I remember in college, I was determined to prove that a certain “Poetry” contest was a scam. I had too many people who’d bragged about writing a piece of poetry that was “chosen to be included” or “won a spot within” a volume of selected writings (available for a large fee). So I found a brownie recipe, and went to work. I copied that recipe, word for word, even including some of the numbers. I snickered a bit, thinking there’s no way this would actually work.
A short while later, I received my “Congrats!” letter in the mail. Sure enough, my “poem” had been chosen above many entries to be included in a collection of poetry by new authors just like me! So did I call my mom and excitedly announce my dreams as a creative author had finally become actualized?? Nope. I smiled a bit, thankful I wasn’t going to shell out the money to purchase my poem within a book. Though the wooden plaque with my poem mounted upon it might be handy in the kitchen someday….I decided against it. The cost of a joke should never outweigh it’s value in humor. And this was more sad, than funny. I became skeptical of anyone saying they’d been published in a book, if it didn’t involve a contract.
I may have not mentioned it before, but my daughters are professional artists. Seriously. You should see them draw my likeness: Giant round head, and arms that stick out like twigs from a dying bush. They’ve been offered contracts at museums in New York and Chicago, but we really want to keep them well-grounded. So for now, it’s the giant rolls of paper from IKEA on our mini-easel.
Okay, so they may not be able to sell much to even our local art auctions…but when you watch my daughter lean into that paper with a half-crayon with no paper left to pick away…you know artistic genius is at work. I love watching her, and I pray she continues to feel the creative freedom she exhibits in that moment. As she creates on paper, she is reflecting God into a world that needs His image.
It also challenges me.
Since March, I’ve been sitting on a fully written book about how God can use parenting to transform us. I’ve been waiting for a publisher to take a chance on me, and move toward publication. I’ve always subconsciously felt that self-published books were a sign that the material inside wasn’t worth a publisher’s attention. So I continued to wait.
But why did I write? Because God has used parenting to change who I am, and I believe He’s only begun. Because I wanted to put some of that into words, so that others may realize what He could already be doing in their lives as well, and offer new hope to those expectant parents learning Lamaze, still eating bad cookies and punch. But my daughters won’t wait to show people they love, a drawing they’re proud of – they’ll grab it and place it on the highest mountain (or fridge) they can reach!
So here we are. I don’t have a physical book published (yet?). But I’ve written words that I believe are only possible because of God’s work in my life. I’m proud/thankful for them, and believe they can offer much to those beginning this journey of parenthood. It’s available for $2.99 via electronic download (you don’t need a Kindle, you can use your computer using the free software they offer!!) until some publisher decides it’s worth putting into a larger market. But in the words of Lamar Burton, “You don’t have to take my word for it…”