#amwriting

Unless you count writing in my mind (aka: attempting to make sense of the jumbled thoughts tumbling around my little noggin, clunking endlessly like a pair of sneakers in the dryer) I #amwriting–not really. For those of you unfamiliar with Twitter the number sign is a hashtag. Hashtags help people who tweet find and follow interesting topics. #amwriting is a popular hashtag used by writers. Other hashtags are just funny and have nothing to do with specific categories or subjects. I’m not explaining this well, so google hashtag or read about Twitter in Wikipedia or #askateenager.

I received, however, two invitations from two writers I admire, to participate in a Writers’ Blog Hop. A new writer friend, Kate Motaung, asked first so I jumped in with her. We met through my fellow Redbud Writers Guild friend and gifted writer, Browyn Lea, who generously hosted me along with a “Warrior In Pink” book giveaway on her blog. Kate won the giveaway. We emailed back and forth. Drawn to her heart for God, shared experience of walking the cancer road, and interest in learning this crazy world of writing, I instantly felt bonded to Kate. I could tell we would have a lot to talk about over coffee irl (text abbreviation for “in real life”). Her skillfully woven words blessed me deeply as I read the book review she wrote on her website about “Warrior In Pink.”

The way the blog hop works is I answer four questions about what I’m writing and introduce you to three writer friends who will also answer the same four questions and introduce three of their writer friends, and so on. A bit reminiscent of those chain letters from back in the day sans the horrible omens from failure to participate. For those of you from more recent times, chain letters refer to a practice long ago involving envelopes, handwritten letters, stamps and the use of the metal box, commonly known as a mailbox, found at the end of your driveway.

Anyway, I figure what better way to return to a place where I #amwriting than to introduce you to other writer friends and answer a few questions about writing. So here goes:

 1. What am I writing or working on?

Can I count the “writing in my mind” material? Or the fact that I downloaded Scrivener (a word processing software helpful for organizing and writing books)? I have as a goal to have a book proposal for my second book to my literary agent by the end of summer. I’m excited and nervous about embarking again on the book writing path. So many lessons learned along the way the first time around. Now with one book under my belt I return with a little more experience but a whole host of new insecurities and fears. I wonder if marathon runners feel the same sort of excitement and dread after enough time has passed and they begin training for the next marathon? I wonder. But I’ll never know. Ever.

 2. How does my work differ from others of this genre?

As a nonfiction writer, I bring myself, my worldview and experiences into my writing. I naturally weave in aspects of my Asian heritage into my writing. Unfortunately, at this time, very few books by Asian-Americans authors are found among the bookshelves in any given library, bookstore or online. I’d like to see the landscape change to include more Asian, Latino, Native-American and African-American voices. We grow a more robust understanding of life when exposed to people who see the world through different lenses.

3. Why do I write what I do?

I’m a teacher at heart. Usually there is some teaching point to whatever I write. My greatest satisfaction comes from helping people regain perspective, expand vision, or consider a life principle through daily life experiences. As a Christian the why of what I write is summed up in this verse: “For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things. To Him be the glory forever. Amen.” (Romans 11:36)

4. How does my writing process work?

In my pretend world, my house is spotless and quiet. My clothes are ironed, teeth brushed. I spend hours sitting comfortably in my little nook upstairs typing diligently on my laptop with classical music playing softly in the background. Occasionally I would need a tissue to dab my eyes when writing and recalling a particularly painful memory. My giant mug of coffee would magically refill as needed.

this is my nook

this is my peaceful nook

 

But the reality is usually the dog occupies the chair (unless I cover the chair with books, but even then he still seems to find open space to sleep). And the dog passes gas. Choking, tear-producing foulness. My house is in constant chaos and covered in dog fur and dust. The unending piles of paperwork, laundry, and dishes makes it hard to concentrate and write at home.

 

dog in the chair. me on the floor?

The dog in the chair. Me on the floor? What!?

Even if the stars align and some semblance of order is established, I have a hard time staying in one place for extended amounts of time. So I write a little here and a little there.  I’ve been known to write in my car during soccer practice, at “my Starbucks” with earbuds stuffed in my head, the dining room table, my closet floor and a myriad of other places. I haven’t developed a habit and discipline of writing. And honestly still feel painfully insecure about how I write and what I write. When someone mentions anything regarding author or writer I usually turn my head to look behind me to see who the person is referring to.

Usually a blog posts come to me as I’m going along with my regular activities. I start writing in my mind getting ready in the bathroom or out running the dog or waiting at a stoplight. Sometimes the ideas come out of conversations with friends over life’s challenges.

So that is a peek into my writing life.

Now to introduce to you some great women writers:

First, my dear friend, Ann Suk Wang.  Ann and I met back when she attended UCLA and Darrin and I were Cru campus staff assigned to that great campus (go Bruins!). Our paths crisscrossed back and forth over the years but recently we have been able to connect over writing. Ann is also a Redbud Writer, newspaper journalist and writes children’s and young adult fiction. She usually has at least a half a dozen story lines going simultaneously. I’ve been blessed by her friendship. Through Ann I’ve learned to appreciate the work and mind of fiction authors.

Ann’s Bio:
Ann enjoys painting God’s goodness in words, helping others come one step closer to Him no matter where they are in their journey.
     She has loved writing since she was in elementary school when she made her best friend memorize her original rainbow song (they are still best friends and still sing the song together willingly, 30 years later.)
     Now, Ann is a columnist for a Los Angeles based newspaper, writes features for a San Gabriel Valley magazine and enjoys creating fiction for children. When she’s not reading or writing, she’s teaching a Hot Hula Fitness class, playing board games with her 3 boys (includes her infinitely patient hubby), sipping tea or cuddling with the only other female in the house — Bree, her hairy daughter and 4-legged writing partner.
Connect with Ann:

Twitter- @imwonderingwhy
Facebook- annsukwang

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My next friend is fellow Cru staff, Terry Morgan. I haven’t spent time irl (remember the text abbreviation: in real life) with Terry, but I know we share a similar heart, Terry’s writing is laced with themes around changing the world, developing leaders, especially women leaders, personal growth and appreciation and love for coffee. We have many mutual friends. Conversation over coffee, I’m sure, would last all afternoon into the late night. I’ve admired Terry’s ability to share honestly as well as bilingually. She writes her posts in English and Spanish!

Terry’s bio:

Terry is an international mentor, coach, and leadership development strategic partner at Cru. She is on a heart journey as a wife, mother, ministry leader, friend, and daughter of the King… taking on life with a strong, black cup of coffee in hand.
Connect with Terry:
on twitterLinkedIn, or blogging at MaturitasCafe.com.

terry coffee web

 

Finally, I’d like you to meet my friend Karen Yates. I met Karen through the Redbuds. Ann, Karen and I meet regularly to encourage each other and affectionately refer to ourselves as “Palm Tree Buds” as we represent writing in community here in Southern California. Wise, generous, fun, humble, and kindhearted, I’ve been blessed by Karen’s friendship and insight. Karen is pursuing her Master’s at Talbot Seminary in Spiritual Formation. This major fits Karen well as she is one person I admire who integrates a keen mind, tender heart, and a soul sensitive both to God and the people God has placed in her life.

Karen’s bio:

Karen Yates lives in Orange County, CA and is a Jesus chaser, mother, adoption advocate and loved of sushi. She has worked 12 years in the Christian non-profit industry and has a passion for missions and the global Church.

Connect with Karen:

her blog: KarenEYates.com or on Twitter @KarenYates1

karen-yates

I’m so glad to introduce you to these wonderful writers! Hope you’ll check out their websites and the writers they introduce to you next week. Meanwhile, I’ll be sitting in my nook, avoiding the piles and trying to stay true to the hashtag: #amwriting.

Navigating Chaos

I watched this YouTube clip of the Ethiopian Intersection today in the quiet of the house. Kids in school. Husband at another ministry meeting. Second cup of coffee. Face still unwashed. Unsettled soul. I laughed out loud. Then cried. This video describes well how I currently feel.

My literary agent mentioned, after being in town for The BEST Book Launch Party EVER, on our way to the airport,

“Don’t be surprised if you feel a let down in a few weeks after the dust settles.”

I nodded but inside I thought, “Pshhhheeesh. I’ll be fine.”

The same response I had when Darrin and I attended a marriage conference as an engaged couple.

“Psshhhhheeesh. I doubt we’ll deal with any of the stuff that guy talked about.”

Almost twenty-three years of marriage and I humbly admit we have dealt with all the stuff the guy talked about and more.

So, of course, my wise agent proved wise. Except I didn’t realize the funk I felt until I watched the video. Life feels chaotic but somehow no one has gotten run over. Yet.

If left to myself I hold my breath and expect one pile up after another. And yet, in the midst of chaos, everyone in the video is getting to where they need to go. Even the pedestrians walking THROUGH the center of the car maze (did you see them?).

Honestly, when I think about life nowadays, I’m sobered. More often than not, life does not line up neatly. No lanes, just a general sense of the overall direction. Most of us are living lives different than we pictured. I realize, as I watch the video, my tendency to want to play it safe. Why even head into the chaos? Why not just stay put. Maybe watch. Maybe criticize the road designer. The drivers. The pedestrians.

But I have heard the Shepherd voice. My life is not my own. Currently He is leading me through external chaos like the intersection. Terrifying. Unknown. Stressful.

But I have pledged to go where He leads.

And I trust in the end that His path proves most worthwhile.

How about you? How do you navigate chaos?

It’s No Joke: Warrior In Pink Has Released!!!!

I can’t smell, taste, or hear. Pulled a muscle in my chest last night from coughing so hard. But all of this pales in light of the excitement I feel having “Warrior In Pink” officially releasing today.

warriorinpinkfacebook

What is an official release date? I’m not exactly sure. I do know that now the book will be available on Kindle and Nook and on iTunes and will start showing up on book shelves in real book stores. Amazon has been sending pre-ordered books out for the better part of March, so it feels kind of like the book is already out. But today, April 1st, 2014 is the OFFICIAL BOOK RELEASE–so bring out the pom-poms and cowbells!! It’s time for celebrations!!

The Book Release Party is taking place on Saturday, April 5th at Mariner’s Church from 2-4pm. Can’t wait to celebrate with friends from near and far. Special out of town guests include my parents coming in from Nevada and my literary agent, Karen Ball, flying in from Oregon! And of course Darrin, Michael and Julia, the Oasis women, the Awesomes, the California Cohort, and so many who loved our family so well and prayed us through cancer treatment and someday-book-turned-actual-book.

I’ve enjoyed taping two pre-recorded radio interviews and giving two live radio interviews so far about the book. You can check out the Speaking Schedule page for other radio interviews coming up. I think most of the interviews will be available to listen online at the links on the websites.

So grateful for your love, encouragement and prayers leading up to this day. Appreciate all of your help in getting the word out about the book. Please keep on sharing, reposting, tweeting, etc.

Thank you from the bottom of my heart!

 

The Book Has Birthed

I love the Fed Ex man.

Not like I love Darrin, the kids, our dog and Jesus, but the Fed Ex man is on my current top ten list. Every few days the Fed Ex man leaves packages on my doorstep. Boxes of bookmarks. a banner, bookplates.

IMG_2188IMG_3101IMG_3119Yesterday I returned home from enjoying a tasty lunch out with some church friends and found a small brown box on the doorstep. I was on the phone with Darrin and brought the box inside. Our dog, Koa, greeted me like I had been gone a month, or five.

As I ripped through the packing tape, I wondered out loud to Darrin,

“I wonder what they sent me this time?”

The last I checked the Fed Ex tracker (at least three times that day), three boxes of books had made it to Chicago and were scheduled to arrive on Tuesday.

I lifted the packing paper and found a hand addressed card, some book plates, and then under another formal looking envelope with my name typed out, I saw, then gasped. Then said loudly,

“Oh my goodness, Darrin. It’s here. The book. It’s actually here!!”

Darrin congratulated me and we finished up our call.

I pulled out the book and flipped through the pages. My first thought: the book seems thinner than I thought it would be. My second thought: these books will fit nicely in purses and bags of women sitting in waiting rooms and infusion rooms.

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I checked the time and jumped in the car to pick up Julia. I decided to see if she would notice, so I placed the book prominently between the seats, resting it in the coin holder section, up against the dashboard. Julia clicked in as I drove off and started rattling off all the happenings of the day and sighed deeply,

“I wish I could do a reading counts test on your book, Mom. I wouldn’t have to read it. Except I wasn’t at the Epcot Center so I wouldn’t know how to answer questions about that part.”

I picked the book up and handed it over to her,

“I guess you could read about that part in here.”

SCREAM. Instant happy tears.

“Oh. My. Goodness! Your book! It’s here! I’m actually holding it! I’m crying!”

We screamed together again, eyes filled with happy tears.

Thank you all for journeying with me all these long months, and years, really. Thank you for your prayers, for believing the book would really happen. Thank you for your enthusiasm, encouragement and support.

Please join me in praying the book will bless many walking the road of cancer.

The book has birthed, and just like with each newborn, I wonder if I’ll ever sleep through the night again….

….the journey has just begun.

 

 

On Editing A Book

Years back, when I turned 40, Leila, Joanna and I decided to bring in the new decade by competing in the Danskin Women’s Triathlon. Leila swam, Jo biked and I ran. What a memorable experience. So memorable I wrote about it in the book. And so memorable I picked up this nifty bag at one of the display tents to commemorate the feat:

IMG_2609The question grabbed me.

When was the last time you did something for the first time? 

For me? Well, currently in my little world, I am pleased to announce the completion of my first ever book edit. I’ve so enjoyed working with Discovery House Publishers. They hired the talented author/speaker/editor, Mary DeMuth, to edit my book. I read a blog post Mary wrote about Mount Hermon Writers Conference and decided to attend a year and a half ago. At the conference I had the opportunity to meet Mary in person and thank her for her example. Her open-handed approach to sharing helpful information about the publishing world refreshed and inspired me. Mary agreed to endorse the book earlier this year. A few weeks back, over Skype, Mary shared timely counsel and quelled my fears. That she agreed to edit because she liked the book proved invaluable because when she returned the manuscript it looked like this:

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Ai-ya! My learning curve continues at just about a vertical up and down when it comes to writing. But through this editing  process I have learned so much:

  • kill the word “was”
  • and other words I use way too much: yucky, stuff, that, things, even, awesome, came in…
  • the manuscript will never be done…even after it has gone to print, I will probably have places I wish I had changed
  • I am NOT a happy-to-spend-time-in-a-cabin-alone-and-write kind of writer
  • writers come in different shapes and sizes, and my adequacy must come from God, not my experience, qualifications (or lack thereof)
  • it’s okay to be in process as a writer, as a mom, wife, friend, human
  • it takes time for new experiences to feel natural or comfortable

Last night I sent the precious manuscript back to Mary. When I pressed the send button the manuscript I obsessively saved and kept saving went *poof* and flew off into cyber world. I packed up my books and computer and hugged my friend Valerie, and returned home. I arrived in time to help Julia with her homework, remind Michael to bring in the trash cans from the curb and other chores he neglected. And I celebrated by settling in my big chair in my nook and stuffed my face with chocolate from Valerie, and watched three back to back episodes of “Alias” on Netflix.

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I thought I would experience incredible relief and elation at the completion of the editing process. Instead I woke up feeling irritable. Today I find myself back in the all too familiar place of drowning in piles of neglected administrative blah in a messy house and the stresses of the ordinary pressing in all around me.

Life keeps going on.

However, one thing is different. I am not the same person having attempted something I’ve never done before.

How about you?

When was the last time you did something for the first time?

What did you do and what did you learn?

And the Cars Drove On

Warrior in Pink - Vivian Mabuni

September 1st=SEVEN MONTHS TO RELEASE DATE! This is how Chapter One begins in the pre-edited version of “Warrior In Pink.” So thankful for all of you who have helped spread the word. 

___________________

Don’t forget sugar cookies! was scribbled with a big Sharpie pen on one of several Post-its stuck inside my planner.

It was one of many things to remember on this especially busy day. We had finally arrived at the last Friday of school after an abnormally full week, which included a Christmas orchestra concert at the high school and a Christmas dinner with the leadership board of our church. I had been up until 1 am the night before addressing Christmas cards. The week was culminating with two holiday class parties at the elementary school.

My six-year-old daughter, Julia, had food allergies to dairy, eggs, and peanuts. So, as with every school party and birthday party, I baked something special she could enjoy. In this case it was allergen-free, extra large sugar cookies for her to decorate in class and eat. The cookies were placed in a Tupperware container on the counter by the phone so I wouldn’t forget.

A quick stop to get a mammogram, and then off to school to volunteer in Julia’s first-grade class. Then I would pop in to eleven-year-old Michael’s sixth-grade class to help a bit with his party and catch up with the other moms. Then back into the car to head over to the high school to pick up my fifteen year old, Jonathan. He had early out. Then into the car and back to school to scoop up the kids. And then the mom taxi service would be able to go off line for a spell.

I was looking forward to the weeks ahead as a time to exhale and take in the wonderful stretch of Christmas break.

Two weeks earlier I had mentioned a suspicious lump to my new doctor. She checked and said it didn’t worry her. But just in case, she gave me a form for a diagnostic mammogram. I stuffed my Bible and journal in my bag on my way out the door. As a mom of three, I squeezed in whatever chunks of time opened up to connect with God.

The mammogram took longer than I had remembered from the previous two in years past. As we finished up, the technician told me that they needed to do an ultrasound. And so I awkwardly grabbed my bag and held closed the ugly front-opening smock as I followed her out of the room.

We snaked around the hallway to another waiting area by the clothes-changing section. I was unsettled at needing further testing so I pulled out my journal and Bible and tried to get comfortable on the stiff waiting room chairs. All the while my hand kept tightening as I bunched the fabric to keep the smock closed. Elevator Christmas music played overhead. With one hand I flipped to where I had left off. My Bible reading plan had me camped out in the book of Psalms, found in the middle of the Bible. Part of the reading for the day was Psalm 66. It was already colorfully underlined, a sign that those verses had significance to me in the past. This time as I read, my eyes stopped as I came to verse 12:

“We went through fire and through water, yet You brought us out into a place of abundance.”

God impressed on my heart that this verse was for me. It was as if He laid out for me what was ahead—a testing through fire and water. And a promise that He would bring us out of it to a new place. A place of abundance.

I scribbled down thoughts and prayers in my journal until I was called into a darkened room. I lay down on the cold table as the ultrasound technician took measurements. The sound of her tapping keys on her computer and clicking measurements was similar to what I heard when my belly was large with babies. The cold, clear lubricant smelled the same.

The technician left after a while and returned with the doctor. I started shaking from the cold. The doctor measured and checked and muttered. “I don’t like what I’m seeing here. No. This is not what I wanted to see.”

I asked her, “Is it bad?”

She looked me in the eyes. “I’m not going to pussyfoot around. I don’t like what I see, so we are going to have to take tissue samples. After the biopsy comes back we will know for sure.”

I was handed a clipboard with information about getting a core biopsy. I had to read and sign papers, but could barely hold the pen steady in my hand. They left to gather instruments for the procedure, and I was alone again, lying in the dark room. My shaking grew stronger. When they returned I focused on a spot on the ceiling and used my Lamaze breathing, learned in child-birthing class, to try and calm down. They took three or four tissue samples. The loud sound from the device was startling and despite having a shot to numb the area, the procedure was still painful.

After the core biopsy I was taken to another room to get bandaged up. The nurse gently wrapped gauze around and around me. She gave me papers to read and sign. When she finished, she looked at me. “I am so sorry.” She hugged me before she left. I found the hug odd, but comforting. I don’t remember having a nurse hug me before. It communicated to me what couldn’t be said until the biopsy results came back.

When I finally left the office, I took out my phone to call my husband, Darrin. Three hours had passed. My knees felt so weak and I collapsed on the sidewalk outside the office. I felt somehow violated. Tears came as the shock wore off. Julia needed her cookies, could he take them to her? Could he apologize to her for me for not coming to the party? Could he pick up Jonathan and could he be home for me because I was shaking and scared?

I managed to make my way to the car through blurry, tear-filled vision. Inside the car I sat in the driver’s seat trying to calm down and looked out the window as cars drove by. Everyone was going somewhere. And I sat and watched.

My life had suddenly come to a standstill.

Casting Off Fear

Most mornings my eyes open and my mind floods with random to-do list items, varying levels of concern over relationships, home, finances, the future. Included now in those first morning thoughts is Book #2. The last few months I have been marinating on content for my next book proposal and with it comes a new level of fear. Writing about cancer usually garners the sympathy of pretty much everyone. A certain safety zone exists because the topic of cancer includes the universal struggles of physical pain, suffering, and possible death. Writing about cancer trumps the polarizing topics of faith, gender, ethnicity, political affiliation, etc. I’ve noticed most comment sections on blog posts about cancer avoid the internet nastiness often found online. I like the safety zone. I like to be liked. But God seems to confirm and reconfirm at least an attempt at Book #2.

This morning, while sipping coffee and processing with God about my fears of not being smart enough, experienced enough, and just about everything enough, I read in my Bible reading plan timely words:

“for you must go wherever I send you and say whatever I tell you. And don’t be afraid of the people, for I will be with you and take care of you. I, the LORD, have spoken!” (Jeremiah 1:7)

Don’t be afraid of the people.

As God calls you and me to various tasks, our part is to be willing and to go wherever, say whatever and cast off the fear of people’s disapproval. He is with us and will take care of us.

If He is sending us, He will be with us. Of this we can be sure.

Where is God sending you? What fears do you need to cast off?

Official Book Cover for “Warrior In Pink!”

I’m experiencing one of those “shout it from the mountain top” moments. This morning my editor at Discovery House Publishers send me the long awaited book cover for “Warrior In Pink.”

In her words,

We fell in love with this cover immediately. It’s elegant and feminine but not overly so. We kept the pink to a minimum. The cherry blossoms speak to your Asian-American heritage, as well as the themes of fragility, strength, legacy, renewal, and beauty. The light bento box** serves as a focal point. It cradles one of the blossoms, making that blossom set apart and special (a metaphor that can be applied to each reader). Finally, the dark wood background makes for strong contrasts and gives the book presence and visual weight.

I am beyond thrilled. Having a book cover I would be excited about was such an important piece of this book writing process.

**I was just made aware the box is actually a masu box, used in Japan long ago to measure rice. Now used in modern times for drinking sake (cheers!). The Japanese word masu translates to “growth.” I love the layers of meaning…

warriorinpinkPlease help spread the word. This book thing is really, truly happening…. :)

First Book Endorsement

I’m sick. The 101.2 fever finally broke sometime in the night, but I’m still achy and my head feels like it’s going to explode. I’ve spent most of the day and night and day asleep. Both Michael and I came down with the virus Julia had last week. Darrin, my hero doctor, nurse, cook, shopper and cleaner has been taking care of all three of us.

It shouldn’t surprise me. This illness is coming days before Leila and I leave for Central Asia. Fifty women, the largest group to date, will be coming together for their annual women’s conference. The group is composed of missionaries from different organizations, teachers, business people, expats, and even some nationals who don’t speak English. Your prayers for us and our families are greatly appreciated as we continue to prepare to leave. I will write more about this trip later.

Probably the biggest highlight for me this week was receiving my first official book endorsement!! Robin Lee Hatcher, award winning author of 70 books, had originally decided to turn down endorsement requests for the rest of 2013. When she heard my book was about cancer, she decided to make an exception. Her encouragement through her emails has been a tremendous blessing to me. I couldn’t wait to share the endorsement here with you!

When a woman is diagnosed with breast cancer, she is thrust into a foreign world. Most, like me, look for information that will help them navigate their new reality. Warrior in Pink is just the book I wish I’d been able to find. Vivian Mabuni writes with transparency, warmth, and depth, and I believe all who read her special insights will be blessed and encouraged.
~ Robin Lee Hatcher, author of A Promise Kept (January 2014) and Beloved (September 2013)

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Doorknobs and Unexpected Opportunities

I met Elisa Morgan at my first Synergy Conference in 2010. I sat in one of her seminars as she taught out of the books of Acts. She took off her shoe and used it to illustrate an Alexandrian ship; a type of slow moving barge the apostle Paul probably sailed on in Acts chapter 27. Her ability to keep the entire room engaged during the dreaded after-lunch-when-people-are-apt-to-doze-off spot, her brilliant handling of God’s Word, her fabulous taste in shoes, her willingness to share her weaknesses, and her deep devotion to God drew me in spellbound. I understood first hand why Elisa is such a sought after leader and teacher. The Publisher of FullFill, a free digital magazine for women of all ages, stages and callings, her current mission is to mobilize women to invest their influence in God’s purposes. She previously gave leadership to MOPS (Mothers Of Preschoolers) International and helped grow the ministry to become a recognized household name across the country. She recently joined the Women of Faith teaching team, and continues to influence women all around the world.

I sheepishly approached her between meetings and asked her for advice and counsel regarding the writing/publishing world. She warmly replied, “Just keep jiggling the door knobs. Don’t force your way trying to push through the doors, but trust God will open the right doors. Your job is to keep jiggling to see which doors are open.” I tucked her words away in my mind with arms frozen by my side. Looking down the corridor of closed doors, I didn’t feel qualified to even try jiggling.

A couple months later Elisa asked her editor at Fulfill to contact me to find out if I would be willing to write a short article for the Summer 2010 issue.

I was floored.

Elisa opened a door for me. She modeled for me what it looks like for a more experienced leader to help, encourage and believe in an insecure, unsure, unqualified, leader-in-the-making. Her words and actions came at a time when I most needed assurance. Leadership is more than a title or role. Leadership is also about opening doors of opportunity and clearing the way for new leaders to grow and flourish. Leadership is exercised not only in planning meetings, but also lived out day to day in unexpected opportunities.

My hope is to be a generous leader like Elisa in helping encourage women to jiggle doorknobs and open doors where I can. My hope is to keep my hands open, and like Elisa, remember God’s Kingdom is bigger than what I’m involved with in my little corner. Kingdom building is an all-play, requiring all of me and all of you, to give all to Him.

Here’s the article below.

Helpful reminder from the article for me today:

“Even on my worst days as a mom, wife, friend and daughter….being here makes a difference.”

Screen Shot 2013-03-21 at 2.17.04 PMTo view the latest edition of Fulfill on the theme of Courage and subscribe to this free e-magazine, click here. Every issue is filled with thought provoking articles.