Todd and I are on our way home from Orlando, Florida after attending the International Christian Retail Show (ICRS). It was a roller-coaster ride of events on this trip! We left Toronto airport feeling good as we were blessed to have our seats bumped up to the emergency row…Can you say stretch out your legs!!! We had to take a connecting flight in Miami and sadly, because of the weather, we ended up not getting to the show at all on Monday.
Undaunted, we arrived in Orlando. When we finally got to the hotel the gentleman at the front desk put us in a larger room on the Executive Floor! Again we were feeling the favor of God! We thought for sure it was going to be our time to make our mark in the book industry! The hotel didn’t have our shipments at the Bell desk as they said, so we went for a really late dinner.
Walked Around This Mountain Before!
Arriving back at the hotel we found out that only our promotional materials arrived, but not our books! How could this be? I had called the hotel that morning and verified with the receiver that all our shipments were received. Our hearts sunk! How can you have a book signing without books? How could this happen for the third time in my life?
Once at a Family Christian Bookstore signing in Michigan a manager forgot to order the books in! Thankfully, I had some with me, and people just made orders with the store. The scary similarity was when I first attended ICRS two years ago and the SAME THING happened! Panic was my first response, but as I reminded myself about how God miraculously took care of this before…He could do it again! I called UPS and they told me they couldn’t do anything until 10am tomorrow. According to the electronic records, the books were probably on their way back to Canada. It was so obvious that the enemy didn’t want God’s plans for our lives to succeed! He wanted Todd and I to get upset with each other and start blaming each other. In an act of faith we began filling the promo bags. We prayed over each bag, continually thanking God for the books that would be in those bags at the signing the next day. The more we prayed, the less we stressed and the more fun we had.
I sent out an email to our incredible prayer team and went to sleep like a baby!
In the morning I spent about 2 hours on the phone with UPS. Finally the books were found at the depot in Orlando. With much prayer backing and insistence, they delivered the books!!!
A New Partnership
Our Canadian Publishers: Warren Benson and Jeremy Braun from Word Alive Press coordinated a partnership with Anchor Distributors to sell our books in the US market; guess that should really have been Miracle #1 J . When we arrived in the booth it was a strange thing for the Anchor team to have to work with “the Canadians”, but by the end of the show we felt such a connection with the team and a part of the Anchor family!
The Book Signing
The book signing started off slow, but quickly picked up speed. There was a buzz around the show about the new ‘writing couple’ and the book for men! 40 Days In The Man Cave was a hit! Bookstore owner after bookstore owner told us how they need good men’s books and products. They were impressed with Todd’s book and loved the promo footballs!
At the end of the signing I saw my friend Susie Jennings coming up the aisle. I couldn’t have been happier to see her! Susie had been there for a book signing for her newly released, 31 DAYS OF MOUNTAINTOP MIRACLES earlier that day. I was so happy to see her and invited her to come to dinner with us. Susie built up our faith as she shared miracle after miracle that God had fulfilled through her lifework with the homeless and needy around the world through Operation Care International! There aren’t many more inspiring people than Susie!
The next morning we were blessed to be on Bob Crittenden’s show The Meeting House on FAITH Radio in Montgomery Alabama. It was an honor to be interviewed by the man who has had people like Charles Stanley, Kay Arthur and Matthew West on his show. An added bonus was the “Thank-you” bag of candy homemade by his wife! Sweetness of the South!
Throughout the conference, God was weaving a network of divine connections for Todd and I! None more important than another…all a part of the journey God has us on to fulfill all He’s calling us to do! You’ll be hearing a lot more about these people in the coming months as we see how God chooses to partners us together! We met Laci & Alex Corzo of Scents of the Spirit. They’re an awesome young couple venturing out into the perfume business!
I was happy to meet another writing couple’, Tom & Jan Lane, authors of Strong WOMEN and The Men Who Love Them. They are pastors at Gateway Church in Dallas where I just bought their book and was able to meet Josh Alltop. He’s Kari Jobe’s producer and now producing the song “Water In My Desert” by Rachelle Fletcher. The song will be released on iTunes in the next few months. Author and Talk Radio Host, Shirley W. Mitchell from Alabama and I hit it off! We’re looking forward to connecting in the future, Shirley’s also going to have Todd and I on her show as guests. I was honored when Shirley said that she couldn’t wait to start my devotional for her personal study that night! We met Eddie from Spirit & Truth jewelry and thought their rings, bracelets and men’s line was great! Really cool guy stuff! Fireman Todd approved!
Last, but definitely not least, God blessed me with a wonderful new friend in Helena Cho, founder of the GOODWORK(S) Jewelry line! We stayed up talking way too late but it was worth every minute of lost sleep! I had bought her jewelry at Buckle many times before, so it was amazing to meet her. She’s a passionate woman who is making an indelible mark that will not be wiped out. Her generosity is changing lives around the globe. Makes me think of the song “This girl is on fire”! I couldn’t be happier to partner with anyone else.
As we wait for our again delayed plane with kids tossing around Todd’s promo giveaway mini-footballs, I’m thankful for the time that God has allowed for me to reflect on the last 3 days! They’ve been a whirlwind of God’s goodness as we walked through the open doors!
Make sure to check out our partners in ministry below:
Word Alive Press: www.wordalivepress.ca
Anchor Distributors: www.anchordistributors.com
Susie Jennings: www.operationcareinternational.org
Faith Radio: www.faithradio.org
Scents of The Spirit by Ego Eimi: www.scentsofthespirit.com
Tom and Jan Lane: www.tomlanebooks.com
Shirley W. Mitchell: www.agingoutsideofthebox.com
Spirit & Truth: www.kingdomwear.com