Let’s Go For a Walk

Saturday covers us with clouds and light rain. Throwing on coats and grabbing the umbrellas, the kids and I take to the sidewalk. “The rain drops sound like fireworks on our umbrellas!” The kids squeal and twirl their umbrellas in their hands over their heads. We walk down the street and I see small glimmers of spring popping up: the purple crocuses, red buds, green grass, and a chorus of bird song.

Earlier, to the patter of falling rain, we play rounds of Uno and then move to the couch to read books. Over breakfast Isaac turns to me and asks, “What’s the title of your next book, Mama?” I laugh but also take a sigh. “Let’s get this one into the world first before I think about a next one.” 

With just about a week until my debut book releases, I find myself far from the written page but rather turned to connecting and sharing and inviting and doing all the things to talk about this current book. My journal consists of venting and comparison and the endless to-do’s and the worry of having enough books for my book launch (that’s been resolved thank you very much). I keep my phone far from the Uno games and books, but in-between rounds or during a bathroom break, I glance at emails and social posts. Checking Amazon I look at the ratings, happy for movement but also bewildered that I’m staking the book’s worth on the fluctuating numbers of Amazon. 

But, the other day I visited my daughter, Charlotte’s, second grade class as an author. I brought a picture book to share and then showed them my book. They had prepared questions to ask me. They asked about the illustrator (I think they were sad we didn’t have one but rather computer generated images), how long it took me to write (a whole summer), and how long I’ve been writing (since second grade). And then one of the kids asked me to read from my book! Not planning to read my words, I skimmed the table of contents and landed on a piece talking about our town park and watching my kids grow up there and the lessons I’m learning along the way. 

We took a group picture at the end and Charlotte reached to hold my book. We smile, say “READ!”, and I marvel that I get to do this. Read my words. Tell my stories. Inspire others to read and write and put their thoughts to paper. 

At night I’ll find Charlotte and Isaac skimming through my book. The Beauty of Motherhood consists of our stories and the grace woven through our days. It’s about my becoming a mother and the ways Charlotte, Isaac, and the community have poured into me, tangible signs of grace. It’s about milestones and missteps. It’s about loving ourselves and being loved by God. It’s about joy. And wonder. It’s about grace. 

After our walk in the rain we come back for dinner and eat egg sandwiches on croissants. I turn to the front window and see a hint of light streaking through the clouds. “The sun is trying to come out,” I yell and jump from my seat. “We might see a rainbow,” I tell the kids. We walk outside, Charlotte already in bare feet, and we look up. Searching. Hoping. Keeping our eyes peeled for hints of light, a cascade of colors. 

“I don’t see a rainbow, not yet at least,” I tell Charlotte as I keep my eyes to the sky. We don’t see a rainbow but I keep my face to the sun, a hint of warmth after the day of rain. This moment reminds me of how I feel many days releasing a book into the world. I’m always looking up and ahead — what emails can I send sharing about my book, who do I need to respond to, when will I schedule that book signing, and will anyone even read the book? Will my words convey the grace we hope to have infused in our book? So many questions, so many doubts, so much left out of my control. 

But I keep looking up. 

I keep trusting that the colors are there, the light shines, and the wonder of this life and the God who creates good things will remain. Rain or shine.

//Preorders are so important to authors. They signal to publishers and booksellers that people are intersted in the book. If you're able, The Beauty of Motherhood: Grace-Filled Devotions for the Early Years is available for preorder now.