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Tuesday, May 1, 2012

The Real Story Happens on the Page

I woke up this morning thinking about my new book that is coming out next week (May 8th). It’s got the best cover ever and a compelling blurb on the back. But it came to me. The real story happens between those two selling points.

I think you can see where I’m going here. ☺

God has been leading me—or at least my agent has, I’m hoping she’s hearing from God, and she probably is because she’s much more spiritual than I am—to work on some nonfiction writing. The real stuff that opens my veins and pours my blood onto the page.

I’ve lived so much of my life over the past fifteen years showing a great cover and telling only the best parts of my story that people have gotten a wrong idea of who I truly am. They see my great kids and assume I’m a great mom. Let’s just be real…my kids ARE great, but not because of me. In spite of me.

My marriage looks amazing on the outside looking in, but again, that’s mostly because of my husband’s efforts. Not mine. Although I’m trying to be better at loving him better, so that HIS marriage is also great. And not just mine.

At church, I lift my hands and worship and appear so spiritual, but often my heart is far away from the worship. I smile and say the right things, but my head is often not in the conversation.
Learning to be honest, living authentically, is one of the most challenging mandates God (or my agent, whichever the case my be) has ever given to me.

This past weekend I hosted a writing workshop for new and intermediate writers. I taught about building a novel stone by stone.

And honestly, it went so well, I’m still trying to process why on earth God would cover me in such a gracious manner. Everyone was looking at me, to me, to teach them the tools to start a novel or in some cases, make their existing work better and all day I felt like a real idiot. What could I possibly say to help anyone when I feel like my own work is so far below the books that are published and sitting on the shelves next to mine?

Truly, the real heroes Saturday were the three women who came alongside me and helped make it a success. Laura, who nudged me to do it in the first place and did most of the hard work on Saturday. She covered registration, book sales, introduced me, passed out handouts, drew for giveaways, was the time keeper.

She made me look good. And I got the recognition. Julie and Aleah, the Domestically Divine Divas who catered the whole thing. Kept coffee going all day, made scones for the registration time, decorated the lunch tables so perfectly and worked their tails off to fix an UH-MAZING lunch. But I still got most of the credit.

I am humbled.

But God has a way of taking our weaknesses, adding His strength and working through the motives of the heart to accomplish his purposes. My heart said, “God, use me to speak Your words, in spite of my weakness, insecurity and desperate need to be liked.

And at the end of the day, most of the attendees weren’t ready to leave. It was one of those life-changing moments (hours!) for me. God breathing destiny into my heart. A future and a hope.

Opening the book of our life and allowing people to journey through the pages alongside us can be scary. But I’m learning that the risk pales next to the payoff, which to me, is allowing God to use me.

Here am I, Lord, send me.

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