book tour

a week like no other.
i might as well have been flying to the moon.
signing books?
standing up in front of a crowd and speaking?
constant social media interaction? (i barely get a tweet a day)
"God, I feel at home behind the pen, but is it necessary to use my mouth?" i have laughed in my prayers to Him.
but in the stillness of those prayers, He has assured me that the story He has etched on my heart must be told.
time to put the pen down.
time to look into the very faces to whom we wrote the story.
and so the book tour began...
courtney and i met up in dallas, texas sunday evening.
monday morning, we found ourselves in the tahoe and freaking out with screams. boxes of books weighed down the suburban. the back seat and our minds in disarray. for just hours before we were fully engaged moms. now our minds and souls must shift gears.
the boys were proud. they were also happy to have a week with daddy. it was spring break for them which meant late nights, video games, and hours of lostness in their worlds of imagination. it also meant a sacrifice for ben and our church staff. he would be a more fully engaged dad. sermon prep took place late at night. so thankful for gj spending time with the boys and for this gift that ben gave me in letting me follow my dreams.
so much of mine and courtney's journey the past three years has taken place over skype, email, phone, texts, and during our kid's naptimes. the few times we've been together, we make an effort to jump on the bed in pure delight that we get to write this book together.
you can imagine that this week had constant moments of "jumping on the bed!"
 publishers want to know the target audience.
i get it. they have to know to whom to market.
but our prayers all along have been that a young girl and an eighty year old woman could find themselves in the story.
i wrote this with my nieces, my sisters (in-laws), my aunts, my mentors, my cousins, my mom, my sweet nanny, my boy's future wives, in mind.
and God was so gracious to introduce us to sweet ones like ashley, age ten, who read the book and presented us with a hand-written review.
this is why we write.
this is why we drive 2,000 miles on tour.
to meet ashley.
to let her know she is loved.
but she speaks to our hearts as well.
"i've got my own book now. i can't wait to write my answers to the journal questions."
 we guide girls and women to pray together.
moms to daughters. daughters to moms.
friend to friend.
grandmother to granddaughter. foster child to foster mom.
middle-aged mom to her aging mother. teenager to mentor.
to look at each other in the face and speak truth.
to say, "i love you."
"you're beautiful."
the 2,000 miles driven were to places where we are loved.
books were bought, but more than that, hugs were given.
you know the kind that seem to literally squeeze your heart?
we met each other's prayer support.
we were reunited with those who read the first drafts of the manuscript.
though we were spiritually emptied each time we shared our story and poured into the lives of those to whom we spoke, God used others to pour into us along the way.
there's nothing like it.

it's a vulnerable place to be.
in front of people with your soul woven into the pages of a book.
no doubt, the book tour was God-driven.
He took us to unexpected places and we've seen our book being used in unexpected ways.
you can tell this picture has a story.
to take you there with me would be worthwhile.
the owner with a heart hard towards reading and spiritual things,
reluctantly invited us in.
her heart softened towards us in a few short hours and now the same page sits on a shelf next to a deer painted canvas.
we wonder what God is up to and that is a mysteriously beautiful place to be in.
our prayer? that this owner, this daughter of the King, will find some time to sit and read the book.
God in His creativity isn't done yet.
in a few short days, 51 public high school girls will be gifted the same page: living your happily ever after.
they will read them in class. their moms have already been told about the book and can opt to do the book at home.
the school guidance counselor tells the teacher who is the reason for this, "our school needs this."
courtney and i pulled the teacher behind the shrubs and prayed, "God begin a movement here. This school is protected by Your hand. Strengthen j* [name protected]. Have your way."
only God could put this book in an inner city public school in the midwest.
the book can be found at www.thesamepagebook.com.
you can donate more books to this school on our website.
a week like no other.
only God.
i'm back at my day job.
only God.