Sunday, November 15, 2009

Another Surprising Twist

My birthday was quite a day. An amazing day. First thing in the morning I went to one of my favorite sites, The Seekers, to make sure I didn't miss the fun they had planned for the day. They had Tina James, senior editor from Steeple Hill Love Inspired—my target publisher and a book giveaway every hour. That adds up to a must read early status! =]

As I read the interview I came to a sentence that I had to read about 4 times before I was sure I wasn't seeing things. Here's what it said: “We are also interested in stories featuring missionaries abroad in exotic locations during various historical periods.” Now, for those of you that know me really well, know that I went on high alert right then. But I pressed on with the article, determined to read it all and leave my comment to get my name in the hat for the book drawings. (Yanno, important things first. *eye roll*)

When I left my comment, I copied and pasted that sentence and mentioned how it had caught my attention because I'm an MK who happens to love history. And writing. But then I sat and stared at the computer screen as my brain went into overdrive with ideas, possibilities and what I would need to do so I could write a historical missionary novel.

Since then I've begun some preliminary research online and I have plans for contacting people I know who might be able to point me in the right direction for more information, as well as contacting mission agencies that I know were in Ecuador in the early days. I'm centering my research on missionary life between the years of 1900-1960, with an emphasis on prior to 1950. I'm also focusing my research on missions in South America, especially Ecuador, but I'll be researching and studying much more than just Ecuador and South America because I'd like to write more than one missionary novel.

I have reasons for doing this. It's not just a whim.
~God has called me to write.

~Missions has had a huge influence on my life. I am who I am today because of missions and missionaries who invested in me.

~That sentence that caught my attention has been sitting on the Love Inspired Historical website for who knows how long and I never saw it until my birthday.

~For 40 days before my birthday I celebrated and prepared for the upcoming year. I was seeking (and still am) God's will for my year. I want His best and I want to follow Him. God is a God of infinite detail and I believe His hand was in the timing of me seeing that sentence.

~For 20 years I've been wanting to do something to increase missions awareness so more will pray for them and be involved in their outreach. Last year, part of my 40 day birthday celebration was a missions spotlight for that purpose. (It's archived under the Missions Matter tab above.) Writing missionary novels—fictional missionary stories—will get missions and missionaries in front of readers.

~I want to help people see and understand that missionaries are real people. They aren't super-spiritual people who speak in thee's and thou's and have no fun! Missionaries are approachable and need prayer and support, but so often we seldom hear about them as we sit here in the States. They're off our radar screens—to our detriment.

In the few days since that sentence wrapped itself around my neck, I've thought of nothing else. I've been doing preliminary research and a lot of thinking and soul searching. When I shared this with some of my friends, they didn't laugh. They encouraged me and started praying. My family and those that know me best (warts and all) see this as a good fit. I'll be diving into research, knowing it will be more than just research—it will be challenging on every level, especially spiritually. I'm looking forward to it. I love reading missionary stories. I find them interesting and I always grow as I read them. The other research I was looking at having to do was a drudgery. This is a joy.

You'll be in on the highlights of my research. As I come across thoughts and quotes that challenge me I'll post about them here. I've already found one and I'm anxious to share it with you.

I wanted to share all this with you here because I truly believe this is one of the results of my 40 day celebration and preparation. Have you been thinking about what you can do in the last 40 days of this year to help prepare you for the upcoming year? The 40 day countdown starts on Sunday, November 22 –a week from today.

9 comments:

  1. Exciting, Exciting, EXCITING! You KNOW you have my attention.

    Blessings on you—what a super project.

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  2. Your comment about missionaries being real...so true...made me tear up!

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  3. Wow! What a birthday gift from God! I love your forty day celebration idea....looks like you got real results, what a blessing!

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  4. Praying, dear Peejers. You know I'm praying. What an incredible opportunity and message from the Lord.

    Planning my 40-days of preparation for 2010 (and I know, once I figure out exactly what I'll be doing, you'll be there cheering me on!)

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  5. THANK YOU!!
    Last night I told my husband and Joanne how nervous I was about this post --I almost never 'declare my intentions' like this. It puts the pressure on to follow through...or fail and I really am a big chicken.

    As I struggled about posting this or not, I remembered how I've approached my writing in the past: Write to the best of my ability (revise, edit and the whole thing) then leave it at the feet of Jesus and leave the results to Him. He's the Lord of the Harvest and handles that part. I'm to obey--plain and simple. So that's what I'm going to do. Obey.

    Thanks so much for your support. It means so much to me!!

    Hugs all around!
    Patty

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  6. Peej, I'm excited for you. This is what God has been training you for.

    I love you. (warts and all)

    Vonnie

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  7. Praying for this new endeavor, Peejie! ...I must have missed the warts, didn't see them :)

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  8. Peej, I'm praying for you. I love the way God works, how He blessed you with this gift, and on your birthday! Also love your new blog look & byline. You inspire me, gf. I'm blessed to watch God's plan for you unfolding!

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