The Most Important Step in Writing a Book

My husband is a world-class listener. After meeting and talking with him at a social gathering, you leave with the wonderful feeling that you are both interesting and important. He smiles at you with those kind eyes, making you feel that your concerns are his concerns as he keeps coming up with questions to draw you out. This is one of the ways he won my heart so many decades ago.

He is still listening. And boy, am I putting it out. Processing. Downloading. Emoting. Stressing. Freaking Out. Melting Down. Cry Talking.

He is a patient man.

How to sum up how I’ve been feeling? Let’s just say I needed another go-round of this Beth Moore classic, where it appears that there are officially now more post-it notes than pages.

In a nutshell

I am releasing my first book in the coming week, and more than just sending a Bible study and vulnerable collection of chapters taken from the story of God’s work in my life out into the world, I am praying for God to open doors for me to speak and lead intergenerational conferences and retreats.

In a nutshell, in Living CrossWise, I’m advocating authentic, transparent, intergenerational relationships as a key element in navigating life’s relentless transitions. I want to encourage you to talk very specifically to God about what you are facing. To instruct you in some helpful ways of self-examination. To urge you, and help you, to connect with the generation behind you and the generation ahead of you, to pull down the walls that have kept us from enjoying one another’s company and benefitting from one another’s wisdom.

1001 Notebooks

As we walked our dog up in the hills just before sunset last night, I once again needed my husband to be Jesus to me, to shore me up with courage and strength I do not have. We talked about some of the brilliant insights we gained from our pastor’s sermon that morning (“It is never God’s plan for your best days to be behind you,”— thank you, Ed Noble!). I noticed that some of my discouragement had already lifted after spending the morning in church—singing my heart out in worship, hearing words of life from other believers, and taking to heart a message based on God’s Word.

In helping me to process, Jeff asked me to review the steps that took me from just an idea to a 216-page book. Of course, it is hard to identify the exact moment when I first began this project, but I, — I of the 1001 notebooks — went home and unearthed a loose-leaf I started about 3 years ago.

The Most Important Step

Sometimes when you start to doubt yourself, it helps to go back to your journals—just one of the many important reasons to keep one.

On the first page was Colossians 2:2. THIS was the moment of conception! This was how I started the book: I charted out this theme verse, annotated it, and prayed it. If you are one of those who will be studying this book, on your own or with a group, I hope it encourages you to know that you have already been prayed for!

  1. “ My purpose is that they may be encouraged in heart …”
    Lord, help me to provide biblical, personal inspiration for each individual, no matter where they are in life’s journey.
  2. “… And united in love…”
    Show me how I can enable the generations to connect by sharing their lives and stories.
  3. “… So that they may have the full riches of compete understanding …”
    I want to help people see the wealth of help and hope to be found through studying the Bible, praying for insight, and learning to rely on the Holy Spirit for direction.
  4. “… in order that they may know the mystery of God, namely Christ …”
    My over-arching purpose is that everyone who takes part in this study will come to know Jesus more intimately, and to believe him more wholeheartedly.
  5. “… In whom who are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.”
    As we invest time in reading, studying, discussing, and praying the Scriptures, Lord I know you will help us to discover hidden treasure and gain wisdom.

 

September 2013

I will be teaching through this book at Journey Community Church this fall. I hope you will join us! Register here: journeycommunitychurch.com/ministries/adults/womens/

Release Date for Living CrossWise: September 3, 2013. Available at www.gailbones.com.

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