“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11
Everyone at some point or another talks about writing a book. (With the possible exception of my husband.) Some think it would be easy. Some think it’s an impossible challenge. And there is an entire spectrum of people in between those two ideas.
My mother and I wrote a book. Well, that’s not exactly true. I think we sat down and wrote about eight books in one week. EIGHT. Granted they were children’s books, and not Pulitzer Prize winning books. But still. Eight. We wrote them seven years ago. In a different time. It was when my mother was going through some hard stuff. It was before I was a mother. And we sat with those books for years. From time to time we pulled them out and looked at them. We read them to my children, who liked them very much. But we struggled.
Not with the writing of the books, as it turns out. But with the illustrations. How does one draw a porcupine? I can hardly spell porcupine correctly, let alone draw one. Mom diligently worked on the drawings, and had rough sketches that were satisfactory enough for my children.
But it wasn’t enough.
Because we had written eight books in about a week. Eight. I just can’t get over that, when I think about it. And we only have one explanation for how we wrote those books.
My mom’s a bit of a techie, so she phrases it this way, “He just downloaded these books to us!” Yep. God downloaded children’s books into our hearts. It’s the only explanation. And no, I’m not exaggerating. At the time, Mom was dealing with some difficult real-life situations. Situations that involved traveling and support for a loved one. One afternoon, two hours from home, she became concerned she would not make it. She was sick at heart, so very tired and hopeless. She called out to God for help and was blessed with a story. The characters and their stories occupied her mind as she drove home that day. With thankfulness and joy, she called me to share what had happened. I was driving home from my niece’s house. My two-year-old niece who had asked me some profound faith questions. Questions I wasn’t sure I’d answered well enough.
And here is my mom, calling me, telling me about a porcupine and moose. The porcupine who is more animated, and the moose who knows a little bit more about the Bible. And I didn’t think she was crazy. Instead I went home and wrote two or three books that afternoon.
Who does that?
But why would He ‘download’ these books into our hearts, unless we were supposed to share them? How would we share them?
I became the mother of small children shortly thereafter. Three small children. (Not all at once, thank God.) And while I don’t want to say that I gave up on the idea of publishing the books, I was busy enough that I was no longer considering it a possibility.
But not Mom. If you know Mom, then you know that the words “give” and “up” are never strung together in her vocabulary. She kept at it. She worked on the stick figures. Talked to people about the books.
People like her brother, Bob. Bob who has a son, Adam, who can draw. He can draw well. He can even draw… porcupines.
Because, as it turns out, for us writing books is not hard. Not if God is ‘downloading’ them into your heart. But knowing how to get a book published is hard. Do you know how to publish a book? Did you even know there is a thing.. a number for every book published? Do you even know what that number is called?
Neither do I.
But my Uncle Bob knows about these things. Or at least, he finds out about them and figures them out. I’m not really sure what he does. But I know this: if you ever hold a Porkie and Pete book in your hands, it will be because of my Uncle Bob.
And I think you just might. Hold a Porkie and Pete book. Or at least you could. If you wanted to.
Because of God.
Because my mom doesn’t give up.
Because my cousin Adam can draw a porcupine.
And Because my Uncle Bob found out about that number thing. (Someday maybe he will tell you about it)
So we are getting ready. We are starting a blog. Because there is more to the story than the stories. There’s the stories behind the stories. There are children’s books, but there’s the people behind the books. And there’s a big God behind us.
And we hope and pray that these books are His books.
Because we are all a part of His story.