Saturday, March 29, 2008

New Hearts at Home Book

I got mail! Real honest-to-goodness snail mail. Not some easy, type-and-click-to-send e-mail version, but a real package jammed into my beat-up mailbox. If it tells you anything, we use a red bandana to signal outgoing mail because our flag broke off several years—yes, years—ago. It’s serves as a reminder of our redneck roots.

Not only was this fat package mail, it was media mail—my favorite, which meant a book or CD—something new and (I hoped) exciting to read or listen to. Little did I know! I ripped open the package, careful not to tear the contents inside.

It’s from Hearts at Home! (For those of you who haven’t heard of this amazing ministry to help women professionalize motherhood, visit www.hearts-at-home.org for more information.) It’s their new book, I’m Glad to Be a Mom—and my story is in it.

I flipped through a few pages, enjoying the New Book Smell and feeling the crispness of pages as yet unmarred by soiled fingers or rice cake crumbs. I happened upon the table of contents and my eyes bugged out as I saw the name Mary DeMuth. Mary has been my critique partner for over five years. She, D’Ann Mateer, and I formed Life Sentence over five years ago and have critiqued every single one of each other’s books. I knew Mary before she was Somebody. And here we were in a book together.

Continuing to peruse the table of contents, I recognized several names of fellow writers and speakers I’ve met through Hearts at Home—Cheryl Eliason, Suzie Eller, Susie Larson, Pam Farrel, Tina DeGraaf, Mary Steinke, and Kendra Smiley. One name, however, was noticeably missing . . . mine. I kept going to page one of the contents—Lysa TerKeurst, Julie Barnhill, Jenn Doucette, Liz Curtis Higgs. Wait, there it is! Leslie Wilson. The second essay in the book. Right behind Liz Curtis Higgs. Liz Curtis Higgs, people! Wow!

Overwhelmed, overjoyed, overcome. Just a few of the “overs” I felt as the moment clarified. God help me, but my thought was “Somebody might actually read this.” I’ve had works published in other anthologies, including Chicken Soup for the Mother of Preschooler’s Soul and The Groovy Chicks’ Road Trip series. But my essays have always been relegated to the equivalent of the dungeon or the attic—at best the guest room closet. Never the front entryway. Never right up front where everyone could see it. Again, wow seemed appropriate.

Then God reminded me that it’s not about where my story might be placed, or even how many people read my silly essay about catching my daughter and her friends fixing a snack of applesauce with cat food on top. It’s about His will being done. The big picture is about helping moms who struggle, buckle under challenges of daily living or, at the very least, need to hear that they have much in common with every other mom. Jill Savage’s foreward puts it this way: “there have been many times when I have wondered if I am normal.”

So I stopped. And I prayed—for the many women who would receive a great blessing from I’m Glad I’m a Mom. I hope you will be one of them.

3 comments:

Mary DeMuth said...

I got mine yesterday, too, and was SO happy to see your name so high!!!! Hooray!!!!!!!!!!!!!

One More Writer said...

I'm so excited for you both! And what a GREAT place for your essay! WOW!

Terra Hangen said...

Leslie, how exciting to hold the book in your hands. This happened to me once so far.
Bravo girl, and this fall we will each hold SOCF in our joyful hands.
You are right about being champions for our kids.
Terra