How has it been one year already? After fourteen years and ten million prayers, on March 1, 2017, my first traditionally published book, When God Says, “Wait,” made its way into the world!
By the grace of God, through the hard work of the amazing team at Barbour Publishing, and with the help of wonderful friends and family and fellow book-loving believers, WGSW has sold 12,000 books in its first year! (If this were a text message, here’s the part where we would add in Praise Hands and that shocked-looking emoji with the google eyes.) I can’t tell you how grateful I am to all who have helped this little book along its way. Thank you for the prayers, the reviews, the kind words, and all the ways you have shared this book with your friends and family. It all means more than you will ever know.
On May 1, WGSW will become a “big sister” to a follow-up book, When God Says, “Go.” These two little book babies, like my first two children, will be born 14 months apart! (Time for more Praise Hands and google-eyes!) When God Says, “Go” is already available for preorder, and audiobooks are in the works for both titles.
To celebrate WGSW’s one-year book birthday, this week I’m hosting a book giveaway until March 7! Enter below (scroll all the way down), and the winner receives two books of your choice: Choose from When God Says, “Wait,” When God Says, “Go” (yep, I’ll send you an advanced reader copy, whaaaaat?!), The Tender Years: Parenting Preschoolers, or my middle grade novel, The Thirteenth Summer.
Would you like to help me celebrate WGSW’s book birthday? If so, here are a few ways to party with me:
1. Share the image above on social media, perhaps including a few lines about how WGSW has ministered to you. (Or you could simply share this post!)
3. If you’re super-duper motivated, you could also share that WGSW is about to be a “big sister” to a follow-up book, When God Says, “Go”—now available for preorder! Preorders are available from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and ChristianBook.com. (Links are below if you need them.)
I am forever and for-always thankful for your prayers, support, and friendship.
After I finally got a book contract for When God Says “Wait”(the whole process took approximately 17 million years), I joked to my husband that I was going to name my next book When God Says “Yes” Immediately.
Well, I didn’t name my next project that, but I did name it When God Says “Go,” and—well . . . I’m thrilled to announce that God has said go!
When God Says “Go” is all about overcoming fear and insecurity when God pushes you out of your comfort zone—when God calls you to go, to give, or to grow in ways that scare the pants off of you. We’ll take a look at Bible characters whom God called—how God called, what they feared, what God said.
Honestly? I’m scared to death to write this book, because it means facing my own fears, staring down my own demons. But I’m embracing it, and I’m diving in with my whole heart. (Note to self: “Stop writing books about your weaknesses. It’s both difficult and humbling.”)
I’m super grateful to the wonderful team at Barbour (Shiloh Run Press) for saying yes to this project! And I hereby declare my agent, Jessica Kirkland, the Book Contract Ninja.
In the meantime, I’d appreciate your prayers as I get started. I’ll be wearing a lot of sweatpants and—of course—drinking a lot of coffee as I write my little brains out this summer. And next summer, I hope you’ll go on this fear-fighting journey with me, when the book hits stores.
When God Says “Wait”hits bookstore shelves today! (Here’s where I stop typing and indulge in an embarrassing jig that can only be described as “Riverdance meets Rhythm Nation, but without the rhythm.”) I am SO EXCITED, but wow, what a long journey it’s been.
Fourteen years ago, a vicious case of jet lag kept me up all night and gave me a strange gift: an idea for a story I had to tell about characters I met that night, but felt I’d known always. By the time sunrise set the Atlanta skyline ablaze, I had penned the first two chapters of a novel and outlined the entire plot. By the time my fellow Atlantans were stumbling to their coffee makers, my career path had changed; life had changed. I was going to become a writer.
If you had told me that night that I would spend the next fourteen years pursuing that crazy dream (and seriously, writing is a crazy dream), I don’t know what I would have done. I suspect a truckload of chocolate would have been involved.
In the past fourteen years, I have written more hours than I could count (I suspect the hours actually add up to years of life at this point). Spent thousands of dollars on coffee and conferences. Run over one laptop with my car. (ACCIDENT. Seriously. I can explain.) Worked another laptop so hard it finally just choked and died.
Along the way I have indie published two books, The Thirteenth Summer and The Tender Years: Parenting Preschoolers (coauthored with my wonderful mom, Geri), and those valuable experiences taught me so much about hard work and the joy of simply sharing words, and life, with readers.
Meanwhile, after an agonizing struggle with infertility, Kevin and I had three kids in less than three years and lived to tell the tale. (The tale involved more poop and vomit than one sentence can describe, but even so, it was a life worth living. A tale (mostly) worth telling.) After a while we had a fourth child, because hey—what’s one more?!
Along the way I have discovered that my husband is THE BEST HUSBAND IN THE UNIVERSE. I always knew that, but now I know it more. He loves all of my work—even the stories aimed at twelve-year-olds. He has always taken this writing thing seriously, long before anyone besides him was ever reading my words. He generously gives me writing time. He sends me to conferences and views every dollar spent as investment, not expense. He tolerates my coffee habit, having accepted that creativity requires caffeine (and occasionally champagne). He doesn’t get hurt feelings when I trail off mid-sentence, lost in a sudden plot-twist revelation. When I get manic, he takes away my coffee and makes me take naps. And all the while, he’s just so daggum cute and funny and faithful.
Along the way I have found the greatest BFF-slash-writing-partner any writer could have, who knows what I want to say and how I want to say it better than I do; whose soul-stirring writing takes my breath away.
This is my writing partner, Emma, in Barnes & Noble yesterday, with copies of my book! This is the same B & N where we met and have shared countless happy writing hours! Also, I helped her pick those fabulous boots. 🙂
In the past two years I have discovered the joy of connecting with people through words and scripture and silly stories right here on Lizzy Life. I cannot describe the joy this community has brought me. How I have loved sharing life with you here—giving you glimpses into our wacky world and hearing how our stories intersect with yours. You have helped me not write alone, not learn alone, not live alone.
Along the way I have found joy in writing with God. I cannot describe the intensely intimate and transcendent spiritual experience it was to write When God Says “Wait” with God. Every day writing was a day spent in constant communion with Him. Every day I prayed, “Fill me up and empty me out.” Every day, mystical as it sounds, He whispered words.
Along the way I have had the privilege to work with godly people whose courage, excellence, and giftedness blows my mind: my agent-slash-book-warrior Jessica Kirkland, who fights on no matter the odds. The entire team at Barbour: Kelly McIntosh, who is ever encouraging; Shalyn Sattler, whose heart and talent echo through every email; Mary Burns, who laughed and plotted with me and Shalyn and helped make marketing fun; Liesl Davenport, whose gifts for detail and design had me nearly weeping with gratitude; Laura Weller, copyeditor and comma-wrangler extraordinaire; Ashley Schrock, who designed the brilliant book cover; Jeane Wynne, publicist, cheerleader, and inspiring go-getter; my book launch team, who have made the “preseason” of the book launch such a joy with their enthusiasm and generosity.
Amazing friends have taken time out of their insanely busy lives to read and endorse the book—their generosity with their time and words has meant the world: longtime friends Chip and Pauli Wade, who we met when we were newlyweds and they were both cheerleaders at Georgia Tech; now they serve God in multiple capacities, as talented designers and HGTV stars; Lara Casey Isaacson, a writer friend whose ministry, example, and transparency are inspiring; Andy Lee, a local writer friend whose book, A Mary Like Me: Flawed Yet Called is a beautiful blend of Bible and storytelling; beloved friend Laura Whitaker, who has shared so many waiting seasons with me, and whose work with individuals with special needs is heroic; and devoted friend Marilisa Schachinger, who has also shared my waiting seasons (she was even brave enough to babysit the three-under-three, way back in the day!), and now honors God with her work as a business owner and entrepreneur.
And then there are our parents, Sam and Geri and Bill and Glenda, and our delightfully quirky family members, who have not just tolerated, but supported and encouraged, from the beginning. They have fasted, prayed, babysat, read drafts, given ideas, and picked me up off the floor a thousand times over. My sister Alexandra was enduring a horrific waiting season of her own the entire time I was writing, and her struggle inspired and guided me as I wrote—her spirit, too, is on every page. I could go on for pages about every single family member, but I am every day thankful for every one of them.
And my fiercely loyal friends, who have prayed with me and chosen to walk this journey with me even when the whole process was just so weird and confusing, and they secretly thought I was nuts (and of course they were right). Every girl should be so lucky to have such friends.
And my church family, who have prayed and listened and cheered me on for years, who have not made comments when I showed up to midweek wearing sweatpants, a hat, and crazy eyes. (Sorry about that.) They even let me share their poignant waiting stories in the book.
Much as it pains me and humbles me to say it—this is me, eating my words; Father, are you reading this?—these past fourteen years have taught me the value in waiting. I have seen that good things—maybe even the best things—truly come to those who wait.
The victory is all the sweeter for taking so long. The joy all the richer for following so much rejection, heartache, and doubt. The satisfaction all the more meaningful because it has been shared by so many—and it would not have been shared so meaningfully had it not taken so long. I recognize that; I celebrate what unparalleled joy it is to share joy. The thousands of prayers others have willingly offered on my behalf are staggering. Humbling. Overwhelming. I owe a prayer debt I could never repay.
Above all, I am so grateful to God for allowing me to write this book with Him and for Him. It’s all for you, God… do with it as you will.
Want to check out the book trailer, starring my beautiful friends, and put together by my brilliant brother-in-law? Here it is!
Want to order the book? It’s available anywhere books are sold: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Christianbook.com, even in your local Lifeway. I’d love to hear what you think when you’re through—I deeply appreciate every response, every story, every word you send my way. I can’t wait to hear what you think!
We all know we should read bedtime stories to our children, but let’s be honest: some picture books get old quickly. (But of course our kids want to read their favorites EVERY NIGHT for 476 nights in a row!) There’s nothing boring about the five crowd-pleasing picture books in this list. All five books have been funny-bone-tested and giggle-approved by the four Thompson Crazies, who range in age from two to nine. I can’t decide who laughs the hardest when we read these books . . . the kids, or me!
Hi! I'm Elizabeth, and Lizzy Life is all about clinging to Christ in the chaos of daily life. As a minister, speaker, and novelist (The Thirteenth Summer), I love finding humor in holiness, and hope in heartache. I live in North Carolina with my preacher husband and four miracle children. I believe the recipe for a happy life is simple: laugh-cry daily, pray continually, caffeinate constantly. My new book, When God Says "Wait," is now available from Barbour Publishing. READ MORE.
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