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Doing Life Together

Two Ways to Live Out Your Greatest Adventure {& I’m Finishing My Book!}

I’ve been working on a book for the last couple years. I have three small children and it’s a small miracle when I find time to script the book I’ve been scheming to finish for awhile now.

I’ve got chapters sitting on my computer and an ongoing “book ideas” memo on my phone.

It’s a work in progress, I sigh to myself. While in the meantime I get slightly jealous of other women whipping words out of their back pocket like some kind of magic.

There’s rarely a day that goes by where I don’t think about it. The book. Where I don’t wish I could just sneak away and type with fast fingers for a couple hours at Starbucks. I want to crank it out. I want to finish it so badly.

And by finish I mean have it totally written, edited, printed and in your hands, and on the shelves of a book store…yesterday.

I’ve been wrestling with the Lord about how I’ll manage to create the time I’ll need to finish this book. {As if I can create time!?} But I want to write it before someone else does, and if you’re familiar with the book writing world, things happen overnight. There’s pressure to put out your work- fast.

I fear that my book will be verrrry slow-churned or worse remain on my computer in an unfinished word document, ignored and abandoned.

You can imagine how elated I was when God begin sharing with me how I was going to finish this book, but it wasn’t in the way I’d expected.

His wisdom was different than everything I’d heard. He didn’t suggest that I get up earlier, or stay up late in the night typing away at the keyboard while my family slept, or even block out a 6-week chunk of life to write my fingers to the bone.

No instead He said this…

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You know all that writing that you still need to get done. It’s actually called living. All those chapters you are crafting are called Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, and so on. All the pages you are wanting to compile are called community and love.

A lump in my throat has been forming ever since I’ve tried to digest His words.

I get what He’s saying, I really really do. In fact, I had a hunch He might say something like that.

Your everyday life is your book, stories are manifesting beneath your feet. Be in them, before you write them.

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Burying my book-dream in the sands of His Spirit, courageously walking forward…it almost sounds cruel. I know I’ll look back.

I would be lying if I said I wasn’t sad. I’m crushed. Motherhood is all-consuming some days. This season of raising little ones is the most intense period of life thus far. The limitations are limitless, the beauty is hidden, and the work is invisible. I didn’t want this season to steal my book too. 

Know that when you pour out your life in thankless ways every day, you are making those around you rich. 

Know that seasons are meant to be received, not rejected.

Know that if you need to set aside some of your own aspirations for a time, you’re creating a spacious place for the souls around you to flourish.

Don’t lose heart or lose hope. This, my friends, is good and sacred work. Marian Vischer

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So friends, I’m finishing my book, just not in the way I originally thought- hardback cover on the shelves of Barnes & Noble. You won’t be getting a copy of it anytime soon.

I’m finished writing with fast fingers, trying to squeeze in extra minutes here or there to make it happen. I’m finished thinking about it, plotting out chapters, worrying about the date of its completion.

I’m finished writing my book.

But with the finishing of my book, I’m coming alive to my own adventure with Jesus. An adventure that DOES NOT include becoming a published author, a sought-after speaker, or a courageous entrepreneur, and looks a lot more like… well… me.

The mother in the kitchen is the one who can actually give life to the words of the speaker on the platform. Platform words are dead words – until brave people live them out in the kitchen. Ann Voskamp

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I’ve been reluctant to say yes to God’s prompting to wrap up the book writing because I’m not done yet. In my stubbornness to understand Him, I wrestle.

I’ve been fearful of surrender because it feels like I’m willingly letting a part of me die, and when does that ever feel right?

But do you know what?

Wherever you and I are reluctant to say yes to the Lord… wherever we are fearful of surrendering… therein lies our best story, our greatest adventure.

Intuition says our ideas are to be out in the light! Displayed, produced, and worked on. But in order for the dream or idea to burst with the light of life, first it has be buried in the darkness of time.
Emily Freeman

It will take a step out of our comfort zone, for sure, because who of us likes letting go of our plans and hunting down the unknown.

We like life to be clear and concise just like a book. Black and white. Easy to figure out. Broken down into neat chapters.

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But can I encourage you today?  As surely as I give over my words and ideas for a book to Him, the ground beneath me begins to tell a story. The places I walk, the people I love, the words I share, the home I create, the beauty I see is all, without my knowing or planning, is becoming a book.

A book that won’t be tucked under my arm or yours one day, but under His.

I’m listening to my fears and they tell me exactly where to give God my reluctant yes and come alive to my adventure. What I thought was the finishing of my book is actually the beginning of another.

And I’m starting with the acknowledgements. Do you ever read those in the beginning or end of a book? I think they are the most interesting part!

They are only one or two pages where the author remembers and honors the teachers, the friends, the communities, the couples, the parents, the neighbors who gathered around her be it long seasons or brief seconds and shifted her perspective, changed her heart, and who ultimately made her book come to fruition.

Do you know what that tells me? A book doesn’t just happen overnight or even over a few years. Writing a book is not about sneaking away to weave sentences together, it isn’t about the editing process, the crafting of eloquent words, or even the publishing.

The books that change lives are lifetimes of pages and pages of people who decided to lean into their fears and join their reluctant yeses as one, who decided they were finished with attempting to write their own story and chose to live out His story together instead.   

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I may be finished writing my book-dream, but I’m starting to walk within the cover of the most beautiful story- and it’s called my life as it is right now.

If I don’t ever get past writing the acknowledgements section on this earth that’s okay. Someday I’ll get to sit with Him and read the whole story and finally see how it all fits together.

 I used to think I needed to record stories, but now I think I just need to engage them. Bob Goff

 

What “books” do you need to finish today so that you can start writing a slow-churned story with your beautiful life? The clues might be in your fears and reluctant yes. 

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