There I was in a relaxed stupor by the pool when I opened one blurry eye and noticed who was basking in the sun on the chair next to me. Actress Kate Beckinsale and her brood were heading into the pool at the Ritz Carlton Laguna Nigel where my husband and I were staying for a rare and swanky work retreat he was attending. Growing up in Los Angeles, star sightings don’t do anything for me-it seems pretty normal. Except, I had recently finished showing, for the hundred and fifty fifth time, the film version of Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing to my high school English classes and Ms. Beckinsale’s role in the film is one of my favorites.
Over the years, I taught Shakespeare with awe and reverence. Like many, I agree that he is the master of storytelling. And that’s exactly why I never wrote a book. As a literature teacher for a decade, I just couldn’t bring myself to produce anything less than a work that would withstand the test of time. So I set the notion aside amidst the many voices over the years that told me that I “should write a novel” and went on with my life. But, it was still a buried-in-down-deep-for-later desire of my heart.
Meanwhile, I left teaching to be a stay-at-home mom to my 3 amazing little knights, who are all under the age of 5, and took up blogging to keep my brain from becoming a soggy mush of inactivity. I love my blogging buddies, groups of talented and strong women who are vulnerable, brave, creative, and Godly. It was such a privilege this year to join author Holley Gerth as a member of her God-Sized Dream Team, with the goal of fulfilling more of what God wants me to become for His glory by dreaming big! I had no idea how only a month into the process, I would be involved in a personal miracle.
I have been listening and watching my friends and acquaintances journey through their desires to write a book of their own and in today’s market there are the added options of self-publishing, trying to find an agent, or writing an Ebook to market on your own blog. Much of the time, the advice is to write, write, write, attend conferences for writers, meet agents or editors, build relationships, attend more conferences, rewrite, rewrite, rewrite, and begin again. Phew. I was exhausted just reading about it. Did I mention that I am a stay-at-home mom? I knew in my heart that I would not have the opportunities at this chapter in my life to do all of that! And so, in the quiet musings of my heart, I talked to the Lord about it.
“Lord, I know this is ridiculous, but You know my situation. One of my desires is to write books, just like so many talented people I know. But Lord, I don’t have the time or resources right now to pursue conferences, and agents, and editors, even though I would like to do so. Lord, if You want me to write, then I’m going to need an agent, sight unseen, who will believe in me and just give me a shot. I know. Impossible and silly to imagine! So, that’s not going to happen. But thanks for hearing me.” And then something unimaginable happened. A dream bigger than I even realized I could dream….happened.
I had been working this past year with my husband as we started a family-friendly and faith-friendly production company called Storehouse Media Group. One of our projects involved a best-selling and award winning author we met in a God-could-only-set-this-up kind of way. Long story short, this well-established author who has written dozens of books, approached her agent, unbeknownst to me, about an idea I had shared with her. An idea I never once considered broaching to her as a novel. And then they sent me an email asking me if I would be “open to us writing” the idea as a novel. What?! I could not believe what I was reading. That little prayer I had prayed was only a couple weeks fresh, and more of a passing conversation than a pleading of my heart. Had He really heard me? And answered like this? It was such a big dream of mine, so luxurious, that I never even gave myself the freedom to truly dream it. And because He is a God who knows us so well, He looked down and delighted in my delight.
Now, the truth of the matter is that it may not happen. It may not go one word further. But it might happen. It might go much further. Either way, I can die happy just to know that two exceptionally talented people considered, if even for a moment, that I might have something to say worth reading. It may all be Much Ado About Nothing, but I have already been blessed in the process as God whispered to my heart again that He is not absent in the small details nor the massive dreams of our lives. That email was a love letter from God! And it’s a letter that I’m cherishing because I know that God is for us, always aware of our needs and desires, and when we entrust our dreams to Him, He reveals to us that His ways are indeed higher than ours.
Not to us, O Lord, not to us, but to your name give glory. Psalm 115:1
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