So yesterday I returned to my job after a three week “vacation” which did not seem nearly long enough. Something about having a baby just makes time fly on by. I get to work and my computer here will not turn on. It’s dead. After a two-hour staff meeting we were able to remove my hard drives and put them in another, slower computer until we can get mine repaired. The last I heard, it had been working just fine as recently as Friday. And then I show up and it decided to croak. I think maybe God was telling me it wasn’t time to come back to work. I happen to agree with him.
But I’m back nonetheless. It’s been heavy on my heart this week to seek out new art galleries in other cities and states. I haven’t really contacted my freelance clients quite yet about getting back in the game. With the holiday this Friday I am thinking about doing that next week. It’s been rough this week just getting out of the house before noon. Another thing is that with the baby and a bunch of new bills and expenses to account for (we got the hospital bill — good freaking grief it’s a lot, even with insurance). And that’s been heavy on my mind as well, how to make a gob more money to pay for everything.
So I did something just now that I rarely do. And I’m embarrassed to admit that. I cracked open my Bible to let it speak to me. Although I admit, it wasn’t completely a random thought. I’ve heard the voice in my head for the past hour telling me to open the Bible for answers. Well, our staff began a daily Bible-reading schedule while I was out. So I looked at the schedule to see what I am supposed to read today. And it’s Psalm 115.
So let me quote a little bit of it, and then we can all marvel not only how it “could” apply to my life, but how specifically it actually does apply.
“Not to us, O Lord, not to us
but to your name be the glory,
because of your love and faithfulness.
O house of Aaron, trust in the Lord—
he is their help and shield.
The Lord remembers us and will bless us:
He will bless the house of Israel,
he will bless the house of Aaron,
May the Lord make you increase,
both you and your children.
May you be blesses by the Lord,
the Maker of heaven and earth.”
What is this telling me? I think it’s telling me to follow my heart and that God will bless and take care of me and my family.
Here is another reason this makes me feel good … something I haven’t mentioned on the blog, in hopes of having a “big reveal” one day …
In February I was approached by a local book publisher about illustrating and/or writing a book for them. This is unheard of, I think, for a publisher to contact ME. Considering I’ve always wanted to write a book, I pointed them to my paintings and my blog as examples of my writing. I later met with an editor and we talked about lots of possibilities, and we settled on trying to basically turn the idea behind this blog into a book. It was going to be a reflection of my journey into fatherhood … less of an instructional book and more of an emotional stomping ground that might inspire other dads around the country to be better dads. Something like that, complete with lots of illustrations. So in May I submitted an official book proposal to them. Then we went off and had a baby. I asked about it this past Monday and received an email back that I totally didn’t expect: it had been rejected. That was really hard to take. I had gotten the impression that they were excited, they loved the idea, they loved my art and writing style … we had talked promotional ideas. They told me it wasn’t that they didn’t like it, but that they can only accept so many books per year, and mine just wasn’t one of them. And I believe them.
So that was my monday. I’ve been a designer for the past ten years, so I get rejected all the time, but this was different, harder to take. I really thought something amazing was happening, that my life was being pointed in a certain direction. I mean, THEY came to ME. Without me even ever having been published. It seemed like I was going to get the easy route for once.
But Michelle has been very supportive of me. We cried together. And she helped me realize that there probably is something bigger and better out there. I got to have the great experience of talking to a publisher directly about my ideas and I have actually written a proposal now. Which I can try and shop around to other publishers when the time comes. And after reading Psalms, I feel reminded that God has this. He has me in the palm of his hand, and even if publishing with this particular company would have been a great thing, for whatever reason, this just wasn’t the right thing for me at this time.
I tell myself this. Still sucks though.
But last night sitting on the couch, holding Sebastian and looking Michelle in the eyes, again I was reminded that we’re okay. We’ll be okay because we have each other, and opportunities like this, the art, the writing, the job, the money … those will all come and go.
I feel like I’m part of a bigger picture now.