A friend asks “What’s the book about?” and I swallow hard. Almost embarrassed that I would even think of writing a book. I mean really – what could I possibly say that I have not already said on my blog? And why would I sell something. For 5 years, everything with my ministry has been free…then all of a sudden I’m holding a conference and selling a book. This is new behavior for me. And I get a negative email from someone who says they’ve followed my blog for years and I’ve changed and she is not pleased I am selling anything…and my heart sinks – kind of embarrassed.
And so I answer my friend, “the book is about your walk with God, marriage, parenting and homemaking. More of the same I guess.” and it’s awkward so we drop the subject.
And someone else from my church last week messages me and asks how the book writing is going and I don’t know how to answer her. The writing is long done –and the book should be arriving in stores any day now (obviously she doesn’t read here so it’s safe to refer to this email lol! I hope ha! ). And I gulp, do I admit that the book is available now – she can read it now.
Am I really ready for people to read my words?
Words I can never ever take back.
They are permanently in print. Permanent. Scary.
And I wonder what I wrote that could be a lightening rod…fear wells up in my soul.
And some sweet girls on the launch team with advance copies are transparent when they write to me:
“I must admit that before reading this book, I thought it was going to be a “look at me, I am the perfect wife and mother and you should be exactly like me”, and I was pleasantly surprised that it is not!”
Then another agrees as she writes:
“When I was getting ready to begin I kinda thought the same thing, a book to teach us our faults and what to change but it’s completely different. The book while reading and praying actually allows the Lord to correct your heart and step on your toes. I am enjoying this book so much and I have a hard time putting it down at night because I want to be the wife and mommy that the Lord wants me to be. Thank you Courtney for allowing God to use you to help us.”
And my heart sinks imagining that people think this book is about me… –being perfect. No a million times NO! I am so very far from being the perfect wife or mother but I want to point to the perfect one – the Great I AM and say – He – He alone can help us be wives and mothers for his glory!
And when my husband and I wrote a list of pros and cons before signing the book contract, this was one of the cons. Writing a book could appear prideful and make those in my “real life” think, –I think more highly of myself than I ought. We are all flawed…is anyone really worthy of writing a book on these topics…and I feel a cringe of embarrassment when I admit to “real life” friends, I wrote a book.
I stand at the post office with a stack of little boxes of books to mail. The mail man asks if there’s anything breakable, flammable or needing insurance inside. I shake my head no. He is curious and he asks what’s inside all those boxes. I say:
and then under my breath I add - “that I wrote“.
“What’s the book about“, he asks?
“Marriage and family”.
“What could you know about marriage and family – you are so young. You know my wife left me, she was an alcoholic and a ….” on and on he goes. I turn pink – a little embarrassed. I mention my faith and he seems even more annoyed and I squirm just wishing he’d get those labels on the boxes quicker. Everyone in line is listening- it’s just awkward. He’s done. We leave.
I’m back – back at the post office again – with more books to mail to reviewers and there he is again.
“Oh the girl that writes on marriage.” I’m pink again…and so it goes over and over each time I go to the post office. Did I mention I have to go to the post office again tomorrow with 2 books to mail…fun.
My children are practicing their presentations for their homeschool group and they want to share that their mom wrote a book. “Hmmmmm…I’m not sure that’s a great idea kids. Not everyone in the group knows that I have a blog…it might be best that they find out from a different source rather than you kind of announcing it in your presentation. ” They insist. Obviously they are not embarrassed. I cringe.
In one week – the book will be out in stores and arriving in the homes of those who pre-ordered it and I have all sorts of feelings I’ve never really felt before.
Well, I did feel this feeling once before – 15 years ago when I led one of my first Bible studies I was a nervous wreck. I remember blurting out to the circle of 30 women starring at me - “I’m nervous”.
A woman I did not know from across the room spoke into the awkward silence – “that’s pride.”
She was right.
So if I’m proud of writing the book – that’s pride – and if I’m embarrassed of writing the book – that’s pride and if I’m scared of what people are going to think of the book or me – that’s pride.
Well then I guess I’m struggling with some serious pride here today friends. Will you pray for me?
I’m not an emotional person typically…but the stress of homeschooling, my husband’s work schedule and the book launch has made me overly emotional…and easily teary. Sometimes I think my tears are literally my fears streaming down my face.
And I flip through my old prayer journal to the day that God laid on my heart and my husband’s heart the idea to start a blog back in 2008 – never did I dream I’d be sharing a picture of my chicken scratch. As I prayed and prayed over this dream – only one thing stood in the way of my fingers tapping on the keyboard.
Finally in frustration I wrote across the top of the page these words:
Lord, help me to not give way to fear. Give me courage for the days ahead.
Sweet friend, are you scared about something in your life? Are you pursuing something that you are almost embarrassed to admit to family and friends?
I am reminded this week as I tremble in fear – God’s got this.
God’s got this.
“Not by might nor by power,but by my Spirit,’ says the Lord Almighty.”
Walk with the King,