On my 29th birthday, I gave myself a gift. I set aside an entire day in my charming victorian rental home to begin a writing journey. Just me and my computer. No distractions. I first spent some time in prayer, asking God some big questions about what I was about to embark on.
I had all of these thoughts spinning in my head, and they all seemed to revolve around one central idea, but I couldn’t quite put my finger on how to articulate that idea. I knew I was supposed to write about all of these principles, values, and ideals that were beating down the door of my heart to get out. But I didn’t quite know how to start. Fingers on the keyboard. Deep breath. Blinking cursor.
A title? That seemed like a fitting start. My fingers lightly drummed the keys as I pondered, not quite typing yet. “What do you want me to say, Lord?”
And then, before I could even brainstorm, my fingers typed a working title that set into motion the framework for what would become a nine-year mission to complete. “I Will Not Be A Stupid Woman.” Yes, that was a very good start. I desperately wanted to help young women abandon stupidity in the pursuit of wisdom.
A book was conceived in my heart that day. It had existed only in the form of unfertilized seed until then. It’s almost as if the power of the Holy Spirit breathed it to life to begin gestation that brisk birthday morning. Little did I know the gestation period would be nine years instead of nine months. But I trusted that when development was complete, the book would be ready to brave the harsh world of scrutiny outside the womb of my computer’s hard drive.
Nine years is a long time. It’s not that I couldn’t think of what to say. I wrote the book almost entirely in the first six months. And then my husband and I embarked on a journey to move to Nashville, Tennessee. We became part of an amazing church, with a gifted pastor and teacher at the helm. I was growing spiritually healthy in areas I didn’t know needed health before. That’s when I realized I hadn’t said things in the book as clearly as they needed to be said. I was still learning so much from the wisdom of leaders who were pouring into me. I decided the book needed to be re-written with this newfound perspective I had.
So I started re-writing. At first, I was cutting, pasting, reorganizing and adding. But then I started to lose track of where things were a little bit, and there didn’t seem to be the continuity I had at first, even though the first draft was not as sound doctrinally as it needed to be.
Cue major life transition — surprise, I was pregnant! Okay, book to the back burner. Let the refining process of motherhood begin. A couple of years later, baby number two came. More refining.
I began to realize how much motherhood had changed me and grown me, and that it would add a greater depth of perspective to the subject matter of my book. Big sigh. Once again, I laid my manuscript on the altar of “not in my timing.” And my second rewrite began. This time, I started from scratch.
On this third manuscript, I had the benefit of time-gone-by underneath my understanding. God had narrowed my focus and clarity over the years. I now held treasured words of wisdom from seasoned leaders and mentors to give weight to the truths I was hoping to convey.
I had been transformed over the last nine years. And so had my working title, now reading, “Smart Girl, Stupid World – A Wisdom Guidebook for Young Women.” The message God put in my heart at 29 has only intensified. The urgency I feel to impart the tools of wisdom for young women is stronger than ever. Oh how I hate seeing young lives derailed by stupid choices that could have been avoided. I just can’t take it anymore, and God has commanded me to be his partner in redeeming the destiny of those who will listen.
The manuscript is in its final stages, and excerpts from each chapter are posted on the right side of this page. Gestation feels nearly complete, and the book seems to be “crowning,” to borrow a labor and delivery term. One small bit of uncertainty remains… how painful is this birthing process going to be?