It Takes a Village (and One Pack Mule)

A few months ago I made an exciting announcement in this embarrassing video. If you haven't watched it, then you might still be operating under the assumption that I'm not an idiot. That's so nice of you! But you'd be mistaken. In the video I describe in an obnoxiously choppy and drawn out way a charming fashion that I will be publishing a 31 day devotional to supplement #AdamsActs and my blog in the month of October. The downloadable file will be available for $1.99 on this website starting on October 1st.

Before I go any further, I am going to give a micro-explanation of what I am talking about. #AdamsActs is a kindness movement that I started in memory of my brother Adam who was killed at the age of 17. We do 31 random acts of kindness in his memory to spread love and good cheer during a month that used to put me in a funk of sadness. When sharing this deeply personal part of my family's story, I can't help but share the part of my story that is even more significant: my faith story.

I am unwilling to cheapen my faith in Jesus by being pushy about it so I tend to share less than I sometimes want. Still, there are a lot of readers who want to explore this faith I speak of, and they want to do it in an environment that is not initimidating or judgey. I decided to process some of the deeper faith components of grief and suffering in a separate place than the blog so that readers can choose to participate or not. This thing that I am calling a devotional is simply a series of meditations and thoughts to consider as we go through the month of October. My hope is that it challenges you to examine your beliefs and explore/consider deepening your faith. I also secretly hope that you laugh at my funny jokes.

It has been a labor of love and so much nausea to get this devotional written. It has taken a village to raise up this little project. On the village roster we have my friend Lexi who would kick me out of my house and take excellent care of my kids so I could go to the library and get work done... only to ambush me at said library with coffee. She amused herself in the process by taking absurd pictures of my striking resemblance to a pack mule.


Next on the village roster are my three editors. Greta (pictured below - in the middle) worked as my copy editor, tirelessly deleting 484 billion commas. I didn't know that I had a comma addiction. But, apparently, I, do, and, it's, super, annoying. She cleaned up my work significantly, and if you find any errors or typos... it's because I couldn't part with all the commas and I also came up on my deadline before she could make one final pass for edits. Also, it's a $1.99 so why don't you go ahead and simmer down on the expectations mmkay? Next on the roster, we have Char (pictured on the right with all the tats and a wicked mohawk) who combed through for any theological issues. She helped me answer questions like "Is it okay to call Jesus a baller?" For the record, the answer is no. No, it is not.


And then on the left we have Melissa who served as more of a line editor. She did a lot of the heavy lifting when I knew what I meant to say, but the reader maybe wouldn't. The 4:55am editing sesh was not a one time thing. She lives in Manahttan, so for this side by side situation to take place... she had to travel all the way here multiple times to help a sister out. Her help was invaluable to me. 

My other villagers include a slew of people that Lexi and my friend Brandi manhandled into being on some sort of launch team to get a first look at the devo and share some of their favorite bits as a teaser for everyone else. Their positive reviews have been such an encouragement during these past few days of intense vulnerability hangover.

The mayor of this village of support is Heather (not pictured above) who is the designer for the devotional and is working on it as I write this. She sent me a sneak peek and I am telling you that she's a miracle worker because the crazy document I sent to her is looking clean, polished and professional, even if overly riddled with commas. 

It was not all fun and games and I learned a lot about my shortcomings. Which I could have done without to be honest. I spent less time with my family than ever before, but Tom happily took on the extra responsibilities while I was tied up with the editing process. The kids were proud of me, and have been so encouraging and understanding. The best thing to come out of this process is the excitement my oldest daughter, Annalee, has expressed in participating in the devotional with the rest of us in October. Her supportive offer to "buy it at full price" made all the work worth it. Even if I felt like this the whole time...


If you are interested in participating in #AdamsActs or in downloading the devotional then here are a few things you can do:

  • Skip on one cup of coffee this week and the cost is already in the budget.
  • Subscribe to the blog here so it's super easy to follow along through the month
  • And/or follow me on Facebook so you never miss an update.
  • Download the devotional on October 1st right here on this website.
  • Spread the word by liking and sharing posts in October.
  • Find a group of people who might be interested in exploring faith and invite them to read and discuss the devotional with you.
  • Send me a private message here if you are interested in joining a weekly discussion group about the devotional just for the month of October. If there is enough interest, I will create an opportunity for people from all over to join me online via Periscope or Facebook Live to do a Q&A and discussion once a week about what we are learning. 
  • Praise the Lord that this thing is finally done.