It's been an exceptionally busy couple of weekends for me, leaving little time for me to sit down to write a post. However, I couldn't let another day go by without constructing something new. Why? Well, because it's my birthday - and at the dawning of another year of me, I find myself feeling more introspective than I've been for any birthday before this one.
Last year, I turned thirty. As you can imagine, it was a big deal. A milestone birthday to remember. My mom gave me a gift every day for a week and then made this gigantic cake that looked like a stack of books with my name on them. My friends helped me celebrate, and my co-workers took me out for a wild night only they could contrive. And when it was all said and done, I had my goals, my ambitions, and my dreams that I threw over my shoulder as I set out to make thirty my best year yet.
I'm not entirely sure I succeeded. In fact, I'm sure I didn't. Though, I can't say I'm disappointed.
Life happened, as it so often does, and everything got turned upside down. I lost someone I loved very much. Friendships I thought I couldn't live without were shattered, like the fragile things they turned out to be. And my goals owned me instead of me owning them. I started to turn into this person that I'm not, and my desire to make something of myself through my writing almost had me jumping off somebody else's cliff. Yet, as I sit here and reflect over the year I've had, I can honestly say that, if given the chance, I wouldn't change a thing about my thirtieth trek around the sun.
I needed to make mistakes. I needed to do things the wrong way. I needed to experience loss and heartache. I needed it all in order for me to appreciate where I find myself now...
A year ago today, I published Chasing After Me. To this day, in spite of all the books I've released since, Kenzie's story is still my best selling novel, and I'm so proud of that. Even more, I'm thrilled that I'll always have the memory of publishing such a special book on such a special occasion. To commemorate the anniversary of its release, as well as my birthday, this year I wanted to release the audio book version of Chasing After Me. It's been something I've wanted for months. I put things in motion what seems like ages ago. However, much like the last year, things didn't go according to plan. But you know what? That's okay.
One of the greatest lessons I'm taking into my thirty-first year is that God's timing is better than mine. I'm not in control of much - none of us are, really - and as I've learned to accept that and even appreciate it, I've been blessed with an abundant amount of peace when things don't go my way. No, I'm not precisely where I thought I'd be in life right now, but I'm exactly where I need to be - thinking clearly, seeing vividly, and living fully; or at least, trying as best as I can. And unfortunately, I don't have a big, surprise release today; but you know what? The audio version of Chasing After Me will be available as soon as it's ready - in the right timing - and it's going to sound great. I've heard the unedited version, and I'm pretty happy with it (my narrator NAILED IT with Brooke!) Needless to say, I'm looking forward to sharing it with you - when the time is right.
Until then, I've got a birthday to celebrate. Cheers!