I stood still in the basement of the Baptist church I attended. Time was often spent preparing to teach fifty children each week in Children’s Church. God had called me to this ministry and I loved teaching truth to each precious soul. God’s voice came to me in a mental whisper, This is only the beginning.
That beginning started more than twenty years ago. God often gave me unique object lessons and ways to present truth to children in a creative way. Lives were impacted and little souls were saved.
I started desiring to publish with no idea how to do so. Life was busy as I worked a full-time job, raised my children, and continued to teach. Though I never found the time to learn about publishing my desire to do so never left me.
My Father was diagnosed with cancer in the middle of this Children’s ministry. For the last four months of his life, I spent almost every evening at his side. We prayed, talked, and shared our hearts, but I never told Daddy about my call to publish.
One evening Daddy called and told me to come over because he had something to share.
When I walked into Daddy’s room, he told me God had shown him something about my future. I’ll never forget these words. They have lingered permanently in my mind. “God is going to use you. You’ll reach a lot of people one on one. Lisa you are going places, I mean you are going places”, rolled from Daddy’s lips. He told me to go home and write those words down. I didn’t need to because they have lingered permanently in my mind.
Several years later I sat on the floor of a dilapidated jail cell with incarcerated women. I remembered Daddy’s words, “You’ll reach a lot of people one-on-one.” This was the definition of ministering one-on-one. That was fifteen years ago and I still visit my local jail.
Though I ministered in other ways, I never lost my love for feeding truth to children or my desire to publish. Five years ago, my head hit the pillow and my brain started firing with a Christmas picture book manuscript. A little girl leading and animals arguing over Jesus’ manger caused me to crawl out of bed and jot down rhythmic words, though a bit off-beat. I knew this would be a manuscript that would work.
I messed that little manuscript up, but I took it to the Blue Ridge Christian Writers Conference in 2021. An editor saw the potential so I came home and started learning how to write a proposal. I got an editor to help me work on my manuscript and submitted but with no feedback.
More editing took place, the little girl didn’t fit and had to go as did several redundant lines. We often need to lose our little darlings to have a shining manuscript. I’m thankful for the help God has sent me along the way. Stinging critiques, slashing edits, and working diligently were required to meet my goal. Publishing is not for the faint of heart, but I was called and I knew it.
I submitted to Elk Lake Publishing Inc. earlier this year and got a contract. God let me quickly find Tatiana Kochan who was the perfect illustrator for this manuscript. I envisioned illustrations, but she created animals beyond my expectations. Whose Manger is This? released October 14, 2023. God has blessed and sales are good. We are also collaborating to publish an Easter Book with Elk Lake Publishing Inc. to release in February 2025.
The road to publishing has been difficult. For the past three years, I walked into conferences, or Zoomed, feeling like an imposter. I’ve experienced rejections. Insecurities and doubts have been Satan’s tools to hinder. Nonetheless, I kept working. “Build your platform,” the experts said, so I hired a company to build my author site where I write weekly devotions. I continually submit devotionals and articles to various publishers and some have been published. This adds publishing credit to my proposal as did publishing in my local newspaper. Daily radio spots are recorded and played across the airways in several counties. I was told to build my platform but this platform is not mine, it belongs to God. He told me to share HIS TRUTH for HIS GLORY and that is what I intend to do.
I’m often skeptical of prophesies, dreams, and visions, but I knew Daddy had heard from the Lord. Whatever God has planned for my future, I’ll follow because I know…..
…the gifts and calling of God are without repentance.
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