Exactly one year ago this week, I shared about a dream of mine in the post, “A Novel Idea”. It was a dream that bounced around from my head to my heart over the course of two decades.
I thought about keeping this update to myself, under wraps-in case it never comes to fruition. But then I would be forgetting the lesson I learned about gratitude and celebration that was an added bonus of my journey.
Writing a book seems like a dream I share with millions of others. It was one of the most exciting times of my life when I finally sat down to begin writing.
As a new writer, I had no idea what to expect from the process. The only thing I was sure of was that working with best-selling author Tricia Goyer, would be an honor and a blessing-and it has proved to be even more delightful than I could have imagined. Bouncing ideas off each other and sharing creatively was both easy and invigorating.
There are some people in your life that “just click” and writing with Tricia has been one of those times. She's more than a co-author, she's become a dear friend.
The first step, since we already had the main plot points and foundation for the novel established, was to write the book proposal which includes a short summary of the book, a longer summary, our personal marketing plans, and several chapters of the novel.
This process took us many months and involved a number of edits and conversations with our agent.
Both Tricia and I have fluid schedules-she writes at all hours of the day depending on her schedule, as do I. Parts of the book were dabbled over in various parts of the country, run through with colleagues and friends, written poolside on vacation, or late at night after kids have gone to bed.
This proposal would eventually be presented to publishers to see if they would be interested in picking up the novel. Once that happens, we would be off and running to finish the novel under a deadline.
That day has finally arrived! Our book proposal is freshly in the hands of publishers and now...…we wait. And pray! (Will you pray too?)
The day I found out that the proposal had been sent out to be read by the people who could potentially give me the opportunity to write this book, I was wearing my pajamas and cleaning up after my boys. I’m pretty sure I stopped for only 30 seconds to acknowledge what had just happened.
The gateway to my dream of becoming an author had just cracked open a bit further. But I had to finish packing a lunch and dressing my kids. And it wasn't like I actually had a contract yet.
I had just heard the news and I was already downplaying it-trying not to get my hopes up.
So I let the moment go.
About 30 minutes later, I stopped. I took the time to sit down, drink in the news, and savor it. Celebrate it.
It surprised me a little that I had to force myself to cherish the news. I realized that I was so busy with the pressing needs around me that I was not willing to even take a few minutes to relish this big moment in my life. This monumental milestone! I had tried to dismiss the initial excitement in order to save myself from hoping too much for the even bigger news of a contract. To avoid disappointment. And that just didn't feel right. Or God-honoring for all He had led me through to this moment in His faithfulness to me.
I realized that celebration was not much a part of my life in general. And yet, with three growing boys, there are so many wonderful moments to celebrate. Both for them and for me as a parent.
Like the time Oliver learned how to tie his shoe last month. Or when Oakley took his 26 month self to the potty without needing my help. Or the time Quinn willingly offered his turn to cook with Mommy to his little brother because he knew it would be kind. Maybe these aren’t mega-moments like sending out a book proposal, but they are all worth celebrating. Times to stop and acknowledge the achievements with something a little extra special-like frozen yogurt for dinner or waking up from their nap with a “YOU DID IT!” poster.
My husband understood this better than I did.
He showed up that afternoon with flowers. He congratulated me, reminded me that this was a special moment-a blessing from God and a reminder that He hears our prayers and plants the desires of our hearts.
I don’t have to get a contract to feel okay enough to celebrate. The individual steps along the way are worthy of their own heralding. The sense of accomplishment and gratitude I feel towards the Lord needs to find room in my heart right alongside all the daily tasks that keep the home fires burning. And even qualm my fears that this would be as far as I ever get to publishing my own book.
So I’m allowing myself to feel delighted. And I’m looking for more ways in 2014 to purposefully honor the goodness of God all around me-both in my own life and in the lives of my family and friends. I’m pretty sure that every day has something or someone worth rejoicing about. We may not know what a day will bring, but when we seek out ways to affirm the happy moments around us, we can be sure that we aren’t taking life for granted. And that alone, is worth celebrating.
And people should eat and drink and enjoy the fruits of their labor, for these are gifts from God. Ecclesiastes 3:13
YOUR TURN! Is there something worth celebrating in your life or the lives of your children and family today? Share it so we can celebrate with you!
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