I love that Jesus encouraged us to go to lonely places and get quiet with our Heavenly Father. The last couple of weeks have been intense with bookstores, speaking events and signing and meeting all sorts of new folks. It was its own kind of blessing, but so too is being called apart to get quiet with God.
Although - when you put 18-20 authors together there is very little quiet.
Even so, we definitely took time to be quiet with the Lord and enjoy just listening to His voice. So what did God say?
He reminded me during the booktour as well as the retreat - that He loves me. That even while I was still wretchedly separated from Him - Christ died for me. I'm blessed and His love is at the core of that blessing. It creates the foundation of who I am and how I look at life.
God also showed me that there are a lot of hurting people. People who love God, but are barely hanging on by a thread. People who long for relationship with God the Father, but also with other Christians. We need to be Jesus with skin on for those who are hurting. It isn't always easy. Sometimes we're tired and weary ourselves. Sometimes we are hurt and bleeding. Sometimes we're just having one of those "bad attitude" days.
However, we are called to encourage and bear one another's burdens. Sometimes that means stopping what we're doing to pray with someone. Sometimes that means dealing with uncomfortable people. The walk of a Christian doesn't always look like what we think it will - sometimes it's about washing feet, sometimes it's about mopping up blood and sometimes - probably more often than we realize - it's about getting alone with God.
If you haven't taken a few minutes or hours - maybe days - to get alone with God, I encourage you to do so. The experience is transforming and eye opening.
Oh we are having great fun in Texas. We have been speaking at numerous libraries and enjoying ourselves enormously.
I think I've driven about 9 million miles, but it hasn't been too difficult and God has really been watching over us. Thanks for the prayers.
Cathy and I have known each other long enough to be able to chatter away and include the audience. We like to keep things casual and fun. Folks seem to like that too. We always get asked some neat questions like, "Why did you pick this setting?" or "How can you be so funny?" The latter one is mainly for Cathy.
I was really touched to hear that a couple of the readers drove from quite far away to come to the signings. You readers are really incredible! Here's a picture of Leslee who came from Oklahoma City to escape the cold and see us in Dallas.
So here are a few pictures of the events.
We wish that we could travel with all of our writing sisters. We have so much fun when we're all together. We wish we could meet up with all of you too. Maybe one of these days we'll all cross roads. If not here - then definitely in heaven.
For now - we'll set a place for you at the dinner table and think of you.
Well, we're off and running on our Texas Booktour.
Cathy Hake and I met up with Noelle Buss, our fearless publicity gal from Bethany House and hit the road this morning.
Because of bad weather, our first stop cancelled, so we had to suffer by stopping in Spring, TX and enjoy their historic district. We walked around for a while and explored antique shops and stores. I was fascinated by this sign announcing
"cake balls", so of course I had to try them.
Aren't they pretty?
They are made by taking baked cake and mushing it up with frosting and rolling it into balls and dipping in chocolate. These are wedding cake flavored and they were very yummy.
Next we drove on up to Diboll, Texas for our evening at the Temple Memorial Library. We had a great time and I very much enjoyed getting to revisit our friends from the Diboll Historical Center. These folks were so very helpful to me in my research on east Texas. This is a shot of us together. Left to right are Lewis, Emily, yours truly and Jonathan Gerland, Director.
Brenda handles the Temple Memorial Library and she posed here with Cathy and me to show off their very large inspirational section. There were several shelves in three rows. I noticed books by everyone on this blogsite.
Cathy and I shared about our writing and personal life experiences and afterwards we signed books. It was a great evening.
Here's one of my fans. Jane and her daughter came because Jane has read most all of my books. It was so much fun to get to meet them.
Well, now I need to repack for tomorrow. We ask for your continued prayers.
Yes, I'm going on a book tour and my dear friend Cathy Marie Hake is coming with me. She says she does this because someone has to keep me in line. I've done book tours in the past with our own Judy Miller and Kim Sawyer, as well. We always have great fun - and they always have to keep me in line.
We're going to tour around parts of the gigantic state of Texas and speak and sign books and just enjoy the wonderful hospitality. One of our marketing people from Bethany House is coming with us, and we're hoping to initiate her in grand order since this will be her first book tour. Watch out, Noelle - we have plans for you!
The schedule is kind of lengthy, but you can get information at my website under events. I hope if you're in Texas and close by - that you'll come and at least say hi. We love to meet the readers and other writers who live in the area. Here's that link: http://traciepeterson.com/events.html
One of the things I enjoy about book tour is a chance to share my spiritual journey and how God brought me into writing. Writing for me is a mission field meant to entertain, educate and encourage. I call it my Three-eees.
I'm so blessed to be able to do this job, and I want never to take it for granted.
Hopefully, while we're on the road in February, we'll be able to send you some photos and updates about the trip - at least that's my plan.
If you think about - please pray for us. Pray that God will bring the right people into our lives, that we will be healthy and safe from harm, and that we will ultimately be a positive witness for Him.