And the Cherry on Top is the Big Apple

shutterstock_129949166Finally I get to tell you a bit of what’s really been going on in my life.

For many months now I’ve been in a state of limbo. That feeling you get when you sense one season is ending and another is coming—but you have no idea what it means.

Dave has felt the same way. And yet over the years, we’ve learned to trust that inner knowing. So this summer, we began to make long-needed upgrades to our house. New exterior paint. Adding a bathroom upstairs. Shoveling out eight years worth of accumulated junk.

This fall, we learned what we were really up to. We got news that Penguin Random House was moving one of its imprints—Convergent Books—to the New York City offices, and was inviting Dave to move with it. As many of you know, Dave helped to launch Convergent a couple years ago while working as an editor for WaterBrook Multnomah.

On Tuesday, Crown Publishing, a division of Penguin Random House, announced the move, along with some other changes at the company. An article in Christianity Today noted, “Convergent, which focuses on books for ‘progressive and mainline Christians who demand an open, inclusive, and culturally engaged exploration of faith,’ will be led by David Kopp.”

Since I write out of my life so much (a nice way of saying I’m good at spiritualizing my self-absorption), it’s been tough to blog when I couldn’t give you the scoop. Even once I knew what was coming down the pike, it had to stay a secret until it was officially announced. Now that it has been, I’m not quite sure how to explain what I feel.

Honestly, I vacillate wildly between sadness and excitement. I’m devastated about leaving my community here in the Springs—those precious, amazing friends I’ve made both inside and outside of recovery. And moving away from my oldest son will be very hard.

But I’m also anticipating good things. In recent years, I’ve found so much help and encouragement among the tribe of Christians Convergent Books was conceived for. So in many ways, this move represents a kind of spiritual convergence for me personally. I can’t explain it all now, but I think it’s going to free me up to write my next book.

In the meantime, it comforts me to remember that I can carry all of you with me to New York.  And after seven years of learning how to form true connections in recovery, I get to take my friends here in Colorado Springs with me, too. Used to be, when I moved away, I moved away. Out of sight, pretty much out of mind.

Recently Dave and I had one of those long conversations about the trajectory of our life, marriage, and careers. We came to the conclusion that God is a genius for bringing us together, that life has always proved right in the end, and that moving to the Big Apple just might be the cherry on top of our dreams.

This morning, my eyes fell on a book title by Anne Lamott that pretty much sums up my feelings and my new prayer mantra as well: Help. Thanks. Wow! 

P.S. Check out the amazing  Convergent Books blog when you get a chance. Right now there’s a great video by Kathy Escobar on her new book, Faith Shift. 

P.S. S.  I’d love to hear from you today. Please forgive my being so behind in answering emails.  I’ll get there!

bookcoversmaller

Author: Heather Kopp at SoberBoots.com

Heather Kopp is an author and blogger who writes about the intersection of addiction and faith. Her memoir about her recovery, Sober Mercies, was published by Jericho, a new imprint of HBG (Hachette Book Group) in Spring 2013.

72 thoughts on “And the Cherry on Top is the Big Apple”

  1. Dear Heather, Wow. New York. You must have prayed the Prayer of Jabez when Bruce Wilkinson was in Sisters. God continues to enlarge your territory, and his hand is with you.

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  2. Heavens. This is big news, Heather. Having lived in the same home for the last 26 years, a change of scenery would be very scary, yet would invite new freedoms as well. Letting the old go. Not that it was all bad, but there is a lot of “stuff” that is better left behind.

    I am so excited for you. Giddy, really. New York. Wow. You could not ask for a bigger change! Perhaps you’ll fancy up some writing dates with Julia Cameron over there. Love that lady.

    Shari 🙂

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  3. “This fall, we learned what we were really up to…” I so love that line. As someone who is in absolute both mind-numbing and blowing limbo, I can’t wait to learn what we are up to, too!

    Congratulations! I am sure your new life chapter will be amazing. I’m already excited for you!

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  4. Oh boo. I want to say I will miss knowing you are here in our city. I loved the evening we all spent talking and sharing life together. The encouragement you personally gave me. You are an amazing woman of courage!! You will do New York in big ways girl. I see you both loving life in new and wonderful ways. Much love to you dear Heather!

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  5. I’m living in my 34th house…Navy Brat…and looking to move at least one more time before I see heaven! 😉 But I found that the Lord always always brings those into your life whom you need the most at just the right time. When we realize this world is really not our permanent home, we can look at the future as God’s adventure! Great post! Blessings Heather!

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  6. Annie Lamott taught me how to pray in Traveling Mercies, Help and Thank you and now she’s added WOW …best wishes, thanks for the lead on Convergent …

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  7. I think you will love and feel inspired living in New York- I know I do. I recall my first day apartment hunting. I had what I considered a reasonable list of needs/wants for me and my family. The first place we saw had a refrigerator significantly shorter than me- and I am not tall. I quickly edited my list: “fridge must be taller than me…” This was just one of many unexpected things that happen when you decide to call NYC home- WELCOME! I hope you will have speaking engagements here, I would love to come hear you. Until then, I will watch the story unfold here… All best to you and Dave, and remember: If the apartment listing SOUNDS too good to be true, IT IS.

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  8. Congratulations to you and David, it must be so exciting. However, I cannot ever picture myself living in a city as large as New York, my nine months in Colorado Springs was more than enough to send me packing for the hills, almost literally, if you consider 9,500 ft. elevation a hill. But, I am positive with your faith and program you will be fine ( not F.I N.E. if you know what I mean) wherever you go.

    Smiles and blessings on your journeys, Nancy

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  9. I think you will love and feel inspired living in New York, I know I do. I remember the first time I came looking for an apartment to rent. I had a very sensible list of needs/wants. The first place we looked at had a refrigerator that was significantly shorter than me. ( I am not tall) So I quickly edited my list…”must have fridge taller than me…” Just a taste of all the unexpected things that will happen once you call this city home. WELCOME! I will be on the look out to see if you ever have a speaking engagement in the city. I’d love to come and hear you. Until then, will keep following your journey here…

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    1. Ha! A sensible list of needs and wants will only take you so far in NYC, I suppose. We’re stunned by the costs. And moving from a Norman Rockwellish house on a quiet, tree lined street to a small apartment. . . Yet the scariest part by far for Dave is the idea of having to share a bathroom with me. : ) Sometimes change means we have to change. Yikes. Thanks for chiming in here. Good to know I already have a friend in the Big Apple!

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    1. Interestingly, that’s how it’s felt. Dave and I were just the other day remarking on how despite how dramatic and often hard this change will be–neither of us had a moment’s hesitation around whether it’s right for us. No, “Turn back!” signals whatsoever. What a relief. Maybe there’s a been few yellow lights for me–Slow Down, Breathe, Take it Easy. But the only punctuation at the end of this sentence seems to be an explanation point.

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  10. I love when you read something that lets you know that someone else is in “exactly” the same place that you are. For the past few months, my husband and I have both felt that “change is coming”, however, neither of us knows what that change will be. So, we also went into get ready mode and did some long overdue home remodeling and started cleaning out all our cupboards. I’m glad that you now know what is ahead for you. Pray for us as we continue to wait until the Lord leads & guides us.
    P.S. I’m so thankful I found your blog . . . what you share encourages me in my spiritual walk! ♥

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    1. Isn’t it weird how that works? I think we knew this was always a possibility, but we moved forward not really knowing why. I’m so glad you find encouragement here. Keep me posted and let me know when the curtains part, which is likely to be a slowly. : ) It just seems to work that way.

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  11. That’s so exciting Heather and at the same time major STRESS. Make sure you’re taking care of yourself during the planning stages and during the move. You do know I’m just north of Toronto…not far from New York 🙂

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    1. Sober Julie! Love seeing your face here. If I was better at geography I’d have a grasp of how close that is, but it would be wonderful to meet for coffee some day. Is it that close? I agree with your reminder. Almost as soon as I learned what was up, my Inner Drunk began plotting about how I could go to NYC and be a new person who having learned and changed so much after seven years of sobriety could probably take a drink here and there now. Plus, aren’t I kind of tired of the recovery thing? Been there done that for seven years… SCARY how it works. Thank God I know well enough now to go to a meeting and drag that little demon out into the open and have people who love remind me of the truth. Best wishes, friend. Thanks for all you contribute to the recovery world.

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  12. Heather; I love the part of this where you described you sensed the shift but didn’t know what it would be. Yet you and Dave followed the prompts and now are more prepared for the next steps- now that they have been revealed.

    I am in a similar place (not expecting a move to NYC, however). Big changes and a sense of more to come. It helped me so much to know others “smell the wind of change” and don’t just spray air freshener. I am doing what I can to prep– as well as relax into God’s comfort. Yesterday I was given the word “winnowing”. I had to look it up to make sure it meant what I thought.

    Much love to you and Dave. And my prayers for comfort and serenity as you move towards this new life.

    PS Excited to see Convergent move in this new direction too. It’s an exciting company for Christians like me (us).

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    1. I couldn’t agree more about Convergent. What I love about it isn’t necessarily that I agree with every author or every position espoused–it’s that I couldn’t possibly if I tried, since there’s such a diversity of authentic voices who get to speak there. Does that make sense? I love how Convergent defines unity not by conformity by valuing our differences. Yes, yes. Relax into God’s arms. That’s the hard part. I’m a little stiff and brittle, which means I could snap at any moment if I don’t soften around the stress instead of resisting it. Sure love knowing you, friend. I’ll keep you in my prayers and thoughts as you face your own winds of change.

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  13. I am SO excited for you. And a little jealous, of course. I wondered, when I read the announcement if you two might move. Just know I will be praying for you. And visiting you. 🙂 With so much love, Carolyn

    Sent from my iPhone

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    1. Carolyn, oh thank you. And a visit from you would make us swoon. Surely you must have to come to NYC on occasion to meet agents and authors? Please have dinner with us!! It won’t be strawberry shortcake at Ted’s in the rain, but it will be good. Probably better. And way, way, way more expensive. : )

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  14. Heather, Greg shared the good news the other day! How WONDERFUL. There is something so great about new adventures, the “you and me” against the world thing that happens when couples move to new places. But now, we’ll be forced to meet in New York CITY (!! whoo hoo!!!) rather than Colorado Springs. I just wrote a short devo blog this morning about letting go so new things can be born, and thought it might speak additional encouragement to you in this time of change. http://welaughwecrywecook.com/2014/11/06/without-autumn-spring-cant-come-lessons-in-letting-go/

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    1. What a beautiful post! And I love the reminder about how such a move, though stressful, can really bring us closer together if we let it. Lately, we have to kiss and make up every other hour because we’re both so overextended and I’m in my strung out/manic mode and there are so many, many decisions to sort through. The good news is, we keep extending grace upon and grace and apologize every time our tone is off. I guess that’s what love looks like? Thank you, Becky.

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  15. Congratulations on your positive attitude. Each winter, I accompany my husband, along with other snowbirds, south. I miss my family so much that I my attitude toward friends and sun is not what I wish it was.

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  16. Happy moving! God bless your transition, I am a native New Yorker and tho miss it much, visit family often. Its a great place to live! Hope you get to Redeemer church, Tim Keller is awesome!

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    1. Yeah, I was just commenting to a friend on FB that my post today feels a little like a coming out–in terms of so boldly aligning myself with progressive Christians. I expect to lose some readers, but I’m finally really okay with that. And I expect to find new ones, too. I love having you there in my corner cheering me on. I love my bird lady painting. You’re a gift to me, Christina.

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  17. Once you are settled in the Big Apple, let me know if you want a tour of the National September 11 Memorial. I would gladly lead one for you (hope that didn’t sound pushy) May your new adventure be a blessing to you and those you encounter along the way. Welcome to New York.

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  18. All kinds of smiles here for you and Dave as you walk through this next portion. More goodness to come, I know. Now to check out the Kathy Escobar video. Love her contributions on SheLoves.

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    1. You BETTER! I am so counting on it and in fact knowing I’ll be closer to you Anna is one of the bright spots. Seriously. I’ll be able to jump on a train to have coffee with you, right? Okay, it’s probably not that simple, but still… Thanks for being in my life dear friend. And for being one of Convergent’s most AMAZING authors!

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  19. Heather, I am excited for you and Dave! The Big Apple is so much closer to PA and I have cousins there! Hopefully I will get to meet you someday and share a cup of coffee. 🙂
    By the way, I stepped out of my own comfort zone today and wrote about my own love of recovery. If you have time, take a moment to check it out. xo Joanne

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  20. Wishing you much happiness and continued success, Heather, as you and your husband move forward on this new adventure. Very exciting!! Hopefully we will still hear from you online… I so LOVE your blog. And thank you again for being an endorsing voice with my own story. Hopefully we can keep in touch.

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  21. Heather, dear…we just did a similar thing. My huz, former pastor of a great church in Minneapolis, is the now a chaplain (he’s a Protestant) at University of Mary (yes, Catholic) in Bismarck, ND. SO MUCH has changed about our lives – and our children (both of them!) left for their freshman year at Baylor University. August was this crazy upsetting of the apple cart. I’m pretty sure I survived because so much changed. I had the same issue – no way to blog about my life while we were trying to make decisions, discern God’s will, etc. My blog was an out-pouring of my soul. Now…I need to start blogging again! The one post I wrote since moving here was so therapeutic and helpful to me (and other confirmed that it was for them as well). I’m still learning to love my new place, but I do…and I will. 🙂 So glad that you have a cherry on top! *big smiles*

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    1. Stacy, thanks so much for this. I had no idea how exhausting and stressful a transition it would be. I’m in the spin cycle these days, trying to screen tenants and show the house (decided to rent not sell) while trying to find a place in NYC at the same this month… Just a lot. And we haven’t even got to the move yet. Thanks for the encouragement!

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