This past week has been busy. Every week is busy. Every time I turn around, something pops up on my calendar that I forgot about or gets added that I didn't know about. With one daughter in preschool and one in kindergarten, opportunities to make new friends, fulfill new goals, or pursue little daydreams constantly present themselves.
When some of life's questions have been answered and you feel a change in the winds or the sky opening up, you release all the previous tension with a mighty exhale and your shoulders feel lighter and younger. No longer do those sentences end in a question mark. You have replaced it with a period, an exclamation point, or even five exclamation points. And it's over.
However, as suddenly as you stare into the clouds in ways you never could have imagined before, it seems as though you're faced with an entire new paragraph of questions. Which cloud will I pick to ride? Which ones will I duck and ignore? How many will I stop to smile and enjoy before sending them on their way? As for the ones I sent away, did I rob my heart or my family of something that would have fed us in an entirely new way? Or did I protect us from something that would drain us dry, only to prompt the hunt for a new cloud? I've been daydreaming and cloud-hopping.
As my long-time readers know, my husband and I went through a transformation last year in church. We heard the buzz about town. We forced ourselves to check out the new program at our new church. We hesitated, we resisted, we cried, we yelled, and somehow came together as husband and wife in a way I never knew was possible. It has been a year since we "graduated" from Re|Engage. I made a departure from my then-usual children's literature posts to share with my closest friends what happened to us. Then God logged onto Pinterest and used one of my posts to spread His word. I planned on blogging about our entire journey until the traffic jam. It has never been my intent to seek attention or recognition. Early in my modeling career (a lifetime ago), I unfortunately had a front row seat to the ugly show of what our society regards as role models and financial successes. I wanted/want no part of it. I used modeling to make easy money in order to accelerate my path to having a husband and a family of my own, which of course, blew up in my face. (Luckily, I was given another chance years later.)
I never networked at parties or cocktail events and never attempted to market myself. The only reason I ever was able to work full-time as a model was because of my relationship with one of my bookers and her loyalty to me. Now as a writer, I am self-employed again and faced with the same problem of selling myself by myself. However, I don't think of myself as anything special, anything worth reading about, or anything worth writing about simply because through my research into the minds of men and women in their relationships, it is obvious that we are all the same. We all have the same insecurities, the same family drama, the same needs and wants.
Unfortunately, I am a writer. I don't mean I have a two-book deal with a publisher and, no, I don't even expect anyone to read or like what I write. I mean I must write. If I'm not writing, I'm thinking about it every second of every day- when I'm in the shower, when I'm in the car, when I'm cooking dinner, when I'm cleaning up toys, when I'm outside playing with the kids, when I'm inside clicking away...I think about what I'm going to write next while I'm writing something else. And as a writer, I must have a blog as a way to reveal myself to agents, editors, and publishers in order to eventually find a match. I was hoping this blog would stay under the radar in my personal life. I hardly ever share the link with my family and friends. It's almost been my little secret- my grown-up tree house where I can escape, be anonymous, be random, and be free. The few that have found their way over here have blessed me with big hugs and endless, open conversation about normally off-limit topics with brand-new friends. Thank y'all so very much for reading and for telling me you're reading. Sometimes it's a little lonely over here on my secret blog. And that's okay with me.
So, here's my point. Because we were given such a gift by the Re|Engage ministry at church, I have been feverishly hunting for my opportunity to give back. In the past year I have entertained the idea of mission trips, worked (briefly) in the nursery at church, taught VBS, and joined and excused myself from several Bible study groups. I don't know the Bible. I don't know how to serve. I didn't really know where I should serve. But I think I finally found the answer- Re|Engage. (Duh.) My husband and I have been invited to serve as Facilitators in a closed Re|Engage group at our church. We are referred to as "facilitators" because we are not counselors and are not providing marital therapy. Our marriage has been bestowed a gift and we have been asked to pay it forward by sharing our experience, highlighting important scripture, and serving as a pathway to God. We are both terrified and excited.
Before we begin this new struggle, as I'm sure it will be, I need clarify some things with you, my lovely readers. Yes, I am writing a few books. One is a memoir and several are picture books. No, nothing from our Re|Engage group will be discussed in the memoir. If I ever finish it, I know I will want to write a second book about finding peace in our marriage after what seemed like a lifetime of disappointment and heartbreak. But that story is a few years out as it's still writing itself. And nothing about anyone, other than us, will be mentioned. We are sworn to absolute confidentiality and we honor it with our faith.
So, there. Just in case you're wondering what I'm writing in private, now you know. I will continue to blog about whatever hits me right at the time. Just know, you'll be hearing much more about our marriage here than you would probably prefer. And please understand, I don't have all the answers. I don't think I have all the answers. Our experience was raw and earth-shattering. What I share here is the truth, nothing more- just us on our little cloud.