On December 31, 2010 the Pastor of our church gave us an unusual challenge. His sermon was based on Mathew 25, the parable of the talents. He passed to each one of us $20 bill and challenged us to multiply it in the next year. He wanted us to find out what we were good at and use it for multiplying the “talents” given to us.
I entered the new year pondering and reflecting on the gifts that God has given me and how I could multiply my talents. Seven months pregnant with my fourth child and just hit by nesting, I put my mind to work as my body was tirelessly working to accommodate the new one. I thought about what I could do to multiply my talents, nearly ALL the time!
I attempted sewing baby blankets, familiarized myself with many related you tube videos, and just before heading out to the store to gather the supplies, realized (thankfully) that I was not the right person to do it. Then I started looking into recipes to come up with something exotic to soothe the palette thereby loose the wallet of my potential customers towards fundraising. In a few weeks of turning non stick skillets into all stick skillets, presenting to my husband a flour smeared wife AND kitchen, and numerous failed mishaps, I gave up my pursuit of the mysterious exotic dish.
Few weeks before the baby was born, I sat down one day to reflect on my heart. I brought to the table several things I was good at. I loved children and always had the desire to tell them the right stories to illuminate a particular character of God or to simplify for them a hard concept about life like holy living or suffering for the glory of God or even to make them understand the attributes of God.
With that in my mind , I set out to work on writing a children’s book. I had no idea how to bring the characters to life. A good friend in church offered to illustrate for me. Little did I know at the time that he was more than an illustrator. He was a graphic designer and he did the job perfect. When it was time for me to upload the files, he helped me with all the technical details of converting the file and meeting the submission requirements.
I searched the web for publishing ideas. Finally narrowed it down to Lulu and Create Space. I chose to go with create space because they were owned by Amazon.com and I could earn better royalty with them. It took me about 4 months to draft the story, edit and proof it. It took me 4 months because it was the first time I was doing this and I did it while taking care of three children 4 and under including a newborn.
Next few months we went back and forth in editing, and proofing. I had my neighbor who is a fourth grade teacher edit the text for me. Since we did everything by ourselves, we had our friends go through the proof copy and give us critiques on the book. We made alterations in the way the text was placed on the book or some fonts that could be changed. We ordered the books to be printed on the day we received our final proof copy.
Holding the proof copy of a book that I wrote and published was a joyous event. I had come a long way from the scratches on a note pad to holding a real book that I authored. It was also a day of coming home to realize God was not done with me and he still wishes to use this broken cup who was given another chance to live more than once…
Some snippets from the book….