Still Waiting Releases Today!

Still Waiting by Ann Swindell stillwaitingbook.com
The day has finally arrived! Still Waiting releases today!

I can hardly believe it, to be honest. I signed the contract for Still Waiting back in November of 2015, and at that point, April 4 of 2017 felt like a lifetime away. In the thick of finishing the writing, combing through edits, choosing a cover and setting up a launch team, April still seemed like a far-off reality.

Still Waiting by @annswindell has released! Don't miss it! http://amzn.to/2nDvPz8 Click To Tweet

But now, we’re here, and my story is out in the world!

Ann Swindell, author of Still Waiting stillwaitingbook.com

Someone asked me what my dream is for Still Waiting, and I’ll tell you the prayer that I’ve been praying since I signed the contract: I’ve been asking the Lord to be glorified in and through my story, praying that this book will draw readers to the goodness and trustworthiness of Jesus as they walk through their own waiting seasons in life. That’s what my dream is–for readers to know they’re not alone, and that God is good toward them as they wait. 

If you’re in the middle of any kind of waiting–waiting for healing in your body or mind, waiting for restoration in a relationship, waiting for financial breakthrough or for life to get better–I know, in part, what that’s like. And I wrote this book for you. I’ve shared some of the weakest parts of my own journey in Still Waiting with the hope that you will encounter God’s love in these pages.

I would love for you to buy a copy and let me know the journey that you’re on, too.

The opportunity to write this book has been absolute grace at every turn–from the amazing team I’ve gotten to work with at Tyndale, to the hundreds of people who have helped me get the word out, to my dear family who have carried me through the years and months of writing, editing, and marketing. It’s a team effort to write and publish a book, and I’m fully convinced that I have been the one who’s been the most blessed to be a part of this group of people!

Thanks for celebrating the release of Still Waiting with me! If you haven’t already, I’d love for you to pick up your own copy of the book!

You can also help me get the word out by talking about the book with friends and family, requesting it at your local library, tweeting about the book, and sharing about it on Facebook or Instagram! I’m so thankful for your love and support, dear friends!

 

Pre-Order Freebies for Still Waiting

 

Still Waiting by Ann Swindell stillwaitingbook.com

 

Step 1. Pre-order the book from your favorite retailer (and save your receipt)!

Step 2. Email us a copy of your receipt at StillWaitingtheBook@gmail.com

Step 3. We will send the following freebies your way before April 4th!


Order 1 copy of Still Waiting and receive:

Still Waiting Pre Order Freebies 1 copy

-A downloadable Gracelaced print of 2 Corinthians 12:9
This is an exclusive print, created by Ruth Simons for the release of Still Waiting
-An e-copy of the Waiting with Hope Devotional, written by Ann Swindell
-A discount code to Wilfred Wax (Ann’s favorite candle company!)
-Three Still Waiting iPhone lock screens featuring quotes from the book

 

Order 2 copies of Still Waiting and receive:
Still Waiting Pre Order Goodies 2 copies

-A downloadable Gracelaced print of 2 Corinthians 12:9
This is an exclusive print, created by Ruth Simons for the release of Still Waiting
-An e-copy of the Waiting with Hope Devotional, written by Ann Swindell
-A discount code to Wilfred Wax (Ann’s favorite candle company!)
-Three Still Waiting iPhone lock screens featuring quotes from the book
-A digital copy of Deeply Rooted Magazine


Order 5+ copies of Still Waiting and receive:

Still Waiting Pre Order Freebies 5 copies

-A downloadable Gracelaced print of 2 Corinthians 12:9
This is an exclusive print, created by Ruth Simons for the release of Still Waiting
-An e-copy of the Waiting with Hope Devotional, written by Ann Swindell
-A discount code to Wilfred Wax (Ann’s favorite candle company!)
-Three Still Waiting iPhone lock screens featuring quotes from the book
-A digital copy of Deeply Rooted Magazine
-One exclusive Still Waiting candle, created by Wilfred Wax specifically for the book! (2 oz)*

*Quantities are limited and we may sell out quickly!

Remember, all you have to do to claim your pre-order freebies is email us a copy of your receipt at StillWaitingtheBook@gmail.com. We will send the following freebies your way before April 4th!

The #stillwaitingbook pre-order bonuses are live! Check them out here! Click To Tweet

**Gracelaced print is for personal use only and many not be reproduced, altered, sold, or shared for profit. Artist attribution is required if image is shared online. 

 

 

The 2016 Writer’s Gift Guide

With Thanksgiving just around the corner, I’m starting to see “gift guides” pop up online, and I wanted to join in the fun! I offered a Writer’s Gift Guide in 2015, and it was really well received–I think almost all of us know people in our lives who love to write (or we are the ones who love to write!), and this is an easy post to share with others (wink!). Here are my top 10 gifts to give the writers in your life this year!

The 2016 Writers Gift Guide is live--perfect for the writer in your life, especially if that writer is you!… Click To Tweet
  1. How else could I possibly start? A book. Caring for Words in a Culture of Lies is one of my all-time favorite books for fellow writers, both for its meticulous prose and also for McEntyre’s vision for language. She is calling us to use words as people of faith and love–and the outcome of that calling is deeply meaningful. A powerful text for any word-lover in your life!Caring for Words in the Writers Gift Guide 2016 at www.annswindell.com
  2. A beautiful journal set. I love this one from Dayspring–it reminds me that words travel so much farther than I can, and includes a journal, pencil pouch, and set of postcards ready for sending! Get this for the word-lover in your life who you wish you could hug more often! And use the code: SHINEHISLIGHT to save $20 off of a $60 purchase + get free shipping! Yay!
  3. Journal set from DayspringA planner. Writers need clarity when it comes to scheduling their days and setting aside intentional time to write. The planner that I use is from Anchored Press, and I even had the privilege of contributing to their weekly planner this year. These planners are GORGEOUS, practical, and filled with the truth of Scripture–just what we all need to keep us on track!
    Anchored Press Weekly Planner. Writing Gift Guide at annswindell.com
  4. Personalized Writing Coaching. Oftentimes, writers have ideas and dreams and projects that they want to work on, but they don’t know how to strengthen and sharpen their writing–or what the next best step is to take in their calling as a writer. Through Writing with Grace, I offer individualized coaching for writers, and am now setting up calls starting in January. If you want to invest in your own calling as a writer–or if you want to show the writer in your life how deeply you believe in them, this would be the gift that keeps on giving! My coaching clients walk away with practical steps to take in their writing career, along with encouragement and vision for moving forward. Email WritingwithGraceCourse@gmail.com if you’re interested in setting this up and we can chat. I even have a gift card that you can give to your recipient so they have something to open on Christmas day!Writing with Grace Coaching. Email WritingwithGraceCourse@gmail.com

     

  5. A Goal-setting system, like Powersheets from the Cultivate What Matters Shop. I’ve written about these before, but most writers have a hard time juggling both their writing dreams and their everyday commitments; what happens is that usually the writing goes by the wayside. Powersheets have helped me to set priorities in my life around my calling and my gifts, all while keeping the Lord at the center. I am a huge fan of Powersheets and already pre-ordered my set for 2017!
    PowerSheets by Lara Casey
  6. A book pillow! I’m a sucker for quirky pillows, and being surrounded by books is always delightful, whether it’s a stack of books on my desk or a delightful throw pillow that represents books on my couch. This is a fun pick–clean, bright, and just cheeky enough to make even a curmudgeon smile!Book Pillow at the Writers Gift Guide 2016 from annswindell.com
  7. Business cards. Sometimes writers need the validation of owning the truth that they ARE writers; it can be hard to say that you’re a writer if it’s never out in the open with others. Consider buying your favorite writer a pack of business cards as a way of encouraging her in her dream of writing–and make it stylish while you’re at it! I love these from Moo, which is where I purchase my business cards; the quality is extremely high. Click here and then search for “writer” in the upper right-hand corder to bring up a fun array of business cards related to writing!Writer business cards in the Writers Gift Guide 2016 at www.annswindell.com

     

  8. A meaningful magazine subscription. The best writers are thoughtful readers, and one of my all-time favorite publications is Deeply Rooted Magazine. This is a beautiful, theologically rich publication that is deeply encouraging and aesthetically stunning, all at the same time. I’ve written for them for years (and hope to do so forever)! Order the writer in your life a yearly subscription and keep the gift going for the next twelve months!Deeply Rooted Magazine Subscription in the Writers Gift Guide 2016 at annswindell.com

     

  9. A nice pen. Yes, most of us do our writing on screens nowadays, but there’s nothing like writing with a smooth pen on fresh paper. If you’re already getting the writer in your life a journal set (see #2), something like this would be a great stocking stuffer!Fringe Pen for the 2016 Writer Gift Guide at www.annswindell.com
  10. One more book. I couldn’t help myself–if you’re looking to encourage the writer in your life with spiritual truth (from a fellow writer!), you can pre-order my book, Still Waiting. It comes out April 4th, and I’ve been praying for the readers of this book for over a year. You can read more about the book here, but I think this is a great gift for the writer–and reader–in your life. I’ve poured my heart into it, and my prayer is that this book will be an encouragement to each and every person who reads it.

Still Waiting: Hope for When God Doesn't Give You What You Want www.annswindell.com

Well, there you have it: these are my top 10 gifts for the writer in your life–even if that writer is yourself! What else would you add to this list? Is there anything you can’t live without in your writing life? Share what you love with me!

May this holiday season be full of transformative words, conversations, and gifts that lead us to truth and beauty in Christ!

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links,
all for products that I love and believe in–and use–myself!

The 2016 Writer's Gift Guide at annswindell.com

When Our Dreams Fail Us: The Gift of Elusive Satisfaction

This is the start of my newest piece for RELEVANT magazine. You can read the whole of the article here!

If you had asked me, ten years ago, what it would take for me to reach my dreams, I probably would have said what a lot of writers say: I wanted a book deal, the ability to write for publications that I love, and the chance to make a living as a writer.

When Our Dreams Fail Us at www.annswindell.com

I was just starting out a decade ago, and those things seemed light-years away. I was sending articles into the black hole of the internet, pitching book proposals that never saw the light of day, and making zero dollars as a writer. I could imagine no higher satisfaction than seeing my name on the cover of a book and making real money doing what I loved. In the meantime, my lack of satisfaction with my then-current situation led me to pursue further schooling, more writing opportunities, and a job in the publishing industry.

God made us with insatiable dreams that can’t be satisfied by worldly success. Click To Tweet

Fast-forward to today. I’m living the dream I wanted so much: I have a book deal, the opportunity to write for publications I respect, and the freedom to write and teach others about writing as my full-time gig. But you know what?

I’m still not satisfied.

I got what I wanted. I reached my dreams. But none of these things have brought me deep satisfaction. Instead, I now have other goals as a writer, new things that I want to achieve.

This is a bell that’s ringing throughout our generation. Even when we achieve what we dreamed about, we’re not fully satisfied. We’re always off to pursue the next dream, the next opportunity.

Even when we achieve what we dreamed about, we’re not fully satisfied. Click To Tweet

Is something wrong with us when our dreams don’t fulfill us in the way we hoped they would? When they don’t satisfy us in the way we imagined they could?

No. Satisfaction is an elusive rabbit to chase; it shouldn’t surprise us that we struggle to be satisfied.

You can read the rest of the article here, at RELEVANT!

 

And, if you’re a fellow writer, don’t miss out–registration for Writing with Grace, the online writing course that I teach, is open now! It closes soon, so join me over at www.WritingwithGrace.com to learn more about the course and see the new video!

Writing with Grace course www.writingwithgrace.com

 

5 Quick Ways to Refresh When You Can’t Slow Down

Although many of us hope that summer will be a season of rest and renewal, the truth is that sometimes the summer months are packed with more activities than we can count. If you’re finding yourself stretched thin, I hope that this piece of mine from Today’s Christian Woman will offer you some practical ways to refresh your soul in the midst of the craziness of life.

You can read the whole article here!

5 Ways to Refresh Your Soul When You Can't Slow Down

Most days, it seems like there’s not quite enough time to accomplish everything we need—or want—to do. It might be that we’re juggling kids, a marriage, and a dog; or it might be that we’re trying to balance classes and friendships and work; or that we’re living in the tension between our professional and personal lives. Whatever roles and responsibilities we carry, we have all experienced that nagging feeling that we’re not doing enough.

So it may seem counterintuitive to suggest that what we actually need is more refreshment. It may sound, in fact, like an unattainable luxury: to refresh ourselves when there are things to get done. It’s easier to put our own lives on hold when the kids are screaming, when the deadline is looming, when the bills are overdue.

We can’t put our need for refreshment on pause forever, though many of us feel as if we have to do just that. I’ve struggled with the tension of wanting to renew my soul but feeling guilty about the desire to do “something for myself.” As I’ve learned the hard way, though, things that refresh my body, mind, and soul aren’t luxuries. They are necessary for long-term health and wholeness—just as necessary as food and sleep. Go without refreshment too long, and you’ll find yourself exhausted and fried.

Making time to refresh our body, soul, and mind isn't a luxury--it's a necessity. Click To Tweet

One problem is that we associate refreshment with big trips or expensive experiences—and those seem unattainable. What we need instead are smaller, more consistent ways to refresh in the midst of our everyday lives, and that doesn’t have to take a lot of time or money. Here are five ways to refresh when you don’t have time to slow down.

1. Listen to Scripture

If your time to read the Bible is rushed or nonexistent, consider downloading a Bible-reading app to your phone or computer. Find a version of the Bible that you love, and start listening before you pull out of the driveway on your morning commute or while you’re on your way to drop off kids at school.

We’d all like to have time to study the Bible deeply, but listening to the Bible is another way to concentrate on Scripture in the midst of full days. This listening can keep us focused on “what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable”—the things that we are called to “think about” (Philippians 4:8). Consistently hearing the Scripture fills our minds—and hearts—with God’s truth, and that truth will refresh and sustain us in a soul-nourishing way that nothing else can.

2. Put Your Feet Up for Five Minutes

Whether you close the door to your office and put your feet on your desk or hop on your favorite couch at home, get your feet off the floor. Put your phone down and turn it on silent (it’s only five minutes, remember?), close your eyes, and focus on breathing.

Rest is good for our brains and our souls. A University of Illinois study points out that taking short breaks enables us to stay focused over the course of a long project. Similarly, a writer for the New York Times argues that idleness is good for us, stating that “The space and quiet that idleness provides is a necessary condition for standing back from life and seeing it whole.”

Scripture helps us see our lives as a whole, too. When we step back from the minutiae of our lives to consider the vast world God has created, we can rest in his mindfulness of us (Psalm 8:3-4) and in his ability to hold the world together—a refreshing truth and something we don’t have to accomplish on our own (Colossians 1:15-17).

Regularly refreshing ourselves is not a sign of weakness or selfishness—it is the way to stay… Click To Tweet

3. Spark Your Senses

God created us to experience the world through all of our senses. If you are calmed or invigorated by a certain scent, for example, invest in a fragrant candle and light it during a particularly stressful part of your day. If you can’t have flames in your workspace, consider melting wax pods, which release the aroma of a candle without the fire.

Similarly, if you are refreshed by the mountains or the ocean but can’t look out your window and see them, purchase a photo of a beautiful place and put it in your office or by the kitchen sink.

Music, too, can be a powerful way for us to refresh our souls. One study showed that playing music can decrease anxiety, even in an environment as stressful as an emergency room. Even if we must be in a stressful environment, it may be possible to turn music on in the background, or in headphones. Choose music that encourages you and lifts your spirits.

Read the rest of the article here, at Today’s Christian Woman!

Aching for Home

THE ACHE

This past summer, our family moved to a new city, and into a new life. And in the midst of the transitions and changes that the last year has brought our way, I have thought about the feeling, the idea, and the desire for home.

Two years ago during Holy Week, I reflected on that same thing–that ache for home that so many of us feel. And in light of Easter, and I wanted to share those thoughts with you again here in this space:

I love traveling; Michael and I love traveling together, exploring new places, and learning about the world. But when it comes down to it, I am a homebody at heart, and I love having consistency in my life.  In fact, one of the sweetest things about traveling, for this homebody, is the longing that develops in me when I am away from home. There is a familiar ache that bubbles up, whether I am in Wisconsin, Florida, or England—the ache for a place where I know the corners of the rooms, the ache for a place where the walls and bed and blankets are familiar, loved, home.

Easter is about Jesus making a way for us to be able to enter the eternal Home that we were created… Click To Tweet

My mother and I traveled to Grand Rapids for a conference, and while we were there, my mother drove us past her childhood home, her elementary school, and her family’s church.  My grandpa was a Methodist minister, and so she moved several times as a child, but it was in this city that she started going to school, and her memories of Grand Rapids are vivid. I loved seeing bits of her life through these buildings—the house where she lived, the steps she climbed on her first day of kindergarten, the steeple of the church where my grandfather preached. And although those places were not mine, I felt that old ache flutter again.

C.S. Lewis has written about this ache. In “The Weight of Glory,” he writes,

These things—the beauty, the memory of our own past—are good images of what we really desire; but if they are mistaken for the thing itself they turn into dumb idols, breaking the hearts of their worshippers. For they are not the thing itself; they are only the scent of a flower we have not found, the echo of a tune we have not heard, news from a country we have never yet visited.

“News from a country we have never yet visited.”

Home.

Easter, which we are looking toward, is about many things. But in one sense, it is about home. It is about Jesus making a way for us to be able to enter the eternal Home that we were created for. It is that country we keep hearing news from—that ache that bubbles up, that longing that draws us to beauty and goodness and light. The desire for wholeness, and freedom, and perfection—the ache for heaven. Jesus is the only one who could become the doorway for us to that Home. His body, broken and torn on the cross, became the doorway that allows us to enter in and walk into right relationship with God. And through the doorframe of that empty tomb–his resurrection–we get to enter into that heavenly home with him, forever.

He crossed the threshold from death to life and held the door open for us, too.

Jesus crossed the threshold from death to life and held the door open for us, too. #Christianity Click To Tweet

Home. It is what we long for, ache for, desire. This Easter, we can remember afresh that because of the great cost Christ paid for us on the cross, and because of the great miracle of his resurrection, we have an answer to all of the aching and longing that we find in our own hearts.

We can remember that we have found our truest home—in Him.