What you can't see is that ten people are watching me as I cut open the box, wipe the tears from my cheeks, nestle one from the box and look with awe. In the living room facing me are the staff and elders of our church. They are having a retreat at Sustainable Faith Indy. It's remarkable that they happened to be here when my books arrived. After all, I tell five stories in the book of people from Trinity who gave birth to different dreams. Melissa Millis and Abby Kuzma, both watching me, are two of those stories.
So, what does it mean to me? What does it mean to hold a book I've written in my hands?
It means I'm in awe. I'm in awe of this thin volume that represents more than two years of my life and many hours of writing, editing, and investing. And here it is! A tangible evidence that my labor wasn't in vain.
It means that I'm pleased; pleased all the way down to my toes. I love the cover. It took us a few tries and I was worried I'd offended my editor in the process. But I think it was worth being particular. I look at it now and I love it! It's so me.
It means that I'm feeling vulnerable--again. It feels tender to put myself out there for all the world to see. In print. No retracting. It feels vulnerable as I dare to hope and pray that what I've written will be appreciated and good things will happen when people read it.
It means that I'm thoughtful about how I've grown through the writing process. That always seems to happen. Here's one way I'd describe my growth. I met with a consultant a few months back. She asked me if my brand was my message or me. It was an uncomfortable question. I think because I knew the answer but didn't want to admit it. My brand is me. Though I have a message, what I really know is that I write and speak from deep reflection on my life experiences--especially my experiences with God. And I have noticed that means something to those who read what I write. It's growth to know I'm my brand and to admit it out loud--in writing:)
There's more to what it means to have this book published. And it was good just now to take the time and reflect on my experience today being surrounded by "a great cloud of witnesses" as I opened the box to this new book and the adventures we will take together.
I've already read the Introduction. I'll read the whole book through over the next couple days. I always do. It's a very different experience reading it on this side of things. It means a lot to me as I hold it close and whisper a teary thanks to God.
Here's where you can get your own hands on a copy. Thanks, in advance, for reading it!