Saturday, September 24, 2011

My Platform or His?

Thursday morning God woke me up early. Now anyone who knows me well knows that I don't like to wake up early in the morning. No sir. I'm what they call a night person. If I had it my way, I'd stay up late every night reading, writing and brainstorming my latest grand idea (or not-so-grand idea). And in the morning I'd sleep as long as I wanted. That's my dream schedule.

And then there's reality... The reality of having four children, three of which go to school Monday through Friday. The reality of the school system being so rigid that they won't let me, one mother of thousands, choose what time school should start. So I'm up early in the morning, making sure everyone has their lunch, their homework and their underwear. (Fortunately, no one's forgotten the latter so far!)

Needless to say, I'm not the kind of person that wants to get up any earlier in the morning than I have to.

But Thursday morning God woke me up early -- or earlier, I should say. And even though I laid in my bed -- eyes shut tight, head sunken into my comfy pillow -- for a few minutes after He woke me up, I eventually hoisted myself out of bed.

Now you morning people are probably snickering right now. You probably set your alarm for one hour early every morning. Or better yet, you wake up bright and early automatically, without the help of an alarm clock. You rise from your bed, rested from your full eight hours of sleep and go to meet with God before anyone else in the house stirs.

I think that's awesome, but usually I meet with God when my husband and children leave out the door together. He may not be the first One I talk to every morning, but trust me, I'm not speaking much above a mumble with my family. And praying over my kiddos before they hit the door has gotta count for something, right?

So anyway, on Thursday I woke up early, and I'm so glad I did, because God had something to say. I've been studying the minor prophets in the Bible, and out of the book of Zechariah, the Lord spoke these words to me:
"Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit says the Lord Almighty." Zechariah 4:6
Now let me give a bit of backstory to explain why I believe God needed to speak these words to me. Well, recently I've been tossing a few book ideas around in my head and my journal. The thought of writing these books doesn't overwhelm me. What overwhelms me, however, is this whole deal with "platform."

I'm not talking about the cute platform stilettos the ladies are wearing now. I'm talking about name recognition, popularity, "branding" if you will. The fact is, people buy books written by people they know. And this is especially true in the area of nonfiction.

Case in point -- one word: Snooki. Even though the "Jersey Shore" reality star's biography didn't sell as many copies as hoped, Snooki had no problem landing a book deal. Unfortunately, books are getting harder to sell by the year, and publishers are getting tougher and tougher about which authors they're willing to bank on. Needless to say, the forecast doesn't look good for virtually unknown first-time authors like me.

Yet today I'm feeling total peace over this whole platform thing. God has reminded me that my life is truly in His hands. If I ever publish a book -- or two or three -- it will not be by my might or by my own power. It will be by His spirit. He'll make it happen. All I have to do is walk in the steps He's ordained for me.

Earlier this week He gave me a sweet illustration of this in my life. In last Saturday's post, "Coffee with Dennis Rainey", I shared about hearing Dennis Rainey of Family Life Ministries speak about the Church's call to minister to orphans. Well through a series of events, and a little cyberspace research, I discovered that Dennis had read that blog post at a staff meeting at Family Life. I have no idea how he discovered my blog.

I was amazed and excited, but it was also a huge lesson for me. God is calling me to tell His stories. He's calling me to act justly, love mercy and walk humbly with Him. And He's calling me to trust Him to build my platform as He wills. Technically, it's His platform anyway. I don't have to make it happen. He's going to do it.

I encourage you to trust Him today with your life. Whether you're a musician or a graphic designer or a homeschooling mom, He's got you. Just walk in the steps He's prepared for you, and watch Him do amazing things in and through your life.

Oh, and when He wakes you up early in the morning, just get up. He's probably got something to say.

Walking in His Steps,


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