Candle’s first sales

While my book was technically available on Amazon and Barnes and Noble in mid-February, my self-declared official book launch date was March 25, the Feast of the Annunciation. This was the day I introduced the book to friends. By then, the book was also available at the two Christian bookstores in Fargo. The following week I introduced it to my coworkers at the Diocese of Fargo Pastoral Center. Over Easter, my sister in Grand Forks helped me distribute books to her friends there. And the following week, I visited the Christian bookstore in Sauk Centre, MN and my parents, who stocked up on some copies to give to more family and friends.

Through these weeks, I was adamant about keeping Candle’s Great Feast off of Facebook (that’s the only social media platform I have the sanity to endure). I wasn’t concerned about reaching people besides family and friends. That way when people I didn’t know started seeing the book, I could rely on having a small audience already to leave reviews on Amazon and include positive comments on my Facebook posts. I could also highlight the bookstores that had the book in stock.

This little incubation period helped me see that I had a solid product to sell. While God had consoled me many times on my journey, I still wondered quite often how the book would be received. Would family and friends buy it because they felt obligated and then never speak of it again? The overprotective book-mom in me wanted to keep it locked away in my little tower so that it could never get hurt. At least with this limited audience, it was unlikely to endure much hardship. And if it did, I could slowly develop a thicker skin to bad reviews.

The more feedback I received, the more convinced I became that God was in the absolute center of this thing. People I hadn’t even considered told me they were touched by it. As an audience, I only ever considered kids (First Communion age and under) and their parents.

My favorite feedback so far is from a dad friend. He said that while he was—yet again—reading the book to his two-year-old, his pre-teen children discussed the symbolism of light and self-sacrifice. While I was writing the book, I did not consider how the 10-13 year-olds would see it. Another note I enjoyed was from one of my aunts after she read the book to her granddaughter. “[The book] is so simple yet it is such a reminder to us older people how much we appreciate the Holy Eucharist.” I wasn’t considering grandparents either.

So if you ask me the common question: “what age is the book for?” I’ll probably give you a complicated answer. Officially, I guess you’d shelf it next to the age 2-6 books. But in my mind it’s for the parent who reads books to their kids. It’s for those about to make their First Communion, who are preparing themselves to receive an indescribable gift. It’s for the teenager on the threshold of adulthood, questioning God’s plan for them. It’s for the godparent reading the book deciding whether or not to give it to their godchild. It’s for young children who I hope never lose sight of Jesus in their lives. It’s for adults who feel God has abandoned them or feel God’s love and mercy isn’t for them. It’s for anyone who needs a little hope and happiness.

Since the book was born in adoration, my greatest hope is that everyone who encounters it will grow closer to Jesus, and especially in their devotion to the Eucharist. I know I have.

The little mission I never saw coming

I’m not sure if people really believe me when I tell them Candle’s Great Feast was all God’s work. Yes, he used my hands for the job, but writing doesn’t just come easy to me. In order to write, you need to have something to say, and I’m not really that smart. This is why I need to rely on God’s wisdom and timing when it comes to writing anything else.

This is also why it’s borderline psychotic how many times I’ve convinced myself I’m too busy to step in an adoration chapel. Have I not experienced (and continuing to experience) something amazing? Have I not been given eyes to see yet refuse to open them? Do I not hear the whispers of the Holy Spirit in my heart as I drive by a Catholic church? Just ten minutes. You have ten minutes. Yes, but I am sooo hungry and have mac and cheese in the fridge.

This was literally my excuse this week. Jesus has some work to do yet on me. Huuu-wee!

I believe the process of writing is first of all for the writer as they labor to dig to the root of their subject matter. It’s exhausting and emotional work at times, since I don’t just want to project what I think the world should hear but actively listen to the voice of God and learn from him what the world actually needs to hear. Since I’m still investigating ways to expand the reach of Candle’s Great Feast, I’ve cut myself some slack on working on these other things too much lest I drive myself into the ground.

Naturally, when you sell books to people in person, you sign them, not just because people ask but because it’s so fun. Rather than just including my signature, I wrote notes to the kids and families to receive them. This wasn’t a conscious decision; I just sort of fell into it, but I have no intention of stopping.

If you purchase a copy of Candle’s Great Feast from this website and would like it personalized, you can send me a message on Facebook or an email to with the name of the person to receive it and the occasion (if there is one).

It’s an incredible blessing for me to do this. I’ve cried a couple of times. I’ll probably never meet some of the sons, daughters, godchildren, neices, nephews, and grandchildren I’ve signed books for, but I’m praying for them. I sincerely believe those little notes I’ve written to them. May you always delight in our Lord Jesus at the greatest of feasts. Jesus’s love for your endures forever.

God has great plans for you. Please don’t ever forget it.