In June, this country girl traveled to New York City to attend the largest Book Expo in the US. Although traveling to the Big Apple was definitely out of my comfort zone, I felt God wanted to open new doors for me there. I had no guarantee that the trip would lead to anything substantial (or that it would even pay for itself), but I felt convicted to go…and it’s a good thing I did because it resulted in my first book contract!
Now, if you’ve been following this blog for any time, you know that I’ve been working on faith-based children’s books and a spiritual guidebook for young women called Girls with Gusto. These have been my focus and passion for several years, so when I went to New York, I was ready to pitch these books to whomever would listen.
While the Book Expo was secular in nature, it included several great Christian publishers. Unfortunately, the exhibitors were there to promote their published books, not acquire new ones. Still, God made a way for me to talk to faith-based and secular publishers about my manuscripts and even some ideas I have for future projects.
So, which book did I sell? Surprisingly, it wasn’t any of the books I’ve been working on for so long, or even the books I had in mind to write this year! Instead, God gave me a whole new idea while I was in New York, one that fit perfectly with a publisher I met there.
“He put a new song in my mouth…” (Psalm 40:3 NAS).
This new book will be…[drum roll please]…all about cast iron cookware. Yup, you read that correctly. It will be a beautiful gift book that covers the history of cast iron, the health benefits (vs. chemical non-stick pans), the types of cast iron cookware available today, how to care for your pots and pans, and—of course—delicious recipes.
I’m so pleased that this book, entitled The New Era of Cast Iron, will be wholesome, helpful, practical, and geared to young women. It’s an opportunity for me to share everything I’ve learned about healthful cooking, while using easy, inexpensive recipes. This falls in line perfectly with my passion for mentoring others as a “Big Sister.”
God Had a Plan
Before June, I had never thought about writing a book on cast iron cookware, or any cooking topic for that matter. But looking back, I can see that God was preparing a way for this new adventure.
Shortly after Robby and I got married, I realized that the only way for me to get healthy and banish my fibromyalgia symptoms was to drastically change my eating habits. Since then, I’ve cut out gluten, nearly eliminated sugar, greatly reduced the amount of processed foods I eat, and started cooking more at home. I’ve never eaten better, and I’ve never felt better!
About a year ago, I took my health kick up a notch by studying healthy cooking methods and cookware options, which led me to get rid of all the chemical non-stick pots and pans in our house. That’s when I started using my cast iron pans on a daily basis. (Iron in your food is a good thing. Chemicals in your food and in the air is a bad thing.)
I thought all that research was just for me and my family, but God knew better. Everything I’ve learned will now benefit readers around the world through this new book. How cool is that?!
I’m so glad I listened to the Holy Spirit’s guidance and went to that Book Expo in New York! And I’m glad He led me to talk to secular publishers as well as the faith publishers there. God did more than open a new door; He started me out on a whole new adventure! And all of the knowledge and experience I gain from it will only benefit me as I continue to work on my faith-based books.
What are God’s Plans for You?
Sometimes, we think we know what God is doing, but we really don’t. He’s so big and so amazing that we can never fully understand everything He wants to do for us and through us.
If you’re in the middle of a season where you’ve pushed and pushed for something you just know is God’s will, I encourage you to avoid tunnel vision. Stop for a second. Ask God if there are other doors for you to walk through right now…and if He says “Yes,” then be ready to go! It doesn’t mean your current project is on hold or that you were headed in the wrong direction, just that God has a bigger plan in store for you.
“The Lord’s lovingkindnesses indeed never cease, for His compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness,” (Lamentations 3:22-23 NAS).
Update 6/8/2019!! After the publisher read all the neat tips and history I included in the manuscript, they decided we needed a more comprehensive title for the book. It will now be titled, Modern Cast Iron: The Complete Guide to Selecting, Seasoning, Cooking, and More. This book is scheduled to be released in April 2020. Until then, be sure to follow me on Instagram and Pinterest for cast iron tips and recipe ideas.