Tuesday I Became a Published Author….

You should never underestimate the life experiences that you go through and how God will use them. Never in my wildest dreams would I have ever believed I would be looking at a published book that I wrote. Okay in my wildest dreams I did publish a book but to think it would become a reality is beyond words.

10 years ago I had an amazing experience with fasting. I journalled my whole experience and at the end of a 30 day fast, shared it with my husband who thought it was so good that he encouraged me to write a book. You can read the story in my book preview at Breaking Through to Higher Places.

My friends Sheryl and Brian Valloton opened up their cabin for me to write and another friend Shawn Lynch edited the first version for me. I bound it up myself and ended up giving 87 copies away and actually sold 13 of them at a conference.

After that my life was in chaos and I put the book on the shelf with hopes of publishing it “some day”. 10 years later I was sitting on my couch talking with my friend Linda Heard. Somehow we got on to the subject of fasting and I handed her my book. She loved it! She loved it so much that she encouraged me to pursue publishing it and she began a publishing fund for me.  She and a couple of her amazing friends, Marilyn, Rob and Ali raised two thirds of what I needed to go through a co publishing company. She spent hours and hours editing and advising this book for me. I reformatted it to a bible study but at the last moment I went back to the original manuscript and just put the questions at the end of each chapter.

I called Linda and told her I found a publishing company and that I change the format again. She told me to make sure I watched out for errors because she wasn’t going to read it again for the fifth time! We both got a good laugh at that one.

I chose to go through Authorhouse and they have given me the best experience ever! I think I was talking to them almost every day as the book progressed through each step. And then……………..

Tuesday I got the call that my book was finished!! I quickly rushed to the Authorhouse book store and there it was was…my very first book..I cried, I laughed, I jumped for joy. I was so excited that when my Point of Contact, Josh called me and asked if I had questions, I said no and hung up on him. A couple of days later he called me back and this time I did have questions. Funny how he would know that hahahaha.

Yesterday I got my free soft bound copy and today I should get my free hardbound copy. I cannot even begin to share the joy of holding that book in my hand. It’s so beautiful!

With the new year coming, it was a perfect time for my book to come out as many people will be fasting and some for the first time. My hopes and dreams are that this book would really encourage people to “want” to fast and instead of running away from it, they will choose to run to it!

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I have second book that is done well, I thought it was, but am rethinking the format for the 100th time. It’s a very transparent and vulnerable book on a crisis I went through 4 and 1/2 years ago. I know I was supposed to write it but not sure how the Lord wants me to do with it. It’s definitely  for a targeted audience. So for now it’s in a holding pattern. The good news though is I already have a title for my third, fourth, fifth, six etc….. one…I am feeling so inspired now to move forward!

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The Job I didn’t ask for

The job I didn’t ask for became the biggest blessing in my life. If you would have told me 5 years ago that I would be cleaning houses for a living, I would have laughed in your face. I hate cleaning my own house. Why in the world would I clean other’s houses? Although in the past, I have always enjoyed cleaning other people’s houses…but as a career…naaaaaa.

Four years ago my neighbor opened up a Thrift Store and could no longer help a women she had been helping who was recovering from breast cancer. I had told my neighbor if she needed any help, I was looking for something to do. It’s very hard to get a job in a small town.

One day my neighbor called me over and asked if I would be interested in helping the woman she had been helping. I said sure and my unsolicited career in house cleaning began. After a month or two Julie (not her real name) recommended me to her cousin-in-law Susie (not her real name). Susie then recommended me to Jennifer (nhrn). Julie’s husband recommened me to the neighbors down the street who in turn recommended me to the couple around the corner and you guessed they recommended me to another couple who then recommended me to the neighbors on their street. Ha ha are you still following me?

Wednesday of this week I went to Julie’s house to clean for my last time. It was so hard telling her that this was my last time to clean her house. We are planning on moving back to the Tracy Ca. area to be closer to our church and children. Ok really to be closer to my grandchildren who are babies. Shhhh don’t tell my kids that. All my clients were notified a few months ago that as soon as we found a house we would be moving. I was planning on switching job careers but was trying to hold out for the move.

Every time I came to clean they would all ask if we found a house yet and when I would say, “no”. They would give a sigh of relief and say, “Good”. Have I told you yet how much I loved my clients? Unfortunately some physical issues have made it very hard for me to keep cleaning.  A few weeks ago my husband told me I should quit. He was seeing the pain I would be in after cleaning for 4 hours but I told him I couldn’t leave my clients. But lately the pain has moved into my arms which are a house-cleaners biggest tools.  On Tuesday night in tears, I told my husband I thought he was right and it was time for me to quit.We decided to let my body heal until we move and then I can look for a non physical job.

After seeing Julie’s face and the awkwardness of saying good-bye, I decided I needed to call all my clients instead of waiting. I wanted to give them time to roll it around in their heads before they saw me for the last time and I didn’t wan’t them to find out through the grapevine.

It was the hardest thing I had to do and after I hung up with the last one, I balled my eyes out. I have been so blessed and honored to work for these awesome, dear, wonderful people. They were all so supportive and just poured their love on me. They made me feel like family! I wasn’t just the cleaning lady but they let me be their friend too.

I will miss all our conversations, interactions, and sharing of pictures and life stories. I will miss blasting my music as I went around cleaning from room to room. Ha ha I’m sure they won’t miss that part. I mean who let’s you blast your music in THEIR house? I will miss Pebbles, Miss C and Sadie, Branson and Shasta my four footed dog friends who kept me company while I worked. And will surely miss the feeling of being loved and appreciated every time I stepped into each of their homes..crying as I write this. The last thing in the world I wanted to do brought me the most joy in my life and was one the greatest blessings God has given me. I will never forget my beautiful clients and will be able to keep in touch with most of them at their request!

Blessings do come in disguise. You just need to be open to see where they will lead you.

 

Watching My Children Having Children. Part Two: Beckie and Ryan

Beckie is my third born and has always been a mommy’s girl so when she and Ryan made the decision to not have anyone in the room when she gave birth…I was bummed. Very supportive but very bummed. There was one exception though and that was if Beckie needed her mommy, then mommy could come in. Beckie pretty much made it clear that she would probably need me. So there was this little spark of hope living inside of me.

I really did want to honor them though and I did understand how awesome birth was and how special it would be for them to do it together. When I gave birth to my four, there was a party in the room going on for each birth.  So this was going to be new for me.

Well the day came and the Nethaway and Ulricksen clan all headed to the hospital. And once again the father to be was sick (See part one: Noah and Tiffany). We were all allowed in until time for the birthing process. For the third time in my life, I became and accidental birth coach because Ryan was so sick. We ended up finding out that he had ulcers afterwards. Poor thing. I felt so bad for him.

Beckie and I began doing the breathing exercises together. After a while things were not progressing like they should and they began to prepare her for a c-section. Everything was moving fast and I was just so lost in the whole situation. I walked to the waiting room trying very hard to hold back my tears. I was both scared and disappointed. My daughter was about to be cut up and I wasn’t going to get to see my grandson be born.

As we were all sitting in the waiting room and everyone trying to console me, I received a text. “Mommy, are you ok?” Here she was getting ready to go into operation room and she was worried about me. I’ll never forget that as long as I live. Of coarse the tears I was trying to hold back came out like a flood then.

Kayson Ryan Ulricksen came into the world…PERFECT and mommy was doing great. The nurses let us all go into the room where they had him. Mom’s, Dad’s, Aunt’s and Uncles all taking turns looking at this beautiful baby boy who was only a few hours old. I was so shocked they let us see him before his mommy did but I sure wasn’t complaining.

Because Ryan was sick and had to go to the Dr,I got to spend the night in the hospital with Beckie and Kayson. I don’t think I slept much but I didn’t mind. I loved every moment!!!

Beckie recently gave birth to another beautiful boy named William. I got to help with the coaching this time as well. It was such and honor. She had to have another c-section again and I didn’t get to see him be born but I was more prepared. This time though she requested that no one see the baby before she did.

In a few weeks I will be welcoming my newest granddaughter into the world. Watching my children having children is by far the most exciting and rewarding experience I have ever had and I have two children who haven’t even started yet……