I've always loved to take a look back at the year that has just passed round about now. To reflect on any promises I made myself, or which God has made to me.
In 2016, when I prayed for a word to dwell on for the year, God gave me this:
It isn't the kind of word that issues me a big challenge--it isn't a reminder, really, of what He wants me to do. What it is is a reminder of who I ultimately am--His. A reminder that has carried me through what has been, all in all, a pretty amazing year.
In my personal life, it's been a year of fun with my kids. There was the usual homeschooling, of course. Learning together, laughing together. We traveled a good bit with them, taking them to Niagara Falls for the Fourth of July (because nothing says American Independence Day like going to Canada for fireworks, LOL) and then to Europe in September.
|Photo Xoe took from the base of the Eiffel Tower--which now adorns our walls.|
I got to see my daughter's face light up when she saw the Eiffel Tower. I got to watch my son jump from rock to rock at Land's End in Cornwall. I had the joy of actually finding some books that my reluctant-reader son wanted to read--and watch my little girl, who is growing up so fast, create some beautiful art that just amazes me.
David and I celebrated our 15th anniversary this year (hence the trip to Europe). Pretty cool to look back and be able to say, with some credibility now, LOL, that no, we weren't too young. We knew exactly what we were getting into. I don't have a moment's regret that I married that man when we were both 18. I just have exceeding joy that we've already had so many years together, and that God blessed us so much by leading us to each other so early in life. Another "mine" that I am so happy to claim.
And professionally . . . it's been quite a year.
I signed my second contract for a series with Bethany House. Can't wait for my "thief books" to come to life in 2017! I have second round edits coming on A Name Unknown next week, I'll turn in A Song Unheard a week after they arrive, and I'm ready to start writing An Hour Unspent as soon as my synopsis is approved.
I got the news that The Lost Heiress was a finalist in the Christy Awards. As someone who struggles with pride and so has sworn of any award I have to enter myself, this came as a shock and a joy I never expected. I have never won a writing award. And while I didn't win this year either, I honestly didn't even care. It was such an honor to be a finalist, beside some of my favorite authors. That's a wow I'm going to carry with me forever.
I got to visit my publishing house in Minnesota and see behind-the-scenes there, which was just awesome. I felt so authorly, LOL.
I got my first royalty checks from a publisher other than Whitefire--from two of the publishers I've worked with, actually. So great to actually earn out an advance!
I made the CBA bestseller list with The Lost Heiress just last month. Sure, only because it had been on sale, LOL, but STILL! I can now claim to be a bestselling author.
And I had three titles release in 2016, which I think is a record for me. The Reluctant Duchess and A Lady Unrivaled from Bethany House, and Giver of Wonders from WhiteFire.
All in all, I'm pretty darn amazed at what God has done for me. Yes, there have been sorrows too--my husband's grandfather passed away, good friends have had trials, and don't get me started on the mess of the political season. But through every grief and disappointment, every fear and question, I had a resting place.
Because I am His, and He is mine.
I'm looking forward to the year ahead. I'm praying for a word from the Lord to be my word for the year. I'm anxious to see where He's going to take us and what we're going to do. And mostly, I'm just so amazed at this life He's given me. One filled with family. One blessed by love. And one in which I actually get to do the things I love--writing, designing, teaching my kids.
Thank you, Lord, for another good year. Thank you for always being my Daddy-God. Thank you for claiming me as Your own.
Here's to 2016--may the year ahead be one that draws us ever closer to Him!