Romans 8:28 (KJV)
28And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.
I am a firm believer that when we do something for God’s glory, satan gets angry. He literally hates us…wants us to seek death for eternity. Taste the flames of damnation. Misery does love company, and what better way to attack than to go for what we Believers hold dear. For me, it is my family. Trying to have faith in all attacks is not an easy thing, especially when the attack is brutal and dangerous.
Yesterday, I talked about having faith in God’s will in our lives. You can read that HERE. I also felt led to tell Grace I wanted to challenge myself. What was the challenge? Something that would have to be called a miracle if it was pulled off. Something that no one could deny as the workings of God. It was so heavy on my heart and I really had to search myself to see if it was a pure desire. I asked myself questions to check that ego thing I fight constantly. Seriously, it is easy to get carried away…don’t you know satan loves that.
- Who will benefit the most from this challenge? Me. I’ll not kid myself or insult you and say anyone else, but like I said before, if it is accomplished, all glory goes to God and His miracle.
- Is it doable? Not by me alone. I am small and that is the reason all would know it was God’s doing. I better practice what I preach or else I am a hypocrite.
- Who will help you? I don’t know. God has always made the way and here comes the faith thing again. I am a Vaulter, after all.
So the decision was made and I spoke with Grace about it. She already knows I am half crazy and probably wasn’t surprised in the least. But I told her and we discussed what must happen before anything could be committed to. That is a reasonable enough thing. I mean, my request is insane.
Am I driving you mad yet by not spitting out what the challenge is? Good. Suspense is a wonderful thing. But since I’m not cruel, I will tell you the details. I have decided I would like to enter I Am Ocilla in the Christy Awards for next year. Not just in one category, but two…Visionary and First Novel. The deadline is December 5th of this year. But the catch is this. The cost is pretty huge for a debut novelist from a small press. We simply don’t have the budgets to enter our work in the higher end contests. Plus, our sales are relatively small in comparison to the larger houses.
There lies the challenge. We have decided that in order for I Am Ocilla to rate even entering, she must sell at least 800 copies by the end of November. Not sure if you are aware but the average title at a small publisher of speculative fiction is hard-pressed to sell 300 copies in a year. Now do you see how this would have to be a miracle?
I cannot do this on my own. I know that as a fact. I will do everything within my power to make this challenge work for God’s glory and I am asking all of you, dear readers, to please help us make a miracle happen. The way I see it is even if we do not win, we fight the good fight and kick satan in the shins.
Yesterday afternoon confirmed the challenge was the right thing to shoot for. You are probably wondering why I have posted pictures of fire. At around 5:15 yesterday afternoon, about an hour after I spoke with Grace, fire broke out on my land. We have 40 acres of dense forest and the wind was blowing at around 15-20mph. The flames had about an acre at that point. We do not have a well and the fire was a good 400 feet from the house.
I freaked. My daughter called my Momma and Momma called 911. We began filling anything that could hold water and bucket-brigaded the 400+ feet to try to control the flames until help could arrive. Nick and I beat the flames with wet clothes and rake the foot-deep leaves away. All I could do was plead for God to send help. I do believe angels were with us yesterday. Actually, I know angels were with us yesterday. We all prayed in our fear and God always listens. After 40 minutes or so, my husband and oldest son arrived home, slipped into boots and jumped into the battle. Then my uncle Rob showed and he too jumped in. The volunteer fire department arrived shortly after that and that made 11 of us battling the flames.
Within another hour the fire was beaten down to smoldering stumps. The Forestry Department came in and made fire-cuts with a dozer and did a back-burn. This was fine until a large pile of brush went up like a Roman candle and the wind picked back up. At around 11 last night they left and told us to watch the flames. What? All night we stood and watched. The kids and I sent another 50 buckets of water over through the night. Nick knocked over two trees that endangered other trees.
I am so proud of my family and all the help that came to us. Today, the wind is gusting at around 50 mph and feasibly this entire mountain should be ablaze. But God gave us another miracle and only four stumps are smoldering. We went out and shoveled dirt over them to keep any ash from blowing into dry leaves.
So, now you see why I am determined more than ever to take this challenge to heart and give it my all. I ask that all of you share my story on your blogs, facebook and Twitter and help a small press have a miracle in 2012. 800 books are a lot of books, but with God, anything is possible.
Peace, love and God’s will.