CONFESSION: I just spent the last hour in the car reflecting on the last two years of my life – and cried. Yes, it’s been two years since I self-published Phantom Island: Wind.

Two years since I introduced my teenage characters and my White Island to the real world.

Two years since I took the plunge and put my heart’s work out there for the judgment and criticism of others.

And two years since one of the most amazing faith journeys of my adult life began.

Sam and me as Caleb and Whitnee – May 11, 2009

Nothing about this experience has been the way I planned it – largely because most of the time, I didn’t plan. I could never have planned all the opportunities that fell into my lap. I could never have planned on so many friends, family, acquaintances, and even strangers who put their faith and their word-of-mouth reputations in MY book. I could NEVER have planned the way I finally got out of self-publishing. No, there was not much planning on certain outcomes.

But there was dreaming… a lot of it. And there was work… A LOT OF IT. No dream comes true without WORK, yall. If you’re sitting around waiting for something to happen, you’re missing it. The dreams happen when you get out there and seize opportunities… when you actually open yourself up and take risks… when you WORK HARD for something greater than yourself.

May 11, 2009

Two years ago, I was locked in my classroom alone singing loudly and jumping around to the song, “Counting on God” while I waited to go onstage and enter my new role as an author. I remember the nerves and the lack of appetite and the family and friends who came in town to be there… the faculty at my school who wore tribal t-shirts and worked all the merchandise and book tables… the Springtown community that would become the launching point for such a great adventure in my life. I remember wondering who would hate the book by the next day and if it would ever go beyond those walls. I remember all the life-size decorations and the introductions and kind words… I remember signing book after book and wanting to write something personal in all of them… the line went on forever! I will NEVER FORGET the moment I sat in my pink chair onstage and all of my students (past and present) rushed the stage to sit at my feet as I read an excerpt from the book for the first time in public.

May 11, 2009

And now on this two-year anniversary, I reflect back with overwhelming joy and thankfulness.

I prayed for two years that Phantom Island would find a home with a publisher who believed in it… that I would have an editor who would catch the same vision as me and actually root for it… that Phantom would have access to a bigger audience… that God would do something for His glory – in me and through me – because of these books.

Those prayers have been answered… and the blessings continue to flow. I am STILL working my butt off, still dreaming, and still praying… because there are still dreams to be fulfilled… still lives to touch… still work to be done in me and through me.

But wow.

Two years.

Manager Mom and me – May 11, 2009