Monday, December 11, 2017

I'm Published In A Book!

* * This post was originally created and formatted for & has been cross-posted.
See the original post, here.

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Something you may or may not know about me is that my big-scary-dream in this life is to be a published author.

Not because I have anything wildly profound to say, or because I think of myself as particularly talented, but because I enjoy the process of writing, the intricate nature and beauty of words, and the enduring qualities of a book. The lasting legacy of a name in print.

Through the years, I have gone back and forth with my feelings on writing - what form it should take, what genre I want to play with, my ability to sell myself and be personable, and a million other insecurities and doubts. And I still don't really understand what it will ever amount to, if anything.

But a really cool thing has happened.

God Listens

In May of last year, a friend put out a call for people that had stories of religious miracles or faith-in-action to tell. I raised my hand (figuratively speaking), and shortly after, her mother in law (Lorene) emailed me to chat about it. I told her my two stories and we discussed them for a bit, and that in itself was a rewarding experience. It was fun to share those stories with someone and to have them appreciated in return. Shortly after, she let me know that she would be including the stories in a book she was writing, and as a thank you for contributing, the publisher would send me a copy when it was finished.

Here's where it gets a little crazy.

One of the stories was about using a St. Joseph statue to help sell our Charlotte house. This particular practice is done by many Catholics - it's one of those "things" that we just heard we should do growing up and that St. Joseph was the patron saint of real estate, and what was the harm in trying? The same week I submitted this story to Lorene, my husband was working hard on a big landscaping project in our front yard. While tilling the dirt, he unearthed a St. Joseph statue! It must have been used and left behind by one of the previous owners. The timing was wild and fitting (considering we'd already lived here for 6 years and didn't find it until the very week I told my story!) and I rushed to email Lorene and let her know of this extra confirmation of faith. She told me that it made her day, and it capped off the whole experience with a sense of rightness.

For MY actual St. Joseph story (which had its own set of interesting shows of confirmation), you'll have to read the book. Because what kind of author would I be to give away the plot? Kidding....I have no claim or rights or even royalties from my stories, but I certainly want to help share this book with the world!

A week or so ago, around the time when black friday packages were rolling in, there was an interesting envelope addressed to me with a return address from a publisher. I was so confused (just not having this book on my mind at the time), but as soon as I pulled the book out, I knew exactly what it was. I opened it randomly to just page through it quickly - and it opened directly to one of MY stories! How crazy is that?? I stood in my kitchen, looking down at my own name and my own words, printed on the page of a book. An actual BOOK - with pages and a cover and a search result on Amazon and Barnes & Noble. MY NAME! IN A BOOK!

I hurried to tell my mom and my grandma, feeling as though they'd appreciate it the most (mostly because of the content of my stories.) I snapped a picture of my name on the page and I posted it to Instagram and Facebook, squealing about what that moment felt like.

And in the middle of making dinner and the evening rush, I found myself with a quiet moment alone in the kitchen with nothing but the book....and despite it not being MY book, I hugged it and thanked the universe for that moment. It inspired me to go in search of many more (and even bigger) moments like it, but also in wild appreciation for that moment itself. If I never get another one like it, I got to taste my dream - just a little bit.

I have yet to read the book...I can't even bring myself to read my own stories. I haven't gotten passed reading my own name, haha. But maybe the most rewarding part of it all? When Luke asked me if he could read my stories, and watching the smile of pride and awe in seeing his mom's name printed in a book. I sat next to him while he read through my story, and when he was finished, he was amazed by it. He asked me questions about patron saints and what it was like to have a prayer answered like that. It makes me want to write 100 books so I can see that look on his face over and over again. Books that are full of MY words, instead of just 4 or 5 pages of them.

This experience - the whole thing - start to finish - has felt like intense guidance and reminders of myself. The process over the last year and a half was so quiet, and so in the background and simple, that I hardly noticed how important it was to me. But all of it, every step, was dripping with rightness and faith and purpose.

And before I come off sounding overly religious or devout, I feel like it would be dishonest to let you go on believing that I am an intensely practicing Catholic. Yes, I made all of my sacraments to date, I went to a Catholic private school growing up, and I had my children baptized. But over the years, my spirituality has grown and evolved, and I put less stock in dogma, and much more in love, kindness, forgiveness, equality, and intention. And so now, to me, God/Jesus/Infinite Spirit/The Universe/Spirit Guides/Light/Prana/Chi are all words and ingredients of the same thing. It's okay if you disagree, but to me it is all a part of an overall sameness.

To me, whether you ask a patron saint or the universe to bring you your heart's desires, if you have good intentions and blind faith in whoever or whatever you're asking, you'll receive them. I know that there have been many micro-miracles in my life that have happened by tapping into this source of life and love, and having two of them immortalized in print is something I will treasure for as long as I live.

Here's to chasing dreams, being true to yourself, and being thankful for every minuscule miracle.


If you'd like to purchase the book, I'd adore it if you'd grab your copy from Amazon (HERE) using my affiliate link. Though my return on this book has already arrived, in the form of inspiration and purpose, it would mean the world to me to see it landing in the hands of interested readers!

As stated, this post contains affiliate links! Thank you to the ends of the earth for supporting my blog! xo

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