Thursday, December 20, 2012

Waiting for water to boil...

Have you ever waited on an important phone call before...or anything for that matter?It's like I'm watching my phone - pleading and begging for it to ring.  I'm beginning to see how waiting around for God to do things is kinda like waiting for water to boil.  As you wait and watch for the water to boil it feels as if nothing is God is not in the midst of your wait.  But it's a process and even though you can't see the water gradually warming up, it doesn't mean that it isn't - that God is not working!  Then I find when I walk away, the stinkin' pot begins to boil and even overflows onto the stove.  I think when we finally let God be God, put trust into His timing and desires...He will give us an abundance of blessings! 
Last week my devotional for MOTTTS was about what our trust in God looks like.  I didn't write it for my situation, but as I look back I can see how it applies.  Are you struggling with trusting God in a situation in your life?
“Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.”
                           -Proverbs 3: 5-6
I love the moments when you step back and watch a child teach you something.  One day at my in-laws, my sweet-spunky niece Joya did just that.  In their house there is a short flight of stairs and she loves to stand at the very top and jump into your arms at the bottom.  What really grabbed my attention was how she was doing it.  She had absolute – 100% trust in my husband as he caught her.  She was not scared to jump, she did it with force.  She was not timid, in fact, she threw her arms, head and legs back and even closed her eyes…free as a bird!  It made me think about what our trust looks like to God in our situations.  Do we plunge whole heart and completely zealous into trusting God?  Or do we cower, turn away, or walk a few steps down and then jump? Do we trust as long as we can keep hold of a little control?  The story of David and Goliath comes to my mind and how the situations in our lives feel like a giant against us.  Not only did David volunteer to fight the Philistine, but King Saul tried to put Armor on him to help protect him, but he refused.  He knew God would protect him, and that with God’s help he would defeat the enemy.   How often do we put our trust into something so that we have a safety net?  People, worldly possessions, job, money, ourselves…the list could go on.  It’s hard to trust in God’s direction, His timing, His reasons at times, but God promises never to leave or forsake us.  When we are fully able to trust God, a sense of peace will wash over us.  It says in Isaiah 26: 3-4, “You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast, because he trusts in you.  Trust in the LORD forever, for the LORD, the LORD, is the Rock eternal.” We can never avoid hardships, decisions, or the downfall of man, but we always have a God that we can turn to and put all our trust in!  Are you allowing God to be your rock today?
Heavenly Father, thank you that no matter what is going on in my life, You are my rock and I know that I can trust in You at all times.    Amen.

Monday, November 26, 2012


I thought a little update was in order since my last post was in April. Good grief!  Over the summer I did not pursue any agents because I was working on the changes I made on my first book, A Rescued Heart.  I LOVE the new changes and the added depth it brings to the storyline and the characters.  I also began working on my second book in the series, Come to my Rescue, and I am almost half-way done...and super excited about it!  In October I began sending out butt-loads of query letters to agents.  I have had many-many rejections, enough to last me a lifetime it feels like, but I'm not giving up and I'm not too upset yet.  I knew entering into this journey my chances of getting published were slim to none, so I feel until God reveals to me I need to stop pursuing this dream, I'm gonna keep going full force.  I'm entering contests to get my name and manuscript out there.  I've entered a First Impressions contest that is the first five pages of my manuscript.  I've entered the East Valley Authors Query Contest which consisted of a synopsis and query letter.  And in the next month I will enter my manuscript in Romance Writers of America's Golden Heart  contest and in January I will enter it into ACFW's Genesis contest.  That is unless I get published first.  I do have some exciting news...and trying REALLY hard not to get too excited or get my hopes up.  There is a small christian publishing company reading my manuscript now.  My heart is thumping like crazy with anticipation that my dream may come true...and nervous of being rejected again.  So until I hear from them, I pray, keep writing, and pray more!
I am in a mom's group called MOTTTS, that is so encouraging to me and gives me that extra pep in my step during the week and I always walk out encouraged and pumped to be the best mom and wife I can be.  I write a weekly devotional for the group, and God placed this experience I am going through on my heart to share with others that might be in a place in their life like me.  Searching for answers, wanting God's will - but not sure what it is or looks like at this point.  So I thought I'd share...

“I will lead the blind by ways they have not known, along unfamiliar paths I will guide them; I will turn the darkness into light before them and make the rough places smooth.  These are the things I will do; I will not forsake them.”

                           -Isaiah 42:16

I love this verse for the many times in my life where I am not sure where to go or which way to turn.  When I am at the T in the road of life.  I am in this unknown place right now with my desire to be a published author.  I know my desires- my wants, but I am not sure where God is calling me.  I obviously want His will to be done, because without Him my desire would be pointless.  Does He want me to be published?  Maybe not because He knows I couldn’t handle the pressure of deadlines or the attention (good and bad) it would bring.  Maybe the answer is yes, but wait.  Have you ever been at a place like this in your life?  When you are not sure where God is calling you?  It can be a very frustrating time.  I challenge you to pursue God and ask for His desires for your life.  That He would be your eyes, your hands, and your feet as you tread through this unknown time.  That He would reveal His plans for you.  That He would turn the darkness into light before you as He reveals which direction you should go.  That your desires would become in tune with His.  How does this happen? By spending time with Him, digging into the Word and taking the time to be still so that you can listen for His leading.  Isaiah 30:21 says, “Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, “This is the way; walk in it.”  Most importantly you must have faith.  If you go into this time not confident that He will lead you, the waters will be muddy and you will be easily distracted or unable to identify His direction.  So stand firm on His promise that He will NOT forsake you and in His perfect timing reveal His good- and perfect will.

Heavenly Father, with you is where I want to be.  I desire your Spirit, your presence, and your divine calling for my life.  Help me to keep my mind and heart clean so that I am better able to hear your voice.  Amen.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Down but I'm not out...

Well, the writing world has been a frustrating journey the last month. Deep breath.  First, I did not place in the writing contest I had entered.  Granted I wasn't expecting to win, but it would have been nice to be nominated=)  Second, I heard back from that agent that was interested in my work.  She said that she thought my writing was good, but didn't feel confident that she could sell my story to a publisher.  It was bitter-sweet.  BUT that is one agent in a sea of many...she liked my writing...I can work with that=)  Last, as I was beginning to write book two, my editor and I discussed some things that needed to change in order for book two to flow a little better.  Which means I have to go back and re-write some of book one.  I am excited about the changes, just not all the work=)
So after a few days of licking my wounds I sat down and really sought after what God wanted.  Was I just pouring myself into writing for nothing? Why was I doing this?  To be published?  Well, yes, that would be nice - a great goal!  But I write because I enjoy it.  I have a story I want to tell.  Maybe the Lord has great plans for my books or maybe it will just be a hobby, but for now I will just take the time I have to write and enjoy every word of it!

Friday, March 2, 2012

Author's Bio

So after countless hours of researching how to write the perfect cover letter and author's bio, while dealing with an awful case of the stomach flu...I have come up with my finished author's bio.  Of all the research I've found, they say if you have no accomplishments or anything published (cough, cough- that would be me), to keep it short, but also show your personality and writing style.  Well, I can do short and funny...

Author’s Bio
Natalie Replogle is a busy stay-at-home mom, of three young kids, who enjoys leaving the glamorous life of dirty diapers, dishes and laundry to get lost in writing novels full of romance and suspense.

After a feedback of suggesting I put my husband in my bio (makes sense), I changed things up a is the new one...

Author’s Bio
Natalie Replogle is a busy stay-at-home mom of three young kids and a wife to her heart-throb.  She enjoys escaping the glamorous life of dirty diapers, dishes and laundry to get lost in writing novels full of romance and suspense.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012


Tonight I was contacted by an agent that is interested in seeing the first few chapters and synopsis of my novel. Holy crap! I am excited because this was the first agency I chose to contact and wanted to work with. I realize this is just the first step and it doesn't mean they will like my work and choose to work with me. But, hey, it's a first step! Gotta start somewhere. So along with the chapters and synopsis, they want an author's bio. So what am I doing at midnight after a long my bed, yes, sleeping, no. I have been researching while my eyes begin to cross on how to write an author's bio. No pressure seeing that this is my first novel and have nothing published yet. Here we go...

Tuesday, February 7, 2012


In the writing world, you take every advantage and opportunity you can to meet other authors and gain as much knowledge and understanding of the publishing side of things.  And as much as I just want to pull my hair out and scream "I just want to write"'s all about getting your face/name out there and selling yourself.  Being aggressive and assertive are not in my DNA and my stomach flops when pushed out of my comfort zone with either of these.  But the only way I am going to have a chance to get my novel published is if that happens.

Enter in Friday night...

My husband and I were celebrating our 9th anniversary by going up to Goshen's First Fridays events and walking around downtown.  While we were ducking into each store, we came across a used book store that was also supporting a book signing by a debut author, Beth Neff.  The old Natalie would have passed by and smiled politely (wishing I had the guts to say something) ...the "new" Natalie...while bile held in my throat...approached the author, sat down and asked a ton of questions.  She was so encouraging and extremely kind and patient as she answered all my questions, while praising me for all the hard work I've been doing!  I know it may not sound like much to you, but this was HUGE for me.  Huge.

At the end of our twenty minute conversation, I ended up buying her book.  Hey, gotta help a sister out!  I haven't started reading it yet, but when I'm finished, I will post my review...because I know you care:)

Friday, February 3, 2012

Lighting speed...

That is the time warp in my life. 

I am often asked when the subject of my novel comes up, "When do you find the time to write?"  It is a good question.  Especially since I'm a busy stay at home mom of three very active young children.  These very children who like to destroy anything they touch.  That believe all food belongs on the floor or on their clothing.   That all bins of toys need to be dumped...and then left.  That sleeping is overrated and that 6:00 in the morning is when their internal clock assumes it's time for the day to start.  A busy mom who's schedule is full of driving, washing anything and everything, kissing boo-boos, refereeing sibling spats, playing with baby dolls, having tea parties, making awesome (no humility here) train tracks, helping with homework, reading dinosaur books, making a meal - washing dishes - getting snacks - washing more dishes - making dinner - and...ugh...washing dishes, making tents, brushing teeth, changing diapers, and trying to juggle all that while being a super-mom, selfless wife, giving friend, caring sister and daughter and an example of Christ.   

Wait.  What was I talking about?  Oh yes, where do I find the time to write...

During all of that!!!  Seriously, it takes finesse and a mind that is moving all.the.time!!!  I have a pad of paper in my van so while I'm waiting to pick up a kid from somewhere, I can jot down my thoughts on paper in hopes that I can understand my chicken scratches later.  I am constantly thinking about my characters and how to develop them more.  What scenes would work where and how to get the story there.  I write while my kids are having rest time.  I write once they finally fall asleep at night.  Which for me, on many occassions, turn into sleepless nights because as a writer, when the juices flow, you just can't stop!  There are many times I am up past midnight typing away while the doom and gloom of 6 a.m. creaps closer and closer.  There are countless examples of times where I have been doing a task while thinking about my book, had to stop and go write down an idea so I wouldn't forget, and then carry on with that task.  It can be addictive. 

So some days I just have to shut down my mind, keep my computer off and live my busy - wonderful - beyond blessed - life to the fullest!!!

Let me know if you have any questions and I will answer them in future posts...