The floor lamp in my office shines just behind my desk, illuminating the corner of the room that hosts my computer, notebook, research books, and tiny scraps of paper with Bible verses and ideas scribbled across them. For months now, I've found myself here, typing words onto the white screen, praying to God that they honor Him, make sense, and are worth the emotional sacrifice of vulnerability. Some days, writing comes easy, quickly, beautifully. Other days, I sit, feeling like I'm wasting time but eventually the words come, agonizingly slow, and I muster up a paragraph or two before I call the evening done. I've changed chairs in my office three times now, have completely eaten entire packs of chiclets gum, and have re-organized shelves and walls just to help me get creative. This is what editing a book looks like for me - raw and real. I'm incredibly grateful for this season of my life, but it has stretched me to maximum capacity. I can see the end, and I have hope that soon I will declare that "it is finished." Until then, I thought I'd take a few moments and share some things you might want to know about the book.
The book is called Invited and will be released just before Mother's Day next year!!! (insert squeeeeel here!)
Invited is about living a life of connection, not perfection. As I've spent time with this phrase, "connection, not perfection" I've come to the realization that life will never go just as we have planned but we can still celebrate our people and place when we give our expectations to God. Christ is perfect so we don't have to be, and He longs to connect with us. Invited explores what it looks like to practice hospitality like Jesus, how to find "your people" to be with in community, and the beauty that is found when we let go of perfection.
I've had a few friends read the book so far, and this is what they've had to say:
Back in July, I announced that I had signed a publishing contract earlier in the year to write a book about hospitality. Since I signed the contract, I began to put words onto paper, working toward a late summer submittal date. The first draft was so freeing for me, giving me a chance to get words that have been pent up inside my head for years out and onto pages. By the end of the summer, I turned in this draft and then began to move into the editing stage. I've share some of the process on Instagram and Facebook, but hours have been spent critiquing the work I was so proud to submit. I've moved some ideas, adjusted the overall flow of the book, and have worked hard at having an overarching theme of how we are invited to live a life of connection, not perfection. I've just sent in my round two of edits, which means we are one step closer to having a finished book! I love the advice given by Anne Lamott in Bird by Bird:
While editing has been slow and tedious, I've had to trust that God has ordained this time. Writing this book has become a spiritual discipline of sorts, a way for me to connect with God and realize my own imperfections. This book has been a labor of love, an unveiling of truth in my own life, and I hope that it will bring hope and light into your life too.
Since the book is near completion, I wanted to give you a chance to pre-order it now as a Christmas gift for you or a loved one.
Because the book is still being edited, I've created some fun Christmas Bundles that you can choose from so that you will have a present under the tree next weekend. (how is it Christmas already?!) Just click on the bundle and it will take you straight to the shop where you can learn more about what's inside!
To order any of these bundles, just click on the picture and it will take you to my shop.
If you are local, you can type in "LOCAL" at checkout and I will deliver your items to your house. Please try to place your order by Sunday, December 18th so that I can have enough time to deliver them before Christmas. If you don't live in Dothan, the last day to order is this Wednesday, December 15th (I apologize for the quick turnaround!!).
Once 2017 begins, I'll be updating you more about the release of Invited and how you can join me in sharing this message of connection, not perfection with your own people.
Thank you for your prayers, texts, food, and encouragement as I've navigated through the editorial stage. I'll continue to keep you updated on the latest news with the book as I move into the creative and launch!
Merry Christmas friends.