Wednesday, August 10, 2011

A First Contract Story with Rose McCauley


Today my guest is Rose McCauley, a truly sweet woman who is a fixture at the ACFW Conference. I've known Rose now for several years, and I hope you'll be encouraged by her story of how she waited, and how God whispered to her heart while she was waiting for her first contract.



Waiting, patience, prayer...and receiving my first contract!

I have been writing for over nine years and joined ACFW (American Christian Fiction Writers) 8 years ago. My writing has steadily improved since then, but the elusive first contract had remained out of reach until Friday evening, September 17, 2010.

God has taught me many things over the past nine years, the main things being patience and learning to wait. When I awoke that morning and read my chapter in Jeremiah, there was a devotion by Catherine Marshall on the facing page, so I read it, too. It was entitled "Waiting" and here are a few snippets from it that spoke to me: "Waiting...is God's oft-repeated way of teaching us that His power is real and that He can answer our prayers without interference and manipulation from us." She then goes on to give the example of a child who brings a broken toy to their father but gets impatient and snatches it back still in the broken state, then reminds us that if we leave the "toy" in His hands, "not only do we eventually get it back gloriously restored, but are also handed a surprising plus. We find for ourselves what the saints and mystics affirm, that during the dark waiting period when self-effort had ceased, a spurt of astonishing spiritual growth took place in us. Afterwards we have qualities like more patience, more love for the Lord and those around us, more ability to hear His voice, greater willingness to obey." Those qualities are ones I still desire more of, even if it means I have to wait again.

Now for the rest of the story as Paul Harvey used to say. I told my roommate, Jennifer Johnson, about my devotion, then we attended a class, ate lunch, shopped at the mall, and went to the opening worship session at 3:30. The worship leader Rachel Hauck
, chose the song "While I'm Waiting" by John Waller for us to sing at most of our sessions:

"I'm waiting
I'm waiting on You, Lord
And I am hopeful
I'm waiting on You, Lord
Though it is painful
But patiently, I will wait

I will move ahead, bold and confident
Taking every step in obedience
While I'm waiting
I will serve You
While I'm waiting
I will worship
While I'm waiting
I will not faint
I'll be running the race
Even while I wait

I'm waiting
I'm waiting on You, Lord
And I am peaceful
I'm waiting on You, Lord
Though it's not easy
But faithfully, I will wait
Yes, I will wait
I will serve You while I'm waiting
I will worship while I'm waiting"

Are you getting the message with me? Wait with patience! And keep serving and worshipping while you are waiting!

Next our president, Cynthia Ruchti, read from Colossians chapter three and verse 12 was very familiar since it is posted on my bedroom mirror: "Therefore as God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience." That last word jumped out at me and I leaned over to Jennifer and told her God was still telling me to wait and learn patience.

Then Becky Germany, editor at Barbour Publishing, took the stage and said she was ready to announce the 2 new authors who would receive their "first contract", something Barbour has done at each conference. When she announced the name of the first story as Nick's Christmas Carol, it sounded vaguely familiar but I still didn't realize it was a story I had written until she said my name! Then I went up on stage in front of over 600 people, amid cheers and shouts, and was handed an envelope with my name on it and a letter offering me a contract for my first fiction story! Jennifer, who had known about the contract but kept silent for months even though we rode to conference together, took my picture but the flash didn't work so she motioned for me to go back up on the stage and she took it again. Then Donna Rich was announced, again amid cheers and shouts, as the recipient of a contract for a Heartsong book, also pubbed by Barbour.

Of course, I couldn't wait to call my husband and children and a couple friends, but the story doesn't end there. I got to attend the Barbour Banquet at PF Chang's that evening and kept receiving hugs and congratulations all weekend, but the best part was when one of my dear friends and prayer-partners, Connie Stevens who had received her first contract in 2009, told me that God had impressed on her heart to pray for the ones who would receive their first contract the following year. So, she prayed that prayer that whole year and didn't know she was praying for me (and Donna)! And something I learned from Connie’s post on Erica’s blog (June 22, 2011) is that the same song that God used to speak to her at the 2009 conference is the same one quoted above that He used to teach me.

Later that evening, I told Donna about the prayer cycle Connie began, and we both agreed to continue it by praying for the persons who will receive their first contract in 2011. Kind of paying it forward by praying the prayer that was prayed for us. So, the cycle continues, and I will continue praying for the ones who will receive their first contract at the ACFW conference this year. Until then, let's all keep waiting patiently and praying and worshiping the One who deserves all our praise.

From the Back Cover of Christmas Belles of Georgia

Surprised by Life—and Love—at Christmas

Four letters are mailed from Monticello, a small antebellum town in Georgia. Sisters once, now heirs to a historic plantation, each young woman must come to terms with the circumstances of her birth. . . .

When she learns in a letter she’s adopted, Holly feels betrayed by her parents—and she books a flight out of Missouri immediately. Will she ever be able to love again?

Raised in a wealthy, loveless home, Carol rushes to Monticello from college in Atlanta when she receives her letter. She’s searching for family, but finds instead a boy she once mistreated. Will he remember her? . . .forgive her?

In one year, Starr has lost her parents, boyfriend, and job, so she’s sure her letter is more bad news. When the attorney flies to California to offer proof, Starr takes a second look—at the message and the man.

Noelle always knew she was adopted—and she’s always loved the foreman on her father’s Texas ranch too. But he’s so distant. . .perhaps a trip to Georgia is the break in life she needs.

Will the sisters receive a traditional Christmas gift. . .of love?



Bio: Bio: Rose Allen McCauley is happy to live in the beautiful bluegrass region of Kentucky on a farm surrounded by God’s creation. She has been writing for over ten years and has been published in several non-fiction anthologies and devotionals. She is thrilled for this to be her first published fiction because Christmas books are her favorites. She has a growing collection of Christmas books, and this one will takes its rightful place among them.

A retired schoolteacher who has been happily married to her college sweetheart for over 43 years, she is also mother to three grown children and their spouses and Mimi to three lovely, lively grandkids! You can reach her through her website www.rosemccauley.com or blogsite at www.rosemccauley.blogspot.com

Question for the day: Do you have a favorite worship song?

7 comments:

  1. Love that song and love these stories!

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  2. What a wonderful story, Rose.

    That very same song is my favorite, too. Love John Waller's lyrics.

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  3. Ah!! I love this story. It's beautiful and encouraging. Thanks!

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  4. Beautiful cover! Thanks for sharing your story, Rose. ;-)

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  5. I love when you can look back and see how God moved people and things on our behalf. Great story! Congrats!!

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  6. Rose, I love hearing the story of how you found out (and how others already knew and kept it from you - sneaky!!) I remember that song being sung. It was such a moving moment at conference. Congrats, Rose. Can't wait to see you again, SOON!

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  7. Thanks to all who left such encouraging comments about my story. I trust that God will continue to work in all our lives to bring Him glory!

    And thanks to Erica for hosting all these first contract posts. I hope to see some of you soon in St. Louis!

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