Steps. There was a familiar looking box on the front step. Is that what I think it is? A quick look at the label confirmed my suspicions ~ Simon and Schuster! Yes! My books arrived! Well, not my books exactly, Chicken Soup for the Soul books, but they did include one of my stories. This was my sixth story to be published in a Chicken Soup for the Soul anthology and the excitement of getting my books hasn’t diminished at all since the first box made its way to my doorstep.
“It’s a good start,” I said when I handed my mother-in-law a copy of “my” book.
“Good start? What does that mean?” she said.
“Well, I mean, this is great,” I nodded towards the book, “and I appreciate it, but I want to do more.”
“Why? Like what?”
“I don’t know. Something longer,” I said, almost apologetically. “Maybe a novel, someday. And I’ve been working on a memoir about my season of marital separation.” That got us off the topic of my writing and onto a new topic that could be a post of its own.
Since I was a little girl I’ve wanted to tell people stories, bring them on a journey through the neural pathways of my imagination. For years, I succumbed to fear, distractions, and who knows what other undiagnosed neurosis that kept me from doing what I have always felt called to do ~ to inspire and entertain through my writing. But I finally took the first step, my own small beginnings, with short personal essays. And now it feels like it is time to take the next step.
I’ll never stop writing my stories and submitting them to the Chicken Soup for the Soul publishers. I am pretty sure I will continue to squeal like a schoolgirl when the books come and I cash my check. I love sharing stories from my life that might encourage or inspire someone else. And I really love that, through Chicken Soup, I have the opportunity to expand my audience. I consider it a tremendous blessing and I am grateful…but… I can’t deny that lately I have felt restless, ready for more.
Still, I know in my heart that God’s blessings are in these small steps, these small beginnings. He is in the process, He is building me, and He wants me to appreciate every step. I am reminded of His words to the prophet Zechariah about the rebuilding of His temple and I say to myself, Oh, Lord, I won’t despise my small beginnings, and I hope You, Lord, will rejoice to see the pen in my hand.
Do you ever make light of small beginnings?
Do not despise these small beginnings, for the LORD rejoices to see the work begin, to see the plumb line in Zerubbabel’s hand. Zechariah 4:10