How many of us remember as children taking our yellow wooden pencils to paper and playing “Connect the Dots?”
We began with a single line, then another that might take us in a different direction, then a third that could be quite long, and a fourth, just a tiny inch. We would zig-zag our way across the page until we found ourselves staring at a kite or a butterfly and think, “Cool.”
I have discovered that a walk with the Lord is much like this. In Ecclesiastes 3:11 it is written, “He has made everything beautiful in its time.” Though we cannot see the bigger picture God does when we set out on a journey, we must take that first step of faith, that first pencil stroke to move along a path that we believe will lead us to something “cool.”
I never realized that finding a blurb about the Greater Philadelphia Christian Writer’s Conference in a trade magazine would lead me to becoming a published author. That ad led me to Founder, Marlene Bagnull’s website where I found “Write His Answer.” What a treasure! While publishing magazine and website articles as a fairly new Christian I had struggled to understand the passion God had placed within me to write, how to approach this calling on my life and how to move forward in my desire to do so for Him and from Him. I immediately bought the book and found just what I needed—a bible study for Christian writers. I never knew such a resource existed!
Right away I registered for the next GPCWC. There I found the blessing of hundreds of others just like me, with the same focus, passion and calling--to connect with and learn from. I had never felt such a sense of belonging, acceptance and encouragement. I was at home!
I knew that I wanted to write a book sharing my testimony about my God who had determined to make me a mother through international adoption. It was during perhaps the third summer I attended the conference that God decided the timing for such a book was right. I had learned a lot, grown as a writer and explored various ways of communicating my story. Then, it just happened. While on the ride home back to NY, my entire book outline just poured out of me onto paper while my husband drove. I saw the dots starting to connect!
After returning home, I set to work sharpening my book’s theme and message. As I wrote chapters I also worked on a proposal. After I sent off this proposal to an editor who had taught at the conference and graciously offered to review it for me (an amazing benefit of the GPCWC in that professionals will actually offer to follow up with you on projects), it was clear that my proposal was a mess. But I had already purchased W. Terry Whalin’s “Book Proposals That Sell” at the conference. Why wasn’t I using it?
After carefully following Terry’s direction and advice, my pencil took a detour and I re-wrote a proposal that garnered three positive responses and a contract within a few months!
But the picture, as any author will tell you, wasn’t quite complete. I now needed an editor to help me polish my first manuscript submission to a publisher. Back to Marlene’s website I went. What I thought was a random pick of an editor to hire was actually God’s way of connecting another dot. This editor was a staff member of my publisher’s, able to give me insight into their expectations and navigate my way through the process! Additionally, she is a godly, professional, faithful woman, always quick to respond to my many questions and concerns.
After a few more months of hard work and re-writes the dots were finally connected! In fact, I saw a butterfly. One that had finally emerged from its long night captive in a cocoon, now beautiful and free to fly forth with a message of a mighty God’s blessing, grace and forgiveness before and after an adoption journey.
Ecclesiastes 3:12-13 goes on to say, I know that there is nothing better for men than to be happy and do good while they live. That everyone may eat and drink, and find satisfaction in all his toil—this is the gift of God.”
As authors, we need that sense of purpose God has intended for our work. We can delight in it if we remember that God has called us to do it, that the fruit of our labor is a gift from Him and that this is how we serve Him. Understanding and focusing our purpose and calling is what Marlene brings to authors with “Write His Answer” and her tireless efforts at running the GPCWC for decades. The dedicated, godly and professional people I’ve mentioned above are the kind she offers year after year for our benefit and instruction.
Were it not for a blurb in a writing magazine for the GPCWC I may not have seen “How much did you pay for her? Forgiving the Words That Hurt Adoptive Families” come to fruition.
How is God connecting your dots on your journey?
For more about my book, view my trailer at:
Is the Church Changing?
4/25/2017 10:55:00 AM by: Christine
What Are Our Values Anymore?
4/14/2017 7:29:00 AM by: Christine
The Final Frontier (Part Two)
4/3/2017 10:10:00 AM by: Christine
The Final Frontier (Part One)
3/27/2017 9:00:00 AM by: Christine
3/17/2017 5:00:00 AM by: Christine
The Colors of a Writer
3/10/2017 5:00:00 AM by: Christine
10/9/2016 3:56:00 PM by: Christine
What's Not to Get About the Writing Life?
8/15/2016 1:24:04 AM by: Christine
Learning to Sing the Song of Winter
8/2/2016 12:00:01 AM by: Christine
Perspectives & the Second Half of the 10 Commandments of Conflict
7/24/2016 9:57:10 PM by: Christine
Perspectives & 5 of the 10 Commandments of Conflict
7/17/2016 12:00:01 AM by: Christine
Run Writer Run! Make Music with Your Words
6/20/2016 5:30:43 PM by: Christine
Mom, the Fishstetrician
4/18/2016 12:00:01 AM by: Christine
The Radicalization of Hillary and the Democrat Party (PART 2 OF 2)
4/16/2016 12:00:01 AM by: Christine
The Radicalization of Hillary and the Democrat Party (PART 1 OF 2)
4/15/2016 2:51:12 PM by: Christine
Why Ted Cruz NOW?
3/19/2016 12:26:00 AM by: Christine
Why is the GOP Committing Suicide?
3/14/2016 12:30:25 AM by: Christine
3/12/2016 9:36:14 PM by: Christine
The CONSTITUTION For President
3/3/2016 3:41:00 PM by: Christine
Does God Give Us More Than We Can Handle?
2/29/2016 10:08:29 PM by: Christine
That Unanswered GOP Debate Question
1/9/2016 12:00:01 AM by: Christine
12/31/2015 3:04:50 PM by: Christine
Fractured Nation (2 of 2)
11/14/2015 8:42:06 AM by: Christine
Fractured Nation (1 of 2)
11/11/2015 11:04:35 AM by: Christine
What is Orphan Sunday?
11/8/2015 12:00:01 AM by: Christine
November's Gratitude and Longing
11/4/2015 8:30:39 PM by: Christine
Losing a Child is Like...
9/12/2015 12:00:01 AM by: Christine
Finding God in a Tenement
9/3/2015 12:00:01 AM by: Christine
Doing School in the 21st Century
8/22/2015 12:00:01 AM by: Christine
Superstition vs. Planned Parenthood
8/19/2015 12:00:01 AM by: Christine
Addicted to Giving Birth?
4/21/2015 12:00:01 AM by: Christine
Why We Should Have "The Talk" Before Marriage
3/20/2015 12:00:01 AM by: Christine
Adoptive Parents "Hypersensitive" & "Selfish?"
3/12/2015 12:00:01 AM by: Christine
What's So Wrong With Calling It "Gotcha Day!"
2/26/2015 12:00:01 AM by: Christine
How God Connected the Dots
2/7/2015 12:00:01 AM by: Christine
Exposure of Transracially Adopted Kids to Their Races a Bad Thing?
2/2/2015 12:00:01 AM by: Christine
Out With The Old
1/12/2015 12:00:01 AM by: Christine
Those Who Scoff at International Adoption
8/16/2014 12:00:01 AM by: Christine
Setting Aside Birth Story Facts for Truth
7/31/2014 12:00:01 AM by: Christine
Sneak Peak, "How much did you pay for her?"
6/11/2014 12:00:01 AM by: Christine
Blessing Through Adoption Pain
5/16/2014 12:00:01 AM by: Christine
Eight Ways Publishing Your Book is Like an Adoption Journey
2/23/2014 12:00:01 AM by: Christine
2/17/2014 12:00:01 AM by: Christine
It's a Boy
2/8/2014 12:00:01 AM by: Christine
Thoughts of Her
2/1/2014 12:00:01 AM by: Christine
To My Son
1/30/2014 12:00:01 AM by: Christine
1/25/2014 12:00:01 AM by: Christine
Minority Against Minority
1/12/2014 12:00:01 AM by: Christine
Happy New Year!
12/30/2013 12:00:01 AM by: Christine
11/25/2013 12:00:01 AM by: Christine
You ARE my mother?
11/10/2013 12:00:01 AM by: Christine
The Transracially Adopted Children's Bill of Rights and Some Thoughts
11/3/2013 12:00:01 AM by: Christine
10/19/2013 12:00:01 AM by: Christine
Will He Speak English?
10/11/2013 12:00:01 AM by: Christine
10/5/2013 12:00:01 AM by: Christine
What's in a Name?
9/30/2013 12:00:01 AM by: Vhristine
An Adoptive Mom's Message to Those in the Healthcare and Education Professions
9/25/2013 12:00:01 AM by: Christine
9/11/2013 12:00:01 AM by: Christine
When We Are Weary
9/1/2013 12:00:01 AM by: Christine
8/24/2013 12:00:01 AM by: Chrisrine
A Fresh Start
8/22/2013 12:00:01 AM by: Christine
God Works Behind the Scenes
8/13/2013 12:00:01 AM by: Christine
Why Adoption Requires Forgiveness
7/28/2013 12:00:01 AM by: Christine
Dust Bunnies and Poo
7/19/2013 12:00:01 AM by: Christine
7/13/2013 12:00:01 AM by: Christine
Forgiveness is Work
7/9/2013 12:00:01 AM by: Christine
An Answer to Prayer, Part Three
7/3/2013 12:00:01 AM by: Christine
An Answer to Prayer, Part Two
6/27/2013 12:00:01 AM by: Christine
An Answer to Prayer, Part One
6/22/2013 12:00:01 AM by: Christine
Are They Really Brother and Sister?
6/16/2013 12:00:01 AM by: Christine
Infertility's Not Fair
6/13/2013 12:00:01 AM by: Christine
Has He Ever Eaten a Dog?
6/11/2013 12:00:01 AM by: Christine
Sometimes We Fail
6/9/2013 12:00:01 AM by: Christine