Putting On Rain Clothes and A Little Surprise
A joy bomb. It’s what kids are at Christmastime.
It was the best kind of early Christmas gift a few days ago when I picked up our four-year-old grandson to come spend a couple of nights with my husband and me. He reminded us of all the simplest things about Christmas. He asked us details about the ornaments on our tree, and in telling him, we reminded ourselves of the years and years of love, blessing and redemption in our lives. When we saw his eyes light up with excitement as he saw Santa and Mrs. Claus, we found his joy to be contagious. When he watched, for the first time, the original Rudolf the Red-Nosed Reindeer and Frosty the Snowman with us, we were reminded how fragile we are and how we need each other. When we played with the nativity scene his papa made as a little boy, it reminded us how simple, perfect and complete the gift of the Christ-Child was. And is. No hoopla needed.
In a year of different, our sweet little grandboy reminded us to keep moving—not to let circumstances stop us from living. Of course, those weren’t the exact words he used. He used these.
Sepp: Hey Dovie, can we go play in the sand by the river?
Me: I’m not sure. Look…it’s raining hard right now.
Sepp: Well, we can put on our rain clothes. I brought mine.
And he did. He never goes anywhere without them. He attends a forest preschool, where the model includes being outside in all kinds of weather. Rain doesn’t stop them. Cold doesn’t stop them. They explore the world no matter what the day looks like. At age four, he has lived through winter on a farm in Northern Germany—winters notorious for being long and dismal. He learned to brave the elements in search of fun. He learned all it takes is the right kind of clothes.
Unknowingly, I think we’ve learned it this year, too.
Listen. We’re here! We’ve done it! For much of 2020—every single day—without realizing it, we put on our rain clothes and we got to it. I’m proud of the whole of us. Putting on our rain clothes looked different for each of us. For me, it looked like this.
I kept writing new chapters for the book I thought I’d finished. I kept writing simply because there were new stories playing out right in front of me, followed by days and days of time to tell them. Eventually the revised manuscript was finished, and I sent it to a long list of agents and publishers. Most said thanks but no thanks because it’s the nature of the beast in getting a book published. It can be disheartening, but thanks to 2020 I have some new thick skin. And I have rain gear. And I have the dearest readers who have encouraged me and continued reading with me, even sharing my writing with others. Having readers who stick with you is one of the most important parts of getting a publisher to take on a book. They want to know someone will read it once it’s published.
Which leads me to my little surprise.
A few weeks ago a publisher said yes and we’re off! My book has found a home!
As we speak, the loveliest editor is working her way through my pages and a dear, talented young artist is designing my book cover. It’s a long process and will keep me busy for the first half of 2021. The book will launch in August and I’m excited to share the fun stuff with you along the way,
Fun stuff like this. (Okay. I realize it probably isn’t as fun for you as it is for me, but here it is anyway).
HOLDING ON LOOSELY.
Tales of Opening My Hands and Lightening My Load
So let me say, once again, thank you so much for reading what I write. I hope my stories encourage you, make your heart tender toward something or someone or some moment in time. I hope you find your voice in them, too. I pray they give you hope. There are lots of words floating around out there, and the fact that you choose to take time to read some of mine is a gift to me.
I wish for you a season of sweet reflection–a season of remembering and being glad for each and every time you put on your rain clothes and ran outside straight into whatever the day was. I happen to believe every time we put on our rain clothes we are really running straight toward hope, shouting I believe a better day is coming! This hope is ours on Christmas Day and on every other plain old day. Rain or shine.
Merry, Merry Christmas, Friends