what april brings for me

Hello, friends. 

I hope Easter was sweet to your soul and that this fresh month will be lived on the tide of grace you found at the cross and the swell of hope that burst from the tomb.

For me, I hope it will be a big month. I have decided that this April, this next thirty days, I will finish my book. 

Why now? 

Because I'm ready. I have the story plotted out, the characters are there, the ending is still a little foggy but I don't think I'll ever wrap it up unless I have that deadline. I'm seventy percent there, with quite a bit of what's left already written. I just need to sit down and bite my lip and pound my head on the wall a little and type. 

So I'm giving myself permission to check out a little. Permission to stay home, permission to do laundry as needed (let's face it- that's what I do already so no change there!), permission to say 'no' to other things because I, for this month, am saying a loud and strong 'yes' to this one thing that I am terribly afraid I am supposed to do.

Yesterday I read a novel (don't be that impressed- it was a novel written in free verse so the whole thing took an hour to read) called May B by Caroline Starr Rose. It's brilliant, in my opinion. It's the story of a young girl in the wild west whose parents hire her to a newlywed couple. Though the plan is for her to stay there for six months, the couple abandons her within the first month and she must survive on her own for the next five. 

At the end, she is thinking about her dream of being a school teacher, a dream that she has been encouraged to abandon. She says this:

tonight in this stillness, 
I realize there's no shame in hoping
for things that might seem out of reach.

I read that, and felt free. 

I don't know why, but I feel kind of ashamed of trying to write a book. I feel like it's crazy. I feel like people don't quite know what to make of it. And I don't blame them- 'cause I don't know what to make of it either!

But instead of sweeping it under the rug, of not bringing it up, of trying to convince myself it's not really a big deal- I'm just gonna do it and leave all those thoughts behind.

Because you know what? There's no shame in hoping for things that might seem out of reach. 

But it is a shame when we feel moved to do something, to create, to love, to step out, to be vulnerable, and we let fear keep us from doing that. 

So this April- I'm finishing my book.

My goal is to write for fifteen hours every week. Between one to two hours each night, one long night when Garrett will watch the kids for the whole evening, and one long stretch on the weekend- I think it's doable. It helps to think of it as a sprint- it's not forever, it's just four weeks to give it a last, strong push to the finish line. 

So if you think of me- would you just pray that it's a month of grace and peace for my family? I would so appreciate that.

I'll try to give an update each week on the quick 5 (which will, of course, continue) and let you know how it's going. And hopefully on the first quick 5 of May, I will be looking for volunteers to read it! (That sounds ridiculous even as I type it but that's the goal, so let's do this, people.)

And what about you? Is there something that seems out of reach, something that could be brought closer with some scheming and dreaming and this fresh four weeks of April?

If the grave is empty and we are really new and what was dead is now alive, even in me, then maybe there is more to the kingdom life than plodding along. Not that plodding along can't be a brave thing, in many seasons it is. But maybe there's more to being who God made you to be. And if there is, I hope that God will give you courage to hope for things that may seem way out of your reach. 

Thanks, friends. Have a great Monday. 

Catch ya Friday. 


Keri said...

Wonderful Becky! I'm excited for you and this month ahead. I'm reading May B to the girls right now and love it! Lots of deep thoughts in those lines.

Ruth said...

I am so excited for you, and available to help out!

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Nicole @ she-laughs said...

Reach high, sister!!!!! Praying this month's goal stretches you, pulls you, and ends with a finished product! SO, SO proud of you.

Caroline Starr Rose said...

Hi Becky,
It's rare I comment on posts that involve my May-girl (the discussions aren't for me but for readers, and I don't feel like I should intrude)...but I couldn't help myself today.

Your words about feeling free after reading May's "no shame in hoping" line -- that made me tear up. Writing is about creating, yes, but also about connecting, and I'm so glad May's brave spirit has spoken to you. She's taught me oodles about being brave (as you can imagine, the two of us have spent loads of time together over the years).

All the best in your writing pursuits. You've got this!