surprises

I love planning surprises for Charisse, especially when it’s something that she really wants. When she talks about those things, it’s all I can do not to burst and scream “WE HAVE THE BEST SURPRISE PLANNED FOR YOU!” And then seeing her face when she gets that surprise… it is completely worth bottling it up for so long.

I imagine that’s what it’s like for Jesus. All those years ago, when I was crying through hard times and begging him for a family and friends, He was up in Heaven, giddy because He knew:

I HAVE THE BEST SURPRISE FOR YOU.

I am officially 33. It’s weird for me to think about. As I thought about turning 33 , I actually got really teary-eyed thinking about blessed I am and how much God has given me.

It’s often been a hard 33 years, but more often than that… it’s been an amazing 33 years.

He’s given me so many hours and weeks and years of laughter in between the tears. He’s given me a family among the loneliness. He has blessed me with friends when I longed for them.

33 is the year when the fulfillment of one of my greatest dreams is coming true: writing a book. I don’t know this will be a big or a small thing for me and that’s okay because it’s something I am doing for Him, something that He’s made me passionate about.

All these things, they have given me courage.

God has given me roots and now, at 33, I know that He is giving me wings. Wings to fly away from this place and do good, big exciting things for Him. I don’t know what the leaving and flying away looks like or when it will happen, but more than trepidation I feel at the thought of leaving, I feel excitement. I know it’s coming. I know this place will always be my home. I know that my heart will always have a piece here in this soil, in the cities where I’ve been formed and forged, but I also know this:

He has the best surprises for me, and for now I can’t and don’t know those details, but when I do, when I can put the pieces together… what a joy it will be to see it all come into place.

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On Writing

No, not like Stephen King’s book On Writing (which I read in my fiction writing class in college and loved! Except the part where he talks about having a perforated ear drum. That was pretty early on in the book and it made me want to die at the very thought.) More like “on what I’ve been writing” (and honestly, what I haven’t been writing: THIS BLOG. Ahem.).

In case you’re not my friend on facebook or instagram, I have been writing a book for the last six months. And it’s done! Well, the first two drafts I wrote are done. I officially finished updating the formatting a few hours ago (I wrote the whole first two drafts in Google Drive because it made it easy to access it anywhere but converted it to Word for my editor andĀ all kinds of funky thingsĀ happened in the conversion process) and mailed it off to my friend who is so very graciously editing it for me. In the meanwhile, there’s still work going on!

I am working on a cover, which is seriously so hard, but also really fun and stretching in a whole new creative way. It’s forcing me to think outside the literal box (which is never a problem with words, just images!). I also recruited my launch team today and I thought I would struggle to get 30 people — well, the group is at 70 already! I feel so encouraged by that.

Who I am kidding? I have felt encouraged in crazy abundance every step of this dream-come-true.

The hardest part of all of this has been balancing my real, 40-hour-a-week job with doing book stuff. I have spent A LOT of time at Starbucks over the last month. I finished my first draft here, I finished my second draft here, I have done most of my launch team stuff here, I am currently writing this blog post here… I am very thankful for iced coffee and free refills for gold rewards card holders because I have had a lot of coffee over the last six weeks.

So that’s where I’m at! Since I’m in a less writing-heavy place right now, I am trying to get some more “fun” stuff done, like finishing the books I haven’t been able to focus on because I’ve been writing my own words, and participating in the readathon next Saturday (I even took Sunday off so I can try to do the full 24 hours!), and being with my people without the need to write and edit (trust me, I’ll be editing as I get feedback, but not all at once the way I have been!).

It’s all totally worth it, though, to see this baby of mine come to life. I cannot wait to share it with you all soon!

(PS If you’d like to preorder a book with a discounted price during the month of April, fill out this form and I’ll send you an invoice!)