It’s Official!

Well, today is the day.

Chasing God has officially been released!

This one was such a labor of love…I hope it speaks to you :)

I hope you all had the Merriest of Christmases and the Happiest of New Years, and that God has blessed you with a sense of His wild love in the midst of all the celebration.

Thank you so much for supporting my words and my work-you’ll never know how much it has meant.




What Women Fear

I am shaking in my boots here, folks :)

No, it isn’t available for pre-order quite yet but I wanted to include you all as much as possible!!!

I am waiting on edits now but the release date is September 1, 2011.

As far as the quality of writing and the content, it is the piece I am the most proud of. The Lord showed me some things in Scripture I had missed many times, and I pray you are as blessed as I was by what He taught me.

I have long been fascinated by the questions God asks of His people in Scripture. Why does He ask? Clearly He knows the answers, right? Well, as I studied men and women in the Bible who were facing some kind of fear (fear of failure, fear of being found out, fear of being insignificant etc) guess what I also noticed?

God asked them questions.

And I believe the heart of the way we are called to deal with the fear is in the way we answer these questions. So, I wrote about my fears, my life, my God, and the answers that I believe shape us as we face fear.

Want to see the cover?!?!?! (Please say yes, please say yes…)


I will keep you posted on more details as soon as I have them, but please be praying for me as I head into edits!!! SO excited to share this with you all!!!!

Much love,

I Would Love to Meet You!!!

If you live in the area, I just wanted to remind you that I am doing a book signing at the downtown Lifeway store tomorrow from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.  I can’t tell you how excited I am that Pete Wilson and I get to do this together-it will be a blast.

And also, you can see for yourself that I am huge like a house. In fact, I’m not entirely sure what I will be wearing since I don’t fit into any of my maternity clothes. But it’s sure to be an adventure one way or another and Pete and I would love the chance to see you all face to face.

Thank you so much for your support!!!

My book is $10.19!

***Update*** I have wanted to share this with you all for a little while but I was sworn to secrecy. Several months ago someone asked to do an endorsement for my book. She did. I cried my eyes out and continue to every single time I read it.  A portion of that endorsement is now on the Amazon listing (link bellow) and I cannot tell you what it means to me. Although, I suppose if you read my blog you will know that this certain somebody is one of my spiritual heroes. The first Bible study I ever did was one of hers and I was not a believer at the time. It urged me to change my life and spend my days loving the Lord boldly, so to see her words associated with my daughter is, well, amazing.  Thank you so much Beth. You will never know how you have blessed me in this life…

(original post follows)

If you have already pre-ordered, Amazon will give you the lower price. Right now the book is $10.19. Click Here if you would like to get one :) It may stay this price but I have no idea so I thought I would let you all know now!

I have been sewing up a STORM lately and I am going to try and post some pictures here later today…also, I mentioned on Twitter that I have been looking for some vintage children’s clothing patterns (love 1940′s/1950′s dresses etc.) and haven’t had much luck finding them for a good price. Most are $35 and up!!!! Whoa. So if you know of any other places to get them cheaper, could you let me know? I have looked on Etsy and Ebay and there isn’t too much right now…

Also, tonight is the first service at Crosspoint for Christmas and there are several tomorrow as well. Todd is singing (and I know this mostly because he has listened to his songs on repeat over the past week and a half to learn them. Non-stop. Yesterday I finally asked him if we could possibly listen to something else and he burst out laughing. And if you think I said “Hey Todd, I have so enjoyed the sound of that in my ears 24 hours a day for the last week and can’t imagine I have reached my fill, but could we take a little break and then jump right back in?”

You are wrong.

But because I am super-spiritual, I would never ever lose my cool and stop the CD while staring at Todd with a look that says, “Touch it again and my head will likely explode.”

Ahh, the virtues of a patient wife.

I doubt that even the Proverbs 31 lady would have made it past Saturday.

Just sayin’.


Come to Crosspoint if you don’t already have plans!!!! Would love to see you there and celebrate Christmas with you.

Much love,

Anything I Missed?

***Thank you for all of your great questions-I knew you weren’t going to let me down. Keep ‘em coming!!!! I am taking notes and they are really helping me process some things I think I will add…I so appreciated hearing your voices in all of this!!! Thanks…***
First off, the quote thing is rocking my world. I started to write them out with a pen and then I decided there were too many so I’m going to print them all out. If you need some motivation for the day, or you have a great quote to share, please go to my last post…so great. We were sitting outside and I kept going, “WOW,” and “Oh that’s good.” Todd made me read them out loud :)
And because you all are so helpful, I want to ask a favor of you. As I have been writing the book, I have really been telling my story but I feel like so many other people were a part of it. Some of you have been with me from the beginning, and many of you have been through a similar situation. I want you all to be a part of what I am doing now as well, and to that end, I would love to ask you to send me any questions you may have that I have not addressed on my blog.
I’m sure there are many gaps I have left, and I would really love to get a feel for the largest ones so that I can add them into the book.
I hope this makes sense. I haven’t had my coffee yet.
So, feel free to leave your questions about my pregnancy/family/life etc. (whatever!) here or in email if you prefer.
I said yesterday that writing a book is like a marathon, and I am really grateful to have you all running with me.
Not that I run. Ever.
Maybe I just answered your question…

Writing a book is a marathon

And I am discovering that I am a sprinter.
I write for a bit, cry for a bit, drink more coffee, and twitter. Sometimes I also read the important news updates, because there is a lot going on in Hollywood.
I’m taking a break to say hey to all of you out in blogland, and give you a couple updates.
I mentioned recently that there was a situation going on at my house, and I wanted to give you a few more details so that you can be praying. I hope you understand that I will be a bit more vague than normal out of a desire to protect someone I have grown to love.
She came to us with her two children after driving through the night, away from a situation she needed to be away from. It is complicated, but she was braver than I could have been, and it has been one of the greatest honors of my life to have her and her kids in our home. She was a stranger when she came, but she is now a kindred spirit (yes, that was intentional :) ).
Yesterday she moved out (but not too far from us, thank goodness) and I closed the door behind her and tried not to bawl my eyes out. In a very short amount of time, she became so dear to me. Morning coffee and nights on the deck, talking about life and hurt.
And the Lord Who gave her unspeakable courage.
So, I have been absent from the blog a bit, because I felt like she needed me to be present. Trust me when I say I learned more from her than she did from me.
After the toddler beds were packed up and gone, and her voice had left, I reflected on who she was and why it was so hard for me to watch her go. I felt so protective of her, and must say I was ridiculously relieved that she chose to stay close to us instead of moving an hour away where she had intended to go.
I love to blog, because I get to meet people I might not have otherwise met, and I get to share the corners of life I haven’t visited in years.
The truth is, I spent the last few weeks ministering to a girl who I used to be.
And I am so glad the Lord chose to give us the courage to trust Him more than this life.
I am crying as I write, because I am blessed to have been entrusted with such a sacred part of someone’s life, and I don’t take it lightly. As she left, we gave each other a quick hug to get the goodbye over with, and Kate protested her leaving. Just before she walked out, she went to Kate and whispered something to her, placing something in her tiny hand. She curled Kate’s fingers around it and told her to take care of it. After she left, Kate showed me the ring I had grown accustomed to seeing on our guest.
We put it on a necklace today so Kate could wear it all the time :) That was right after it got sucked up by the vacuum and I spent more time digging through dog hair and dust than I care to recall.
Please pray for her and her children, and for wisdom as she seeks discernment in God’s calling on her life.
And for those of you who have been (or are) where she has been, I want to tell you that you have a Father Who wants you to be safe. He has not forgotten you, and He loves you more than you know. That last sentence could not be more trite, and as a writer, I am tempted to go back and come up with something more clever.
I won’t.
Sometimes it just needs to be left alone.
Anyway, I have to run and get ready to head to a local church.
There’s a girl who is going to be there tonight and I am dying to see her.
As a sidebar, I have been loving finding old quotes in books I haven’t read in years. They are all marked up with memories, and there is nothing like a good quote. Some are from fiction books, and others are religious or biographical.
I have been twittering today about a book I just finished (see right hand lower sidebar) and LOVED. It had so many great lines, and as I was writing this, I decided to ask you all to join me in a little inspiration.
If you are game, do me a favor and leave a quote you love as a comment on this post. It can be from a book, a movie, a song, whatever. I have long wanted to start a book club on here so that we could all grab some hot drinks and have a chat online, but I will have to wait until I am done writing to do that :)
In the meantime, I would love to hear from you, friends.
Thank you for praying and for loving me so well.
And if you were the sweet girl at the concert last night with the t-shirt that my hubby signed on the back, I would love for you to email me your address so I can send a little thank you to you. It made me feel so special, and I am honored you took the time…you know who you are :)
I can’t wait to hear your words! I need the inspiration…

I agree. This is cryptic.

Well thank you to all of my precious blog-land friends who check in on me when I disappear…I just had to stop in and let you know that while I am not in a position to go into great detail, my time has been very occupied lately. I am hoping that at some point in the near future when things have settled down a bit, I will get back on a more regular writing schedule.
And the book.
They have decided to bump up the release date by about three months, which means I believe the release date will now be in April. No worries-I don’t have to turn it in sooner, but it shifts things a bit. I do want to just take a brief moment to let you all know that there have very rarely been times in my life when from dawn until dusk, I feel in the very presence of what the Lord has called me to do. I would love to ask you to continue to pray for me as well as my editor Jennifer, who has become a dear friend and kindred sprit. I feel so protected by the Lord, and awoke this morning for the providence of a God Who revels in being known in the details. His mercies are always new…what a treasure to all of us.
On another note, we have received many, many requests for the Selah CD, and if you are one of the people that has already written me, you will be receiving the CD as a gift from us (and when I say us, you must know that we are just the hands and feet, so please know there are no thanks needed). Could you please send your address if you are one of those people? We have budgeted as much as we are able at this time (I do wish we could get a bit more discount on the CD’s so we could send a million!!!!), but if you are still interested and just don’t have the means right now, please write anyway and I will keep your name on a list, having faith that the Lord will provide a way for us to get those to you. We wholeheartedly believe that what Todd does is a ministry, and are grateful to be able to share with you all…in addition to the CD, know that I have appreciated reading every single email and being able to hear your stories. It is a time of difficulty for many people, and I feel honored that you feel safe enough with me to share where you are. We need to be a family, and I consider you one :)
So, this is the post written in 5 minutes, and I know it’s all over the place, but I really would love your prayers. Without going into too much detail, we have a situation at our house that we are honored to be a part of, and the Lord has asked me to be focused on it and unplug a little. There is a family involved, and they need your prayers. So, I know this sounds vague, but would you pray for what we are walking, with the full knowledge that the Lord knows where to direct your prayers? Thank you, friends.
And in the meantime, there are two sites that I have discovered through you all, and I would love to share them here because I have just fallen in love with both. If you want to add a little beauty and a lot of Jesus to your reading life, click HERE and HERE. Absolutely incredible women with hearts that seek the Lord in powerful, creative, inspiring ways.
I will be back soon…I guess you could say I have been hibernating in prayer:) If you have prayer requests, please leave them here. The beauty of the commenting system is that others can respond directly to you and you will be able to develop community with others who are where you are.
OK, again, this is all over the place and I apologize :) Thanks for being who you are and allowing me a place to come and sit with you for a while. I will check in a bit later and see if there are any prayer requests from you all…
MUCH love.

Her Story, His Words

I had every intention of writing this last night, but it turned out that God had other plans and He made them very clear to me. I understand know why He wanted my attention to be focused on Him alone, and I spend a good part of the evening in prayers of gratitude.
Sometimes He is so clear in His intentions, and last night was one of those times. My fingers would have been paralyzed if I had tried to type, because it would have been in disobedience. As it turns out, I had an amazing time just telling Him what I was feeling and reading through scripture, marveling at His ability to weave a story. We are all woven into that story, and last night was a night of humbling myself before Him.
Let’s back up a little.
I got an email a few weeks back from a very sweet woman in the publishing business, but truth be told, there wasn’t really a business feeling in her words. She made it clear that she was interested in being a part of telling Audrey’s story, but the focus was not on a “deal.” It was on my sweet baby, and the way she had become personally invested in her, and how she loved her story and what it had done for her.
It was a letter from a friend.
It started like this:
It is such an honor to write you. I have read your blog and am overwhelmed by the true power of God’s grace in your story– even as I write that the words feel so trite compared to how strongly I mean it. I could go on and on, but know you have much to do and don’t want to keep you too long…

She loves my little girl, and she wants to tell her story. 
You might imagine that because of the way the blog kind of “took on a life of it’s own,” so to speak, I have been approached by many wonderful publishers, and had begun to fret about it a little. That sounds silly, but it isn’t. Todd and I made a promise to each other before Audrey was born that if a book was ever to come of her story, we would not have initiated it. I prayed that I would not have to make “business decisions” that involved my Audrey. I begged Him to do it, and to reveal His will in such an amazing way that it could not be denied. If nothing ever came of it, well, then that was His decision. Once I really surrendered to that, and believed Him, a great peace came over me. 
Because I needed to be reminded of a little detail, and He was not unclear in reminding me of it.
It is My story, and I have simply chosen you to tell it.
We have kept our end of the deal, and have never contacted a single person/company/publisher etc. We just asked God to lead the way.
When I got that email, I was choked up because I sensed something in her that was different, and I felt a tenderness that surprised me. We wrote back and forth a few times, and the easiest way to say it is that it just fit
I had a speaking engagement last week and she came to meet me. As soon as she introduced herself, I (literally) attacked/hugged her. And the best part was that she didn’t think it was weird, in fact, I think anything other than that would have been weird.
After that night, I felt the Holy Spirit speaking to me in a different way, and when Todd and I talked, I told him I wanted to work with her. I just knew she was the one who could do justice to this sweet baby of ours.
I prayed and prayed about it, and the day the proposal was to be sent to multiple publishers, my agent started with her. He told me we would send them out and wait a few weeks to hear back, so I settled into that mode.
15 minutes later he called to tell me that we would have our first offer that afternoon. He had not even had the chance to send it to other publishers. 
Well hello, God. Good to see you. 
True to her word, we did receive the offer that afternoon, and it was humbling to say the least. God chose her to be a part of this story, no question. And there it was, in black and white.
Speechless. Humbled. Overwhelmed by the love of a Father Who loves to remind us Who the author is. He knows me too well to present me with decisions over something so sacred, so He just laid it down and told me to pick it up.
And I did.
I am honored beyond words to tell you that I will be signing paperwork shortly to make it “official,” but the bottom line is that Audrey’s story will be published by B&H (Broadman and Holman…they are Lifeway’s book publishing division). Jennifer Lyell is my editor, but really, she is a friend who God allowed to walk with me.
Which only makes it slightly surprising that although we had never met, she attends my church as well. And only slightly odd that she accidentally overslept this past Sunday and missed the early service, and walked in at the exact same time as us, so we all sat together and worshipped.
After I told them that I had accepted, I received an email from Jennifer, and this is what it said:
I don’t know when I’ve been this thankful to the Lord for the job I have. Praying that we will all stay in step to the story He is weaving as you tell Audrey’s story. I’m here 24×7 for anything you need along the way.

Praying that today you will know His joy and peace upon you and the power of the resurrection all the way to the core of your being– and praying that it is a sweet day in the Smith household with much assurance of His love, protection, and guidance…
Business? Nope. Just the Lord Jesus Christ, Who has and will continue to sustain me in the coming months as I write.
You’ll never guess who also writes for B&H. I may have mentioned her once or twice on here (or, quite possibly, an embarrassingly amount of times)…and by the way, if you haven’t done her newest study Esther, YOU NEED TO. I think it’s my favorite, but I say that every time I do a new one so don’t hold me to it. 
I thought about trying to write something into my contract about getting my picture taken with Beth Moore, but that seemed, umm, inappropriate. There didn’t appear to be a box for that one.
So, Sundays, I want to beseech you, and it’s going to start with something that was whispered to me last night. I was kneeling on the bed, face down, and Todd literally covered me with his body and put both hands on my head as he prayed for me. I am going to ask you to do a strange thing, and I know it feels strange, because it would be the first thing that would come to my mind too.
In your comments, please don’t focus on congratulating me
It would take away attention from the one Who truly deserves it. I covet your prayers desperately, and there is thanks to be given. He has made a way for this story to reach people, to bring hope, and to make His name known.
I’m not saying these things to be falsely humble, and trust me, I am honored that I get to do this. But that isn’t what it is about, and I want my life (and my words) to reflect that.
I did do a happy dance, though, I’m not gonna lie. 
It may have included some loud spurts of shouting and jumping. It was short, and I think it alarmed the children (keeping it real here, folks…) but let’s keep our eyes on HIM. That’s what matters. Let’s praise Him together for this amazing opportunity.
Secondly, I have had a desire to do something for months, but I haven’t brought it up to Todd lately. When we asked about the possibility originally, we did not receive very good feedback, and had kind of decided to let it go. The other day, I told him that I wanted to have Audrey moved. It is complicated and it’s not cheap, but it doesn’t matter in the slightest.
I want her to be right next to Luke.  
There wasn’t a way to do that when Luke was buried, but the Lord has opened a door in His graciousness, and so in the next few weeks (with a portion of the money that will come from my book advance, thank you Jesus), she will lay right beside her cousin. There has always been one baby separating them, but I wanted them to be side by side, and now there is an opening on the other side of sweet Lukey. I know they aren’t really in there, but when I visit, I can’t help but think that it would feel better to have them next to each other.
I want to thank you for the support you have shown me up until this point, and thank you in advance for the way you will continue to do so.  You know as well as I do that there are a lot of good writers and a lot of great stories. 
He did this, and I fully, whole-heartedly (and with tears streaming like rain down my face…) believe that He will receive the glory for my daughter’s life.
And one day, face to face, I will tell Him those words.
But until then, let’s all say it here and now as a reminder that we know beyond a shadow of a doubt that my fumbling fingers have managed to spill truth into your heart because of Him.
Lord, keep me soaked in humility and hungry for what brings You glory. Mold me in spirit and deed to be more like You until the day you call me home . I miss her, Father, and you know what my human, broken heart feels right now, even as I type these words…I would give it all back to see her again…

Father, in your mercy and for Your sake, would You allow me to be a part of the mending? I love you and need You desperately. She is safe with you, Jesus. I rest in that. May Your name be lifted high in everything You call me to do, and may I never walk where You have not led me.  Thank you, Lover of my soul, you have blessed me with favor I do not deserve.

Thank you.

P.S. Jennifer is the one who donated the extra tickets for the concert, so if you won them, I will make sure and arrange an opportunity for you to attack-hug her….:)