Friday, December 28, 2012

God's Christmas Blessings in Unconventional Packages

I can't believe it's already a new year! Like many of you, I'm very excited about the great blessings God gave me last year and I'm looking forward to everything He has for me this year.

Our lovely Alley Cats have been posting about Christmas for the last two weeks and I felt inspired to share a special gift/blessing God gave me for Christmas this year.

It came, however, in one of those unconventional (i.e. unexpected and pretty much unappealing) packages. I don't know if you've ever gotten one of those, but I'm willing to bet you have.

Those are the kind that start with a flat tire or an unexpected bill in the mail. The kind you look at and think "well, this isn't good" or "no thanks, I don't want this." And yet somehow, those moments turn into our chance to praise God because He fixes the situation. Or you realize He orchestrated the situation so you had the chance to bless someone else. Or He uses it as the opportunity to help you grow in an important way.

And, looking back on it, you can't help but the grateful for God's perfect timing.

So, God's unconventional present to me this year was telling me to take a break from writing. And blogging. And looking for an agent. But when I first realized what He was saying, it came across as something more like, "It's time to stop this whole pursuit of publishing thing."

Kind of huge (and unpleasant) because I've been trying to get published for about...twelve years. Because I've written 15 books to get there. Because I've been blogging and entering contests and networking and querying. You know, doing everything I'm supposed to be doing. And...I'm still not there.

So...what? Now I'm just supposed to quit?

Ahh...no. When it came down to it, I realized He was telling me to take this time to be with my family. My three kids are young and I haven't been doing such a great job with balancing my writing time and time with them. I've been missing out. And so have they. Along with that, I've been stressed, not writing much for many reasons and I had completely lost sight of why I wanted to be published in the first place. I sort of got caught up in the whole competition and race of it all. Not a good feeling.

Long story short, I realized this was a blessing, not something I didn't want. I'm following a path that doesn't take me away from writing entirely or stop my pursuit of publication, but it does put a few things on hold and help put the entire process in perspective.

And I'm grateful.

My point of this post is simply to say, God wants the best for us. And even though His blessing might come to us in a way that doesn't look so fabulous, we have to be willing to trust Him.

So...this will be my last post here at the Alley. I'm going to miss connecting with you all (not that I won't be around here and there on Facebook :D) but it's a good thing.

Another cool thing is that you'll get to see a new Alley Cat around here and get to know her, too!

This is just a small goodbye. But I'd love to connect with you in the comments. Are there any blessings that have been delivered to you in an unconventional package? What did God give you for Christmas this year?

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Cindy is a Colorado native, living near the mountains with her husband and three beautiful daughters. She writes contemporary Christian romance, seeking to enrich lives with her stories of faith, love, and a touch of humor.

14 comments:

Jessica Nelson said...

Wow...I think it's awesome that you're setting this aside in order to listen to God.
I know your family will appreciate more time with you and a breather might be just the thing you need. :-)

Many blessings to you!!

Julie Jarnagin said...

Good for you for listening to God's nudge for you to take a break. I took a break from the pursuit of publishing a few years back, and it resulted in an unexpected contract. You never know what God has in store for you, but His plans are always better than ours.

Loree Huebner said...

We must always listen to what God puts on our heart. He has something awesome for you!

Beth K. Vogt said...

Cindy,
It's the sweetly bitter moments that stand out the most ... and where we see God's fingerprints on our lives.
You listened to His voice ... and adjusted your life, your dreams accordingly.
My prayer is for you to begin to see all the hidden blessings He is waiting to reveal for you.

Keli Gwyn said...

Cindy,

I admire you for listening to the Lord and answering His call to take a break. I wish you all the best as you focus on your family. As an Empty Nester, I know how quickly the years fly by. Enjoy this special season of your life.

Keli

Sherrinda said...

You are an inspiration, Cindy, and I admire you more than you know! May God bless you and your family and may He give you your hearts desires! Love you and will miss you.

Julia M. Reffner said...

I'm so proud of you for listening closely to HIm and I hope you have a beautiful year with your family! You'll be missed bunches! Love you!

Jill Weatherholt said...

God's plan is always better than our own. You'll be missed very much, Cindy!

Cindy R. Wilson said...

Thank you all so much for the well wishes and the prayers. You're awesome!

Joanne Sher said...

Oh, Cindy. I'll miss ya - but I am so, SO thrilled that you're listening to the Lord. Will be praying for you.

Lindsay Harrel said...

Will miss seeing your posts, but I think it's so cool that you're listening to God's leading in all of this.

Pepper said...

Beautifully done, Cindy!
We love you!
And you know, for good or bad (:-) "Once an AlleyCat ALWAYS an AlleyCat."
Are you afraid now? LOL

Karen Schravemade said...

Yes, you'll be missed so much. This was a beautiful and heartfelt post. I agree with what the others have said - obeying God is always what's most important. There's such blessing in surrender. Praying that God sneaks up on you when you least expect it with the gift of a dream fulfilled. Enjoy this time with your kiddos. May it do your heart good. Much love. Xxxx

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

God's got a plan, and it's a good one. :)

We'll miss you, Cindy, but rejoice that you're following His leading.