Wanted to take a quick second (ok, maybe a few minutes) to let you guys know about some new and exciting things coming in 2012.

It’s been nearly 3 years since launching Beggar’s Daughter and it has been quite an intensely personal journey.  At times I can’t believe the stories I’ve been sent and at other times I find myself hungering for more- for a greater impact, for a deeper faith- just more. 

The last few months of 2011 were full of this longing to do something more but this crippling fear of failure.  At the end of the day, I am still very much a human, and a woman at that, so my fear can tend to be so much stronger than my faith.  Then there’s the added complication of having to know where something’s going before I do it.  I guess someone in my subconsciousness I thought that Beggar’s Daughter would just happen, that I could wind her up, let her go and she would grow.  I didn’t realize how much work goes into a ministry like this!  (Silly me)

And I have a confession to make.  I haven’t been as faithful and dedicated as I should have been. 

I just took whatever opportunities floated to me.  I never fought for them, never fished for them because I kept saying, “That’s prideful.  That’s wrong.”  But I’ve realized in reflection that that was fear disguised as humility.  It was my heart saying, “No no, wait for it to come because you don’t want to fail.”  

So, the past few months have been soul-searching and hard.  There were times I honestly thought, “Jessica, you could just shut down the site and move on with life as a teacher and no one would care.”  And it always seemed on those days that something would happen- I would receive an e-mail or a comment on here, or get an acceptance for an article or an inquiry for a speaking engagement.  Something would happen that would give me the courage to push through one more day.

I don’t know the whole of what this year holds.  I do know that at the end of 2012, I want to look back and be able to say that I gave God 110% in every area of my life from my service to my family to my ministry here to my service to other ministries to my job as a teacher.  In every opportunity I want to be found faithful, even if it doesn’t appear to be ‘successful’ by anyone else’s standards.

And I want to be faithful to pursue.  I want to be faithful to pursue opportunities to grow and to hone the talents God has given me.  To invest them, if you will, in whatever circumstance possible.  I don’t want to be a lighthouse Christian, sitting in one place and shining.  I want to be a searchlight, avidly seeking areas where I can communicate His grace, hope and truth.

To that end, here are some things you can expect in 2012.

Opportunities

Two articles are being published in January and February.  One by a Canadian Christian author and speaker, the other by a large Christian women’s ministry here in the US.

There will be a new Beggar’s Daughter website launching soon.  For the first time ever the blog and the website will be together.  It’s something I’ve been trying to get to happen for a long time but haven’t had the funds, then God provided a way (just like He always does).  So, yes, that means we’re moving (sorry!) but at least, this time, it’s permanent-esque.  I love the layout of the new site and am very excited about the fact that the blog and site will be together.  No worries, nothing here will be lost.  It will all transfer over.

The e-devotional book will be available soon.  I’m entertaining a February 14 release date just to be cute and cheesy.  I had hoped for January 1, but there are so many details in formatting with e-publishing that make it a bit more time-consuming than expected.  I will keep you posted.

I have the opportunity for some small speaking engagements with a completely different ministry- the local crisis pregnancy center where I counsel.  The ladies at the center have opened up the opportunity for me to speak about the abstinence side of the pro-life battle and I get to begin in January during the Sanctity of Human Life Sunday. 

While we’re on that note, I am prayerfully considering launching a personal speaking/writing website in order to give me the flexibility to speak about such things without diluting the ministry of Beggar’s Daughter.  Which leads me to…

Pursuits

God has been messing with my heart lately (which He is completely allowed to do) and I am prayerfully pursuing the idea of compiling a book of stories from inside crisis pregnancy centers– stories of hope and healing.  I can honestly say though, that, in my heart, the two projects are very closely connected by the idea of God’s grace reaching out to women in sexual sin.  Still, I don’t want to cross so far over the ‘pro life speaker’ line that this ministry suffers as a part of it. 

At the advice of some friends, one being an accomplished author and speaker, I am looking into the joining a larger ‘umbrella’ women’s ministry.  Because Beggar’s Daughter is something called a ‘niche’ ministry, it is difficult to build the ministry, but niche ministries function well as part of larger ministry groups.  Being on a team of women at a women’s ministry would give me the ability to keep and develop Beggar’s Daughter without having to start as a ‘generic’ speaker and work my way up. 

On that note, I have also been considering for a few years now, getting certification as a Christian counselor.  In my research I found I could get my certification for both Christian counseling and women’s ministry from home, so I may be pursuing that option. 

Most of all though, I want to keep sharing this story of God’s grace.  I am recording a CD soon here and have a larger ministry willing to review it to see if they will promote it. 

If you can think of a magazine or ministry that would share this message of God’s grace, please forward me their information, or give them mine, either way works.

All of that to say, I have no clue what this year holds.  However, I am convinced that with prayer, we can make 2012 a very impactful year in the arena of grace.

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