Jen Wilkin begins both the first and last chapters of her book None Like Him with the phrase ‘If you’d told me five years ago that I’d be [writing this chapter in this way] I would probably have laughed in your face’. I know just how she feels. Except for me it’s only been a year.
If you’d told me a year ago that I’d be one of the leaders of the women’s ministry in my church, Grace London, I’d have probably laughed in your face. In fact, all three of us leaders would.
When the elders approached me, Naomi and Sie Yan to ask if we’d be interested in leading it we all individually said, ‘not really’. In our experience women’s ministry is too often about fluff and flowers and telling women they’re beautiful and loved. They are. And flowers are nice. But all of us wanted depth. We wanted to call women to a higher standard than women’s ministry often seems to. We wanted to deepen their discipleship, not just make them feel a bit better about themselves. It turned out that’s what the elders were after, too, so since we were all on the same page, we ended up saying yes, and last Friday held the first ever Grace London women’s evening.
The theme was ‘holiness’, and we had a great time of food, fellowship, worship, teaching and prayer.
Our next event is an awayday in February, and we’ll be looking at the topic of contentment – with me as one of the speakers.
Which leads me to my next point: I have some news…
If you’d told me a year ago that I’d be writing a book aimed at Christian women, I’d probably have laughed in your face!
As you know, I’ve been working for a while on a book intended for a mainstream audience. It’s a philosophy/ethics book about personhood. I haven’t yet been able to find a publisher for it, so it’s happily sitting in my files waiting for its moment.
Meanwhile, earlier this year I got an email from a publisher who had read some of my writing for LICC and other blogs and wondered if I’d like to meet up ‘to talk about the sorts of things writers and publishers like to talk about’. Long story short: we met, we talked, we emailed…and last Friday I signed a contract to write a book for them!
The topic is contentment – hence me speaking on that at the next Grace women’s event.
It is something I have found myself thinking about and talking about a lot over the last few months, having realised that God has given me a deep contentment – not to say joy – in the circumstances he has me in. As I’ve shared with women in my church about how I’ve found God to truly be sufficient for all my needs even when he hasn’t granted all my requests, I’ve discovered just how many people need to be given that hope.
I’m hoping that the book will tell my story as well as the story of others who have found joyful contentment in God in all kinds of other circumstances, and will then give people some tools to help find the same for themselves.
(And although I’m pretty sure the marketing will lean towards the female market, I’m hoping some men will discover the book too and find it helpful – contentment is not just for girls!)
I’m so thrilled to be writing a book that I know someone believes in and that I know will get published some day (probably summer 2020…), and also one that I think and hope will be genuinely helpful and encouraging.
If you pray, here are some things that I’d really appreciate prayer for:
– That I would be able to make time in my crazy busy schedule to do it and my other work well (and that God would give me the wisdom to know which things to say no to, and the courage to say it!);
– That God would give me his words to say to communicate the message clearly and compellingly;
– That I would hit all my deadlines and continue to have a great relationship with what has so far been a wonderful publisher (The Good Book Company, in case you were wondering);
– That God would give me lots of opportunities to speak at conferences and events, sharing the content of the book, and last but not least;
– That many people would buy the book, read it, and find the same joyful contentment that God has so generously given to me.
Thank you so much! Watch this space…