I am now officially a published author.
Its pretty great, I'm not gonna lie. People ask me to sign their books, churches and organizations give me speaking engagements, and my husband bought me a brand-spanking-new laptop as a 'congratulations' gift.
Its cool, this dream come true of mine. Its everything I always thought it would be.
And yet, my life looks exactly the same as it always did.
There is poison ivy in my flower bed, and if I don't pull it, it will take over my yard.
There is a fight happening between two or more of my children at any given moment of the day.
Laundry piles sky high...always.
A scrape needs to be bandaged; a meal needs to be prepared; a friend needs encouragement; an animal needs water and affection; a child needs water and affection; a husband wants a kiss and a long conversation about the activities of the day; one thousand, seven hundred, and forty-five crises happen during that conversation that must be solved; boys engage in bathroom humor and must be reprimanded; toilets must be cleaned; dishes must be washed, dried, put away...and then within the span of a single day, must be done again; flowers need to be watered; beds made; hands washed; hair brushed; shoes hunted; diapers changed; errands run; walks taken; groceries bought; groceries put away; groceries consumed; trips to the pool, which lead to sunburns, and during which you spend twenty minutes in the nasty pool bathroom washing (in the sink by hand) swimming trunks that were used as a toilet; tongue must be bitten to hold back the words that spring to mind while hand-washing said swimming trunks.
Yes, indeed, nothing much has changed in my life.
I have a song that describes me, perfectly, and whenever someone asks me what its like to be published, and what it will be like to become famous, I sing the song in my head (after I laugh and roll my eyes and assure the person that I won't ever be famous and they are crazy)
"I feel no shame, I'm proud of where I came from. I was born and raised in the boondocks.
One thing I know, no matter where I go, I keep my heart and soul in the boondocks.
Its where I learned about liven' and where I learned about love.
Its where I learned about workin' hard.
How havin' a little is just enough.
Its where I learned about Jesus, and knowing where I stand.
You can take it or leave it.
This is me. This is who I am."
There are verses about muddy water, and honey suckle, and tin roofs, and front porches, and gravel roads, and fishin' in craw fish holes...and every single line rings true in my heart.
So, you wanna know what its like to be a published author?
Its exactly the same as not being one.
Except for the really great laptop from which I am composing this blog post.
And the really sweet emails and messages I receive from people who enjoy my book.
And the pressure of figuring out what to say to the churches and organizations I am speaking at this summer.
And the every-day trips to the post office to mail out orders.
And how good I am getting at signing my name.
And how honored I am to have the opportunity to tell this story, and spread HIS fame.
I'm a backwoods, home schooled, callused footed, country girl, through and through, and God chose to use me anyway.
You know what that means, right? It means, He will use us all, all the time, if we will let Him. No matter our upbringing, or shortcomings, or successes, or failures, or attitudes, or expectations. No matter how smart we are or aren't, no matter how much money we have or don't have, regardless of how much we know about the Bible or don't...
Despite it all, and sometimes because of it all and in it all, He is working in our lives. And He leads us to do our lives HIS way, one step at a time. We can't see the whole picture. We can't know what the span of our lives will look like.
All we can do is say "This is who I am, Lord." And then let Him use it.
Faithfulness in the every day steps, in the laundry, and the toilets, and the weeds, and the groceries, and the 20 minute conversations followed by the solving of 1,745 crises.
That's all He is asking of us.
Take a deep breath, and let Him lift up your head, (Psalm 3:3) and then take a step, and then take the next one...and your life, and my life, will be famous for HIS glory.
Callused feet and all.