Wow! Another year in the books! As I sit here and reflect over the last twelve months, all I can think about is how good God is and how much He has done in my life both professionally and personally. The biggest focus in my personal life was the adoption process of my sons. Sadly, there were a lot of tears and worry over the adoption process for them, but as always, the Lord provided and He did so abundantly!
Isaac and Landan became Chapins officially on November 2, 2018! We have had guardianship of them since May 2015. Through the years, and especially this year, we had a lot of different varying degrees of struggle, but the Lord worked every particular issue out brilliantly and far better than I could even conceive.
Other family 2018 milestones include: enrolling all three children into Watersprings Christian School, myself enrolling into Grand Canyon University for a degree in Bible Studies, my mother is skin cancer free and my father hasn’t had any new blood clots form.
The Lord is good, always, even when things are bad. This year provided some ‘wow’ moments and showed me that putting your trust and resources in God’s hands is always the right choice.
“No matter what happens, either in my personal life or in my writing life, I hope it all glorifies God.”
The above quote was snatched from last year’s post and I want to talk about it for a moment. I remember hoping and desiring for God to be glorified through the work and efforts I do, but now that desire has shifted. I no longer hope, but I know His will is being done. I see it through more ways than just through my writing. It’s in how my children speak about God, it’s in the relationships our family has with other families. I’m able to see His will be done time and time again, and it’s happening all around and through people who are able to obey Jesus’ command.
Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.”
The Scripture passage above is a familiar verse to people, and I’m sure you’ve read it a million times as I have, but this past year these two verses were transforming and powerful. Instead of focusing on my prayer life and my Bible reading and my stuff, I shifted and I did so for multiple reasons. First off, I was stressed. There were some heavy things going on in our lives with the adoption and I could hardly stand it mentally. Second, I was seeking God and desiring to please Him. When we want to obey God, obey Jesus’ words, we have to ask ourselves the deep questions. The above passage forces us to ask the question: What does loving God with all of our soul, mind, and strength look like? Does my life truly reflect it? Once we get finished dealing with that question in full honesty, we move to the next. Loving other people. Not fake superficial love, but real love that sacrifices, that spends time with one another, that puts the needs of other people before ourselves. Deep, yet beautiful and freeing and God’s command spoke from the lips of Jesus Himself!
Sorry about that.
Okay. Now . . . how it applies to my life in 2018. Yes, Bible reading and prayer were and are exponentially important, but I’ve learned something huge that has been a game changer for me. Community. My wife and I joined a second weekly home group that consists of only families and fellowship. It’s a way to share and do life with one another, and the people there have been a blessing to get to know.
As I give more of my time, resources, and myself, the more I discover God. I sense Him in all things and through all things I am able to see His hand working. Even in the hopeless situations that arise, He shows up and is good.
Anyways, let’s jump into the accomplishments of God in the past year.
Books Published in 2018 (10 books)
Love’s Protection (Protected By Love Book 3)
Journey Of Grace (Journey Of Love Book 1)
Journey Of Hope (Journey Of Love Book 2)
Journey Of Faith (Journey Of Love Book 3)
When It Rains (Potter’s House Series)
Gracefully Broken (Potter’s House Series)
Until Christmas (Potter’s House Series)
A Reason To Live (A Reason To Love Book 1)
A Reason To Believe (A Reason To Love Book 2)
A Reason To Forgive (A Reason To Love Book 3)
Looking back at 2018 goals…
- Publish two series.
Done. (A Reason To Love series & Journey Of Love series.)
- Release only Christian Romance (main genre for each release).
Done. Not a single book released outside of genre!
- Get in physical shape (seriously cliche, but c’mon… gotta try!)
While I’m not in the physical shape I desire, I have become more habitual with the habit of working out (weights and running). I hope to make it more of structured activity in 2019 and fix eating habits.
- Write at least two series
- Attend an author-related conference
- Obtain a publishing contract for a novel with a big 5 publishing house
The Lord provided in 2018 and He did so abundantly. It reminds me of the feeding of the 5,000 and how they had leftovers. God over delivers, and He never fails or does anything below the measure of perfection. I’ll leave you with what I learned in 2018.
What I learned in 2018…
God’s perfect plan isn’t always available for us to see
Community cultivates a love for God and others
Compromise where you can (relationships)