There are two major story-lines here. (I think)
I could go all the way back to my childhood, which I will, but to tell a tiny portion, instead of a complete memoir. Most of it happens in present day. Or at least in the last few years leading up to the here and now.
This story probably started years ago on this very blog. At least the part where I was honest and open (and crazy!) So now, after unexpected detours, traffic jams, minor accidents, flat tires, snow storms, hurricanes, engine failures, and running out of gas…here we are.
So. Here goes nothing. God called me to write. (But this isn’t really about writing.) (Well, maybe a little.) (But mostly about holding things in.) I of course argued that I couldn’t and He told me I could. The reason I was reminded of His calling on my life is because this morning I read chapters 1-10 of Jeremiah. A few verses resonated with me (I’ll share those in a bit) which made me feel like if I should share this odd journey of mine.
That is the first story-line.
The second is with Relief Journal and The Midnight Diner also known as ccPublishing. The brief history is I submitted to a contest for Relief, was told the story was too genre–submit it to The Diner instead. I did. Told the story was too literary submit it to Relief. sigh. Shortly after, I was asked on as an editor for The Diner then the next year, asked on as Editor-in-Chief and the next year, asked to accept nomination of President of the Board of Directors of ccPublishing. I took over operations in January. Got the “office” delivered to my house around March. Had our first conference appearance with me leading the charge in April, the very same weekend my mom was admitted. I was with her almost every day until she died in June. While I was with her in her hospital room, I tried to keep up with the demands. Learning to run a company coupled with learning to be editor-in-chief of a publication all while your mom is dying and you’re trying to homeschool and be a mom and a wife–
Not at all.
No college education, no formal training in writing or publishing, not even a single published piece of work, yet here I stand, at the helm of one publication and overseer of both. The titles make me cringe because I don’t think I’m qualified for these jobs (I know I’m not!!) Though I was entrusted with their care.
I have neglected not only the business of ccPublishing, but the people. Not totally by choice. But a little by choice. Mainly because I was overwhelmed with everything piling up. Partially because I thought maybe after praying for a month about accepting the position of president, maybe I’d made the wrong choice and God was showing me the way out. A teeny bit because the things I had to do flat-out were not fun.
And I was tired of being stressed out.
I did turn to God when it came to my mom, her illness, and her death. Like several times in the past, He saw fit to make me a pillar of stone, not to be toppled by grief. He blessed me, allowing me to sing mom into eternity. I was grateful. I was peaceful. I was His.
For the (Christian!) publishing company though, I, for whatever reason, didn’t turn to Him (aside from praying in the beginning as to whether or not that was in His will for me.)
I turned to blogging. Weird, huh? I also started painting. I had already been doing Visual Prayer, messing with painting here and there but this unexplainable deluge of urgency poured over me, forcing my hands to create. Plus photography. My grief was coming out in all of these creative outlets.
I’d paint, take a photo, create, and blog it. It was very satisfying. (Still is, to be honest) Not because I want or need to be told people like me, I could care less who likes me. But in the creation itself. In the gift of creating given solely by the Creator. That He would allow me time to do these things and He would use them to fill the awful emptiness of my soul. He didn’t punish me for not asking Him to fill me. He let me grieve.
I also started taking on more and more sponsors and opportunities for this blog. Some companies (see the Buick post) treat you like royalty–and y’know what? Being wined and dined and given free stuff for a little review is FUN!
It was probably about this time I made some bad choices. (I didn’t know they were bad.) (I truly didn’t) (They seemed all right.)