Everyday Praise Book Release Day! (What Success Looks Like)

It’s book release day! If you haven’t heard yet, today I launched my first book into the big, wide world. It’s a small, image-rich devotional called Everyday Praise: Walking in Greater Peace. 

Everyday Praise Devotional

I Didn’t Want To Self-Publish

Can I be honest here? It was a grueling process to get to this point. Feeling a nudge from God, I self-published Everyday Praise. Although generally much quicker to get an idea from concept to sell-able product, I originally had no interest in publishing it myself for a few reasons.

First, sometimes a product published non-traditionally is deemed less than. Can I admit to a little pride here in wanting to hold out for a traditional publishing contract? 

Second, self-publishing meant I’d be responsible for overseeing (if not doing) all the writing, editing, publishing, and marketing. Not only am I mediocre at the technology end of things, I’m already stretched thin in my daily life. Adding all of that seemed un-doable (still does!). 

Third, it’s lonely. Writing can be a lonely existence anyway. Add self-publishing to the mix and explode the feeling. 

Fourth, increased insecurity. Publishing anything—books, magazine articles, blog posts—feeds insecurity. Without a “professional” to tell you it’s a good and viable product, authors (at least me) look to the numbers for reassurance of its value. 

Why It Was the Right Thing Anyway

So now the book is out there. And publishing it truly was all I feared: lonely, exhausting, overwhelming, frustrating, and scary. Yet I also found it exhilarating, educational, humbling, and satisfying.

So was self-publishing the right way to go?  

Yes, because I felt called by God to do it. Self-publishing Everyday Praise was an act of obedience. 

Be Careful How You Judge Success


So many times I look at the outcome of something to deem it a success or failure. And in a human sort of way, that makes sense.

If the outcome is pleasurable or looks positive then it’s a success. If the outcome hurts or seems to be negative, then it goes in the failure column. 

Yet God appears not to define success that way. If He did, Jesus’ death on the cross would have been a BIG failure! And since the Savior died so young, His entire life could have been deemed wasted along with Mary’s sacrifice to carry, deliver, and raise Him. 

The 12 Disciples’ lives would likewise seem to have been wasted because they were all persecuted and martyred (with the exception of John—much better to have been banished to an island for the remainder of his life, right?). 

What did all these life-giving biblical events have in common that made them a success despite the apparently tragic outcomes? They were performed in obedience to the will of God.

Definition of Success

As a Christian seeking to walk in obedience, we need to be careful not to judge success by human standards. If we do, discouragement can easily slip in. Unless we diligently seek God’s will, we can easily be led in a direction we think is right, instead of the one God planned as right. 

Unless we diligently seek God, we can easily be led in a direction we think is right, instead of the one God planned as right. Click To Tweet

Being successful in God’s eyes may indeed involve making money, reaching a wider audience, and getting noticed. It may mean working toward and holding out for a traditional publishing contract.

As far as I can tell, God doesn’t disdain those things. However, it may just as likely lack all of those more earthly parameters of achievement. 

Being obedient to what God asks defines a beneficial endeavor. When we seek after Him, we’re already successful, no matter what the numbers say. 

When we seek after God, we're already successful, no matter what the numbers say or the outcome is. Click To Tweet

“He sought God throughout the lifetime of Zechariah, the teacher of the fear of God. During the time that he sought the Lord, God gave him success.” 2 Chronicles 26:5

Reflections: Which definition of success are you chasing? 

It’s been more than 5 years of counting and I’ve well passed 5,000 gifts in Ann Voskamp’s Joy Dare! What a blessing! Here are numbers #5346–5366. Read my entire list by clicking here.

  • Rachel’s excitement leading up to the parade; Walking in the Dubuque Labor Day parade for Congressman Rod Blum with several members of my family; Completed the Fantasy Football draft with my boys as a way to stay connected across the miles)
  • Morning inspiration; Watching Joey’s JV football team get another win; Topping off the night with a Culver’s mint/hot fudge shake
  • Rainy day keeping outdoor temptations at bay; My awesome#EverydayPraise launch team on board for Monday book release!; Reading break with kiddos
  • Sharing my enjoyment of using wild edibles with 5th graders; Supporting Daniel in his job as he spoke on behalf of Congressman Blum; Late night Dairy Queen stop with two of my favorite guys
  • Meeting the “new” team focused on Rachel’s educational success; A school administrator who’s willing to go the extra mile to give Rachel a great school experience; The generosity of an online friend
  • #EverydayPraise devotional ready for Monday release day!; My understanding family; A night ahead promising more rest
  • Worship and potluck fellowship afterward; Words of encouragement from sweet friends on the eve of my book release; News about some incredibly thoughtful teenagers (more to come on this later)

By His grace ≈


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Find hope in your real-life struggles. We'll chase it together! I am a wife; mom of 4 (including a young adult daughter with special needs); miscarriage mom of 5; author & follower of Jesus Christ. I write, edit, speak and enjoy everything outdoors.

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