I have always wanted to write a book. I also have the goal to run a marathon. These two activities have much more in common than I would have assumed.
Now obviously, there are differences. For writing, you have to sit for long periods of time and for running you have to move - a lot.
But both require great dedication and entail loneliness, self-doubt, and inconvenience. Other activities must be sacrificed to make time for dedicated labor. In pursuit of either goal many experience the phenomenon referred to as “hitting the wall.” That is the moment when you have almost completed the task but reach a point where it seems impossible to move on. If you don’t push past that blasted wall, you won’t finish your marathon. You won’t finish your book, either.
In honor of complete transparency, I admit any information I have about marathon running is purely hypothetical. I have never run more than four miles at one time (and that was several decades ago.) But writing a book, that I can tell from personal experience. Let me tell you, hitting the wall hurts! Moving on, past the wall-collision is the only path to finishing.
My book, Unceasing: A Parent’s Guide To Conquer Worry and Pray With Power, officially released yesterday. My publisher is thrilled I finally finished the project, even if it was not on time nor on budget. Expecting me to take half the time to write the manuscript than it did, my publisher became pushy, disappointed, and even angry at my delays. My publisher expects me to do much better next time.
My publisher is me.
Why did I voluntarily put myself through so much blood, sweat, and tears when I have so little assurance of selling any books? Good question.
Why I Wrote Unceasing
I wrote Unceasing for every parent out there who, like me, struggles with a worrying heart or a nagging tongue. Both of these bad habits hurt my relationships with my kids, and frankly produced NOTHING.
As a parent, I struggled to work past the worry and find a place of confidence in what God was doing in my kids’ lives. That was when Jesus used some verses to radically change how I prayed. Philippians 1:3-11 became my model of how to pray for my kids, and I share that model in Unceasing.
Philippians 1:3-11 transformed my prayer life. God used these verses to tutor me in the acts of parental trust and faith. As I shared with other moms what the Lord was teaching me, they urged me to share these truths. And so, I have. I hope the tough lessons I have learned will help another parent on this journey.
Here are the main truths I want to share:
1. We need to pray more. As Christians in America we rely too much on our own ingenuity and strength to work out problems. I know that I wore myself out that way! Prayer relies on Jesus, not on ourselves. Individual Christians need to pray more, as does the church. If this book helps that happen in some small way, then yippee!
2. Our kids are in danger. I study history so I know this is not the first time families and children have been under attack. But I also know our kids are in serious danger today, everywhere they turn. The digital revolution transports evil into living rooms and to the palm of our kids’ hands. They need prayer. If this book gives parents strategies to confront the danger, then hallelujah!
3. God is the only solution. Our battles are spiritual. Therefore, the only effective weapon must also be spiritual. Prayer is our strongest offensive weapon. If this book equips parents to fight in prayer for their kids, then amen!
When I began the book, I thought it would be hard and take a long time- like at least a year! It took considerably longer (Never-you-mind how much longer. Let’s just stick with LONGER.) I thought it would be difficult, but had no idea how many times I would have to talk myself out of quitting. I imagined I would need to learn a lot, but didn’t realize it would have been easier to get a Masters in say, quantum physics.
Why I kept writing was for the very reasons above. I am more convinced than ever of the over-riding power and necessity of prayer. I felt compelled to write so that I might in some small way help parents pray.
As I get older, I am doubting I will ever accomplish that marathon. I am still working toward my first official 5K, for goodness sake.
But I have accomplished writing a book. And I think I am hooked- I can hardly wait to start on my next one. In my imagination, it will be easier this time, but in my heart I know anything written from the depth of my soul will always be excruciating. There is just no other way.
I have to go now. My publisher is requiring me to get back to work on the next book- and she is very demanding!