Thursday, October 27, 2011

Three Things, and Grace

My wife pointed something out to be the other day. Lately, on this blog, I’ve been writing a lot about my childhood, or at least that period of my life up until I graduated from college. I went back and looked at my blog posts for the past month, and there’s some truth to that, but not as much as she thought.

Talking with a friend yesterday, I mentioned that three things had been dominating my thinking and writing lately. (Confession to wife: one of the three has not been the current remodeling of the kitchen; when it comes to that project, I do what I’m told. My wife is the strategist.)

The first thing has been this fiction manuscript I’ve been working on. It has been in the works for almost a decade. For three years it existed entirely inside my head; I literally wrote the first draft of the novel in my head. Then it came pouring out, in a flood of words that threatened not to stop. That flood includes a second completed manuscript and six additional manuscripts ranging from 5,000-word summaries to 45,000 word narratives (that’s half a novel in length). And then there’s an additional 70,000-word manuscript for a completely different story. And even a story idea that keeps trying to bob up from below the surface and I have to keep pushing back down until there’s time to deal with it (but I am making notes).

A small, new publisher expressed interest in that first manuscript. I hired an editor to edit it, and he did exactly what I needed to have done. I’ve now signed a contract. I’m working with a designer on the cover. And developing a marketing plan. The publisher came back yesterday with initial comments and suggestions. I have about four or five hours of editing work left, and then I’m going to reread the whole thing. The e-book versions will likely make their appearance in December. I’m still amazed at what’s happened.

The second thing dominating my thinking lately has been my childhood.

I’m not exactly sure why, but I have been thinking and writing a lot about my childhood. The friend I was talking with asked, “Why do you think that is?” The honest answer is I don’t know. Part of it is my age. I want my children and grandchildren to know some of what shaped me and, by extension, shaped them. I have precious little information about my father’s childhood, and nothing about my grandfather’s. My mother was far more forthcoming about her childhood. And yet I know that what shaped my parents and grandparents indirectly shaped me as well.

The third thing has been poetry. I’ve been writing and reading a lot of it lately. When I told my friend about this, he said something that startled me. “You’re caring for your heart,” he said. “I think it’s how you care for your heart.” Poetry is how I care for my heart.

And it hit me. That’s what all of this has been about lately – heart. Not so much my own heart as God’s heart.

All of these things – manuscript, childhood memories, poetry – and others – family, grandson, grandchild on the way – have felt like a showering of grace. I don’t deserve a bit of it, but I have been blessed with so much, so very much. God’s heart has overflowed on top of me. But it’s not only the good things; it’s also been the trials and the difficulties. God’s grace has always been there. Everything has been about grace.

It’s all grace. It’s just taken me 60 years to figure that out.

Over at Faith Barista, Bonnie Gray is hosting a blog carnival on faith (and giving away a copy of Brennan Manning's All is Grace. The prompt for today is “all is grace.” To see more posts, please visit Faith Barista.


H. Gillham said...


Glynn, congratulations on your news! I wish you much success.

I write about my childhood too. I enjoy those entries by you --- cause it's where my head is these days -- the past -- I wish to record it for my nieces and nephews.

I'm studying Acts -- in BSF -- I am continually humbled by God's grace ----

Louise Gallagher said...

For some reason, this post makes me cry. These are loving tears. Happy tears. Tears of grace.

Thank you!

And congratulations -- that is exciting news and I want to be one of the first to purchase the ebook in December! My gift to me.

Jerry said...

You express things that have been under the surface for me. Keep taking care of that awesome heart of yours! Can't wait to read your book!

Maureen said...

"Poetry is how I care for my heart." Wonderfully expressed!

Anonymous said...

Congratulations on the book! :o)

Karen Kyle Ericson said...

Yay Glynn!!! I'm so excited for you, can't wait to read it. Everywhere I turn on the blogs lately I see more great info on writing. Maybe it's my turn too. God bless you for your perseverance : ) I pray all will go smooth and quickly.

Linda said...

Glynn, I am so happy for you and am looking forward to reading your book.
I have a few years on you and marvel at the same thing - how did it take me so long to get just a tiny bit of wisdom? Perhaps it really is a life-long journey and we are just beginning to mine the depths of who He is.

The Cantelmo Family said...

You are so right, it is all about God's grace

Anonymous said...

the past
the present
the future
to be given
to be shared

Caroline said...

Glynn - I can definitely understand feeling undeserving of God's blessings. The truth is we're all undeserving. But I do feel I am especially UNdeserving of the blessing (especially) family God graciously gives.
Thanks for sharing these thoughts today.

And, congrats on the book!