Friday, July 17, 2015

Safeguarding your JOY

 
Some of you have may heard that I’ve been celebrating a personal victory this past week. After four years of writing and pursuing publication I’m getting my moment in the sun. I’ve signed a publishing agreement with WildBlue Press and will be releasing my first of three books this fall! A romantic mystery about grace and second chances called Beauty for Ashes.

After a long road of building friendships, refining my craft, dodging countless rejections, and growing in my passion for story here is it! The CALL. I should be on top of the world, right?

Well, of course I was/am thrilled to be realizing my dream but how many of you know that the world doesn’t exactly freeze in that moment. And that glow you are basking in can dim pretty quickly when say, the sewer drain backs up in your basement, the air conditioner peters out on the hottest day of the year, and the service light illuminates from your dashboard all in the same day… the day after you announced that long awaited triumph. Pfft! The NERVE! Those everyday disasters have absolutely no respect for your big moment! And it sure doesn’t take long for the crap (sometimes literally) to start piling up and little by little, robbing you of your joy.

But the thing I’ve come to realize as a mother constantly navigating the minefield of life is this…

JOY is NOT CIRCUMSTANTIAL.

Do you remember that little jingle we all sang in Sunday School? “I’ve got the joy, joy, joy, joy, down in my heart. Where? Down in my heart. Where? Down in my heart! I’ve got the…”

We might not have realized it then but that song was preparing us for the truth about joy. Where it’s found. And where it isn’t. Joy isn’t found on our sleeves. Not in that gorgeous new outfit that makes you feel like a million bucks. It’s not found skin deep either. It can’t be nicked away by everyday wear and tear. Bills and stress and the daily grind. (Though that can certainly make us weary.) It’s not even bone deep, only broken under the right angle and pressure. The pain that lances here often lingering and debilitating.

It’s deeper, protected by muscle and tissue, skin and bone, the cage of your ribs like a vault safeguarding your heart. And even there, at the source, it’s nested deep down.

Right there where your Savior resides.

Am I excited that God is going to use my words and give them a stage? Absolutely! Is my joy contingent upon it? Is it contingent upon my success? Not a chance. Because lasting joy is only found in communion with the Giver of your dreams. Not because of what he can do for you, but because of who he is.

Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart.” Psalm 37:4

Everything else, friends, is just frosting. Now, since I have a notorious sweet tooth, sit down and have some cake with me. Tell me, what are you celebrating in your life?
 
Happy Friday!
<3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3
 
Amy Leigh Simpson is the completely exhausted stay-at-home mama to the two wild-child, tow-headed toddler boys, one pretty little princess baby, and the incredibly blessed wife of her hunky hubby.
She writes Romantic Suspense chalked full of grace that is equally inspiring, nail-biting, and hilarious. And a little saucy! Okay fine, a lot saucy. :) She is an active member of American Christian Fiction Writers, and now uses her Sports Medicine degree to patch up daily boo-boos. Her greatest ambitions are to create stories that inspire hope, raise up her children to be mighty warriors for Christ, invent an all-dessert diet that works, and make up for years of sleep deprivation. 

She is represented by Chip MacGregor of MacGregor Literary, Inc.

 

9 comments:

Jill Weatherholt said...

Congratulations, Amy! Your words are beautiful and they bring John 16:33 to mind. I look forward to reading Beauty for Ashes.
This past Tuesday, I submitted my first manuscript to Harlequin LI. I can't put into words the feeling I had when I hit submit. Afterward, I wandered around the house in a daze. :)

Amy Leigh Simpson said...

Thanks Jill!! Oh, I know that feeling well! Simultaneously excited and terrified! There's so much self doubt in this biz. Praying it lands where God intends :)

Kathy Rupff said...

Awesome post, Amy, and CONGRATULATIONS! I look forward to reading your book. I LOVE your thoughts and couldn't agree more. Thank God for another day to find joy and satisfaction in the knowledge of His love. :)

Casey said...

I can't WAIT to read your book, Ames! I already know I'm going to love it. :) :) :)

Rachel Hauck said...

Congratulations!! Awesome!

Rachel

Amy Leigh Simpson said...

Kathy, thanks so much! I'm more thankful than ever before for new mercies. And I so appreciate your support. :)

Amy Leigh Simpson said...

Thanks Case and Rach! Xoxo!

Elizabeth Van Tassel said...

Many congratulations! How exciting. And I have two energetic boys and write, so I can definitely relate. It's always good to remember a more lasting source of joy in bumpy times. Hope you enjoy the whirlwind of excitement and best wishes in your writing!

Joy Avery Melville said...

Congratulations! That's a super achievement and with toddlers in tow - WOWSER - what an accomplishment - you go girl.

Your post is fantabulous as well - JOY is MORE than a name as I can attest!

Much love and my prayers for your blessings to grow and multiply with this spark of a start.