Trust: A Lamp unto Our Feet

February 10, 2012 | 38 comments

My husband rarely wraps a package, so the night before my 40th birthday, he reached behind a pillow on the couch where he had hidden my present.

“Close your eyes,” he coaxed.

Then, he placed it in my hands: A journal to record this new writing journey. (Pssst…. Have I told you yet that I’m writing a book?)

My God’s-Got-It farmer — who teaches me to trust in the Lord whether days bring drought or storm or perfect sun — he gave me a journal with the words TRUST on the front.

I need farmer-trust, farmer-surrender — not just for a book, but for a life. I peeled back the first pages of the journal and found a note from my man.

“Jennifer … I would like you to keep this journal for a record of the process that unfolds to get this book into the hands of those who need it,” he wrote. “It does need to get into those hands, and we know you will TRUST that God already has the process all planned out!”

He underlined the word TRUST.

He reminds me that it’s important to record God’s faithfulness, just like the Israelites did. There’s a real Person guarding our paths, and when journeys take unexpected twists, we have to trust that He is still there.

God doesn’t abandon His people mid-walk. But we rarely get to see what’s around the corner. We have a lamp unto our feet, not a series of bright fluorescents to light up the path ahead. We can see what’s now, and can only trust that no matter what else is ahead, God is.

God. Is.

 

We can be content, knowing that God’s choices for us are far better than our own. And if our own choices and God’s match up? Well, as my Aunt Gladys used to say, “That’s a bonus.”

Next day —  on my 40th birthday — my “that’s-a-bonus” arrived in my inbox: A contract from literary agent Bill Jensen, a man who treats his work as a ministry.

So yes, I’m writing a book. And God-willing, we’ll find a publishing home for it. (And thank you, friends, for making me feel brave in this place, for walking alongside me. I wish I could reach through the screen and hug you.)

I’m so delighted to have signed on with a devoted disciple of Christ, whose mission statement and work honor God.

Bill writes: “It’s not about the amount of books sold, but the number of individuals touched. It’s about the people who desire a fresh revelation of the grace of God, a more effective prayer life, a better marriage, family life, peace of mind, greater understanding, inspirational storytelling — who, in their need, search out a book. Ultimately, it’s about serving God and serving those He loves.”

 

Note: This is submitted as part of Gypsy-Mama’s Five-Minute Friday, in which we are told to write for five minutes on a topic she selects. This week’s topic? TRUST. 🙂
Gypsy-Mama, I hereby confess that this took longer than five minutes to put together with all these photos. But I couldn’t resist linking anyway. It was too providential to pass up. 🙂

RELATED: The website for William K. Jensen Literary Agency.
A list of authors represented by Bill.

by | February 10, 2012 | 38 comments

38 Comments

  1. Stacie

    a) So excited for you and your book-writing journey!
    2) Love your husband’s faith and the way he encourages you. 🙂

    Reply
    • dukeslee

      Hi Stacie!

      My husband has been a great encourager. I learn so much from watching the way he lives out faith on this farm. God bless you, Stacie, and thank you for being here today. Have a fantastic weekend.

      Reply
  2. Diana Trautwein

    Again, Jennifer – congratulations, best wishes, Godspeed. Couldn’t happen to anyone more deserving, at least in my book (metaphorical book, of course. :>)

    Reply
    • dukeslee

      Thank you, Diana. I had shared this news with my personal Facebook friends, but had not yet shared it here. And if it weren’t for the people who come here, I’d never, ever consider doing something like this. I spent most of adult life, and some of my teenage life, as a news reporter, telling other people’s stories. But until I started blogging, I never wrote from a deeply personal place.

      I am so encouraged by this amazing blog community. I’m a better me, because of people like YOU! Thank you for walking alongside.

      Reply
  3. Tara Pohlkotte

    um? this is all kinds of awesome!! how fitting! and how GREAT about the book!! yea!

    Reply
    • dukeslee

      Oh Tracy! Thank you. People like you make me feel a bit braver. God has given me a great group of Jesus-sisters (and brothers) who demonstrate what it means to walk by faith. Grateful for your online friendship.

      Reply
  4. Megan Willome

    Again, yay, you! And I think your husband’s gift is so precious, that he knows that the road ahead will be a journey–one worth transcribing.

    Can’t wait!

    Reply
    • dukeslee

      Hi Megan!

      He’s a good man. He keeps me grounded and sane. He keeps me laughing — at myself, when required. 🙂

      Reply
  5. Shelly Miller

    Jennifer, so thrilled for you and I had an admission with my Five Minute Friday post too so you are in good company. I, like you, have reported other peoples stories as a feature writer for four years and have been writing from passion for the past six months. A book is in my future too. So I’ll learn from your journey and smile over you on my side of the world. And maybe we’ll look each other in the eyes some day!

    Reply
    • dukeslee

      Hi Shelly! I’m so excited to hear that you’re writing a book. And yes, we WILL look each other in the eyes some day. Love you friend…

      Reply
  6. Heather from CT

    Jennifer, I loved this! I just turned 40 this winter and the world is different. There is now a sense of urgency to fearlessly proclaim the mystery of the Gospel that I’ve never had before. Thank you for these words. H

    Reply
    • dukeslee

      Hi Heather! So, how are you finding life in this decade? I think the view is lovely from here. Right up on top of the “Hill” you get a nice vantage point, don’t you think? God bless you, Heather.

      Reply
  7. Bina

    What a great gift…the one he gave you and the one He gave you! So very excited for you!!

    Reply
    • dukeslee

      Thanks, Bina. … Hope you’re settled in back at home. It was such a treat to see you last week. You’re every bit as delightful in person as I thought you would be.

      Reply
  8. Amy

    What a beautiful, meaningful gift! And congratulations on that book writing journey. I hope it is wonderful for you.

    Reply
    • dukeslee

      Hi Amy! Thank you. Yes, it will be hard work — maybe harder than I imagine — but I don’t want to miss the blessings along the way. I think that might be part of the reason why Scott gave me the journal. He doesn’t want me to miss it either.

      Reply
  9. Deidra M

    I’m so proud of you and for you! God is faithful. Do it, even if you have to do it afraid – that’s my new motto. It’s hard, but I’m finding as I step out, He does so much more than I could ever imagine. He will, and is already, greatly using you. Thanks for being willing!

    Reply
    • dukeslee

      Hey Deidra! Yes! And you’ve been right here, in this place. So you know! I’ll “do it afraid” if I have to. Thanks, friend.

      Reply
  10. Jennifer@Adam's Rib

    I love Bill’s comment about it not being about numbers. It’s about touching one + one and fulfilling the plan God has for you. He will take your sacrifice and use it for His glory. You have a great husband. 🙂

    Reply
    • dukeslee

      Hi Jennifer,

      Bill Jensen is a man after God’s own heart. I feel so blessed to have an opportunity to work with him.

      Reply
  11. Jerralea

    Congrats on the upcoming book – and for having a husband who “gets you.”

    Love the quotes out of your journal that you shared!

    Reply
    • dukeslee

      Hi Jerralea! Yes the quotes in the journal are fitting. Page after page …

      God bless you!

      Reply
  12. Lisa notes

    Such an insightful husband. That is definitely a journal to be treasured on many levels.

    I’m glad you are writing a book! You are a very gifted author. I pray your words will be inspired and will spread to all who need them.

    Reply
    • dukeslee

      It is a treasure, indeed. Now, I need to sit down and start taking some notes. He keeps asking me if I’ve written anything in it yet, and I have to sheepishly confess, that no, I have not. 🙂

      Thank you, Lisa, for your kind words and encouragement. It means so much. xxoo

      Reply
  13. Simply Darlene

    Yeehaaww! for you miss JDL!

    I reckon many a heart will be blessed by whatever pages you pen… because you look to God for your ink.

    Blessings.

    Reply
    • dukeslee

      Thank you, Darlene. Friend, I need to get over to your place and catch up. I’m so glad you linked with the “I Do” project! It’s so, so good to see you around the blogosphere again. xxoo

      Reply
    • dukeslee

      <3

      Absolutely OK. We heart you back. 🙂

      Reply
  14. S. Etole

    Considering that “the best is yet to be,” you have much to look forward to. Blessings as you share your heart in word.

    Reply
  15. Sheila Lagrand

    Jennifer,
    This just undoes me. So happy for you, so excited to watch where the journey leads you, and so grateful that you have that good man beside you as you walk along that lamplit path.

    Love you, friend!

    Reply
    • Sheila Lagrand

      PS: I just looked at Bill’s website. There’s a gorgeous picture of gorgeous YOU on his authors page. Of course there is! Wow!

      Reply
  16. Dolly

    Congratulations, Jennifer! Happy for you and glad that you have your wise and loving farmer next to you, and especially that God guides your life and writing. Also loved your first vlog from Wed.

    Reply
  17. Linda

    I am so excited for you Jennifer (thought about you and the book this morning). The very best part is having your dear husband be so supportive and encouraging. He’s a keeper!
    Can you say what the book will be about?

    Reply
  18. Leah Adams

    Jennifer, I’m pretty new to your blog, but this post really spoke to where I am in this season of my life and ministry. Satan tries to tell me God is not ________________ (fill in the blank), yet God consistently reminds me He IS!! Your post was another reminder that God IS trustworthy and He will bring to pass the things that He desires for my life in His timing. Bless you!

    Reply
  19. Cherie Zack

    Jennifer, so excited for you on both counts!! Nothing greater on this earth than to have the support of our husbands. They know just how to nudge us in the right direction! Amen!!

    I look forward to your book coming it. It will find a home. I’m confident of this!

    Blessings… 🙂

    Reply
  20. Doug Spurling

    This is no suprise – I never wondered “if” just “when” you’d put ink to the book you’ve been living. I will pray for you & God’s anointing on the work of your hands – to touch hearts and lives. Not by power, not by might, eloquent speech, or fanciful writing…but By My Spirit says The Lord. I know, you’ll continue to listen to The Voice and let Him write through you. I count it an honor The Lord allowed our paths to cross.

    Reply
  21. Kimberlee Conway Ireton

    Oh, Jennifer, congratulations on finding an agent for your book! That he’s someone you respect and resonate with–I think that’s a bonus bonus =)

    Reply
  22. Heather Marsten

    I read this post today, at a time when my trust in my manuscript was flagging. Thanks for posting this – it is true that we are writing to reach others with the love of God. I pray for your book, and I’m glad you have a supportive husband. What a sweet gift.

    Have a blessed day.

    Reply

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