I wrote a book for you.
All last year in the late nights and early mornings I got up and pulled my hair into a pony and put my glasses on and remembered my unexpected journey toward motherhood.
It was not something I ever imagined doing.
Writing a book. Or becoming a mother.
But then one morning two springs ago I was walking down Jopin street to pick Jackson up from school and I felt this book in my belly. There were colors pushing up through the cracks in the concrete side walk and the wind whispered warm for the first time in months when I felt those familiar flutters. The first flutters of new life that will stop a mom in her tracks whether the baby is her first, third or tenth.
And as I turned off Jopin and onto Lees I knew that I would write this book for you.
Most people who talk about motherhood start out by telling you how much they always wanted to be a mom. That is not my story. I was the girl whose mom died a week after she turned 18, the girl who swore off motherhood, the girl who believed her story had to be bigger than just being someone’s mother.
Today I’m the woman who believes that God doesn’t ask us to trade who we are for the label of “Mom.” Rather, he builds all the courage and calling of a lifetime into a story line big enough and rich enough to encompass kids, passion, work, creativity, and dreams that don’t end in the labor and delivery ward.
I’m also the girl who believes that Jesus saved the best till last when I finally became a mother.
But I’m just as convinced He would have loved me the same whether I ever had kids or not. It’s right there on the front dedication page of the book.
This is my broken, backwards journey from losing a mother toward becoming one.
This is my testimony that all the “how to” and “what to expect” books in the world can never truly prepare you for the sheer exhilaration, joy, and terrifying love that accompanies motherhood.
This book is a reminder that being a mom isn’t about succeeding at some parenting checklist — it’s about what motherhood prepares us for while we’re busy preparing for it; how a new identity brings new meaning for our future and new appreciation of our past; and how there is wonder to be found in the daily merry-go-round of dishes, laundry and tiny humans.
This book is the one I wish I’d had in my hands nine years ago when I was certain I was failing motherhood.
This isn’t a “how-to” book, it’s simply my “you can” story.
This is the book I wrote for me. And for you.
This book is for us.
And it comes out on April Fool’s day. Because, of course.
You can pre-order it a bunch of places. It makes me so terribly happy to be able to tell you that.
And anyone who pre-orders a copy today? I’d love to send three of you the first three chapters. I have three beautiful, bound copies. Just leave a comment letting me know you pre-ordered and I’ll choose three names and sign the Surprised by Motherhood samplers and mail them off to you. Happily.
And finally, just thank you. This book comes with a full heart to the women who read this blog and bleed their stories and failures and mothering victories into the comment box. This sisterhood that gets what it’s like to live your own wants out of life in the leftovers of the day.
Where would we be without one another to hold up the tired arms, to rub the knotted shoulders, to help fold the laundry?
You are my people.
Updated: Congrats to Amanda, Shelly and Chelsea who won the 3 copies of the Surprised by Motherhood sampler. They’re already on their way to you!