It’s hard to select only one mentor or guiding light in my life, so I’m going to go with a few. Okay? Okay…
My parents. Here they are on their wedding day. From the beginning, they filled our house with music, love and laughter. They never argued in front of us, or even behind closed doors in a way we could hear.
They made home a safe place to be at the end of the day. Or any time in the day. We didn’t have a lot of fancy stuff or abundance but we had plenty of food and clothes, a roof over our head, friends and family.
Above all, my parents modeled the Sermon on the Mount lifestyle. They gave up everything to follow Jesus.
My father could’ve been a partner in his older brother’s very successful architecture firm but in turned it down to stay with a community of believers he felt kinship with, and where he felt he could advance his love and knowledge of the Lord.
In doing so, my mom gave up having nicer things — car, house and clothes — to follow Dad on this path. It’s not that Jesus wouldn’t have been with them if they chose to return to my Dad’s hometown. But their hearts were knitted with a group of believers that encouraged them. So that’s where they stayed.
I remember the Sunday my Dad shared this story during a sermon and I can still see him chocking up, pausing, fighting the emotion. Not because he passed on riches or felt he let his brother down, but because his love for the Lord was spilling out of his heart and onto us.
My parents lit the path of “Come Follow Me,” for me, my siblings, our family and for many, many others along the journey of their life. My mom still does, as a widow, caring for her widow, elderly mother, but still serving in her local church body. Faithful to the end doesn’t begin to describe them.
I have big shoes to try to fill.
My mom is a big fan of my writing and a consummate prayer warrior and encourager. My Dad was the one who told me long, long ago, “You’re a writer. Be a writer.” Thanks Pop!
Susan May Warren — I first met this chicky on the ACFW email loop. She was a missionary in Siberia. SiberianSusie.
I remember praying for her to have a sunny afternoon because they days were dark and grey during the winter. We connected face-to-face at the first ACFW conference but she’d just signed her first book contract with Tyndale and had a fun time getting to know her editor, Anne Goldsmith (now Anne Horch.)
It took a couple of conferences and a few years but Suz and I finally clicked one year when we hung out after conference and brainstormed books.
Oh yes, we were two peas in a pod. “No, you can’t do that with your hero. He was doing the opposite a few minutes ago!” Oh yea, it went down. We loved it.
A consummate writer and teacher, Susie jumped into the craft of writing every bit as much as she did the actual writing. When I was trying to come up with a “redneck chick lit” for my agent to submit to Thomas Nelson, Susie took my rejected agent proposal and read through it, offering ideas and ways to beef up the story.
I wisely took her advice. That proposal sold and I was on my way. Well, sorta. I had a small crash while writing Sweet Caroline. I just new it wasn’t working. I was still figuring out this whole novel writing game and five days away from deadline, I crashed.
I went to church that Sunday before deadline, worn out, zombied, asking anyone and everyone to pray for me. I needed a miracle.
Sure, I could’ve asked my editor for an extension, but I didn’t want to do that. I wanted to be on time. Besides, she was going out with a baby and if I delayed, she’d not be able to work on the book.
That afternoon, I called Suz with my troubles. “Send it to me,” she said. A few hours later she emailed it back. “You’re on the right track…” She assured me of my writing then rewrote the first chapter to show me how I could refocus the heroine’s entrance into the story.
I was so blessed. I got some rest that night and rolled up my sleeves Monday morning and got to work. By gum, I was going to rewrite the whole thing by Thursday.
But Tuesday, I got my miracle. An email from my editor saying they changed my release date. I had an extra 3 months to turn in the book! Wooza. I’m happy to say Sweet Caroline went on to win ACFW 2009 Chick Lit Book of the Year.
Since that dark Sunday, Susie had been on the other end of the phone for all my highs and lows. Walked and talked me through a tumultuous agent change… “What was I thinking?” Low sales. Doubt. All the drama of a writer’s life.
She also brought me into her budding My Book Therapy business where I learned how to teach writing and mentor others. She just kind of threw me into the deep end and said “Go.”
But she’d brainstormed with me so she knew… Rachel could swim. LOL Who’d have figured I had a knack for book therapy?
She’s there when I need plot help, character help, and the over all “what am I writing again?” help.
One of the greatest moments of my writing career was accepting her Romance Writers of America RITA award in 2009 when she decided to stay home. It was more amazing than winning myself. Which by the way, I was also nominated for the RITA that same year.
I can’t claim any great humility. It was a God thing. And I think, in some small way, a picture of how He must feel about us. So, if you like my books even a little bit, hats off to Susan May Warren! Coach, writer, friend extraordinaire.
Last but not least, my Hubby. He’s really an amazing, best friend.
He loves at all times. He encourages me, kicks me back into play when I want to quit.
Never let’s me give into or speak doubt or disparage the Lord’s call in anyway.
As a pastor, he doesn’t require me to do anything in or with the church unless God’s called me to do it.
I have no constraints because of “who I’m married to” which is really healthy for everyone.
He makes me laugh. He’s solid. Kind. Generous. Above all, a lover and follower of Jesus.
I can’t imagine being married to anyone else. God knew… oh, He knew… XO, babe!
Here we are at the Gator Bowl for the Ohio State v. Florida game in 2012. Better known as the Mediocre Bowl. And we still lost.
So, who inspires you? Share with us! We’ll be inspired too.
Rachel Hauck writes novels because people loved her. What a gift!
Her next release, Once Upon A Prince, (May 2013) earned a Starred Review from Publisher’s Weekly.
“Hauck spins a surprisingly believable royal-meets-commoner love story. This modern and engaging tale, with a slight nod at Cinderella, has well-developed secondary characters who are entertaining and add a quirky touch. Hauck fans will find a gem of a tale.”