A Day In The Life: Releasing A Book, Fake Farming, Moving Into Shipping Containers, and An Epic Giveaway Announcement.
In a perfect world, this title should really be broken up into four separate posts. I mean, what a mouthful, right? But the truth is, as much as I LOVE BLOGGING and meeting here with you each week, I've been a little busy….
I never presume anyone is waiting for what I have to say, or even interested for that matter. I usually assume the opposite. Perhaps I've delayed in writing this one up because there is so much noise on internet land these days I kind of hate to add to it. Or maybe it's because I've been fake farming, moving and having a baby….well sort of. Regardless, we now have so much to catch up on, friends! I'm gonna just hit the highlights cause I know even though our catch up time is your favorite part of the day, you got other stuff to do. 😉
On Book Release:
Since my last life update, we've released a new baby, my first book A Fierce Love into the world. Having carried it around inside me, birthed it, nurtured and tended to it privately for so long, the launch, or birth as it feels to me, is a whole mix of emotions. Just like a new momma, there are moments of tears, overwhelming joy, moments of feeling just plain disoriented by the whole experience, and then panic realizing I don't have a clue what I am doing.
Everyone keeps asking me how sales are going? I'm going to be so honest. I have no idea. I don't even know how it should be going. My publisher has been ah-mazing, and in all the hubbub, no one even set expectations (which I'm grateful for- as at this point, much is beyond my control.) Highlights, for me, of the AFL tour— much of which has been virtual— include a generous post by Ann Voskamp on her own blog, many shared articles- everywhere from Foreverymom.com to Biblegateway.com. Some are still pending going live. Everything from live radio interviews to podcasts, a few tv interviews and live broadcasts- and a couple of super fun trips. I post link ups to as much as I can on my Facebook author page. I'd love to have you join me there!
As much as this has been a surreal experience, one consistent pattern I keep seeing remain firm- the faithfulness of God in every step.
One woman wrote to tell me AFL just appeared in her Amazon cart one day. No one else had her account info, and she did not add it herself. After reading the book info, she purchased it and the message for her was so timely, she deemed it God's hand of provision.
Another reached out to say a copy appeared in her mailbox one day even though she never purchased it. When she picked it up, she felt the Holy Spirit nudge her to give it to a friend, which she did the next day. Her friend revealed that her husband had just left her and was in a desperate place. Again, we chalked the book showing up in her mailbox that day a divine delivery.
I love serving a God who cares about each one of us like there is only one of us!
When I start feeling wonky about things outside of my control, I am reminded to calm down and God's got this already. He's so good at being God behind the scenes.
He accomplishes more than we ever could hope to. So often when I find myself trying to help, I'm actually just getting in the way!
Oh! Wanna hear something epic? (My kids have informed me that no one says epic anymore, and it's embarrassing when I say it, so it's now my mission to see how often I can slip it in sentences.) BUT SERIOUSLY. You all know my affection for Jen Hatmaker? Well, I don't like to brag but I met a friend of hers in Austin last week and she let me sign one of my books addressed to Jen, and she said she would get it to her.
I know. I'm flipping out too.
Obviously, reading A Fierce Love is priority Numero Uno for Jen as she launches Moxie and preps getting her 400 children ready for school, but still, the experience was super fun that I got to pretend for a minute my favorite author might actually hold my book in her hand.
PLUS, I got to meet and hang out with Jamie Ivey while I was in Austin, which was so totally epic.
Jamie has a podcast called The Happy Hour with Jamie Ivey and it is epic so you should give it a listen.
On The Container Home:
I left Austin so inspired. The Ivey's had transformed their backyard into a functional space for epic events. I thought, I can do that too! Since purchasing the farm, we've been so pre-occupied with the work on the house, the outdoor space has been pretty neglected other than simply mowing in between fields. With visions of future outdoor hanging lights, picnic tables, and fire pits (since it's started to feel like fall already in Ohio!) I set to work. The brush growth was literally over my head standing straight up.
In a few hours, with the help of the family machete, and a push mower, (and children carrying piles of brush to the creek bed…..) Voila!
Lots more yard now.
As I was dreaming about epic future outdoor parties and gatherings, I wandered into the back yard, which we call the "nook." The nook is a circle-shaped patch of land surrounded by trees. From there, I shot a pic of what our house looks like now looking into the main room.
Quick recap from one year ago the day the containers were "set" in place:
But I know what you're really here for. You want to see inside, don't you?
We pulled stones from the creek and used them to create the above fireplace— and for this reason, for the first time in my whole life, I'm not dreading the brutal Ohio winter!
On Fake Farming
Every time I say we live on a farm, it feels a bit misleading because we don't have farm animals. We are starting out slow….with bees. So far we have tended a vegetable garden, my friend came over and planted two plum trees (that may or may not still be alive), and we've cleared away lots of land that used to be wild brush.
The land we bought was stomping grounds for hundreds of black angus cows for decades, the farm itself belonging to the Shanks'— making it a family farm. After grandpa died, much of the land was rented to corn farmers. Now, it's our turn to cultivate a small portion and see how we fare.
I do own a pair of overalls (that I wear frequently). My washer and dryer died sometime in storage, so I've been doing laundry in the kitchen sink and line drying, soooo as you see, I am basically living in the wild frontier.
On The Epic Giveaway
You've stuck with me this long. You deserve a prize.
At least a chance at one. I ordered the thing I am absolutely obsessed with from Etsy right now, and as soon as it comes in, I'm stuffing a box full of epic goodies that you will not want to miss out on! Make sure you subscribe to my emails for your chance to join the epic-ness that is my next giveaway— coming this week!
And guys— Seriously, from the bottom of my heart thank you for taking this journey with me. Launching a book is nothing if no one is reading. THANK YOU for helping me make waves, for spreading the #lovefilter and talking with me about grace and love and God and redemption. It's been EPIC.
Loving A Fierce Love? I'd love for you to leave a review ! Tell your friends, post on your socials. It's not too late to help with the launch that is still in full swing around here. Know someone who could use the encouragement? #Spreadthelove
❤️— Shauna Shanks