Sunday, October 25, 2009

Things are a Changin'

The leaves are turning. The colors just this past week have really become vibrant. I think this is one of my favorite times of the whole year. We all know what an amazing Creator our God is, but this time of year reminds me over and over again what a magnificent Artist He is! I love the warm and cozy feeling that fall brings to my heart - the fires in the fireplaces, sipping hot cider, and trips to the pumpkin patch. Have I mentioned that I love fall??? :o)

Well, about a month has past since my last post. Rats! I MUST get better at updating this site! A New Years resolution, maybe??? :o/ But there's been a lot going on to fill you in on! Things are becoming very, very busy in our house!

The girls alone are keeping us busy! Ali is in mini cheerleading and Livi is deep into her first soccer season. They are both loving it . . . and I really love keeping them busy. When they get bored, they get unruly! Can anyone else relate??? Ha! Ha! They are both doing great in school. Ali floored me a few weeks ago. I had to stay home with Livi because she had strep throat and I told Ali that she could stay home and rest, too, to make sure she was well for our trip to Ohio, but she said, "But I want to have perfect attendance this year, Mama." Can you believe that??? Perfect attendance! I'm so proud of both of my girls!

Chris is doing great with his songwriting. It's a slow process, especially here in Nashville where there is a ridiculous amount of talent, but he's made all the right connections, and is really writing some great stuff. Just wrote one today that is really, really wonderful! I'm very proud of him, too! He's such a good provider for our family and I'm extremely blessed by him.
As for me, well I'm having the best year ever at school. My class is great. The teachers I teach with are as wonderful as you can get. God has big, big plans for Christian Community Schools and I feel so privileged to be a part of it. And God is also doing some amazing things with The Heart's Journey Home. I'm getting several endorsements in, which I am so humbled by. Kathi Macias, the very talented author of the book that I reviewed last month, My Son, John, said this about The Heart's Journey Home:

"In her debut novel, author Jen Stephens bursts on the literary scene with a warmth and charm that shines through her writing right into the reader’s heart. With down-home candor and skilled word-weaving, Stephens allows her story to unfold through believable characters, drawing readers in right from the beginning and carrying them on a pleasant journey with enough twists and turns along the way to maintain interest to the very last page. Congratulations on a great first novel, and I certainly expect to see more from this author in the future!"

As you can imagine, this endorsement brought tears to my eyes! It also makes me slightly nervous as I believe anyone who reads this endorsement will have high expectations for this book and I hope I don't let my readers down! Self conscious? Yes! This is my first try! *Chewing fingernails*

I also did a video trailer with a lot of assistance from our computer/year book teacher at school (who's a tech GENIUS!) to help generate interest for this book. I've gotten a lot of positive feedback on it. I'm hoping to get it put up here very soon, but right now the file is too big. :o( I'm also having troubles with my website. Grrr! But I won't let the tech problems get me down. Keep reading and you'll find out why!
Okay, now sit down because it gets even more exciting! At least for me it does. I was asked by a teacher at MY OLD ELEMENTARY SCHOOL to come and be the guest author at their Young Author event!!!!! I participated in that event . . . a certain number of years ago! :o) What an honor it is for me! I'm so overwhelmed with gladness I just can't even put it in words. Who would've ever thought, back when I was an 8, 9, 10-year-old, doing my little project, that I would one day come back as a guest author??? Really it has been a definite highlight this year and will be next year when I go in March. Pics WILL be posted. Count on it!!! Also in March I will be having a book signing at my hometown library and possibly at a Borders store in a neighboring town. A few weeks prior to those events, I'm working on planning a "release" party here near Nashville for the weekend of Valentine's Day. We'll see how that goes. And if all of that isn't enough to set your head spinning, just a few weeks from now, November 20th to be exact, I'm scheduled to appear on a local Christian radio show to discuss The Heart's Journey Home.

Whew! If that is still not enough, there is one more bit of news . . . The Heart's Journey Home is available for preorder on,,, and of course my publisher's website,!!!!!

So, I've been busy, and it's been great! But never ever too busy to pray!!! And that's exactly what I'm getting to right now.

URGENT PRAYER REQUESTS: Unfortunately both of these that I'm adding have lost loved ones.

Please pray for Jenny Hogg. Her husband was recently killed in a motorcycle accident. She has a 4-year-old daughter but has also recently had a miscarriage. My dear friend who is close to Jenny requested prayer specifically for wisdom and grace to handle the days ahead of her. I pray for the Lord to just hold her. Just hold her in the fury of this storm. I'm sure nothing anyone can say or do during this time will really be able to put a dent in the grief she's experiencing, but the Lord can. Pray that Jenny can FEEL the presence of God every single day. Pray that she'll come to know Him in a personal, intimate way, and that she'll begin to rely on Him in a way she never had to before.

Also, please pray for Joe & Shelley Butler and their family. Their oldest son was killed in an automobile accident early this morning. I just can't imagine what it must be like to have the holidays right around the corner, maybe Shelley had even bought her son a few presents, and now he won't be there with them. I can't wrap my brain around that kind of grief! But I know Someone who can. Our God WILLINGLY allowed His one and only Son to be killed only for the salvation of you, of me, of Joe and Shelley's baby boy, and I pray that they receive some comfort by the fact that their son is now visiting with His Son.

Please also continue to pray for the other requests on the list. I'll update them as I get updates.

I pray that you all have a wonderful week, a SPOOKtacular Halloween, and that you enjoy getting an extra hour of sleep as Daylight Savings Time ends this Saturday night. So don't forget to turn your clocks back! :o)