Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Can God Still Be Good If...

As winter shakes off its final touches and spring uncurls in full force, I realized the other day that Mother's Day is rapidly approaching.

For many people, Mother's Day is a joyous occasion. A chance to say "thank you!" for either a mother or the beautiful children in your care and celebrate perhaps with tiny handprints on colorful canvases painted to say I LOVE YOU.

But for many others, Mother's Day holds a lot of pain. Mothers who have lost babies. Children who have lost mothers. Women who long to become mothers but it just hasn't happened yet. And on a different note-- Mothers whose motherhood has turned out very differently than they expected.

My first Mother's Day was spent driving a 4-month-old Addison to Boston for her first heart surgery. I spent the day wondering if my first Mother's Day was going to be my last Mother's Day. It was certainly not what I expected of motherhood, and it was certainly not easy.

As I think about this year's quick approaching Mother's Day, there are so many things I want to say about motherhood. About dealing with unexpected things. About questioning, "Can God still be good? No really. Can He? Maybe this is His first mistake? Why me?"

Hard things in motherhood hit us so close to home. It is our dreams and hopes and ambitions shaken and jostled until we don't recognize ourselves anymore.

But then again...what if what we think are "hard things"...are just "thing things". What if the difficulty pressing down on us is what will give us much needed growth? A new way to see God's love? A new way to experience His grace? What if our expectations were the things that were off? What if our reality is the perfect plan that we didn't know that we needed? Furthermore, does the character of God in His ultimate goodness waiver even when we feel as though our life is unraveling? And when the "hard things" actually are "horribly hard things that take away our ability to breathe" is there still goodness that we can lean on?

In honor of upcoming Mother's Day, in honor of all people everywhere who are struggling through unexpected things, my book Motherhood Unexpected is at ridiculously low prices for the ONE week.

$0.99 for the Kindle Version (down from $5.99)
$7.99 for the Paperback version (down from $14.99)

I realize that Mother's Day is still a couple of weeks off, but if you are anything like me? It doesn't hurt to prep a few weeks ahead of time (especially if you need to account for shipping time).

Send a copy to your mom and say "THANK YOU...even if I am not what you expected". (-;

Send a copy to your friend who just got that new diagnosis.

Send a copy to your sister who has walked alongside you, crying identical tears to yours each step of life's way.

Post a link so that friend who you didn't even KNOW was struggling through broken expectations can read a novel written from first hand experience on WHAT DO YOU DO WHEN IT'S NOT WHAT YOU EXPECT?

I understand that all of you aren't novel readers...or perhaps don't even like the specific genre of Christian fiction...or don't feel a burning desire to read about unfairness in motherhood. I completely get that. But please still SHARE because you don't know who in your life will be encouraged and helped through the book that the Lord graciously allowed me to put together based on my experiences of welcoming Addison into our lives. (Full disclosure: looking back now, I have NO idea how I actually finished this. NONE. It was so clearly the Lord's working to give me the strength and the time to put these words together into THIS story to share. Honestly I am amazed at the very clear way that He worked through me from scribbling down initial concepts to completion. I truly can't take credit for this at all.)

This is a newly uploaded edition (with some slight editing updates), and it is newly priced at only a few cents above printing costs. (I wanted to make the Kindle free for the week, but for boring reasons that I won't go into here... Kindle wouldn't let me. So I put it as low as the system would allow.) I want to encourage more than I want to make money on this project. I want to get the word out there that "YES. GOD IS STILL GOOD even when it's unexpected." I want to share my heartache and lessons learned to perhaps help others get there faster. I want to praise the Lord for the work that he has done in my own heart and life through having a baby with Down syndrome. This is more than a work of fiction. This is a testimony. My testimony of God's goodness.

Please take advantage of this Mother's Day sale. Spread the word. Buy a copy to tuck away to surprise your mom with. (It's a lot of gift for a great price!) Forward a gift copy to that friend you haven't seen in years but you know they love a good read. Reassemble your book club and suggest a girls night out to discuss after you all get a chance to read it. It's .99 cents. You can't even buy a cup of coffee for that price...well, almost. At least a cup of coffee with fun add ons like whipped cream...caramel sauce...and okay so maybe not just a plain coffee. (-; And this book will last you a lot longer than a cup of coffee!

Take the adventure with Claire, Felicity, and Julie. Cry with them. Laugh with them. Question life with them all the while opening your heart and learning alongside of them. I have gotten many, many different responses to the book as a whole, but one common thread runs through all my feedback...this book potential will give you a SERIOUS case of the "feels". Prepare to feel happy, sad, angry thoughtful, surprised, anticipation, fear, joy...and the list could go on...

God wanted me to write this book for a reason. (There were times that I deliberately tried SO HARD not to finish writing it....this proved to be impossible.) And He wouldn't stop working on me until I continued to be faithful with the work He called me to do, just one word at a time. I am so thankful for His strength as I mothered my 3 very small children along with the writing process. It was not easy to write through my experiences in such a way, but I can say with confidence--VERY worth it.

Please help me share Motherhood Unexpected to reach those who perhaps are asking these same questions:

"Can God still be good? This isn't what I deserve! Why would God do this to me?"

as they grapple with the unexpected nature of motherhood and life in general.

Whether a birth plan gone wrong, a diagnosis, a loss, or even just a personality that you don't know how to teach....God's goodness never waivers.

I can't do this without your help.

I hate to ask for help, and I am very shy about doing so. But if anything, this whole process of publishing a novel as taught me that this isn't about ME and my own insecurities. The things the Lord has taught me....the words He gave me to write...this is all so much not about me. And so I can ask with confidence: PLEASE help me share Motherhood Unexpected. Let's get the word out there. Let's SHOUT about God's goodness. (Feel free to share any part of this blog post in your sharing of the book sale.)

I think my favorite line of the whole book (and I tear up every time I read it) is the last line of the Acknowledgement section: "And finally, I'd like to thank God, who in His goodness gave me a child with Down syndrome."

What an incredible journey this has been.

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