Wednesday, June 11, 2014

A New Season: My Job News and What it Means for My Books, My Business, and My Blog

A new season is about to begin in my life - one that might make me a bit scarcer in my usual corner of the blogosphere, and one that signals the end to Editing Through the Seasons (my freelance editing & publicity business). I'll still be around, though - just in a different capacity, which I couldn't be more excited about!

As you might have noticed through posts such as "Life Lessons from Lupines," I've been going through a season of waiting and uncertainty. Here's what I noted toward the end of that post:

I currently feel like I'm at a crossroads, where a huge dream lies just beyond my grasp, and the alternative scares me because it feels "less" and unimportant and monotonous. I'm afraid to hope - to open myself up to being badly crushed. And I'm afraid not to hope - to face new seasons of fire and waiting without knowing when they might end. I have no idea if this next step is going to be a time of glorious blooming or a time of continued preparation. Perhaps I shouldn't make those two ideas mutually exclusive, though. Because, as the last few very enjoyable lupine outings have reminded me, the number of the blooms (or lack thereof) couldn't take away the joy of the experience unless I let it.

My mom and I were unexpectedly blessed this year with the purple carpets we had so longed to see. I'm grateful for the reminder that trials that bring growth eventually bring rewards. And I'm thankful for the fact that God is merciful and loving, blessing us in all sorts of ways - even in something so "small" as a day among the lupines.

As you now know, I did end up finding a part-time job at a grocery store for about six weeks...and it was very different than my working experiences up until that point. I had a lot of new skills to learn, as it were, including finding purpose in tasks that have to be re-done every day (vs. working on a project-by-project basis). Do I regret it, though? Not one bit! The reasons for that are deserving of their own post, as this post will probably end up long enough as it is - so perhaps sometime soon I shall share a little about how God prepared me and blessed me in unexpected way through my brief time there. :)

But now I'll no longer be working part-time, as I've been offered a full-time job. It is with absolute joy and gratitude that I introduce you to my new employer:


Starting this July, I'll be the new content writer in the marketing department at Harvest House Publishers!  

I tell you, if I thought I was excited about the job when I first got the offer, I am indescribably and incandescently happy now that I've had the chance to visit Harvest House, meet my coworkers in person, and see firsthand the type of company I'll be working for...

The lobby at Harvest House

A copy of the Bible buried in their foundation - to remind everyone who works there that they're "built" on the foundation of God's word

My soon-to-be corner cubicle :)

My sweet Mom and I at the entrance

My mom and I were very kindly given the grand tour this past Monday, so we had the opportunity to see the lunch room (with such a beautiful view!), the marketing team's section (everyone was so incredibly nice and fun, and the area is open, fostering an atmosphere of cooperation and camaraderie), the warehouse (oh, you guys! It goes on forever and smells of books!), and the various other departments (yes, the editorial section is rather large!). The property and the building are simply stunning, and everyone I met made me feel welcome and at home. Interestingly enough, Harvest House's new blog is titled "Welcome Home" - and that's exactly the message I got when I arrived there. I really feel like Harvest House and its little corner of Oregon could be my new home. 

So, what does this all mean for my readers?

My Books:

As far as I know right now, I plan to continue self-publishing on the side. For certain, I've got to get Morning Glory out there to complete "The Heart's Spring" series! And I do have some other little ideas I hope to pursue. However, the majority of my focus needs to be on this new job, of course, so it might be a while between publication dates, and I'm sure my stories will continue to stay on the short side, as that's just how I roll. ;) And in all honesty, the fact that I'll be writing in this new position comforts me, so that even if I had to set aside my books, I'd still be doing something that involves the written word. :) We'll see how it all works out in time! For now, you can follow The Heart's Spring blog for any little publishing updates, and I do hope to create a new blog (which will link to that one) to encompass any new stories in different genres. 

My Business:

Editing Through the Seasons will be soon be shutting its doors. I'll probably still run blog tours for my own books and possibly some for my cover designer, but for the most part, I really feel like I need to simplify so that the majority of my focus can be on my new job. I've had an absolute blast with this business, and I know that my experiences with my clients helped prepare me for this career path. I'm so grateful for each and every author who entrusted me with editing and/or marketing their stories, and for every blogger who joined me in those marketing endeavors. You helped prepare me for this new season, and words can't express how much your support has meant to me.

My Blog:

While I do plan on cutting back a bit on some of my online endeavors, I hope to maintain Seasons of Humility. I might review less, in time (though you all know I probably won't be able to stop reviewing cold turkey, haha!), and there won't be as many blog tours and the like. But I'm sure I'll still be talking books here, and now I'll have plenty of new material for blog posts as I embark on this journey of relocating to Oregon and working for a traditional publisher. :) I hope you'll enjoy being a part of it all!

I also hope you'll consider following Harvest House on Facebook, Twitter, and/or YouTube, as well as through their Welcome Home blog. As a content writer, I'll be writing different marketing materials, from back cover copies to print/web ads and the like, and I believe I might also be involved in some of the social media aspects. :)


God is so good to guide us in His perfect timing to the places we need to be and into the passions He's placed on our hearts. When I graduated from college, I didn't have some grand plan - all I knew was that I thought I should go home, but I was scared to feel so aimless. I just had to trust that God would lead me one step at a time. And ever so slowly but sweetly, He took my hand and led me to this place: through starting my own business, to finally getting clients, to self-publishing my own books, to expanding the business to include publicity projects... Now, two years later, the direction makes perfect sense, and those times of uncertainty have blossomed into complete satisfaction and purpose. I couldn't have imagined how wonderfully, how beautifully, God would bless me with the desires of my heart. ♥ No matter what comes in the days ahead, just reaching this point has been a glorious gift.

Dear friends, may you rest in the hope and joy of knowing God has a plan for your life, and He will guide you Home in His perfect way and timing. Blessings to you all in this season!

46 comments:

Rissi said...

Amber, congratulations! This is wonderful news and an opportunity that couldn't be given to a person more deserving. Proud and happy for you. :)

While it'll be sad to see your lesser presence in the blogosphere/social media scene (or on the normal fronts), I know this is a goal you've been looking forward to achieving for a long time, and you deserve it.

Best of luck.

Jamie Lapeyrolerie said...

Congrats Amber!! That is so exciting and praying as you transition on this new adventure!

Audrey Sauble said...

Wow--congratulations! That is a huge change for you, but I'm sure you will shine!

Heidi Robbins said...

What wonderful news! Best wishes in your new endeavors!

Hannah said...

That is amazing and wonderful and beautiful!!! Congratulations! We will miss you greatly, but it's so exciting to know you'll be stepping forward in this! God bless!

Ganise C. said...

AMBER!! :) Wonderful, wonderful! What a blessing to have found such a great job. I am truly rejoicing with you! I can't tell you how much your story gives me hope as a soon-to-be (and nervous) university student. It encourages me to know that He is in control. God is indeed faithful and good for bringing you from college to here. Praise His glorious name (efinitely want to go back and read the post you wrote about graduating college.)

I remember you writing at the beginning of this year that you were expecting new things, I'm sure this is an unforgettable surprise for you. May God bring be your Help, Strength, Guide and Comforter wherever life leads you. You're a lovely lady with a promising future and I'm glad your blog and books will still be here. Congratulations, friend and welcome to new beginnings :)

Ganise C. said...

*Back after reading the post about your graduation*

Love how your words are from the heart. God bless you. Thanks for reminding me something I often forget : (again) He is in control.

PS: Sorry about the typos in my previous comment : ''efinitely'' is supposed to be Definitely.

Bookishqueen said...

That sounds like an awesome job! Congrates.

Rebeka B. said...

Oh, Amber!!!! This is wonderful news!!!! I am so, so, so happy for you, my friend. May God bless you richly in this new step in your life--this job sounds PERFECT for you! <3

Kate said...

Amber, how wonderful!! Congratulations! This job seems like it is perfect for you. :-) So happy for you. What a fantastic new adventure.

Amber Stokes said...

Rissi,

Aww, my friend, that is so kind of you to say! I will miss working with my clients, for sure, but I'm so thrilled for this sort of opportunity - more than I could have imagined in my stated goals at the beginning of the year. :) And yes, I'll still be around, in old ways and new! Thank you again for being so supportive and encouraging.

~Amber

Amber Stokes said...

Jamie,

Thank you so much for sharing my excitement - and thank you for those prayers!! They are very much appreciated, as is your friendship. :)

~Amber

Amber Stokes said...

Audrey,

Thank you! It will be a big change - both in a new level of independence, and in a new working schedule and environment. I really appreciate your kind confidence in me, though! Happy to be Oregon bound once again. :)

~Amber

Amber Stokes said...

Heidi,

I'm blessed to have such supportive blogging friends! Thank you for your encouragement! :)

~Amber

Amber Stokes said...

Hannah,

Aww, I so appreciate you sharing my joy! You are a great friend. I do still plan to be around the blogosphere to some degree, so hopefully you won't have too much opportunity to miss me. ;) But I know some things will have to change, and I'm grateful to have understanding and thoughtful friends like you alongside me for the journey. :)

~Amber

Amber Stokes said...

Ganise,

It is a true blessing - so much bigger and more perfectly suited than I could have imagined! God is so very good. ♥ Thank you for sharing in my joy, and for your very sweet words!

It's so exciting that you're getting ready to embark on your own journey! While college life certainly came with its own set of struggles, I learned so much during that time - not just academically, but in how to apply my faith to all areas of life, and how to grow into my own person. May you enjoy these years of learning and embrace the life that God has for you in adulthood. This is such a scary but also hopeful and thrilling time in our lives!

I'm touched to know that these posts have encouraged you - you're so kind to go back and read my graduation post, as well. God is indeed in control, and it's a blessing when you can look back and see how incredibly faithful He always was and is. May you feel His presence and trust in Him to work in you to bring about His perfect will in His perfect time. *Hugs*

By the way, I found Psalm 138 to be such a great comfort to me recently, especially during the interview process and the time I was working at the grocery store.

Congratulations to you on this exciting new step in your life, and thank you once again for your friendship and kindness!

~Amber

P.S. No worries at all - typos happen all too often to all of us. ;)

Amber Stokes said...

Bookishqueen,

I think so, too! Thank you. :)

~Amber

Amber Stokes said...

Rebeka,

You are so sweet - thank you for your kind words and for sharing my excitement!! From the interview experience and what I've learned so far about the job, it's more perfect than I could have hoped. I think a lot of the "behind the scenes" jobs in publishing aren't really understood or talked about much, and so you don't really realize how many ways you could be involved that aren't editing, you know? :) I'm really thrilled with this position!

God bless you, as well, my friend!

~Amber

Amber Stokes said...

Kate,

Thank you so much! After getting a taste of everything this week, I'm even more excited about the job and the new life adventure. :) Thank you for your kind words and friendship!

~Amber

Nancy M. said...

Amber,
What wonderful, exciting news for you! Congratulations on your new job opportunity. I am sure you will do great! God is so good to guide us in His perfect timing!
Nancy

Sherida Stewart said...

Amber, EXCITING news! Stories of God's perfect timing are so encouraging. You deserve this sweet path He has guided you to follow. Blessings to you and your future! (I'm so happy to hear you will continue your blog and writing....perhaps at a different pace.) Congratulations, friend of my heart!

Miranda A. Uyeh said...

Amber,

Congrats!! So happy for you! Isn't it wonderful when we suddenly understand God's plan all along?

Will be sad to lose my editor. can't believe I have to find another. But my joy for you is more far more than my sadness of loss. Wishing ALL the best, dear friend. :)

Amber Stokes said...

Nancy,

Thank you so much for your kind words and vote of confidence! God is definitely so good - blessing us more than we could ever deserve!

~Amber

Amber Stokes said...

Sherida,

Thank you so much! And I love that phrase, "friend of my heart." Thank you for being such a friend to me. ♥

God's timing is so perfect - something it's so much easier to see in hindsight. But it's all the sweeter for knowing that He was there by my side, directing me in the times of waiting. :)

And aww! I definitely don't plan on disappearing. While I think it will be good to simplify some things so that I can focus better on others, I don't want to abandon all that's helped bring me to this point, and all the friendships and joy I've found in blogging and indie publishing. :)

Thank you again!

~Amber

Amber Stokes said...

Miranda,

Aw, my friend - you are so kind to share in my joy! So true that these moments of clarity regarding God's guidance are precious blessings. And I'm sure there's much, much more that we don't see that He's working on in and through our lives - so these little glimpses are tender reminders of that truth. :)

As for losing your editor... *Hugs* While I don't think I'll be available for hire in the near future, you won't be losing my friendship and support! Please feel free to email me anytime. I'd be happy to offer recommendations for other editors, answer any questions you might have, and just be there as a friend as you continue writing and publishing. :) It was awesome being able to work with you, and I'm so grateful for your kind endorsement of my services!

~Amber

Rachelle Rea said...

Amber, Amber, Amber, I'm so very excited for you! What a dream come true! I know this next step will be a transition, and I'm praying many blessings for you! Congratulations. <3

Juju at Tales of Whimsy.com said...

What an amazing blessing! I'm SO very excited for you. Congratulations!!!!!!!!!!

Cindy V said...

Wow, Amber, what an absolutely FANTASTIC place to work. That is soooo cool that they actually buried a Bible in their foundation. Gotta love that. The pictures of the place look so wonderful and you look so grown-up and professional!! (And you most certainly take after your very pretty Mom!!)

Congratulations again. You'll do such wonderful work there. We'll be praying for you here. Sounds like you've found a little bit of Heaven here on Earth, being surrounded by books, books, books!!!

Buckley Bergdorf said...

Congratulations, Aunt Amber!! You're the best! The people you'll be working for will be getting a great employee, and we should know!

But don't forget, a house is not a home without some CATS!!

Amber Stokes said...

Rachelle,

You are so sweet to share in my excitement, friend! This truly is a dream come true! Praying many blessings for you, as well, in all the awesome work the Lord has given you. :) Looking forward to seeing where God leads you in the months and years to come!

~Amber

Amber Stokes said...

Juju,

It truly is, and I'm blissfully overwhelmed with it all! :) Thank you so much!!

~Amber

Amber Stokes said...

Cindy,

Oh, my awesome mentor and honorary aunt, so great to see you here! I'm glad you could see the pictures - I believe it is going to be an absolutely amazing and wonderful place to work. I truly felt at home there. ♥ I'm so blessed to be joining such a great company! And my coworkers seem so friendly and kind. :)

I loved seeing that Bible and knowing how much the Truth means to them. And thank you so much for the sweet words! *blushing* My mom is definitely beautiful, and I'm touched to be compared to her!

I so appreciate your prayers and all your encouragement and support. *Hugs* I've got to send you another email soon to chat more! :)

And yes...I couldn't ask for a better job and work environment, involving all things books! ;)

~Amber

Amber Stokes said...

Buckley,

You're so sweet! *cuddles*

If I get into the apartment I'm currently looking at, they actually don't generally allow pets. :\ But they do have some feral cats around the place, so at least I'll get to see them around! ;) I definitely plan to hold on to my love of cats. Hoping I can stay update on Muffin Man's and Murphy's lives here at home. ♥

Oh, and a dear friend who lives near the area recently got a cat, so I should be able to see him off and on! :)

~Amber

Amber Stokes said...

Make that *updated. ;)

~Amber

Kara said...

Congratulations, my friend!!! That is sincerely wonderful and awesome news indeed! God is so very good, isn't He? I am absolutely thrilled for you and will hope and pray all goes well as you settle in to your new normal. Yay! *throws confetti* :D

Amber Stokes said...

Kara,

Thank you!! God is so good to us, indeed - more merciful and generous than I could ever deserve. Thank you for sharing my joy, and for those prayers! I know you know all about moving and having to settle in. :) Hope all is going well for you!

~Amber

Grace M said...

Oh, wow, Amber. This is AMAZING! Congrats a 100 times!!! I hope that this new season of your life will be filled with many blessings. *hugs*

Grace

Amber Stokes said...

Grace,

Aww, you're awesome! Thank you for sharing my excitement, and for your thoughtful words! *Hugs back*

~Amber

Shaina @Crazy4Fiction said...

Congrats, Amber! What a journey and what a blessing!

Hope to see you around the publishing blogosphere :)

Shaina @Crazy4Fiction
www.crazy4fiction.com

Amber Stokes said...

Shaina,

That's so kind of you! Yes, it's been such an interesting journey so far since college, and I definitely feel blessed. :) I look forward to being part of the Christian publishing loop - such a great group of companies and people! Thank you for the warm welcome. :)

~Amber

Christy Janes said...

Gosh, Amber...I feel like the last one to join the party, but even though I'm late, I am so happy to congratulate you!!! This is such a well-deserved opportunity for you, and I know you will thrive there. :) I wish you nothing but the very best, and every success that I know you will achieve!

Amber Stokes said...

Christy,

Aww, never too late to stop by! :) Thank you so very much for the kind words, and for your faith in me! ♥ I hope we can still stay in touch off and on in the blogosphere. I'm grateful for your friendship!

~Amber

Michelle said...

Amber!! I'm so happy and thrilled to hear your news! Congratulations! It's wonderful to see where God has led you, and I pray that He continues to bless you abundantly! :)

Hugs,
Michelle

Amber Stokes said...

Michelle,

So sweet of you to drop by, and thank you so much for your support! *Hugs* It's been a blessing sharing this blogging journey with you (which has been a huge part of my journey to this career path!), and may God bless you abundantly, as well! ♥ Hoping all is well with you and yours, friend. :)

~Amber

Meagan Davenport said...

Finally catching up on all the news! :) So happy for you, Amber, and I hope the new job has been a blast so far! Can't wait to see what lies in store going forward!

Amber Stokes said...

Meagan,

Aww, thank you so much! It has been a blast - such a new and exciting experience this has all been. :) I really appreciate your support and friendship! Thank you for sharing this journey with me. :) *Hugs*

~Amber