Thursday, March 10, 2011

Harvest Bay Goes TEAL!

What exactly do I mean by saying Harvest Bay is going TEAL? Are you wondering right now if I'm changing the color of my covers? That answer would be no. I still have two beautifully PINK covers. But there are some BIG changes going on with my writing. Let me start, well, not at the beginning, but a little further back . . .

I've blogged before about my best friend, Patty Smith. Here she is with her husband and 5 awesome kids. Isn't she beautiful??? Well, my Patty has been battling ovarian cancer for about 6 years. From my point of view (which may not be accurate at all) it seemed as though she had the upper hand. It'd knock her down, but she'd get right back up. Until this past October. It started to spread. She had a lot of pain and she wasn't getting right back up. It got in her lungs and after that, it wasn't long before Patty's body wore out. She passed away on Feb 24, 2011.

I could fill pages and pages about the wonderful qualities about Patty, but I suppose after a while you'd get bored. But one thing I can tell you that I'm sure you could appreciate is Patty was a true friend. The kind that you can go for a period of time without talking to and then pick right back up. We did that, and I'm so sorry for that now. There was a period of our lives, though that Patty and I just had to walk seperate paths. I missed things in her life I wish I hadn't and she missed some things in mine. When we reconnected, though, seldom a day went by that we didn't communicate in some form. She was a HUGE source of support for my writing. She was at all of my events in Ohio. Here we are at Borders in Sandusky. She had a migrain that morning and still came out. She was amazing. But what I admired most about her was her unshakable faith. She wrote this on FB as a comment to one of my status updates where I asked for prayer for her just TWO DAYS before she passed away: "I'd like to thank you all. Many of you I don't even know, but God has brought us together. I know He didn't give me this horrible disease, but He is sure letting me use it for great things. My God is a wonderful God. I have no plans of giving up until God, not the cancer, calls me home. Like the song says 'should I go or should I stay, I'm a winner either way.' Love you all and thanks again." Kind of gives you chills doesn't it? Like I said, she was amazing.   

So I spent all this time while she was sick about 500 miles away from her - she was in Ohio and I was in TN - feeling very helpless. I wanted to DO something for her. I love to cook for people who are sick. I couldn't even do that. I couldn't help her with her kids. All I could do was pray. We all know that's no small thing but I still felt like I wasn't DOING enough. A week after she passed away, I had an idea. I cleared it with my publisher and Harvest Bay Goes TEAL was born. Teal is the color ribbon for ovarian cancer and today I completed the small amt of simple paperwork to make it official: a percentage of sales from ALL of my books will be going straight to Ovarian Cancer National Alliance (http://www.ovariancancer.org/) for Patty, all the women that went before her and all the women that will one day follow in her shoes. For my mom and grandmas. For my sisters and my girl friends. For all of the wonderful women in my life. I don't want to lose another lady loved one to this rotten disease! This includes The Heart's Journey Home, already released and available immediatey in paperback, Kindle, and Nook. Also, The Heart's Lullaby is available for preorder. It may never amount to much, but it's something and I believe God can take a little something and make it a big something. After all, He fed 5,000+ with 2 fish and 5 loaves of bread.

I'd be so honored if you would help me in this endeavor. Besides the obvious purchase of the book, just spreading the word, sharing this blog with your friends, is a HUGE, HUGE help! I don't think people know how very valuable word of mouth is. More than anything please pray that God will use this effort for His purpose and make it all He wants it to be. Thank you!

2 comments:

Kathryn Neff Perry said...

Jen,
I didn't know Patty, but I know you. I know you're heart is in the right place. I am praying the Lord will Bless this project in ways you and I can't even imagine. I am so proud of you, and I know Patty is smiling right now because of what you are doing. I'll bet you can hear her voice telling you thank you. Someday you will hear Jesus voice, as in Matthew 25:21 Well done, my good and faithful servant.
Blessings to you Jen

Angie Ochoa said...

I'm so glad that Julie posted what she did on FB! I would've never know about you if she hadn't. I'm so excited to read your book and so blessed to know that God is allowing you to be a vessel of giving towards ovarian cancer research. I have an aunt who had ovarian cancer, and beat it (God beat it!). I pray that you are so fully and totally blessed through this endeavor.

Angie Ochoa