Posts Tagged ‘Living Faith’

This Writing Thing -or- And Now for Some Good News

I have some good news for y’all about this writing thing…actually a couple of newsy bits…

A Real Writing Contract

The first news I want to share with you is that I am getting a contract to write for a Lent devotional for 2015 for Augsburg Fortress (the official publishing house of my denomination, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America)! I’ll post pictures when I get the contract in my hands, but I couldn’t wait to tell you about this. [UPDATE: I signed the contract on February 12, 2014 and you can see the pictures here.]

One of the coolest things about this gig is that it came totally out of the blue for me. I have this tension between wanting to put myself forward as a writer but also wanting to let the formal publishing side develop naturally. I can self-promote with the best of them, but it is tiring. And it can be discouraging when I don’t feel like I’m getting “noticed” despite my best efforts at promoting my own work. So to have a real publishing house come to me is a pretty nice bit of notice!

The other cool thing about this gig is the nature of the project. It is a devotional based on the book of Ephesians–which is one of my favorite books of the Bible. The deal is that I am assigned scriptures and a compelling photograph for each of my 15 entries. Then I find a non-biblical quotation and write a reflection. I love the call for a non-biblical quotation because I always have other sources floating around in my head that influence how I process my faith.

And finally, this gig is pretty sweet because I’m getting paid real cash money to write these! I mean, maybe the fact that I told you there was a contract involved implied that I was getting paid. But I wanted to make sure I highlight that because, well, real cash money!

A Promotion

The other bit of news is that I’ve been given a promotion at Life & Liberty. I am now the chief editor! It sounds so glamorous, right? Well, the truth is that it is work. But it is work I pretty much love. I’ve edited newsletters before, but then I had to deal with all the printing part. Publishing online is all the work I love about doing print publications with none of copies, labels and mailing.

I’ve made Life & Liberty my online home away from my own blog. You’ve probably noticed a lot of times I post here and then link to something over there. I’ve been pretty involved over there, helping to promote the site, posting with increased frequency, and learning the ropes of a bigger, self-hosted platform. And I truly believe in the vision of what Life & Liberty is all about–to promote a society that is spiritually grounded and truly free. So, this is a pretty natural progression for me to get to take on even more responsibility over there.

There are several benefits to me working over at Life & Liberty, but one that I most cherish is the way that I am encouraged to find my voice there. Any time I’ve asked if I could try something that seemed crazy to me, I’ve been given permission to do so. And as I try to hone my unique message for the world, I find that platform draws out some of my deepest convictions. There is a whole lot of nuance to my worldview and it is scary to say what I really think about things, but it is just a little less scary to say it over there among like-minded folks.

Along with my promotion to chief editor at Life & Liberty, I’ve also been encouraged to post there with even greater frequency. I’m not sure how often it will be, but at least weekly and I may settle in at twice a week or so. I will continue to post links here for my work over there. I don’t want you to miss anything there because, like I say, that place pulls something deep and important out of me.

This Place

Rest assured, even with my snazzy writing contact and my posh promotion I will still post something original here at Living Faith at least once a week. My standard day for posting original content here is Fridays.

I hope you will purchase boatloads of the Lent devotional next year and that you will click over to all my great content at Life & Liberty! But if not, just know that I appreciate you reading here and walking with me on life’s journey.

I owe a lot to the ongoing positive feedback that y’all give me. You keep me going and propel me toward these cool new milestones in this writing thing. So, let’s keep doing this “Living Faith” thing together!

P.S. Although my devotional project won’t be ready until next year, you can order the 2014 version online now: Too Deep for Words: Devotions for Lent 2014, based on Romans.

So Far: First Calendar Year


Despite the necessity for typing most of my writing on a computer, I prefer to start a writing project “old school,” writing longhand with a notepad and pen. This collection of supplies was from my son for Christmas.

This is the end of my first calendar year of blogging. As 2013 comes to a close I thought it would be fun to take a look back.

My 2013 started with a decision–that I’m doing this writing thing. I knew how to write, but wasn’t too sure about how to be “successful” with it.

I kept looking around at friends and people I admire gaining ground with their writing and I got so jealous. I started taking stock of what they were doing with their writing that I wasn’t with mine. And a couple things emerged as trends:

  1. They were writing–daily.
  2. They had blogs that they kept up with.

I know there’s more to writing than just these two things, but these were the glaringly obvious things that they were doing that I wasn’t.

So along with my decision to do this writing thing, in 2013 I started writing every day and I started this blog.

I’ve been all over the place in post frequency (though never less than weekly). And I’ve tried out various topics and styles of posts.

In a very real sense, I’m making this up as I go along. But the more I go along, somehow the more confidence I gain.

I never want to get too comfortable with my work because I always want to remain open to growth…yet the evil second-guessing that tries to hold me back has diminished significantly. The voices that try to tell me I’m no good and my thoughts don’t matter are more and more drowned out by the ever-increasing number of ideas of what else I need to say.

So, I am doing this writing thing and I can’t get enough of it!

Since no calendar-year-in-review post would be complete without some numbers & lists, I thought I’d share some of that here too.

  • The blog is averaging 577 visitors per month.
  • It’s averaging 1009 page views per month.
  • There have been a total of 10,096 page views on the blog.
  • The most page views on a single day was 416.
  • The most-viewed post has had 597 page views.
  • The blog has been viewed from 66 different countries.
  • Visitors have come from 6 different continents.

The top 10 most-viewed posts have been:

  1. Eat, Sleep Preach: A Deaconess in Depression
  2. Confessions of a Lutheran Charismatic
  3. Stuff You Learn After You Say “I do”
  4. Infertility Interrupted
  5. Why I Love Conferences Even Though I’m an Introvert
  6. The More Different We Are, The More We Need Each Other
  7. When “Christ vs. Culture” Met My Music Collection
  8. I’m Thrilled to Announce My First Podcast at “Life and Liberty”
  9. How I Became a Deaconess
  10. I Used to Go Barefoot

Thanks for coming on this journey with me and for helping make 2013 a great starting year for the blog!

So Far: Half a Year

Hebrews 12:1-2

Half a year.

Six months.

That’s how long it has been since I started Living Faith. Considering how much gumption it took me to start this and how often I feel like quitting the whole thing, six months is a milestone worth marking. And yet, I feel I have only just begun.

That sense of “I’ve come so far, yet have so far to go” typifies how I feel about a lot of life.

  • I look back at how much I have learned and I’m pleased until I see another and another great book recommendation from a friend.
  • I’ve learned a lot about how to be a loving parent, but just the other day I found myself yelling at my kid.
  • I’ve grown in my confidence and willingness to put myself “out there,” but still second-guess a great deal of my work.
  • I have an ongoing spot on a friend’s podcast, but still have yet to do much about my “live” speaking ministry that I envision.
  • I have this blog with the tagline of “Living Faith,” and yet I often feel like I fall short in what I would hope for in my own life of faith.

But life is like that. Learning is like that. Parenting is like that. Confidence is like that. Dreams are like that. And faith is like that.

I pray that as I journey through life with our loving God I’ll be empowered through God’s spirit to live up to the example of Jesus.

But I know I won’t get it right all at once.

And so I pray for the humility to acknowledge the mistakes I’ve made and to repair the harm I’ve caused. I pray for the endurance to face the challenges that threaten to undo me. I pray for the courage to live into the vocation God has for my life and faith.

I pray these things for you as well. I don’t even know who all of my readers are anymore, but I think of you often. And I pray that your life–where you’ve come from and the where you’re going–will be strengthened in the love of God, bolstered by the fellowship of the body of Christ and empowered by the Holy Spirit. I hope and pray that in some way this corner of the internet can be part of your support along life’s way.

I’d love to hear from you about your comings and goings. What’s going on with your life & faith so far? Where do you see yourself headed? You can e-mail me at livingfaithjct(at)gmail(dot)com OR connect with me on Facebook or Twitter.

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