Monday, November 24, 2014

Waiting, Detours, Surprises...and Keeping in Step with the Dance

Life is one long dance…and I’m not a dancer, so often times I stumble along the way. It’s filled with unexpected changes, excitement, joys, and struggles – and lots of change. I don’t know about you, but I can get into a nice, predictable life, where things are comfortable – and the only changes are small changes. But God doesn’t always keep up in that nice comfortable place.

In an endless example of God’s big humor, my ‘one word’ for 2014 was CHANGE.  Yep – funny, huh? And by the end of June 2014, my family had made a LOT of changes. (Maybe 2015 will be something like ‘peace’ or ‘calm’ J)

Last year our family struggled through a time where my husband lost his job of seven years. After an almost year-long search, (WAITING) he found a wonderful new position – but it meant our family would have to move. So…move, we did! We arrived in the beautiful city of Asheville, NC in late June – and life has been a series of detours, surprises, and….sweet touches of God. The dance went from a nice little foxtrot to a samba…and if you recall, I Can’t Dance!

This was a Detour in ‘our’ plans, but right on schedule for God. There are times I didn’t see God’s hand and still struggle with trusting He’s working in the middle of the madness, but isn’t that exactly where he gets our attention best? J Or maybe that’s just me.

My new job in Asheville has been a more difficult adjustment than I’d planned, so in July I started discussing (and praying about) the option of taking an extended break from writing. After all, I’ve been pursuing publication for over ten years and nothing was happening, so maybe it was time to step off the writing stage for a while. (WAITING) I’d taken a two year sabbatical from writing when my three youngest children were 4, 2, and newborn – and was working as a school Speech-Language Path in Charlotte, NC. My priorities had to adjust to the needs of my family, of course, so I focused my time on them.

But God brought some Surprises. Just before the move, I signed a contract with my new and WONDERFUL agent, Julie Gwinn. Now that I look back on it, God had been working on this relationship for over a year and I’m sure Julie would say the same thing. We have a great rapport, friendship, and understanding. She loves my writing, and I love her passion and commitment. It’s a fantastic combination.

In September, just before conference, I was offered my first book contract. It is for one of my Contemporary Romance novels (A Twist of Faith) and is slated to come out in late Spring 2015 with Lighthouse of the Carolinas. The best part? I got to share the contract-signing with some of my favorite people at ACFW! The Alleycats!

A week ago I signed another contract for a book. A VERY different type book, and one I would have never thought to pursue. I’m writing a companion novel to a new video game coming out in 2015. The novel is the first in a (hopeful) series to compliment the game. It was a very unexpected opportunity and one I’m excited to undertake.

Now, this news didn’t change my circumstances, but it did remind me that God has a plan for my writing, just as he has a purpose in all the other callings he has on my life. It’s HIS timetable in HIS plan…not mine. He creates the music, stage, and steps – all he wants me to do is join the dance with a heart ready to learn and praise….even when I stumble.

It’s a process and a prayer.

Waiting is part of the grand dance. If it’s waiting for the music, your partner, or the next step, our lives involve a series of waiting. Detours and surprises come along with the dance too, but we know the master musician has the choreography in place, the steps numbered, and the talent ready to give at the just the right moment.
Pepper Basham writes romance peppered with grace and humor. She’s a native of the Blue Ridge Mountains, a mom of five, a speech-language pathologist, and a lover of chocolate. She writes a variety of genres, but enjoys sprinkling her native culture of Appalachia in them all.  She currently resides in the lovely mountains of Asheville, NC where she works with kids with special needs, searches for unique hats, and plots new ways to annoy her wonderful friends at her writing blog, The Writer’s Alley. She is represented by Julie Gwinn and is debuting her first novel in Spring 2015.




Joanne Sher said...

Oh, sweet Pepper - what a crazy, wonderful, and God-led journey you've been on this year - and all the years before! LOVE this post - and so very excited for you and your opportunities (might wanna check the year for your Lighthouse release up there :D). Blessings and love to you!

Pepper Basham said...

LOL, Joanne - I'm so used to typing 2014 I didn't even catch that!
Thanks for the hint and THANKS for the kind words.
I hope to have some extra news to add to the post by the end of the day :-) stay tuned

Sarah Forgrave said...

Pepper, Congratulations on your new opportunity!!! So exciting!

I love your reminder that even when things seem stagnant, God is still moving. It's about the journey, not the destination, right? (Cliché but true) :)

Esther Filbrun said...

Congratulations, Pepper! That's so exciting!

Thank you for the encouraging post. Learning to dance to the tune of His plan is so much different than what we really want. In the end, though, looking back with 20/20 vision, I've always been so thankful. I think the hardest part of waiting is having faith--because it has to be blind faith, and blind faith is really hard to have when the path is dark.

Thank you for the encouraging thoughts to start my day!

Amy Leigh Simpson said...

Oh I love this! He is so good! Cheering you on. We might stumble through the steps but we can wholly trust the guy leading the dance. :) What a sweet reminder!

Karen @ a house full of sunshine said...

So excited to see what God is doing in your writing career, dearest Pepper!! It's a complete joy to see God rewarding your faithfulness and patient waiting. You deserve this! xoxo