I actually just had to consult with Professor Google on what exactly Calgon is. It’s body fragrance…who knew?! I always assumed it was some sort of lotion for muscle pain similar to IcyHot or Bengay.
I was way off.
Yesterday was a rough day. I’ll mercifully spare you the details, but it was a knot in your stomach crazy kind of day. I really want my house to be the house that all my children’s friends come to. I like knowing who is here and what they’re saying and doing. But on knot in your stomach crazy kind of days…it’s just harder. The noise is louder. The work feels like work. The kids weren’t bad ( not all of them, anyway – there’s always one trouble maker), but I was tired and didn’t feel well and overwhelmed and the day felt long.
Today I am on a plane to sunny Northern California where I have the privilege of sitting in the presence of my dear friend Wendy for five whole days. Wendy and I met when we were both newlyweds living in the Dallas, Texas area. I will never forget our first phone conversation. Lee had come home from a Bible study the night before and told me about this wonderful guy he met whose wife sounded very similar to me.
“She likes to drink tea!” Lee exclaimed. My sweet new husband who was still baffled by my girly love of tea parties.
The next morning the phone rang. “I hear you like to take tea,” she said, her voice all warm and buttery and laced with smile. And that was the beginning of one of the dearest friendships of my life.
Wendy and I have only lived in the same town for just under two years but our hearts were knit tight together through God’s grace..and through our love for writing, tea and wifedom (that should totally be a word). We spent countless hours those Dallas years talking about our passion for writing and teaching and speaking and learning and loving and growing. And we drank a lot of tea.
I get to soak up my dear friend for almost an entire week and my soul soars at the thought. I also get to spend some time alone, releasing the characters in my head. They’re up there, churning and begging to get out. Sometimes I’m afraid of it, though. I’m scared of the story and of letting the characters down. Because the story in my head is beautiful and what if I mess it up? What if the trip from my head to my fingertips tarnishes the story and the people?
What if I fail?
These are my honest fears. I love writing, but I’m sometimes unsure of whether or not I have the gift to pull off the massive story I long to tell. Realistically, I know I’m not the best writer out there. I think it’s my lack of inner angst that holds me back…
Whatever the case, I know I’m not the best, but I also know that I have a story to share and I know I have the ability to tell it. I just really want to tell it well. This desire is why it’s taken me ten years to complete this book. I really don’t want to screw this up!
So I will write with full abandon this week. I will let go and try really hard not to go back and judge my work along the way. That’s a terrible, terrible habit. One should never edit her own work before she’s even finished it. Stephen King said so himself and given the fact that his book is the most inspirational book on writing I’ve ever read, I’m going to submit myself to Mr. King’s urgings and plow forward without looking back. My soul will rest in friendship (have I mentioned that one of my very dearest friends from here in town is joining us on this writer’s weekend away? How blessed am I!) and in solitude and in the joy that comes from allowing God to use my gifts and talents to His glory, because that is my deepest desire.
And when I return I will bid adieu to my home and embark on a new adventure. It is exciting, this tiny little life I lead.
I’ll be back this week. I have a something fun and special to share with you on Friday. Stay tuned.