You Can Buy a Hard Copy of My Book

Holla,

Recently I decided to take the plunge and get an ISBN and do a physical print run of my book. Because the book is for children and families it just makes so much more sense for it to be a proper physical book (in my mind).

**For those bookish types, in NZ you can get an ISBN number without cost but you have to provide the national library with 2 copies of your book – one for the archives and one for loaning. Which I love the idea of.

This is of course a bit of a risk – when you decide to publish a book yourself you pay all the cost of the book at the front end with no guarantees that you will break even at the other end. Writing this book was never a money-making venture of me (tbh, most authors, whatever route they are published don’t make a lot from it), but I would love to break even.

example of a page – there are 24 like this

I decided to get my book published locally – about 5 minutes down the road. I know it would have been much cheaper for me to get it done off shore but, as much as I can, its nice to support local people in local jobs and also the thought of trying to do this kind of thing by distance does not excite me.

I also decided to get my book published on the very best paper I could get – 100% recycled, at the highest of international standards and bleach and chlorine free. This felt like the right thing to do too – even though it made it a little bit more expensive for me.

So now 100 copies of my little Advent book are printed! Which feels like a big number to sell but hopefully kind of realistic.

Of course I’m aware we’re not even at June yet, but if you like to get things like this sorted early (or you need a whole year to get through the activities – which I completely understand!) you can get yours now.

You can read more about my book here
and you can also read reviews of the book here

Because I want to live hands open I would like to give away the first copy of this book (I can sign it if you like). I am happy to post this anywhere in the world. If you’d like to win a copy just comment here, on my other blog http://createhopeinspire.blogspot.com or on my facebook writer’s(!) page.

If you would like to buy a copy of my book, (yay!), it is $25 plus p+p. If you live in Christchurch I may well be able to drop you off your copy – or we could have a coffee??!

In NZ I can post this out in an A4 prepaid envelope so the total cost will be $27.90. At this stage copies can only be purchased from me. Because the mark up is so low it is unlikely at the moment that it will be sold through shops but I’ll let you know if that changes at all.

If you live somewhere else and want to purchase a copy/copies please let me know and I will calculate postage and let you know.

You can still buy the kindle copy via amazon which will only set you back about the cost of a coffee if you still want one but your budget won’t stretch to a hard copy.

I think that’s all for now. So….um…. you want to buy a copy of my book?

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Reward

These words are playing on repeat in my heart today – a promise to Abram. (That’s right good ‘ol father Abraham, before he was even Abraham).

“Fear not, I am your shield, and your exceeding great reward.” (Gen 15v1)

I am all filled up – into the corners, and the cracks, and to the top of all the dusty shelves of my life, with the joy that is Jehovah – my reward.

reward

As dusk inevitably comes and the Hope of Christmas bears down like a woman in labour I am wrapped in a promise where God is my reward.

All I want for Christmas.

All I want for life.

My reward.

A reward that cannot be bought. A reward that cannot be stolen. A reward that is never sold out, broken, or disappointing.

This Presence, this promise today – this is what is at the top of my heart, my Christmas list and this is what gives ‘strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow’.

Praying this knowledge, this promise, this Hope for you today dear beloved heart.

Merry, merry Christmas Eve to you. xxx

As the Day Breaks or the Evening Closes….

This quote always speaks to me – motormouth that I am!

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Let us, then, labour for an inward stillness –

and inward stillness and an upward healing,

that perfect silence where the lips and heart are still,

and we no longer entertain our own imperfect thoughts and vain options,

but God alone speaks to us,

and we wait in singleness of heart,

that we may know His will,

and in the silence of our spirits,

that we may do His will and do that only.

Henry Wordsworth Longfellow

Today I am longing for singleness of heart – what a beautiful and whole place to be found.

May your heart, spirit, mind, body – may the whole of you have stillness and rest – even in the busy rush of Christmas planning.

And may that stillness protect, comfort and bring you Peace today.

xxx

Peace

I think perhaps Peace is the hardest of the all the Christmas promises to experience. Maybe it’s cultural…perhaps we have bought into a Christmas season that is all about doing everything, being everywhere and meeting demands for everything and everyone.

 

I’ve been thinking about hurricanes and storms lately. It doesn’t take much looking around the world, our community or even our lives to be confronted with the noise, fear and carnage of storms.

How’s a person to have peace in such a beat up, stressed out, broken down place?

Peace I give you; peace I leave with you. I do not give as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid. John 14:27

Today as I’ve sat to write the words whispering in my heart are the eye of the hurricane.

In a terrible storm, in the centre closest to the worst of winds and damage there is an eye – an eye that opens all the way to the top and beyond. While the storm can be so all-encompassing there is no way to view through it, there is an opening that widens as it ascends.

In that eye there are blue skies, low wind, peaceful conditions.

It’s danced like a song in my heart today – a promise of peace in the midst of the storm.

A place of safety where the blue of heaven touches the dust of earth.

A place that widens and opens out as it ascends.

And in the song are the words that sustain and give life to peace.

This is no fleeting peace – it is a life-giving, anchoring peace, peace that quiets my heart and settles around my shoulders like a korowai (cloak), a mantle of peace that I can shelter inside when the storms rage.

I am sitting with these words – like the heavens entered earth via the eye of the storm. Because the world has never been free from storms, from noise, from violence.

But….into the storm came the Prince of Peace. 

He dwelt with us in the storm. He remains with us in the storm and he will be our Peace.

Today my Advent word for myself is PEACE.

Peace that cannot be measured,

peace that passes human understanding,

peace that abides,

peace that will come again,

peace that will reign.

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Today, as you anticipate Advent may you have Peace.

Peace that dwells in your heart.

Peace that surrounds like a cloak.

Peace that sustains.

Peace to you today, dear beloved one.

Included

Whilst it might be an inaccurate portrayal, I love the traditional image of the nativity.

 

The young parents gazing in wide-eyed wonder at the babe wrapped in strips surrounded with straw, the sheepish looking shepherds, the regal looking astrologers, the animals calmly giving balance to the scene.

What strikes me most though is the inclusiveness of the characters who marked the arrival of the One who came for all.

We discount ourselves too easily from the wanted ones, the ‘in crowd’, the chosen. But here, marked out by thousands of artists over the years, we are given a picture of inclusiveness.

The astrologers – foreign, wise, rich, educated, (probably) older.

The shepherds – common, poor, local, at the bottom of the society at the time.

The parents – young, middle of the road kids of their culture, under the rule and oppression of another culture.

It’s hard not to find some common ground with someone there.

Yet, at the birth all were considered welcomed guests, heralds and invited attendants, excited, terrified, wondering….

Maybe that’s something we need to catch, to be, to receive ourselves – the wonder, excitement and awe of LOVE come down.

 

Maybe we need to remember today that we are included.

No matter how on the edges, how different, how diverse our understanding, our aspirations, our experiences – we are all included.

there is room for us all in that stable 

there is room for us all at the table

Because the Word came once, for all.

So, when He returns it will be for all.

Let this inclusiveness be ever in our hearts. Let it shape our Adventing. Let us be people who see the foreign, the lowly, the rich, the poor, the educated, the uneducated, the young, the old…. let us see them all as they are, as we ourselves are – dearly loved, invited in, accepted and called to go and be the heralds of a new coming, a kingdom where all are included and loved.

Lord, as I stand and gaze at a baby in a stable may I be ever reminded, that as I am included and invited in, I am called to do likewise; to make room for the ones who are similar and dissimilar to me, to not buy in to fear, to prejudice, to inferiority or superiority. Help me to look down and see the ground we share together and to always be ready to make room on the patch I occupy for another one.

 

On Getting Up After the First Hurdle

So… I love this idea of Advent so much I wrote a book. I thought about Advent so much, the season of it, the stepping outside the race. Determining to dwell in the season.

Then suddenly it was Advent – 3 days in and I realise I’m a hot mess.

My heart is resentful not rested.

My mind is scattered not settled.

I am tangled up in a sea of lights with a to-do list that is growing by the minute.

It’s like I’ve stood at the start line, in all the right gear, all trained, all shiny, all good to go and then as the starting gun has gone off I’ve run straight into the first hurdle and landed all skinned up and shamed while the others have sped on.

So I’ve stopped and been furious with myself. I’ve felt cross at others, I’ve entertained resentment. I’ve even made it a cup of tea and really got comfortable with it. I have tumbled down and stayed there.

Then, I’ve really stopped and waited and listened with more than my ears. I’ve been reminded that Advent isn’t about me creating something perfect – it’s about me receiving something perfect.

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That first arrival is not some grand display of power and might. It is a cosmic display of humility, of emptying, of being small – so small that God, the Word can fit inside skin.

Today I’m holding tight to the fact that Adventing well is not about what I can achieve in 24 days, doing it well is about letting Hope grow in my heart. Letting the inner part of me expand to prepare to host the Word.

I’m closing my eyes to the lists.

I’m quieting the resentments that try to tell a tale that I am put upon, that I am put out, that others are getting in the way of me doing well.

I am taking myself to the unholy smell and mess of the manger to realise what Hope was laid to rest there. To receive Hope.

To realise that the answer lies not in the doing but the dwelling.

Sometimes the best of all achievements is the letting go. The laying down the burden of perfection and the disappointment that minimises the everyday joys.

My word for today is receive.

Today I’m letting go of every expectation of me. I am turning my face to the Light. I am saying – here is an open door. I need you. I needed you to come. I need you to come again.

Right now I need you in this messy sacred moment.

I am taking seriously the invitation to receive Him.

He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him. Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God.

John 1

I come to receive. I want the best gift of all. I want you Jesus.

 

 

Adventing – Anticipation

It happened a lot during my childhood, the slowing of time in relation to the height of my eagerness for an event.

A party invitation that didn’t start until 2pm made a day drag on and on, the ticking clock interminable. Lying in bed for the prescribed one hour Sunday afternoon rest, seemingly an hour without ending.

As an adult, in the rush to December 25th it can feel impossible to carve out even a minute to catch breath, to think of anything other than the onslaught of end-of-school requirements, present organisation, family commitments, friendship commitments.

Suddenly the season of Christmas has disappeared into a dark tunnel with a fast oncoming train labelled ‘Christmas Day’.

I love the word season – the implication of the gentle breaking through; of changes that herald a shift. The first green shoots of Spring, the daffodils, the build up… that results in full glory, or depth, or fullness of a particular season.

A season wraps its tendrils around us… lures us into a different place. It doesn’t smack us directly in the face like a hurricane. So I desire a season to advent in.

BTL - John 14:15-21

My plan this Advent, as well as doing my book with my children, is to capture a sense of growing anticipation. As Christians the season of Advent is actually about, looking forward to the second arrival of Jesus. The time when all will be put to rights.

The time when we will finally see face to face what our hearts have so longed for.

So I will be taking some of the words from my children’s book and weaving them into my own reflections. I will be looking backwards, as the Trinity was wrenched and the world received the word made flesh, and I will be looking forward anticipating the Great Arrival that is still to come.

In the forward and backwards I will be looking to pause, to wait, to be awed by the Presence that dwells with us, in us, through us.

I hope you will journey with me and with my family as well tip toe along the edges of

Hope come

and Hope still to come.

May we all know a season of Advent, a season of Hope and a true season of Joy.

xxx

So, I Wrote A Book

Since I’ve had babies I’ve wanted to build traditions around Christmas. I’ve dreamed about the sense of holy wonder in our home as we contemplate together the rough stable, those young parents, the scrappy shepherds, the choirs of angels.

I’ve wanted a Christmas build up that has felt like Christ-mas. God with us.

It seems that little kids are offered all sorts of tinsly, glowing, baubly bits but there hasn’t been much for wondering on. So I wrote a book for families with children who are aged 3-7 years old.

A book where each day is based on a word like – chosen, generous, myrrh and each day includes a Bible verse and a very simple activity and a reflection and a prayer.

A book where the information is sound and meaningful.

A book where the activities are actually achievable.

A book that works when you miss some days because the grandparents came to stay and the cat vomited on the carpet and we all had a meltdown.

adventing

I wrote this book for every family that’s wanted something more than tinsel and jingle bells.

I wrote it for busy parents who want to do something well but don’t have time to do all the thinking.

I wrote it for children, my children, and for so many little ones who are very dear to me and to whom I want to give the gift of wonder, delight, depth and meaning.

This book is currently free as a kindle e-book, just for a few days. Then it will be about the price of a good hot chocolate.

When I pray for this book I pray it will bless you. I pray it will encourage you and I pray that you will find it practical, Biblical and tradition building.

If you want your own copy you can find the link on the right. Here’s the official description:

24 opportunities to reflect on an element of the arrival of Jesus
• Simple and inspiring activities and reflections
• Assistance to build a Biblical understanding for children aged 3-7 about the arrival of Jesus
• Create a wonder-filled and worshipful attitude in your home as you lead up to Christmas

Written by teacher, speaker and communicator Miriam Fisher. Motivated by a desire to provide theologically sound, simple, and meaningful ways to celebrate and anticipate Christmas together.

Meaningful, Achievable, Biblical, Joyful

This is my Christmas gift to you. Wrapped in my love for the honour and glory of Jesus.

x Miriam x