Monday, May 7, 2012

when you have to try again and the Soli Deo Gloria Party

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"Agh!  You have to stop writing about me, Mommy!"
There comes a time that we have to attempt to do something that we have failed to do correctly the first time around.  And when that time comes, we'll probably feel jittery nerves in our bellies.  We might become awash in fear and try to prepare for the worst case scenario, in case it all goes downhill again.  We might over-plan, over-prepare, over-analyze.  But the important thing to remember is that we are at least trying again.  We've dusted ourselves off, pulled ourselves together, and we've put on a brave face.

On Thursday, I decided it was time I try to take the dog for a walk.

For those of you who missed this post, you might think that I am out of my mind.  How hard is it to walk a dog? you might ask.  Let's just say for some of us, it's harder than you think.

Because Hank is sensitive to heat, I packed a water bottle and a bowl.  I put on his leash, contemplated using two, and then decided that was ludicrous.  I did several tugs to make sure everything was secure.  I made him sit before he crossed the threshold and allowed him to come only after I had passed through the door.  My stomach lurched as we set off -- I was sure the leash would somehow fail -- but we quickly settled into a comfortable gait and I gained added confidence as I saw my purple fingers, a sign I had a tight enough grip on the lead.

We rounded the corner out of our neighborhood and found ourselves on The Street.  As I crossed the intersection where The Incident took place, I felt everything tighten once again.  The moment where I had failed before flashed before my eyes and I looked at Hank, giving him the evil eye, making sure he wouldn't try any of his antics (as if this works with kids, much less dogs).

We sailed down the street.  He did not escape.  The leash did not fail.  We made it to the school to pick up the adorable children.  I had successfully walked the dog.

It feels good to succeed in something that I had failed in the past.  And I wonder if I can use this dog-losing/dog-walking failure/success story and apply it to other areas in my life.

Of course I can, or else I would not be droning on and on about my silly dog.

So, it's time to tell you what I swore I would not.  Ahem.
Ahem.
Ahem.  (I'm procrastinating here.)

Ahem.

I am going to Speak Up in June, but ironically enough, I am not doing the speaking track.

Ahem.

I am doing the writingtrackandpresentingabookproposalthatI'mtryingtowriteinamonthtoapublisher.  (It's very hard to type quickly without spaces, just FYI.)  Oh,rightandIalsowanttotake3samplechapters.

Ahem.

So, there.  It's my big news (I once submitted a children's book to a publisher and failed.  Miserably.  Did I mention it was several different publishers that I submitted it to?  Right.)

I was going to keep this all nice and wrapped up tight and then God said, "Why aren't you telling your blog peeps?"  To which I said, "Well, duh!  If I go and don't get any sort of positive response then I will look like a big FAILURE."  To which He said, "So it's all about pride, huh?"

"Well, yeah.  Isn't it always?"

So there you go.  Out with the pride, in with the news.  Pray for me, please?

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43 comments :

  1. On the run! I'll be back to read and comment!!

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  2. So proud of you, you brave thing! Woot! Woot! Can't wait to hear about the continuing journey.

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  3. That's wonderful! I admire your courage. You are a talented writer. I look forward to seeing God's plan unfold!

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  4. oh, this dipping in the water when failure is possible. very scary for me too. so great to hear from others, because as i read it - i only feel pride in you, no matter what comes out of it, i only think higher of you because you were open, and allowed me to see and to love...hmm... now. if i could feel that about myself and failure, we'd really be on to something :)

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  5. Good for you! Trying again after failing is so hard. I had a conversation today with a friend about God trying to kill pride in my life. Somehow pride seems to be that root thing in all of us that God painstakingly works at ridding us from. It is too attached to our self.
    (Funny that I just emailed you about you being an Austin author today!)

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  6. Yay, Jen!! So happy you are doing this bold thing.

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  7. Hey, Jen! Itooamdoingthescarymeetwiththepublisherandsubmitaproposalthing. We are in this together! You are a gifted writer and I always look forward to your posts. Blessings!

    P.S. I still couldn't get some of my images to post on the linky...oh, well...

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  8. Jen...wow...nothing to be embarrassed about...good for you...just trying is an amazing thing. Just keep walking and Let God lead. blessings to you~

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  9. You are so very brave and just the fact that you put yourself out there? I am proud of you! You only fail if you don't try. Praying for you!!

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  10. JEN! Exciting news -- I am praying for you. Just be obedient--you're not responsible for the outcome, just your obedience. Go for it!

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  11. I'm so proud of you for submitting! That's the first step. Don't be discouraged, just keep trying. Rejection is such a big part of the writing journey. I trust the Lord will open a door for you in His perfect timing. :)

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  12. Jen, yeay! I know you will do great and remember that success is not at the end of the journey but it is the journey itself. You, telling us, opening up, letting pride fly away, us praying for you, cheering for you. It's all success!

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  13. Awesome! I know you can do this, and He will be there every step of the way!
    Blessings!

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  14. Ooh, that's awesome, Jen! I'm so excited for you and wish you the best. Yes, I will be praying for you, too!!

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  15. Praying for you. You're already successful to me regardless of what a publisher may or may not say!

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  16. I'm thrilled for you, Jen. SO glad you are willing to try again. Thanks for sharing the news!

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  17. Hey, Jen, pretty much brand new to this whole blogging world and all and have no clue what 'Speak Up' is.....how can I pray for you? more details, please?
    thank you. (whatever it is, you're qualified--I'm just curious about the adventure so I can pray specifically.)

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  18. Love that you shared your heart here. Yep, God is so beautiful in how He encourages us, like that. Love that He wants to strip us of all pride and lean on community, too. Bless you!

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  19. Jen -- AMAZING NEWS!!! Of COURSE you will be writing a book! Duh-Ruh! The most help I received about proposal's was Mary Demuth's $25 tutorial... http://www.writeuncaged.com/products/nonfiction-proposal-tutorial-2/ BUY IT!!! BIg hugs of encouragement.

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  20. Oh Jen, Good for you! I think we are so much alike. I also would hate to let anyone know in case it failed. But, you are brave and I will be praying for you and your proposal!

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  21. I do the same SAME thing! I just did my first Keynote speech ;) and was pretty nervous! Also have a book deal I am working on that scares me to death ;) God is funny about pushing us out of our comfort zones- and also about giving us what we need to do the job he wants us to do!

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  22. Guess what Jen? Even after your confession...I still love you! Good for you. :) And your puppy is so cute!

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  23. Yay!!! This is exciting news! So glad you listened to God and shared it with us. I will pray for you to complete the chapters and proposal and that God's hand guides you through these new waters. Whatever your book is about, I know it will be fantastic, and I cannot wait to have it on my shelf!

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  24. You're gonna do great friend. I think you will be even more successful than your second attempt at walking the dog!

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  25. That's awesome news Jen! Will be praying for you :)

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  26. That is exciting news, Jen, both about the dog and the book! Yesterday morning in my devotional—Jesus Calling—there was this gem: Everything you endure can be put to good use by allowing it to train you to trusting Me.

    Oh, yes. The author referenced Genesis, and Joseph's discussion with his brothers: But Joseph said to them, "Don't be afraid. Am I in the place of God? You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives."

    I have no doubt God has wonderful plans for you, "plans to prosper you and and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." He wants you to throw that covering off, and shine your light through your book to help so many others.

    You go, girl!

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  27. Wishing you luck and blessing with your proposal, fulfillment of your dream!

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  28. Great lesson from an earthly dog day experience! One I do well to heed! (But still I'm done with writing book proposals. God bless yours.)

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  29. Such a sweet puppy you have! That's it..isn't it. Learning from the past. Trying again. And moving forward. SO what God has been teaching me lately, my friend! Thanks for sharing & for the link up today!

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  30. Stepping out of your comfort zone into the hands of the Comforter! Good for you Jen. I love your writers voice so know you will do well. Don't let discourage trip you up - remember writing is hard work. Will pray for you on this new adventure.

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  31. Dear Jen,
    So beautifully said -- thanks for the reminder I needed that it's not about me and my pride and fears; it's about Him and His will.
    God bless,
    Laurie

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  32. SO excited for you, Jen! You're going to do well!

    Be strong and very courageous. (Joshua 1:7)

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  33. Good Luck!! Everything in His time. That's what I tell myself when something doesn't work out. Even if you don't get the book published at least you didn't let fear hold you back from trying!! And that's huge!

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  34. How exciting! You can do it, Jen. I (and everyone else here!) have faith in you.

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  35. Good for you!!! That is so brave just to go and take the risk of submitting again. Apparently publishing is one area where lots of really strong writers have to keep trying and trying before the way opens. May the Lord make your path straight in His will and grow you in the writing process, regardless of the outcome.

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  36. Ahh yes, life lessons from dogs. I wrote a post about it recently called "Being trained by a dog." I even linked it in my current post. Anyway, I almost saw this post as a follow up post to the one I wrote, and the one I wrote today. I can't give up, I've got to keep pressing forward! Anyway, this is the first time I've linked up. Glad to be here. Thanks for hosting!

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  37. Dogs and publishers are unpredictable. Succeed once, and you find strength to get up and try again. Our dogs love to walk (run) and I can't run as fast as they. I use a half hitch, leash around the belly and up until they are more in a harness. Then they co-operate better. Too bad publishers aren't that way. :-)

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  38. You have a brave heart and it is full of courage and faith. Go forward and don't look back !!

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  39. You are so cute! I will definitely pray for you--how exciting, and what an accomplishment no matter what the publisher thinks!

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  40. Love your honesty and I'm so glad Hank behaved...you are brave! I am attending "She Speaks" so I look forward to meeting you. I will be praying for you as I pray for my prep...which is not going well right now...Blessings to you, Jen :)

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  41. Jen,

    I've "Failed' several times at the book attempt- last year got as close as one can get without receiving a contract-- but the things I've gained just from the trying have far outweighed the "failure." I'm learning that God can knock down that publisher's door whenever He wants- it's just a matter of His timing and His plan. You've got all you need to succeed- just trust Him as He leads the way. Praying for you! Proud of your courage!

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  42. Yay, Jen! Good for you...I know you can do it. I will say a prayer for you!

    I am little late to the party and way down at #110! Wow...look at all those linkups! We all love hanging out at your place :)

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  43. Jen, so proud of you . . . for walking the dog after what happened and for having the courage to tell everyone. So excited and praying when you go that you will get wise counsel and favor. Is Speak Up different than She Speaks? I haven't heard of that one yet. New to all of this.

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