So many little things.
The purpose of “A Moment’s Notice” is to remind you and me—-especially me—-not to get so caught up in the busyness of life that we lose sight of everyday miracles: The color of a maple tree in autumn, the crispness of a Fuji apple, the music of a toddler’s laugh.
I assume I don’t need to write about the minor annoyances and duties of the daily grind, since they buzz about constantly, demanding our attention. These pesky gnats range from the unpleasant but necessary, such as undergoing a root canal; to the maddening, like running late for an appointment only to become trapped behind a driver who moves slower than ketchup from a new bottle.
So I focus here on the jet stream of small graces that whisks us through our days, making even brutal times bearable.
But that doesn’t mean the gnats have gone away. They still fly around each of us and attention must be paid. Ongoing project that I am, I’ve had to learn anew that little things can weigh me down as surely as they lift me up.
Publishing a book has been my lifelong dream. When I finished the first draft of my novel a little over a year ago, I was quite pleased with myself for a day or so. Then I began the familiar process of editing and cutting and proofreading and editing some more. So far, so good.
Then I entered uncharted territory, a land of one thousand questions without answers. An avalanche of decisions. A swarm of possibilities. A deluge of details.
Enough metaphors. The bottom line is that I set aside the book last November and wrote a novella inspired by Hallmark Channel Christmas movies. It was a relief to get back to the simple act of stringing words together.
But every time I opened Google Docs, there she was, staring at me: Sarah Winston, still wearing her working title. So in January I resolved yet again to bring Sarah’s story to print.
I worked on preparing my book for its debut in fits and starts. I finally chose Chrysalis as the title and read “how to” manuals on publishing, each making the task appear more complicated than the last. Eventually I came down with a bad case of “analysis paralysis.” Mr. Pettit and I traveled extensively from April through August, making it even easier to avoid doing actual work.
Then summer ended.
At that point, I did what I should have done months earlier: I put the whole tangled mess in God’s hands.
His answer came within days. And it stung a bit.
Out of the blue a friend confronted me about my procrastination, pointing out all the opportunities I had missed to bring Chrysalis out of my computer and into readers’ hands. When the conversation ended (although it felt more like an indictment), this question hung in the air: “Do you want to publish this book or not?”
Even as I slunk away, I knew God had used this person, as surely as if He had sent down an angel, flaming sword and all. And my answer to the question was a resounding “Yes.”
So in late August I went to work in earnest. The details that had paralyzed me in the past were still there—-gnats are terribly persistent—-but I shifted my focus from my inadequacy to God’s sufficiency.
And that made all the difference.
The publishing process became an opportunity for learning (and developing greater patience). I began to see the roots of my paralysis in perfectionism, my old nemesis. I was reminded (yet again) that “It’s not about me”: Choosing to follow Jesus Christ means that it is in Him that I “live, and move, and have our (my) being.” (Acts 17:28, KJV) I can accomplish little apart from my Savior. Going my own way results in a tangled mess. Every time.
So it is with a very grateful heart that I present Chrysalis, the product of thousands of moments.
So many little things.