Saturday, December 4, 2010

Some Thoughts...

November 30th, about 11:30 p.m., I sat in my living room and thought...tomorrow they'll start reading.

TOMORROW THEY'LL START READING!!!! Oh my goodness. Are you kidding me?

I started wondering (okay, WORRYING) about what people would think when they picked up the book for the first time. Would they like it? Would they keep reading?

God was very nice to me and let me bump into someone about 7:55 a.m. on December 1...and he told me he'd read chapter one at breakfast and was very impressed. I was enormously relieved! Since then...I've started getting some feedback. Thought I'd share a little of it with you!

(After telling my sweet friend Ronda about my freak-out fest the night before...) Freak out not needed….Day 1 was absolutely wonderful. I’m looking forward to this, another journey with you, very much!! - Ronda

Several in my office starting reading today, too. All I can say is “good stuff." I wanted to keep reading, but I think I will re-read day one later this afternoon to make sure that I did not miss anything. You are so very talented and you should consider your writing a true gift. Jenny (my Monday lunch date who has also been a huge champion of the book among her friends!)

I guess it was a bad idea to do my reading - and marking thereof- at the breakfast table this morning. I have apparently given Esther the idea that your book falls into the "ok to write in" category. At some point today when I wasn't watching, she marked her favorite portions of day two. (In case you're wondering, she highlighted the words "angel's visit" and "Toddler!" – Julie C.

I finished reading His Advent. I have to admit that I read it through, and not as a devotional---that I am waiting for the Advent! The queries that you pose are thought provoking and understandable for a person in this time and space, and makes the Advent a more timeless experience. Congratulations on an excellent achievement---the Spirit led life in which you live is most evident. – Jennifer

L-O-V-E today's reading! You have such a way of painting the picture, I feel like I was there too! Awesome!!! - Julie C. (This completely warmed my heart - it's exactly what I hoped people would feel when they read!

I have started your book. Three days in and loving it already! – Jonathan C.

I just finished the pages for today in your book and I really like it. I read yesterday's and then this morning in choir we were singing a song about Mary and I was immediately reminded of what I read yesterday. Certain things you’ve written I can totally see you saying. – Megan N. (This was a huge compliment. Megan is a teenager in my church!)

Your book came today and I sat down and ready the 1st two days - Bekah - you are so extremely gifted. WOW! It was with tears in my eyes that I closed this book knowing that I NEEDED IT this season. Thank you for speaking God's words to me during this busy, crazy season - I can't wait to sit daily and devour what you have written. I am sending an email to my homeschool mommas right now telling them all about your book -- it is amazing! – Jami J. (Back in the day, when I was a demonstrator for Stampin' Up!, Jami was my upline. I am aware that my days of stamp selling have helped me with the marketing side of this adventure!)

Really enjoying your book so far!! - Molly.

Are you focusing on the real reason for Christmas or are you getting bogged down in the craziness of the season? It's so easy to do! I am blessed to be reading a new Advent book that I would LOVE to recommend to all my friends -- it is called HIS ADVENT: Still His Greatest Gift by Rebekah Freelan - Thanks Bekah for blessing life and touching my heart this CHRISTmas season! - Jami (from above) put this as her Facebook status the day she got the book. Thanks, Jami!)

The evening of December 1st, I put as my Facebook status, "couch + fireplace + fleece blanket + Christmas tree = happiness." And Randy (the father of one of my students) commented + His Advent for a little reflective reading and a friend from work, Cindy, added Yes! And your devo book. Loving it!!! I loved those affirmations! Thanks, guys!

At Jesus' birth Joseph "declared simultaneously to his Father & Son that this was Immanuel....when Jesus arrives, He brings a life we cannot envision."
Rebekah Freelan
I was quoted in a Facebook status! Ronda listed this after reading day two.

I'm enjoying your Advent book! You have such a reflective quality, and through all of your questions, it's sparked my own reflection! - Jody (who published her first novel with Bethany House Publishers this year!)

And friend Kari sent me this picture:

She and her mom go on an annual shopping trip with two of their friends, and this year, the four of them used my book as their shopping trip devotional! :) Love it!

Friday, December 3, 2010

IWU Bookstore Signing

Happy Thanksgiving! I think it's pretty appropriate that I have pictures to share with you from my last book signing...because the book is one of my greatest blessings this year. It has been a bright spot in the middle of the heartache!

This was the first time I saw my book on a shelf with other exciting!

The IWU Bookstore offered a signing to me - which I really appreciated! It was over a couple hours at lunch on Tuesday - and they put me right there at the entrance at a little table!

I had a bunch of visitors - some already had books but just came to support me, which I absolutely appreciated! This is Angi (remember her from the crafting weekend?) and her husband Greg. He works in my office. He was a good boy and wore his nametag that day. I was a rebel. Anyway. They brought me a frappe to energize me. Oh WOW was it good. The most carameled frappe I've ever had!!

Another work buddy - and great support to me this year especially! This is Kristin. She happened to have the day off and was able to come through town to see me! Thanks for making the trip up, Kristin! I miss you this week at work!

This beautiful lady was my second grade Sunday School teacher! It was in her class that I learned to look up Bible verses. She was also a HUGE support to me as I grew up - really a champion for me at church. I appreciate her so much!

Jonathan dressed up for the occasion. Okay that's a lie. He had a recital. :) But doesn't it sound good to say he dressed up just for this? He, by the way, wins the prize for being the first person to ever buy my book! He ordered it online the minute I told him it was live and ready!

These lovely ladies are my work buddies. Sandee and Tammy work next door to me in the Business Office and believe me - they put up with a LOT of stories and drama.

I love this girl! This is Judy, my work neighbor. She already had a book, but she wanted me to sign her hand and she said she'd never EVER wash it. LOL!!!!!

My Dad was manning the front door to the bookstore throughout the signing and when the IWU President wandered by, he ended up inside buying my book. Dad SAYS he came in of his own accord...goodness I hope so! :)

Speaking of are my parents with me. The book is dedicated to them! They sacrificed significantly so I could go to college to learn this craft!

Pat Travis...who works down in our Registrar's Office...and is a SWEET friend of mine. She was running behind in getting to the signing and actually called the bookstore to make sure I would stay until she got there. :) Love her!

My work has been beyond understanding this week while I've been out on book stuff. They're great and I'm so glad I had the chance to do a signing right there where I work!

Radio Interview on WBCL!

I am SO EXCITED to tell you about my trip to WBCL! Of course, because I live for such things, I have pictures for you. :)

Here's a little tour of my day. First of all...I got to see my name on the weekly schedule. That was pretty exciting! (Yes, I took a picture of the screen. Come know you love my quirks.)

So, that Monday morning, I left home about 8:00 (vacation days don't always equal sleep, you know) with a big mug of coffee and my attempt at a trendy outfit. Yes, I know it's radio and it doesn't matter what I wear. But you know you can do a better interview when you feel festive. It was my first time with a sweater dress. I was nervous.

The radio station was just a little over an hour away from home - and I could have done a phone interview, but I really wanted the whole experience. And my boss told me I had to go. Had to do it in person. No argument there! So I drove Larry the GPS this time. Also no printer ink at the moment, so I had my hand-copied googled directions in my lap. The bad thing about that operation is the paper doesn't say TURN HERE. So I definitely missed the turn and had to do some hunting. But I found it!!

The Mid-Morning program was actually already underway when I arrived at the studio. I was probably 3 miles away from the station when it began and I heard Lynne, the host, say my name as a guest. I screamed in the car. Yes. I did.

When I arrived, they took me back to the studio, and I got to sit right here:

Jamie, the producer, brought me a water bottle and I put on the headphones and listened to the other guests, who were all call-in interviews. I especially enjoyed the author right before me, because she also wrote a Christmas book! (She's the same author who wrote The Christmas Shoes...) And then it was my turn.
The only technical glitch was that my microphone wasn't turned on when I started talking. So if you listened on the archive and wondered what you was "Good morning." There. Now your day is complete.
This is Lynne, who interviewed me...

She was SO gracious. When it came time for me to talk, I seriously considered throwing up, but I just turned my chair to focus on her and it really felt like it was just the two of us having a conversation without the hundreds (thousands?) of people out there listening. She put me right at ease. She'd very kindly emailed me a list of possible questions the day before the interview, so I had some time to formulate responses that hopefully excluded the word "um." I really enjoyed the talk - and even though I got some extra questions I hadn't known were coming - I felt right at home answering them!

This is Jamie - who felt just like a kindred spirit. Since I was the last interview of the morning, we stood around talking for a while after, and I just loved sharing with both of them! They were so encouraging...about the interview...the sweater dress current story in life. (Lynne asked me to share a bit about the blog, so I was excited about that!)
It was so fun, after it was over, to see all the texts my friends sent to encourage me - and I had a bunch of notes on Facebook, too, so that was fun! I worry so much about over-Bekah-ing everyone this Christmas. Really do not want to do that. So to feel so loved and supported was great. (Apparently my office buddies all tuned in at their desks and got some simultaneous laughs over some of my Bekah-lines.)
It was just the best possible day. I loved being there with them, I loved the feedback they gave me, and I loved knowing God was and is at work behind the scenes of even a radio spot!
This radio station is very near to my heart. You know the six a.m. serenade?? Yep - this station! It was very special for me to be able to talk about the book on their airwaves. Thank you so much, Lynne and Jamie, for being gracious hostesses! You made my day!

Chapel Pike Book Signing

The Sunday before Thanksgiving, I went to my old church, Chapel Pike Wesleyan, to be at their Thanksgiving lunch and sign books. It was so great to see everyone again!

Right now, they have to hold their all-church gatherings at an elementary school cafeteria, because the church doesn't have a room large enough to hold everyone. (Just explaining the decor you're about to see!)

This is my friend, Cheryl. She and her husband, John, did so much to help me when I was first out on my own! They were the first Habitat for Bekah crew! They helped me paint rooms and hang blinds and put together furniture. Never ever could have made it without them!

This is Karen and her daughter, Kaitlin. I met Karen when I taught the ladies Bible study at Chapel Pike. Kaitlin came with her sometimes. Karen told me Kaitlin bought the book with her own money!!

Kaitlin and her book! (And seriously...she's that tall next to me while I'm wearing HEELS???)

It was great to be in church with Faith again. We were pew buddies when I went there before, so I got to sit with her again. :)

Wanna hear a funny? The church bulletin said "His Advent: Still His Greatest Gift by Rebekah J. Freelan, is available in the foyer for $10." One of my friends told me after church that she was reading that announcement when she got distracted by something. She'd read just as far as the title before she got distracted, so when she resumed reading, this is what she saw: "Rebekah J. Freelan is available in the foyer for $10." I laughed so hard!!!

Ever the professional.

Here I am with Laura Plummer...who was one of my crafting buddies last weekend!

CAIL!!! (I got the wrong name on Facebook.) This is Miss Cail, who is my new buddy. She wanted to know why I was writing in books. :) Great. Hope I didn't start a bad habit.

The Birthday Boy! Mr. Joseph Holland is now FIVE years old. And when the kids shared what they were thankful can know he was most thankful to have a birthday!

Joseph's sister, Jessica, took over my camera for a while....and she found Kaleb Hutchins. He's kind of shy.

No idea. I cannot explain myself.

Brian Holland! You made the blog! How do you feel? :) Pastor Brian has been an amazing support and encouragement to me...even talking me into teaching junior high Sunday School with him back in the day! And rumor has it that last weekend, while I was crafting with his wife, he texted her "Any word on the broccoli salad being at the Thanksgiving lunch next week?" So I hope you got some, Brian!

Pastor Brian's lovely wife, Jaye. We try to coordinate whenever possible. Yesterday we were hair twins, clothing twins AND broccoli salad twins!

Marty and Lori came to my signing at the Greentown Library...but they go to Chapel Pike, too, so we had another chance to have a picture!! I seriously do have to tell you that aisle runner story from their wedding.

This is one of my new friends, Lara. I've been attending Chapel Pike's ladies Bible study this fall, because they're doing a Beth Moore study and you know how I love me some Beth Moore. Lara started coming to church there since I left, so I'm only just now meeting her! She's a sweetheart.

Remember this cuteness? Last time I saw her, she was toothless! Man I've missed her. (I am aware that my arm is freakishly freaky in this picture. But we only had so much room to work with and my camera is big.)

And her brother...who is still a cuddler. I love that.

And her OTHER brother who is one and has no interest WHATSOEVER in sitting still. Even for pictures. Perhaps ESPECIALLY for pictures.

So that was my day with the Chapel Pike gang. Thanks so much for hosting me!! Miss you guys!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Greentown Book Signing!!

Had a great time last night at the Greentown Public Library book signing. Embarrassingly enough, I think this was my first time back in the library since the days of term papers and group projects. We won't mention just how many years ago that's been. :)

I was there for just an hour and got to see so many people I'd not seen in forever. Thought I'd take a minute to share them with you, too!

This is one of my very best friends from high school, Amber. (Amber was my Hershey, PA traveling buddy a summer ago, might remember her from those pictures.) Amber is one of those friends that you know God plopped down in your path very much on purpose. Our lives have traveled very similar paths in some ways and it's been great to have her as a friend on those journeys. Amber is also the talented artist who drew the picture I have in my living room that I showed in the post a few weeks ago...and she came to my signing to take pictures for me there.

This was my very first visitor. I'd never met her before, but she was one of Dad's former students. (That's a sentence that can be said OFTEN. He has lots of them!) It always surprises me when complete strangers are willing to read something I've this was a great surprise and treat for me that she came to the signing!
This is my "big brother," Barry. He and I met through work, sort of...our jobs crossed paths. Along the way, he figured out I was Dave Freelan's daughter, and wouldn't you know it...he'd been a student of Dad's too. So we struck up a friendship, and he took me in as a sister. I have really appreciated him! He's listened to LOTS of Bekahdrama.

And now we don't get the chance to talk as often, which is sad, but I REALLY appreciated that he took the time to come out and see me!

It's so weird for me to call former teachers/school workers by their first names!! Here I'm talking to Margie Bontrager, who worked in the library when I was in school, and Sheryl Dean, who was the high school secretary. (And they both still do those jobs!) Sheryl's son was in my class, too. Anyway, I was so thankful they took time to come out and see me...

When I was growing up, this sweet lady lived next door to us. She and her husband, Bob, were great sources of encouragement to me. Bob died a few years ago, and Donna ended up moving away from my parents' neighborhood, but she saw in the paper that I was going to be at the library and she surprised me!

My friends Marty and Lori and their two kids were among those in attendance as well! Marty and I met in college (had some classes together) and then he was part of the invitation committee for me to attend Chapel Pike for the years I was there. Lori was already attending Chapel Pike and they ended up getting married. (It was at their wedding that I fell through the aisle runner. Yes THROUGH the aisle runner. Great story.) Now they have these two great kids and we run into each other now and then at work or at birthday parties. I was excited that they came over!

Kaleb, their son, may be the greatest kid conversationalist I've ever met - and has always been that way since he could talk. He was perusing my picture on the back cover and decided he liked the necklace I was wearing.


Talking and signing. Oh yes. I'm a multi-tasker.

This is my good friend, Sarah. Sarah was a couple of years behind me in school, but she was a sweet friend and we enjoyed hanging out outside of school, too. Thanks to the beauty of Facebook, we've been able to stay in touch in more recent months as well. She's still a beautiful and fun friend!

Of course...Ronda!! I was so surprised to see her...didn't know that she would make the trek over just for that. I'll tell you what...this one will have a few hundred extra stars in her crown for the way she's stuck by me this year.

I did some signing...did I mention that?

And last but not least...a picture with Stefanie. She and I met during a summer when she was also a student worker in Financial Aid. She married a Greentownian and even though we don't life all that far apart...I never get to see her. I was so excited that she made it out to catch up for a few minutes!

There were others that came out as well...and I appreciated every single one so much. This, I think, is my favorite part of the whole thing. I love meeting people and seeing those I've not seen forever. So much fun!! Thanks, Greentown!

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Upcoming Events

November is going to be a busy month for me in book-land, but I wanted to share with you some of the things on the schedule in case you're in the area and want to come say hi!

November 1 - Speaking at IWU's APS Employee Chapel at 10 a.m. If you don't work in APS, you will miss this one - but I'm a bit nervous about it and would happily accept any prayers! I'm going to share a devotional kind of thought from one of the chapters in the book, rather than talk about the book itself.

November 10 - First night of a five week series I'm teaching at church (Sycamore Friends) based on the first five chapters. This night will be about Mary. We meet at the church from 7-8 p.m. If you're in the area and don't already have a Wednesday night church commitment, I'd love to have you join us! We are an informal bunch.

November 17 - Second night of Sycamore's study. We will study Joseph. Same time and place as before!

November 18 - Book signing at the Greentown Public Library from 7-8 p.m. I would love, love, love to see you if you're a Greentownian (or one of its suburbs).

November 21 - Book signing at Chapel Pike Wesleyan's Thanksgiving lunch. I believe it is being held at Kendall Elementary in Marion. I will be there (with a big dish of broccoli salad) and would love to see you if you're a CPW'er!

November 22 - Radio interview on WBCL's Mid-Morning Author! Author! program. (The post below has all the details on this.) Prayers that I don't say something ridiculous live on the air...appreciated! :)

November 23 - Book signing at the IWU Bookstore from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. The bookstore is in the Student Center at IWU. If you work on campus or are in the Marion area, stop by! Would love to see you (and probably have a picture with you...knowing me....)

...and since I'm here...a peek into December...

December 1 - Night 3 of the Sycamore Bible study. We will study the shepherds.

December 8 - Night 4 of the Sycamore Bible study. We will study the magi.

December 9 - Speaking at the IWU Staff Council Luncheon. Not sure yet of my actual topic that day. It will surprise us all, I guess!

December 15 - Final night of the Sycamore Bible study. We will study Simeon. Incidentally - my favorite chapter of the whole book.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Big News!!

I have done my best to savor every part of this book process because I want to always look back on it as something I appreciated to the fullest.

And now I've been given the opportunity to experience a new part of the adventure:

My first radio interview!!!!

Here's how it happened.

If you've been reading Bekah's Bits lately, you've read about the "six a.m. serenade." It was a season of my life this summer when the songs played on the radio each morning as I awakened were just perfect for what I needed that day.

Early last month, I sent a letter to the station - specifically to three ladies who host a morning show, to share with them how much I appreciate their work on the show they produce. (I also had a really embarrassing story to tell one of them, but that's another story for another day.) I took some time to tell them about how God had instituted the 6 a.m. serenade. And I included a copy of my book, more as a thank you to them than anything else. They've shared so much of themselves with me over the airwaves, and I wanted to share something back with them.

I was shocked to open my email last night and find an message from Jamie, who is the producer of the morning show, inviting me to have a spot on an upcoming show to talk about my book!

Jonathan was actually at my house doing some homework and he'd gotten a phone call, so that's why I decided to take an email break. We were sitting on the couch and as soon as I read the email, I could feel a screech coming on and I didn't want to be disrespectful to his phone call, since he was sitting right beside me, so I clamped my hands over my mouth and tried to scream quietly. :)

I took my computer into the kitchen and hid in a corner to read the email six or eight more times before I called my mom to share the news with her! (She was very excited.) After Jonathan finished his call, he asked about my little screaming fit, so I let him read the email.

It may sound silly, but I'm glad he was here for that. Exciting news is always so much more fun when you can enjoy it with someone. God has been good to plant people in my path for the big moments of the book, and this was another example of His touch on the journey!


The radio station I love so much is WBCL, out of Ft. Wayne, Indiana. (And yes, you can listen to it online any day of the week!)

The program is Mid-Morning. It's a show for women (most of the time) but even if you're not a girl, I'd love for you to tune in...

...on November 22, 2010.

It's a Monday, and the show runs from 9:05 a.m. to 10 a.m.

Here is a list of their coverage and radio dial locations:

Fort Wayne 90.3 fm
Northwest Ohio 89.5 fm
West Central Ohio 88.1 fm
Muncie, IN 106.1 fm
Adrian, MI 97.7 fm
Bronson, MI 94.7 fm

Or, of course, you can listen online! If you miss it, you can go back and catch it here.

The particular show that I'll be on is called Author! Author! and will feature other authors as well. My spot is from 9:45-9:55.

I'm so, so excited about this opportunity! Would love for you to listen in!