It’s been a long time since I’ve written a blog post, and I know that’s really bad for an aspiring writer…#facepalm. Life has definitely been busy, and one of my goals this year is to make time to write every day. Even if it’s not a blog post. To journal. To quote. To keep diligently adding to the novel. To dig deep into college entrance essays…oh boy.
College essays? Yes. That’s right. I’m headed back to college in the fall after a ten-year break in being a stay-at-home-mommy. I was pregnant with our oldest daughter when my husband and I collectively decided it would be best for me to stay home with our kids. We were in a catch-22 scenario of sorts. It just didn’t make sense for us to spend a ton of money for someone else to help raise our kids when I honestly didn’t know if my original degree path was really what I wanted anymore. I went to college fresh out of high school hoping to become an interior designer. Ten years later I still love that field. I adore everything about design and still do side-jobs that peak my creativity in that way. But over the last decade, that idea of doing it as a daily job really didn’t hit home that this is what I’m meant to do. And it didn’t hit home back then either.
So I spent some years growing and pursuing other interests. And fully seeking the Lord in what I was to do with myself after our youngest heads to school. Going back to school was a huge desire of my heart. When I pushed pause on school, to me, it felt like a failure. I’m a first-born Type A personality. And knowing that I didn’t follow-through with the standard life plan felt like a huge failure. But in hindsight, it was the right thing to do at the time. And just so you know, I will never regret staying home with my kids. It is truly a gift that I will never take for granted. Having that option to be with them as they grow through some of the most formative years of their lives has been an honor. To help them learn, teach them to read, to play, and to bond with them is such a blessing. But what happens after that time is over? What comes next? The drive to finish school never left me.
Part of that drive to head back into school is to put forth an example to my own daughter, that going after a career and being a mother is possible. That your education is important and not to be taken for granted. And that sometimes the traditional way to that education doesn’t always work out…to not give up on your dreams. That there are alternative ways and in those ways, some of life’s biggest blessings happen. I found a passion for reading and writing. But the means to school with five people to take care of, the time commitment, financial commitment etc. began to take a heavy form on my shoulders. I couldn’t see a way out. Going back to school began to look like an impossibility in my life.
So we prayed. We prayed an impossible prayer to God, that this dream of mine would not be lost in this life. And that in spite of all the worries surrounding this dream, that He would take care of it, and would see His promises come to pass. That He would make the way and I would follow the path. This prayer has been prayed not only by myself, but by my husband, my family, and our small group (who all have impossible prayers themselves). And we have seen God move and answer them one by one over this last year. Slowly but surely He is listening to our dreams and desires and making the way. We just have to listen and follow.
I am following, straight into a degree that frightens me a bit. I’m headed back for my degree in English, Emphasis in Creative Writing. What scares me? Oh, what if my professors don’t think I have what it takes, what if everyone hates what I write, what if I fail, what if, what if, what if…But in the grand scheme of these what if’s? NONE OF THEM MATTER. What matters is that I follow God’s path for me, and be diligent in it. What will I write? No clue…well, I sort-of have clue. I spent the majority of summer doing research for a novel, and its still on-going. The farther I dig into certain mythologies the more I want to learn about them, which will inevitably help as I write my first novel. Writing a novel is a goal, writing many novels is a desire, and having those published and out in the world for all to read is my dream job. It is HARD WORK to write a novel. I have spent so many hours listening to other authors through various media forms discuss writing, the challenges and failures, the process, publication, and finally critique. It’s not for the faint of heart.
And that’s where my GREAT GOD comes into this plan. I know that I cannot do this without Him. Ever. Knowing that this path is His Plan for my life is easy because I want to be sick every time I think about finally allowing someone else to read my work or critique it. That sounds odd right? I know it’s the right path because it wasn’t obvious to me like it was to everyone around me, who know me well. To me, it’s the path that can look gloomy, like fog rolling in and not seeing more than five feet in front of you. Or having a gut feeling…you know the one that screams this is going to be hard, but you will get through it. Or having that ‘sick’ feeling that is more nerves and will focus you into a growing season that makes you want to turn and run. Knowing that these things are good, challenging, and always always always subject to others opinions.
There is an extreme vulnerability when an author publishes what has been inside their head for years. This is the hardest part for me partly because I’m a Type A personality and I don’t want to fail at anything, but also because I already know some of my friends will absolutely not like the books I will write. And that’s okay! However, I do know they’ll back me up 100% even though it’s not their preferred genre or topic. I have a wonderful family, a whole cheerleading squad of friends who are backing me the entire way, and this GREAT, AMAZING GOD who is going before me and opening up doors I once thought closed. I have been brought to my knees more times in the past week than I have in awhile and I know for certain it is because of His loving kindness, showing me all the things He can do if I only get out of the way, trust Him, and allow Him to work within and around me.
Thank you for letting me share a bit of my personal story. I appreciate all of you who are sticking with me and reading along. I’ve got several book reviews lined up and will be posting those soon. As for updates on the novel progress, school, and bookstagram shots you can find me over at http://www.instagram.com/theshelvedlifeblog. Come join me!
Have a great weekend,