Friday, November 22, 2013

THE PRAYER BRACELET

Julie here, and every now and then, I run into an author with whom I click. You know, that rare combination of things not unlike the lock on a safe, where you roll the tumbler from one number to the next  click, click, click, click, BINGO!! Suddenly there's a connection, and you discover a treasure inside. Today's guest author, Jamie Carie, is like that for me. 

I can honestly say that never have I personally connected more with a blog written by one of my author guests than today. I don't know how it will affect you, but Jamie's story had me hitting the Kleenex hard, because other than a few minor details (and about a twenty-something age span, the brat) I could have written this. I hope and pray that Jamie's very powerful testimony blesses you as much as it has me. Without further ado, I give you my good friend, Jamie Carie  with whom, I might add, I'm involved in a wonderful Christmas Romance & Gift Card Giveaway along with Colleen Coble RIGHT NOW, so please see details at the end of this blog. Take it away, Jamie ...

The Prayer Bracelet
By Jamie Carie
(with giveaway!)

One day, pre-publication, I was riding in the car on the way home from some trip. I was wearing one of those prayer bracelets that were popular for awhile. You know, the ones with the silver prayer box that someone had placed a prayer inside? Well, one of my homeschooling friends had given it to me with a note, typed out in really tiny type and rolled up and placed in the box - a prayer that I would someday get published. They all, all my friends for eight years – homeschool moms and small-group women and neighbors and family – especially family – they all knew my great desire to break into publishing, and over the years, prayed many prayers for me that it would happen.  But on that day, in the car as I clutched that bracelet and sent up yet another prayer, it broke. The elastic snapped and all the beads went flying and rolling around my seat. I scrambled like a desperate person to find every bead. Miles flashed by from the car windows as I painstakingly strung every bead back on that elastic, the prayer box last and most important. I struggled, with many false attempts (you know how slippery that clear elastic can be) to tie a knot in the bracelet. There. Finally it was back together and I breathed a breath of relief. 

My dream was still intact. 

I had purpose. I had meaning again. I knew what I wanted, and this prayer and all the other prayers over the years would see that it happened. Whew….

But as the miles slipped away on our road trip, the bracelet chafed. With the knot, the elastic band didn’t fit so well against my wrist. I adjusted it, moved it down to the skinny part of my wrist and determined it was okay. It was still the symbol of what I wanted. I clutched that bracelet and prayed, yet again, for publication…and then I heard that still, sure voice of God say into my heart:

“It’ll be a tight fit.”

I turned my head away from the voice, looked out the car window with the dark trees flying by, tears in my eyes as the truth struck deep into my bone and marrow. Hebrews 4:12 “For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.” (NIV)

No. I could handle it. I can handle it! It would not be a tight fit. I can do it. I’ll show You I can do it.

But I knew, too, deep, deep within, that God  in all His love and care  had just told me that He would give me what I wanted, and that He understood every single core-deep reason why I wanted it, but that it would come with a disclaimer….a Cinderella’s midnight…it would be a piece of my destiny that I had decided was right, this prince. And He did. He gave it to me with all the fanfare and acclaim that I could have wished for.

After eight years of trying to break in, Snow Angel was soon published after that night. There were several awards, including a RITA® nomination for Best First Book. My husband and I went to San Francisco to the RWA Conference and attended the award ceremony. I was down to a size six and bought the dress of my dreams. I didn’t win but I felt like a winner. And then, as the months went by, there was good news after good news from my publisher. Record sales, more awards, translations, book-club deals, foreign deals… I remembered calling family a couple of times a month with more good news. I was flown in to conventions, given a multi-city book tour and treated like a rising star. It was intoxicating.

After my third book came out, the economy collapsed and book sales took a dive. I was starting to ride the wave down, though I didn’t realize it fully at the time. I was still very new and naïve to the business, but trying to keep up. Deadlines got closer together while the whole marketing game seemed to change by the month. By my fifth book, I was starting to struggle. I had lost some friends because of my hectic schedule and inability to separate work from home life. When I’m deep in my stories, it takes over my mind and imagination and I’m hard pressed to do much more than laundry and cleaning the house. My kids, though growing up, now had two workaholic parents (my husband has always had to work hard to get us – a family of five – ahead). And more, most important, something felt off. Something with my writing was not quite right and I wasn’t sure what it was. By my sixth novel, I felt like a drowning person, treading water, praying, begging for God’s help, wondering what I needed to change to get back to writing from my heart – a bleeding process, yes, but real. I needed something….badly.

The bracelet was tightening. 

And then, at forty-two years old, I had a heart attack.

It’s hard for me to write that – to say it out loud, even now. How? At forty-two? I exercised five days a week and ate decent. How could this happen to me?

The doctors shook their heads and said that it was partly because of family history and partly a fluke. A piece of plaque had broken loose during my treadmill workout (I know the exact moment it happened) and totally blocked one of my main arteries. Rare. That’s what they called it as they shrugged their shoulders in confusion. Maybe it was stress. 

Well, I didn’t tell them of a traumatic childhood full of abuse – my father beating my ten-year-old brother forty lashes with a belt while the family had to watch. My mother forced to give birth to two of my younger siblings at home, one of which nearly cost her my youngest brother’s life.

I didn’t tell the psychiatrist who visited, who really didn’t seem to want to be there anyway, the times when they were having church in our basement and my dad was screaming at demons to come out of people – how at ten years old, I would hold my breath upstairs in my bed for fear the demons would come screaming out of them and find me, their new host. The night terrors and how I would make up vivid stories in my mind so that I could get a few hours of sleep before grade school. 

And then how as a young woman, I had panic attacks and couldn’t breathe, and while my husband did a paper route after he lost his job, and would be gone from four to six in the morning, I would spend those hours walking a circle in our tiny living room with a paper bag clutched in one hand and the life-line of Joyce Meyer’s “Battlefield of the Mind” playing on the CD player – quietly so my boys could sleep keeping me on just this side of sanity. 

Tight bracelet….tight bracelet…tight bracelet….

Refusing to believe what had happened, I had my husband bring my laptop to the hospital and I finished my edits on The Snowflake that were due January 1st. I did not miss that deadline and went on as best I could as if it never happened, my only reminder now a daily dose of pills. 

So I signed another three-book deal. I was honestly excited to write this story – my first continuous series  and I dove right in, writing the entire series in eighteen months. But when I finished it, I knew I was done. The creative well only coughed up a cloud of dust when I tried to dip into it, and I needed a rest. I was terrified to be done, but I knew I had to reset – find my way again – so I didn’t sign that next three-book deal. I released my dream of what I wanted as an author to the Lord. I agreed that I couldn’t do it my way anymore. I took some time off after my Castle Series to just be mom and wife again. This time I really enjoyed it. This time I wasn’t wishing I was more than a wife and mom. I enjoyed old hobbies like decorating my house and gardening. And I learned to really cook! Something I had convinced myself I wasn’t very good at. But I am good at it. And I love trying new recipes now. I reconnected with old friends and slowly, bit by bit, and I felt like I was finding myself again. 

After a year or so I started to see stories all around me again. The keyboard was actually looking inviting so I pulled out and rewrote a contemporary story – Rush to the Altar – that I’d played around with just prior to breaking in. I self-published it in February and enjoyed the process. 

This past September my husband and I went on a trip to Ireland and Scotland for our 25th wedding anniversary. I’d always dreamed of going but didn’t really know if I ever would. God was blessing us with this – I could feel it. We were able to even spend one of the days with my friend, a retired historian and Irish gentleman I’d corresponded with while writing The Guardian Duke. He planned the whole day for us and took us on a private tour of Killyleagh Castle, which is on the cover and featured in the book. He took us to many places I had researched and my characters had traveled to. It was surreal, and God’s love for me, arranging all this from the time I started writing Guardian Duke…that kind of love for me….it was overwhelmingly real. 


Glencoe, Scotland – I called it “God’s Waiting Room” it was so beautiful.

After seeing Scotland and the stunning city of Edinburgh, I came home inspired! I wrote my latest release – A Highlander for Christmas – a Christmas novella, in a little over a month. The cover came together in a day. My husband helps me with all things technical including the cover and we self-published it in a couple of more days. And then, your own, dear Julie Lessman and I started talking about promoting our Christmas novellas together – and then the wonderful Colleen Coble joined in, and the whole thing snowballed into this wonderful give-away we are planning. I’m laughing with joy as I write this. I’m learning that trusting God with my career changes everything! I’m learning that I’m enough even if I’m never this big, successful author. He’s given me a gift, and He has plans for it. His burden is easy and light. 

Matthew 11:28-30

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” (NIV)

My encouragement to you is that wherever you find yourself on your publication journey, seek His plans for the gifts He has given you, and everything will turn out according to His purposes for your life.

SEEKERVILLE GIVEAWAY:
Leave a comment and you're entered to win Jamie's delightful Scottish Christmas novella, A Highlander for Christmas!

CHRISTMAS ROMANCE & GIFT CARD GIVEAWAY!!


CHRISTMAS ROMANCE & GIFT CARD GIVEAWAY!!
To get it on the give-away just go to Jamie's blog - http://jamiecarie.com/jamiesblog November 18-26. We are giving away our Christmas novellas and a $100 Amazon gift card! I praise God for His goodness and His great love for us all, and I look forward to getting to know you better through Seekerville and this contest. 

ABOUT JAMIE CARIE:
Jamie Carie is an award-winning, best selling historical and contemporary romance novelist. She is the author of Snow Angel, a USA News Book winner for Best Romance, a ForeWord Magazine award winner and a RITA Awards® finalist. Her third novel, Wind Dancer, was a 2010 Indiana State Library Best Books of Indiana finalist. Jamie lives in Indiana with her husband and three sons.






70 comments:

Melissa Jagears said...

So glad you had your break and found it to be exactly what you needed!

Julie Lessman said...

WELCOME TO SEEKERVILLE, JAMIE, SOOO GLAD YOU ARE HERE!!

To celebrate Jamie's new Scottish Christmas novella, I'm putting on a spread of Scottish favorites including an assortment of juices, plain yogurt with muesli to sprinkle on top, fresh fruit, whole or chopped. Round, thin oatcakes, waiting for a skim of raspberry jam. And a selection of cereals. Half a tomato, broiled with cheese on top, a rasher of bacon, potato or tattie scone, link sausage, or banger, sautéed mushrooms, baked beans (yes, for breakfast), one egg, fixed any way you like, and black pudding.

Dig in!

Hugs,
Julie

Julie Hilton Steele said...

What a powerful story. So many writers disappear off the grid and we wonder what happened.

Thanks too for sharing your story and how you recovered in body, mind, spirit and creativity.

Peace, Julie

Lyndee H said...

Amazing story, Jamie. Thanks for sharing.

Ruth Logan Herne said...

I echo Julie Hilton Steele... Jamie, thank you for being here and thank you for frankly sharing your story!

God bless you.

Debra E. Marvin said...

Wow, that's quite a story. I love God's big and little ways to bless us. Thanks so much, Jamie!

Wow!
And now I'm all over that Breakfast, Julie!

Annie Rains said...

Wow, what a wonderful story! Thank you so much for sharing it with us. I'm so glad you're feeling better and writing again.

Happy Friday, Seekerville!

karenk said...

what an amazing story, Jamie...thank you for sharing.

blessings,
karenk
kmkuka at yahoo dot com

Sandra Leesmith said...

JULIE thank you for bringing JAIMIE to Seekerville. Thank you JAIMIE for sharing. God is amazing isn't HE. And your writing relationship really touched my heart and reminded me that it is Him we need to rely on--not what we think is our purpose. sigh

JULIE the breakfast is to die for. And yes, I discovered baked beans are definitely an item for breakfast when I was in Portugal. They do English breakfast there. smile

pol said...

Thanks Julie for the wonderful introduction to Jamie and her work. Jamie your story is heartbreaking and I am so glad you are past that part in your life and now the writing is doing well. I hope your speaking of it helps you to be stronger each time that you do. I am ready to read that Christmas story...
Julie that table of Scottish treats looks so inviting, I want to try those oatcakes....
thanks Ladies for being in Seekerville today....

Paula O

Kav said...

No matter what we do in life it's all about the balancing, isn't it? And following God's direction of course. What a powerful testimony, Jamie and thank you for sharing it.

I'm excited to read A Highlander for Christmas but don't enter me in the draw. I downloaded it last night and aim to read it this weekend while pretending that the predicted rain is really snow. :-)

Christina Rich said...

Jamie, thank you for sharing your story. I try to always seek God but sometimes i wonder if I am listening. :)

Ruth Logan Herne said...

Kav, thank you so much for your unfailing support of Christian authors. I love you THIS MUCH, KAV!!!!

Jamie, I think your story proves you're an Overcomer which means we need a link to OVERCOMER BY MANDISA!!!!

Let's rock this Popsicle stand!

Ruth Logan Herne said...

OVERCOMER BY MANDISA!!!!

Trying again, oy, I need lessons!!!!

kaybee said...

This is really deep and I don't know what to say. Thank you for sharing.
What I like about Seekerville is that everybody takes the long view. The published authors share their struggles -- it really isn't the end of the rainbow when you sign your first contract. Or 50th.
Kathy Bailey

jamie carie said...

Thanks, Melissa!

Julie, your breakfast feast brings me right back to Edinburgh! My husband had haggis, neeps (turnips) and tatties (potatoes) which I had a bite of and it was delicious. The link sausage was really good over there and we wondered if it had lamb in it. You're making me hungry!
Julie S and Ruth: I hope to be back on the grid but taking it a story at a time. :-) Hugs
Lyndee: Thanks, girl. It was scary to share but God is in control, not me!
Debra: Thanks for stopping by! I'm excited to be here and get to know you all!
Annie: I am feeling better - full recovery physically. Just still working on some emotional baggage but God's grace is sufficient.
Thanks, karenk!
Sandra, you're reminding me of eating baked beans in Edinburgh. We stayed right in the heart of the Royal Mile and had one of those continental breakfasts at the hotel two mornings and I was surprised to see baked beans on the menu. It was good though! Thanks for your kind words!

Karen Kirst said...

What an intense, emotional story, Jamie. Thank you for sharing with us. I'm in the midst of my seventh book, and I struggle with balancing all the responsibilities. Do you homeschool? I do, which means my kids are here with me. The younger ones are constantly coming in while I'm writing, wanting snacks or wanting me to sort an argument. Believe me, I feel blessed to spend so much time with them, but I do struggle with having a good attitude when the interruptions seem endless and deadlines are looming. I don't normally speak about this, but your testimony touched me. I'm so glad you were able to recognize your need for a break and to truly enjoy it. Love the cover for your Christmas novella, btw.

Marianne Barkman said...

Jamie...An amazing story. Thank you for sharing.

jamie carie said...

Paula, thanks for the support and kind words. I'm hoping it helps to talk about it too! lol!

Thanks, Kav, for downloading A Highlander for Christmas. I really love the hero - Iain MacLeon. He's such a strong Christian man who has figured out how to lean on and listen for God's voice to guide and direct him. Of course a hunky man in a kilt doesn't hurt either! :-)

Christina - me too! It's sometimes hard to block the worlds noise so that His voice shines through. Thanks for stopping by!

Ruth, I'm going to go over and listen to that song right now. Thanks for sharing that!

Kathy, that is so true! But everyone's journey is unique and there are some authors who just continue to thrive and build success (ok, I'm a little jealous of those guys/gals). It feels good to be on the right path again.

Beth said...

Jamie such an amazing story. I know how much strength and courage it takes to say those things out loud! You are such an inspiration to me and I love your books! God Bless you!

Connie Queen said...

Jamie, your bracelet story is very encouraging. You know, being an author is always portrayed as living the dream. The truth is it can be, but can also draining. We feed off our emotions and past experiences, or run from them. There are several subjects I stay away from because it hits too close to home.

Thanks for sharing.

Melanie Dickerson said...

Oh, Jamie! What a wonderful, heart-felt, heart-wrenching post! And I can identify SO MUCH with this post in many ways. Some ways I can't even say. I'm so happy you are feeling peace about everything. God is good. And you are such a wonderfully talented writer. It feels wonderful to just enjoy the gift of writing. But it's so easy to lose that in the midst of the pressure of this business, and especially the pressure we put on ourselves.

I can so identify with feeling like being a wife and mom is just not good enough, feeling that desperation to get published and to succeed. I can also identify with the feeling that your family is what really matters, and starting to really enjoy being with your kids, because you realize that writing is not everything to you anymore.

Nobody knows what's going on in someone else's heart and life. It's easy to guess, but impossible to know. This is another reason why God wants us to be merciful and loving to each other and not judgmental. The older I get, the more I realize I don't need to assume anything! Hugs to you, Jamie! I know God is very proud of you. :-)

Lisa Medeiros said...

What an amazing testimony! God is good!

Jill Fortner said...

Wonderful testimony! So glad you're with us to share it.
Many blessings,
Jill

Chris B said...

Wow, thank you for sharing. I am going to pray for ya'll (writeer's) with each book I read. I really believe the Lord is leading all of us to be real with each other, not reality tv, but honest about our hurts, pasts, and the healing that has taken place. Jamie I love your books. Thank you. Julie, I love your books too and thank you.

jamie carie said...

Karen: You go girl! I so admire those who can homeschool and do any business! I homeschooled for several years but my boys are now 23, 21 and 14 so things change a lot! They all went to Christian or public school for middle and high school so I didn't have them at home during the day while I was writing most of my books. Finding that place of peace in the chaos is a daily challenge and goal. I pray God gives you a way to connect with Him that is just as creative as you are! I'm not a rule following kind of girl (it's the preacher's daughter in me!) so I don't like it when people say do this or do that. God is sooooo creative and His ways are soooo unfathomable that we can just open to new and creative ways to connect with Him based on how He has created each of us. For some it's His creation or music or painting or holding a child. There is worship and His peace in all those things and a million others. Oh, goodness, I'm getting on a soapbox, aren't I? (Preacher's daughter again....)

jamie carie said...

Marianne - Thanks, girl! I'm enjoying being here!

Beth and Connie - I told Julie Lessman that she might have to hold my hand for this one. And, of course, she has been such an encouragement. I think because of my background I find it hard to trust or even want to need others. God is setting me free little by little! Praise Jesus!

Melanie - I just love you! Thanks for the encouragement and friendship. I agree so much that we shouldn't judge others. You just never know what they have been through or are going through. I pray God continues to give you great stories and holds you close as you walk through this career. Hugs back!

Jill and Lisa - Thanks for reading my story! I appreciate every person's time they take and give big hugs to all of you!

Janet Dean said...

Welcome to Seekerville, Jamie! Your story touched me deeply. I ache for the child you were and all you and your siblings endured. I hope you've been able to forgive and heal.

I marvel at God's warning that publication came with a cost, yet He gave your dream anyway. A heart attack, any serious health issue, is a wakeup call to take a look at our lives and find a balance. Find that place where we can write while honoring God with worship and our families with our presence. Your inspiring story is a great reminder to look at my priorities and make sure they fit God's plan for my life.

Janet

jamie carie said...

Chris - Thank you!! We writers need all the prayers we can get and that is the single most powerful thing you can do for your favorite authors. Well, that and buy a copy ;-)

Susan Anne Mason said...

Hi Jamie,

What an inspiring story! Thanks for sharing. It's good to realize that behind what what we see as a successful person,maybe even envy the person, that person is having their own ups and downs, doubts and glories!

So glad you're in a joyful, creative place again and enjoying your family, as well! Now the cooking rejuvination, well I need to take after you there! I do it, but it's SO not my thing!

I have enjoyed a few of your books and am happy you're still writing!

Cheers,
Sue

jamie carie said...

Thank you, Janet. I am a work in progress and try my best to cooperate with God as He brings me out of the darkness and further into the Light. God has certainly given me lots of "grist for the mill" for which I am thankful!

April Gardner said...

Beautiful story, Jamie! I can just imagine your horror at seeing all those beads slipping through your fingers. Good thing our God is big enough to hold everything together. :-)

Thank you for your inspiring story. Tweeting!!

Mary Connealy said...

Hi Jamie. Thanks for sharing your story. So glad you found a way to take a break and find yourself again and can now write from a stronger more peaceful place.

God bless you for sharing.

Jeanne T said...

Jamie, thank you so much for sharing your story. Your transparency is so encouraging. I kept thinking about how God gave you Plan B in His book, Plan A in yours. It's always beautiful how God can work in spite of us sometimes. I appreciate the reminder to trust His timing for my own journey. I struggle with that sometimes, with discontent and discouragement.

It's beautiful to hear how He has worked in your life through writing and given you a new freedom with your stories. I look forward to reading them.

Donna said...

Jamie,God has given you the power to overcome and you have the strength of spirit to wield it.

Thank you so much for sharing your story.

Carrie Turansky said...

I loved reading about Jamie's journey! Very touching. Thanks for sharing it with us!

bonton said...

SO enjoyed your post, Jamie! I'm not a writer, but can still identify with parts of your story - SO touching, & a perfect example of "let go, & let God"! He ALWAYS has the best plan for our lives - SO glad you have found yours!

Thanks for sharing your story - I would love to read your books!

jamie carie said...

Hi, Sue! Thanks for the kind words. Maybe cooking isn't your thing but I'll bet there is some hidden talent in there for something you don't know you have yet. I saw President Bush on TV showing his paintings and I thought it was so cool that he discovered that later in life. We are fearfully and wonderfully made!

April, I agree! God is in control even when it looks like He is nowhere to be found.

Thanks, Mary. I admire your tenacity and ability to put out so many great books! I do feel in a place of freedom with my writing and it's exciting!!

Jeanne, I agree! God's plan has unfolded in my life with me demanding it go in certain ways that I though were best. Letting go is hard but so freeing!

Amen, Donna! We are overcomes with Christ! Thanks for reading my story.

Carrie, you've helped me share some personal things before. Thanks for your wisdom, girlfriend!

Cindy W. said...

Oh, Jamie. What a testimony. Like Julie, I had to reach for the Kleenex too. Praise God that all is well with you now and that you are using the gift He has blessed you with.

I would love to be entered into your giveaway.

Smiles & Blessings,
Cindy W.

countrybear52 AT yahoo DOT com

jamie carie said...

Thanks, bonbon! I'm so glad my story blessed you!

Thank-you, Cindy! I needed some tissue (ok, a lot) while writing it. I've learned that crying can be as good as laughing for me. :-) To get in on the contest go here to enter http://jamiecarie.com/huge-christmas-give-away
Good luck and God bless you!

Myra Johnson said...

So inspirational, Jamie! Thank you so much for sharing your journey with us!

It's only when you're on the other side of the publishing fence that you really begin to appreciate the sacrifices a writing career requires. Lately I've had to remind myself over and over that this is the career I prayed for. And I love writing--oh, yes--LOVE IT! Love being published, too, truly a dream come true!

What I don't always love is the pressure. The tight deadlines, the marketing and promotion, the continually higher expectations--my own, my agent's, my editor's, and my readers'--it gets exhausting!

But I know from my own spiritual epiphany a few years ago that writing stories is what God has gifted me to do, and in His strength I'll persevere!

Cara Lynn James said...

Very inspirational, Jamie! Writing is never exactly what we dream it will be and we have to deal with the reality.

Natalie Monk said...

What a resonating, powerful testimony! Thank you so much for sharing with us, Jamie! I'm looking forward to a Highlander for Christmas. The book, that is. :) Hmmmm... "Dear santa..." LOL

jamie carie said...

Thank, Myra. Staying grafted in the Vine (Jesus) gives us the strength to do what we need to do each day. I'm happy to have my creative well filling back up!

Cara - you are right. They say to be careful what you wish for. On the other hand, God is here when we fall down so taking risks and being fearless is key.

Lol, Natalie! You crack me up!!!

Jackie Smith said...

Would love to be in the drawing for your book, Jamie!! I have read some of your books and loved them.... I plan to read all of them! Blessings on your writing and health!
Thanks!
PS...Hi to Julie and thanks for bringing Jamie to Seekerville!

Missy Tippens said...

Jamie, thanks so much for being with us! What a beautiful post about God working in our lives, knowing exactly what we need and when we need it. I can really relate with trying to control my own life and be in charge. It's something I deal with continually.

I LOVE your new Christmas cover!! I hope it sells like crazy!

Karen Kirst said...

Thanks for reminding me to seek God in everyday things!

Kirsten Arnold said...

Jamie,

Thank you for your powerful testimony today. It's something we all need to remember as we beg God for our dreams.

Isn't God wonderful in restoring everything and making it better than our best dreams. :)

All the best!
--Kirsten

Virginia Carmichael Munoz said...

Wow, what a really beautiful post. Thank you for sharing your journey.
(Insert odd comment: LOVE your covers. May or may not have anything to do with the fact I love red shoes, I'm a Scottish red-head and love Christmas.)
God was with you, every step, so faithful, even as HE watched you take on so much more than you should have. I wiped away tears reading this.
I was reading Hanna Brenchner's blog (of the More Love Letters fame) and she talked about boundaries. At 24, single, at the top of the world, she had to sit down and set boundaries for her work because she was pouring everything she had into her writing, and that wasn't the way it was meant to be.

From one of her recent posts on Christmas "I could feel God breathing when I arrived in St. Louis yesterday morning.

I could feel Him breathing as we shoveled my suitcase into the car and drove along the streets while a girl with a lace dress and chocolate-brown tights told me the history of a city she’s grown up in all her life. And I felt God saying, “This is life, my girl. This is life. You don’t need to be somewhere. You don’t need to hustle. You don’t need to hurry. I just want you to suck this moment in good. And I want you to pay attention to this girl and the people I will give you in the next few hours. And I want you to say thank you when we are done.”
He gives me a thousand tiny, glittering objects within a single day. A thousand, a thousand. And I’m just stomping my feet and crossing my arms and waiting for something better. Something that doesn’t shimmer and doesn’t shine but it makes me feel legitimate and “known.” I muddy up the simple roads with wheels that turn too fast. And He? Well He just smiles and shakes his head, as if to say, “Girl, take your shoes off. Let the mud sink around your heels. Dance a little, girl. It won’t kill you stop in this moment but girl, you’ll miss it something fierce when it’s finally gone.”

And so I start to count. Because He has given me a thousand glittering objects to count.--Hannah Brenchner

Sorry for the long comment, but this was such a timely post for me. So many moments and words and people telling me to slow DOWN (and, well, to SLEEP).

Blessings on your family and all your future projects!

CatMom said...

Welcome Jamie, and thank you for sharing your story--and heart--with us.

Congratulations on your books---your Scottish Christmas novella looks especially inviting!

May the Lord always guide your heart and your steps.
Blessings from Georgia, Patti Jo

jamie carie said...

Hey Jackie, thanks for stopping by! You can enter my contest here http://jamiecarie.com/huge-christmas-give-away

Missy, isn't that cover nice? Thanks for the compliment. This new journey has my husband and I working together (something I said I would NEVER do - er - or was it he that said that?) Anyway, it's been really good. I think after 25 years we've figured out how to successfully tip-toe around each other and I nag very nicely. :-)

Thank you, Karen! It all comes down to the daily grind, doesn't it?

Kirsten, you are so right! God has dreams for us that we can't even imagine. If we had a deep understanding of this it would be so much easier to let go!

And, wow! Virginia! Thanks so much for Hanna Brenchner's blog post. That is some beautiful writing and I couldn't have illustrated better what God is doing in my life too. God bless you!

Chill N said...

Jamie, you are courageous in so many ways. I'm glad you've found the peace that enables you - and, as a result, your readers - to enjoy your gift of writing.

Nancy C

DebH said...

thanks for sharing your Journey and what you've learned from it and how God is faithful. i really appreciate it.

your Book covers are beautiful.

Walt Mussell said...

All I can say is "Wow!" That was an amazing story of faith!

Mary Curry said...

Hello Jamie,

Thank you so much for sharing your story with us. I'm including you in my prayers and hope that life will be a bit smoother for you.

Above all as I read your story, I couldn't help but think how strong and brave you are. Your tale is a cautionary one and I thank you for being willing to open up.
God bless you.

Jenny Blake said...

Welcome Jamie,
I couldn't read this last night and I am glad I couldn't. I struggle at times to read to much with my headaches.
But I can now and I am glad I Could. I feel for all you went through and thank ou for sharing. Its posts like this that make me grateful for the childhood I had as I know how truely blessed I was.
I am glad you got to Scotland Your new story looks really good (And I can enter here where as the other contest is usa and canada).
I am so glad you are now able to write again. I only read the last of the duke series (cant remember the name) and loved it.
I am going to see if I can read books on the computer as paper books are an issue as is the kindle but looking at the computer seems easier at this stage.

Terri said...

Jamie, thank you for sharing your journey with us. I am so thankful you are finding joy in your writing journey.

Your testimony drives home the importance of remembering God knows what is best for us and to trust Him, always.

Pat W said...

Oh my goodness Jamie. What an incredible and inspiring story you have. Thanks for sharing it with us.

Audra Harders said...

Jamie, how wonderful to have you in Seekerville! OMG, what a story! With each new twist of your own story, my mouth dropped just a little bit more. God is good and you are living proof of it.

When you said "it'll be a tight fit," I immediately thought of the saying, "careful what you wish for." Too often we think we can handle the dreams we dream, but when actually handed to us, the dream can turn into a nightmare if we don't keep in mind Who gave it to us.

Jamie, your brilliance in writing is reflected in your Castle books. Great series. I love it.

A Highlander for Christmas sounds like a most compelling holiday read...of course coupled with Julie's A Light In The Window...well, I don't think there's much that can beat that!

Thanks for hosting Jamie, Julie! I'm so in the Christmas mood now : ) And Jamie? Take care of yourself!!

jamie carie said...

Chill, DebH, Walt and Mary - I thank for saying I'm strong and have faith because as I reflected on today and some the of feedback I have felt that that has been God's message to me. I don't feel strong very often but I do feel full of faith - that God is good and has a good plan for all that has happened to me (and whatever is to come). You confirmed what God has been telling me today and I thank you! :-)

Thank you, Mary, for your prayers! I need them!!

Thanks, Pat! So glad you dropped by!!

Audra - one of my favorite names and definitely going to be in a book of mine soon as I had a dear childhood friend by that name. Thanks so much for the kind words! Julie Lessman knows how to spin a story that will take you to a wonderful world, doesn't she? Love that woman! God bless!

jamie carie said...

Well, I'm off to bed - EST :-) I want to say a big thank-you to Julie Lessman. When she said we "clicked" it's true and I value that more than she knows. Thanks for hearing my story and welcoming me! Thanks for your grace and your prayers, your kindness and love.
I wish everyone at Seekerville a very happy Thanksgiving with lots of writing dreams come true in the future year! My family will be traveling to the Lake of the Ozarks to see my husband's aunt and uncle and my father-in-law and step-mother-in-law. I'm looking forward to it...and my future as God has set in into motion as a writer.
xoxo~
Jamie

Boos Mum said...

Hi Jamie. I know its late but I just wanted to let you know that I have enjoyed all of your stories and when I hear you have written a new one I look forward to reading it. Please enter me for the newest. Thanks.

travelingstacey said...

Hi Jamie...
Thanks so much for sharing your testimony! We just never know what someone is going through behind closed doors. I'm glad that God was able to help you through some of the issues you were having and I praise the Lord for that! Glad you are able to write again.
I thoroughly enjoyed your castle series and would love to be in the drawing for your novella!
God bless,
Stacey (travelingstacey(at)bellsouth(dot)net)

Juanita Cook said...

Wonderful story. Thanks for sharing and glad you got your break.

Jackie said...

Hi Jamie,

Thanks so much for sharing your story. I've had an exhausting week, emotionally and physically. You have no idea how much I needed this reminder.

God is in control.

Thanks!

Sharon Timmer said...

Wow Jamie,
What an amazing story - thank you so much for shsring it - I would love to read your book!

GabbyGee1976 said...

Thank you so much for sharing your story. It is encouraging to see how God works in the lives of others - as it serves as a reminder of how He works in mine as well. Thank you!

jamie carie said...

Thanks so much, Boos Mum! I need all the readers like you I can get!

Stacey - so glad you enjoyed the Castle series! It was an adventure to write and I think I might get to see more of those places from the setting (Italy - here I come!).

Thanks, Juanita! Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!!

Jackie - saying that makes putting myself out there worth it! Thank you, sweetie! Praying for you!

Sharon and GabbyGee - so glad my story blessed you!

Karla Akins said...

This. Thanks for sharing this story. It's so true about letting go and letting God. There is such a peace in it. I want it His way most of all. So glad you overcome with this testimony! Praise God. Can't wait to read your Christmas book!

annalabno.com said...

You're a brave woman. I'm wrestling with something Jesus wants me to do. But I don't think I'm ready to share my testimony. Every time I think I should do it, I feel Christ's love surrounding me. But I'm battling it. I know if I do it, I won't be able to go back.
A lot of tears will be shed. I know I can help others, but I will be making sacrifices scratching my old wounds.