Have you ever watched the movie The Money Pit with Tom Hanks and Shelley Long? It’s a classic 80s movie about a couple who buy a house that seems too good to be true. They soon find out it’s not too good to be true- the house isn’t good. They hire a shady crew of workers to gut the house down to the studs. But it seems like no matter how much work they put into rebuilding it, everything they touch breaks down and creates more work.
The stairway crumbles leaving them to use a ladder. The bathtub falls through the second floor and crashes on the first floor. The electrical wiring in the entire kitchen goes up in flames. Even the trees on the property fall over dead. As this puts tremendous strain on their relationship and their wallet, Tom Hanks’ character keeps anxiously asking the foreman when it will be done and he always answers with, “Two more weeks.” Each time the two weeks is up, he tacks on two more. The weeks turn into months and by the time the house is done, it is spectacular but the couple’s relationship is wrecked.
One Step Forward
When you’re starting something new, sometimes it feels like every step forward causes you to slip further into a pit– a money pit, a career pit, an emotional pit, or a spiritual pit.
But if we release our expectations, our timeline, our exact specifications and let God do His work, we can see the pit as a pitstop. It’s a place to learn patience and grow stronger in private so when it’s time to put your patience, plans, and faith to the test, you are ready.
Ever since God placed the writing itch in my hands and I learned a little bit about the industry, I decided there were several aspects of a writing career that I wouldn’t initiate. Not in the beginning and maybe, I hoped, not ever.
Writers gonna write. And possibly avoid marketing.
Did you know most writers are responsible for their marketing nowadays? Gone are the wistful stories of writers showing up with a finished book and no readers. Writers now must bring both- a great book and a great following. And, from what I’ve heard, the writing the book is the easy part. Which is terrifying to me because writing my first book is anything but easy.
For years I put off many of the requirements of a solid reader-base: blogging 2-3 times per week, a free ebook to entice readers to subscribe to an email list, a podcast or youtube channel, tens of thousands of followers on at least one social media platform (if I want to be taken seriously by agents and publishers), an email list with at least 1,000 subscribers. Oi. It’s overwhelming and I’ve heard from many writer friends that the platform building easily snuffs out the creative work: the actual writing. Go figure.
Every time I’ve decided to add one thing to my regular things, it didn’t feel right. Things didn’t fit. And the second I heard a whiff of a setback, a call for two more weeks, I split. I don’t want a platform anyway. I want you to follow Jesus, not me.
Move the Message
But now I see the message I am writing will do exactly that: point you to Jesus. So I am ready and willing to give it all I’ve got. I am throwing out a line to see if anyone needs it. I need the message of this book because I need to know what God made me of and what He made me for. Only when I figure out His design for me can I honor and make the most of it. And I know I’m not alone.
I think this message is important enough to move beyond my family of four, so I’ve opened the door to all the things I hoped I would never have to figure out how to do because y’all I am slow. Now I am:
- writing the book regularly
- blogging here every week
- launching a podcast
- connecting with friends on an email list
- leading the Modeled by the Maker Cohort
- tweeting and gramming and booking and pinning
- having a total blast even though things I touch seem to break down and create more work
- yet I rest assured because I am not always going to do all these things
This summer I am throwing out a line. I hope something I share lifts your spirit and draws you closer to God. I pray we can connect and share one another’s burdens, celebrations, revelations, and transformations. When we share what we’re going through, we can give each other strength and encouragement as we each face our own versions of two more weeks. God’s Word can change us. And if something I share is of value to you, will you please let me know? Leave a comment, hit like, subscribe to make the most of it via email. Or share posts with your friends by tagging them. Because I need this message that God is teaching me and I know someone else does too.
I trust the carpenter
If my Jesus, the carpenter, shows me that things need at least two more weeks of work, then I’ll follow His prompts to retreat or rework or rebuild. I trust Him to know what’s best for me, and for you.
By the time September rolls around I am going to take a look around and see where we liked to talk best, where we enjoyed hanging out together most. And I’ll stick to the favorites from then on. But I’m not going to sit down in the pits and see them as life sentences when my time there is usually brief stints. And I’m not going to sacrifice people I love to build something great that, through the construction, ate away at what’s really important: relationships.
Either way, I just want to be upfront with you so you know what I’m up to. I believe in the message of this book enough to get serious about moving it out. And I have let you know that I am so grateful for you. None of this is any fun or impactful without you.