Celebrate with me as I do a little happy dance. After nearly five years of studying and note-taking and one year of organizing those ideas into chapters, I have finally completed my rough draft of my very first chapter of my very first book! And chapter 2 is on the verge of being finished. It’s finally becoming real!
So you may be wondering why I’ve been talking about and working on this book for the better part of a year and I only have one chapter done. I don’t blame you. Most days I wonder that myself. The short answer is: life happens! And when you’ve got a house full of 10 people all going different directions, there’s a lot of life happening on any given day!
Just because I decided to write a book doesn’t mean the laundry cleans itself, or the children magically show up where they need to be with all the stuff they were supposed to bring, or that anyone in the family suddenly figures out where to put their dirty socks.
It’s not just that doing life stuff keeps me from writing. Actually, my life gives me so much good material, I can’t even write it all down and my book keeps growing!
For example, part of my book is on coping with anxiety and I can tell you that teaching my 16-year old how to drive has given me plenty of opportunities to try out what I’m writing and see if it actually works.
I now completely understand why my Dad put his feet up on the dash and yelled, “Stop!” when he was teaching me to drive. I regret mocking him the way my daughter does me when I stamp the floor with my foot as she closes in on the car in front of us.
I can only now truly appreciate the terror he must have felt when I accidently put the car in drive instead reverse while attempting to back out of the movie rental parking lot. (Remember when we actually had to drive somewhere to rent a movie?)
I sympathize because my daughter did a similar thing in our driveway. She nearly took the garage door, the car, and her mother out with one small mix up between the pedals. Who could write anything after enduring that? I just had to go lay down until my heartbeat returned to normal.
That’s just a tiny glimpse into one of the myriads of issues I deal with on a day-to-day basis and why it’s taking so long for me to finish my manuscript. I just realized the other day that a book is a very long thing to write. I wonder why that didn’t dawn on me sooner.
I’ve decided that writing books is a lot like having babies. It’s really hard to get the first one out. I’m about ready to call for an epidural and a C-section to get this book out of me and onto paper! If only that were an option.
A lot of people have been asking me what my book is about. It’s called Stand Strong: Your Battleplan for Living Undefeated with Unshakable Faith. There are times in our lives when our world gets rocked and our faith gets shaken. As a result, there are many casualties and prisoners of war in the great battle of faith.
I want to encourage others like me whose faith sometimes wavers in the face of reality and look at practical biblical ways we can stand strong in the midst of our trials. Here’s a little teaser from the opening of the book:
Do you ever feel defeated?
You feel beaten down and beaten up, but you can’t even see who’s throwing the punches at you. You know God has promised victory, but it just feels so far from your own personal reality. You want to believe that everything God says is true and right, but your experience just doesn’t seem to line up with the God you thought you knew.
There are times your world gets rocked and days when your faith falters. You feel like you’re drowning, struggling against an opponent that is bigger and stronger than you. Where is God now? Why isn’t the White Knight riding in to save the day like you thought he would? Didn’t he promise to be your strength and never leave you? So why do you feel so weak and alone?
The harsh realities of life clash with God’s rosy promises stirring up questions that nag the corners of your mind wearing you down. Instead of being strengthened by God’s word, you are harassed by the thought that won’t go away. “Maybe it isn’t really true after all. Maybe I’ve been a fool.”
The apparent unwavering faith of others only adds to your isolation. Fear of their reaction if you told them what you really think, keeps you silent and alone. You try to smother the doubts with the outward actions of a faith-filled life, but they don’t go away—not completely. You feel like a hypocrite, going through the motions of devotion but feeling devoid of even a mustard seed of faith.
Last October, I wrote a series entitled 31 Days to Unshakable Faith. Those thirty-one posts touch on a few of the topics the book covers, so if you’d like a little appetizer, you can dig in here.
And it’s still not too late to get involved (you know, since the book’s not finished yet and all). If you have something you’d like to see addressed in the book, let me know! I might find a place to work it in.
What do you think people need to know or do to fortify their faith in times of trial?
So there’s the update on the latest with the book. Stayed tuned for more!
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