Drinks always taste stronger and sweeter when speaking face to face with a friend. A few weeks ago I met a friend at Main Street Coffee Shop. The coffee house’s cozy atmosphere invites one to start the day with a brisk cup of coffee, or pause for a refreshing afternoon smoothie, or whisper heart secrets in the later evening hours while sipping a favorite drink. This is where I met Charli one evening this summer. Okay. Don’t gulp too quickly. Charli, a dear friend from long ago, is now a busy mother of five children. On this particular evening, her husband kindly put their children to bed while she and I had a few delicious hours at Main Street Coffee House.
Charlotta (Charli) speaks honestly her heart and mind. She sees into issues with clarity and precision. She voices her concerns, she feels with compassion, she speaks with authority. We talked, we laughed, we pondered and then at one point she asked me about my book. My book? I shifted uneasily. Yes, the book, To Have and to Hold published a year ago. I had to admit that I more or less cast it aside as a job completed. In addition, the blog which I ambitiously began last summer had waned into nothingness.
“Oh, Sharon,” Charlotta now spoke emphatically. You can’t birth a book and cast it aside. We don’t birth children and leave them on their own. You have a responsibility to grow your book, Sharon,” she implored.
Grow my book? Really? I would rather not be encumbered by a book. But I have birthed one. It is attached to who I am. How do I grow a book? I have not walked this way before. I think of another friend of mine who is now the mother of teenagers. Last spring she shared with me the difficulties of parenting teenagers. She echoed similar words, “We haven’t gone this way before. We don’t know how to do this.” However, she can never “unmother” herself. She will always be a mother.
Charli continued, “When I read a book, I want to know the author. I want to know what is happening and how the author is growing and processing life. People want to know about you. You have a responsibility as an author.” I pondered her encouragement as I took the last sip of my pina colada. When I hugged my friend good bye, I took her words with me.
My eight months of silence on the blog is not an indication of a lack of God stories and God moments. Much has happened. I have worked. I have laughed. I have prayed. I have cried. I have wavered. I have loved. Maybe all this feels too risky to share. Maybe my sin is taking the easy route. Maybe less is required when I keep things to myself. Giving is dying to self.
I heard the clarion call while drinking my pina colada. A new day is dawning. In its invitation of light comes hope. In the hope comes the warmth of His wings of love. These wings carry me into this day and the unknown future even with the book, To Have and To Hold.