by Emily Conrad

I’m wearing a blazer over a peplum top, jeans (minus any distressing), boots, and sparkly earrings as I type to you this morning. It’s because I have my release date for my debut novel–March 9th!–and I’m in book launch mode. The lists of things to do and follow up on are long. I want to tackle them all, make enough progress today that sleep is easier tonight, that I have less to think about tomorrow.

Any time I, who work from home, goes to the trouble of dressing up–hair and makeup included–I start thinking up an Instagram post. I snapped a picture (okay, like 6 pictures) and sat down at the table where I usually work to get my day started.

And then my hound Luther popped up onto my lap, sniffed a bit, yawned, and settled in for a visit.

Luther is 65-pounds, and he doesn’t fit on my lap, so this was only the front half of his body.

Immediately, more pictures were added to the Instagram post with the follow up lesson: don’t take yourself so seriously, Emily!

The everything-is-up-to-me mentality will keep us up at night. It will leave us wondering if we did good work, if we’ll ever be enough, if our failures will cripple our careers or–more importantly–us. It leaves our souls panting for water as we run a marathon that was never marked out for us.

When we don’t consciously turn over our to-do lists to God, entrusting them entirely to Him, we hustle right past the point.

The point is, there’s too much for us. The point is, the heavy lifting has been done. For believers in Christ, salvation is assured and God has already coursed out good works that we may walk in them–not sprint through them at break-neck speed. We get to enjoy following God, who will attend to every detail. We can experience rest, even in the midst of hard work, when we trust Jesus. You know. The kind of rest that lets us sleep at night.

Amen to that.

Now about that book launch. Justice, my debut novel, is romantic women’s fiction that admittedly deals with a heavy issue (or three…): rape, out-of-wedlock pregnancy, revenge versus justice.

Here is the blurb: Jake thought he was meant to marry Brooklyn, but now she’s pregnant, and he had nothing to do with it. Brooklyn can’t bring herself to name the father as she wrestles with questions about what her pregnancy means and how it will affect her relationship with Jake. If Harold Keen, the man who owns the bookstore across from Jake’s coffee shop, has anything to do with it, the baby will ruin them both.

*Update* – Previously, the link to apply for the launch team was here, but my team is now full and the book is up for pre-order. If you’d like to know about opportunities to join my launch team in the future, sign up for my email list! (You get access to a free short story that I’m particularly proud of for subscribing, so it’s a win-win!)

In the meantime, if you enjoy Christian fiction and think this sounds like a story for you, the book is up for pre-order! You can find it on Amazon (affiliate link) or Barnes and Noble.

I’m so grateful for you, dear readers! Your comments and visits to this blog have encouraged me through the years, reminding me of the truth that each of our voices matters, regardless of the size of our platforms, agented/unagented status, and publishing track record (or lack thereof).

God has created you for a purpose. He’s given you a voice and a mission to impact this time and place for Him in ways no one else could. None of us has to be afraid of that mission because, as I wrote, He’s already done the heavy lifting. All we must do is follow.

#God has already coursed out good works that we may walk in them–not sprint through them at break-neck speed. #faith #Tuesdaythoughts via @emilyrconrad