While feeding the snickerdoodle at some point last week, I was browsing my blog roll and came across a blogger linking to another blogger’s announcement of a book deal. After reading it I tackled my remaining chore list, but the word “book” kept floating around in my mind as I did laundry, loaded the dishwasher, swept the floor etc. I reviewed in my mind the lines about her sitting in Starbucks for hours working on her manuscript and I had to be very honest with myself about what that revealed in my heart.
I really wish I could be that woman who manages to feed and clothe her kids, keep her house to a modest level of cleanliness and organization and still be able to spend several hours each week writing. Right now I’m not, for a lot of reasons. A year ago a publisher contacted me about co-writing a book about infertility. The other author and I worked very hard for several months to write the sample pages we were asked for and create a blended voice that would harmonize our very different writing styles. I kept thinking that this would be the way the Lord would provide for us in seminary. But it’s been nine months of almost total silence, and I’ve put all the “maybes” away.
I have to be honest about what I would bring to the table as an author, and the answer is “not a whole lot.” The world has enough fluff and feel good sentimentality. We have enough easy reading ten steps to fill-in-the-blank printed and digitized for public consumption. I might be able to string together a few words to make a compelling sentence, but that doesn’t mean that sentence is worth anyone’s time or money. Every time the word “book” kept floating into my mind, it was followed rapidly by a story from my friend Jenni.
Jenni was telling me about potty training her twin boys. Twins. Potty training. In a one bathroom apartment. She told me that after a week of simultaneously intensive and ineffective potty training she was sitting on her bathroom floor, while her boys sat side by side on their potty chairs. She said, “Lord, please just let pee come out. I will give you all the glory. I won’t write a book about what a great potty trainer I am. Please just let the pee come out.”
Isn’t that an awesome story? Every time I hear her tell it (and she honestly tells people that story when they ask her how she potty trained twin boys in a one bathroom apartment) I feel convicted about all the times I’ve thought to myself, “I could write a book about .[fill in the blank]”because what would I be taking credit for? For something the Lord worked. Like pee, or obedience, or words from a 2 year old. I need to spend less time wishing someone would ask me to write a book and whole lot more time humbly asking the Lord to guide me through this great labyrinthine process called parenthood, and then giving him whole credit when he does.
And also, I shouldn’t write a book about promising the Lord I wouldn’t write a book about parenting. 🙂