My recent blog of Jumping Out of the Closet piqued interest and intrigued people enough to send me messages, emails and leave comments. With that energy – and a big thank YOU! – I wanted to update the curious, courageous encouragers. This blog is slightly different than what I usually write. I don’t often ask my readers to DO something direct. Or beg for things. Well, here it is. I’m pleading.
First Draft is Down
My thoughtful father gave me Anne Lamott’s book Bird by Bird for Christmas. She shares a lot of her journey and hilarious anecdotes. It’s been very helpful on this journey of writing a book. At one point, she talks about the stages we write in. The first draft is so rough you fear dying in a car accident and not getting home to delete the crap you wrote because the first draft is just that – crap (paraphrase of Lamott). A first draft is a “down draft”, where you just get it down. You write (mostly awful stuff) and then get all the junk out of your way.
Kimberly and I just sailed through this stage. (Sarcasm!) it’s only taken us 8 months to get everything down. We set a goal To complete all writing by March 15. With a bit of last-minute cramming, we did it!!! Whew! Now I can clip my toenails and floss my teeth. Every spare minute will NOT be scarfed up by praying, typing, outlining, and google doc-ing.
Well, at least for a week. I’m taking a week off from book writing. Partly to write a reflection for Missio Dei (yikes!), partly to take a break, and mostly to gear up for our next phase.
Being in a place of sharing this writing with people- professionals, friends, or family – leaves you feeling exposed. Naked. Like showering in your outdoor shower, and the door flaps open. No time to grab a towel, or suck in your gut. You’re just there for the world to see you, the neighbors to gawk and talk. And no matter how confident you feel as a creation of God, you just hope to hold yourself together long enough to slam the door shut and wrap yourselves in clothes once again.
Phase two:Editing and Anointing
Kimberly had a great revelation (thanks, Lord!). What if we, echoing Aaron and the Levites, prayed over and anointed each ‘section of the Tabernacle’ aka chapters in our book about elements of the Tabernacle before it is equipped to serve The Lord? Before the Israelites could use the Tabernacle, before it was a place to meet with God, and before it was holy, the Levites anointed each tool, the curtains and altar and incense table with oil, to make it holy, so God would accept it as holy. As we pray and ‘anoint’ each section, (there won’t be oil folks. I’d like to keep my keyboard!). we’ll actually be editing, revising, listening to The Lord, hearing back from our incredible friends who edit for us, and laying each section down onto the chopping block. We pray that what’s left will be a pleasing aroma to Christ.
Please Gather With Us
Because we’re no dummies to spiritual warfare, we know that certain spirits would love for us to fail, include stories that glorify us and not the King, or heap heavy burdens onto our readers. Therefore, I’m asking you to join us in pray, your meditations, or ‘warm thoughts.’ Please consider the following as ways you could join us in prayer:
– May we see clearly what works and doesn’t and be able to give up what doesn’t work freely.
– May our friendship (between Kimberly and I) be honoring and an example of the Body loving one another. It’s tough to hear criticism, critique, and edit writing that’s your own. Even harder to do when it’s with someone else, who lives an ocean away.
– May our hearts and our editors’ hearts be united in love and be refined to share the Hope and Light and Love of Christ as we work with one another to share these stories.
– May our editors have clear vision, courage, and time to see God’s story unfolding (or not!) and help us to see as well.
– May our families have patience and grace as we cram editing sessions into our busy lives. May we have physical energy (Kimberly’s pregnant and exhausted, bless her heart!), mental stamina, and all around strength to move forward.
– May we value relationships more than our writing; living the story more than writing it down; and time listening over time telling.
And, as always, may these stories transform people who read it, may they be called deeper into a True Life in Christ that transforms their communities and our world. And if I am the only people transformed, may God be praised!
Let Me Know
If you are joining us in prayer, start anytime! I’m starting today, March 16th. On Monday, March 23rd, we will begin phase two The Anointing and Editing. At this point, I’m not sure how long we’ll be here. Perhaps several months. Maybe you would join us in praying one day a week. It’d be awesome if we got people in multiples of seven to pray. Some every Monday, others every Tuesday, and so on. Really, this part is crucial. This is where the Body joins together for one purpose: spread God’s holistic, healing, awesome Good News.
*If you’re joining us, please comment below OR email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Add which “day” you’ll pray, please. just knowing you’re praying will encourage me, AND if you tell me you’ll pray, there’s a likely chance you will, right? Let the anointing begin.
Would you choose a day? Would you commit to pray one day a week for a month? Two months? What other creative ideas do you have?