The following is something that I was asked by my publicist to write to give interested media a little background on what I’m “about.” I thought you might like to read it too.
It’s an interesting process to write an “experience-based” book. You’re essentially taking a year from your life and offering it in freeze frame form. And yet after the last page is written, the story still continues. And I am definitely not the same person I was when I sat down to write the first page.
I’ve had a relationship with Christ since one night when I was 5 years old and my father, at my request, led me in asking Jesus to come into my life. I grew up in church, grew up wanting to pursue whatever God’s desire was for me, and as I got into high school and college, wrestling with that over my own desires for my life. But as a sophomore at summer camp, I rededicated my life to God, willing and ready to serve in whatever way He asked me to.
In those early years, I pursued singing Christian music. I was convinced that was what God was calling me to do and went to a Christian university and pursued music ministry. Until the year He made it extremely obvious that writing was the direction He really wanted to take me. It’s been an amazing adventure ever since.
Marriage and having a family has also been an adventure, but I must confess that for years, being a wife and a mom was not always the priority for me. Instead, my list of accomplishments in writing books or award-winning articles was much more desirable to me than getting dinner on the table or helping my little guy with homework.
A bit of selfishness tainted any blessing I might have received from the good work I was doing. Because everything that kept me busy was God-related. Writing Christian books, serving in my ministry to military wives, pursuing my desire to be the person God used to make a difference in the lives of others. But it was done out of my terms and my desires. And my family often suffered as the result of my self-imposed busyness.
But God grabbed my attention and opened my heart in a very unexpected way one Sunday morning. I was already worn out. I was already feeling guilty that the one area of my life I could not claim accomplishment in was with the very people I loved the most. And then my pastor started preaching on the Proverbs 31 wife. And I just got mad.
But God used that anger and turned it into a quest for something more. Definitely not on my terms. But His.
NOTHING turned out the way I’d intended it when I started this experiment in trying to be the Proverbs 31 wife. And there were several moments early on I questioned the sense in even trying to complete it. But I’m glad He kept me going. Because I learned that more than a change in my housekeeping habits, I needed a change in my heart. (And amazingly, once that change in my heart started, the housekeeping habits kind of improved a little too!)
As this book gets ready to release, my husband has just come home from his second deployment. Our son has turned 10 and is starting fifth grade. These days, I am still not a perfect wife and mom. But I would say I am a different wife then who I was two years ago. I am softer. I am kinder (most days). I’m a lot more willing to do laundry without complaining, daily it seems. I try to approach each day with less focus on myself and much more attention on what God wants for my family and me that day. I’m still doing ministry and still writing books. But it is not all who I am. God is teaching me that relationship means more than accomplishment. And the relationships that matter most start with Him, and then with my husband and my child.
I don’t think I will ever be a perfect cook or housekeeper. But my honest heartfelt prayer today is that I will be the wife and mom God’s called me to be. That is what I am pursuing. And He is leading me. One step, and laundry load, at a time.