be anything else at all going on throughout that day – by design.

And then I realize that none of that is likely to ever happen. And I realize how special it is just to spend the day with Kelly and the boys. I realize that Ethan and Noah go to a little more effort to get along on that day, so that I don’t get frustrated with them on my birthday. And I realize that my husband pampers me in nice little ways, which I could easily miss if I stayed focused on the fact that my birthday didn’t go exactly as I may have wanted it to.

It was a nice birthday.

Let’s do it again next year, Benedict.

Day 353 – July 19, 2015

It’s my birthday! So, for my birthday, I’m once again going to direct you to my sister’s blog. Do you remember a couple of weeks ago (I think…) I mentioned that my friend Jonathan and I guest blog for my sister once a year, but that we always find a way for Kelly to actually do the work? Well…we struck again! This year, Kelly was responsible for determining the greatest movie moment of all time, from a mostly ridiculous list of nominees, provided by us! Well…my husband is hilarious and brilliant, and I think it’s important to share that with the world. Enjoy. Or, more likely, just shake your head in confusion…

Day 352 – July 18, 2015

I am so appreciative of the support which has been given to me by the people who have read this blog for the last 352 days. And I am truly, truly grateful that when this daily experiment is complete, I will have a record of the remarkable twists and turns of the journey. This blog has brought new friends into my life, and allowed me to connect in new and special ways with other friends.

But I really am so excited to be done. Tonight, I just didn’t want to blog. I was chilling in front of the TV with my awesome husband (whom I met online 17 years ago today, if anyone is interested…), and the kids are in bed at a decent hour (which is strange during the summer), and then I realized…I had to blog.

Well, I’ve blogged. Good night, everyone!

Day 351 – July 17, 2015

I haven’t been promoting the Abigail Phelps books at all lately. They are still out there, of course…but no one is buying. I always managed to sell a few here and there, but with absolutely zero effort being put into promotion, well…I’m getting an even return on my investment. IF things work out and we move towards publication on the Christian romance, the Abby books will probably be going away for a while. That’s a big IF, of course. But even IF…there is a part of me that thinks I should try to sell as many copies as I can before that happens, just to try to bring in a little money before I have to say goodbye to that little bit of income, however paltry. But the way things work in my life, I dare not.

Timing always plays a huge and hilarious role in my life. And the way things go, I would sell several more books over the course of the next few weeks, one of those copies would go to someone with influence who loves the book, and then there would be a big opportunity thrown at me. Maybe that seems unlikely to you. But in my life? That’s completely likely. And you may be thinking, “Well, would that really be such a bad thing?” It could be. IF.

So…I watch the Amazon ranking drop, and drop, and drop…

A couple of days ago marked one year since I re-released the Abby books, as a trilogy. In the past year, I have worked non-stop to bring attention to the books. I’ve done interviews and book signings and SO many social media things. And it went okay. For a couple of days I was even a genre #1 on Amazon. That was a huge accomplishment, and I worked very hard to get there. And now I’m just watching the free fall, trying to convince myself that I don’t care.

And you know what’s funny? I’ve suddenly realized that I really don’t care. Sure, a little more money coming in would be nice. But other than that? It’s all good. Just the idea of the IF has brought such focus and clarity to it all.

Day 350 – July 16, 2015

Today is my big sister’s birthday! Or, my Big Shrub, as I like to call her. (It’s an auto correct thing…) Anyway, I thought that today all of you who read the blog could maybe visit HER blog, by clicking HERE. See how generous I am? Sharing my readers with my sister? Or maybe, just maybe, I just found a brilliant way to get out of putting too much effort into blogging today! Either way, I know my Big Shrub will be proud, so that’s all that matters.

Happy birthday, Big Shrub! I love you. Word to your mother.


Day 349 – July 15, 2015

I’m convinced that if I did not live here, no member of my family would ever pay any attention to time or schedules. The thing is, I can’t decide if I am the problem or if they are. Yes, I help them get places on time. I make sure we don’t miss things. I make sure we eat meals at somewhat normal times.

And yet, I’m the only one who has to deal with the stress of making sure we do all of those things. Seems like I’m the one with the problem.

Day 348 – July 14, 2015

I had a lovely conversation with my incredibly awesome contact at my dream publishing house this morning. (And as I write this, I can’t help but think how nice it will be to be able to use names when talking about all of this — no matter how it all turns out. Bob at Random House is much easier to say than “my incredibly awesome contact at my dream publishing house.” And just to be clear…neither Bob nor Random House are involved in any of this.)

Anyway, the call went well. I have some revisions to work on before the manuscript is sent to the people who will be reading it next, but the revisions are minor. My goal is to finish it all up in the morning, and have it sent to her tomorrow evening.

I’ll be sure to blog again and keep you updated. You know…probably tomorrow…

Day 347 – July 13, 2015

Well, doggone. I had every intention of writing nothing of substance this evening. After all, I’m exhausted and sun burnt after some time at the pool with the family today. But, I’ve actually got something to talk about, and it’s pretty big stuff, so…I guess I’ll actually have to put in some effort. *SIGH*

The Editorial Review Board meeting at which my manuscript was discussed was actually today instead of tomorrow. And…they decided to send it on to the Publishing Board. Hooray! So, I’m still alive in this whole thing!

Those of you who are praying (THANK YOU FOR THAT, BY THE WAY!), the next date we’re looking at is August 7th, instead of the original July 21st. So, guess what my first thought on that was?? “I won’t know anything before the end of The Year of Blogging Faithfully! Frowny face!” (Yes, I did actually think, “Frowny Face.”) Kelly said, “Well, maybe you start The Year of Blogging Weekly,” to which I replied, “No! I want no such obligation!” So I think we have settled on The Year of Blogging Whenever the Heck I Feel Like It. Catchy, eh?

Anyway…I will hopefully have a phone call tomorrow to discuss one more (minor, I’m told) revision that they want me to work on, and then I’ll work on that, and then…I’ll wait again! But one way or another, the wait is nearing its end.