Almost There Book

Reaching for Roots

July 21, 2017

Photo by Christie Purifoy

I’m not a gardener, nor do I possess any talent for coaxing green things to grow, but I am a person who is curious about roots. I’ve often wondered what it takes for them to wind through the ground beneath me and make me feel settled, at home.

Nearly a decade ago, I married a handsome Marine who promised to show me the world.

Then he moved us to Yuma, Arizona.

Ever since that first departure, my family and I have moved often, rearranging the same furniture in different houses, coaching new acquaintances on the correct pronunciation of our last name.

In a life on the move, I have found that a person can be homesick for many things besides an address. You can long for a relationship, hobby, or talent that you’ve lost or tabled for a time. You can be homesick for a version of yourself that existed before you changed jobs or had babies or decided on a whim to try out bangs.

Any source of stability can unexpectedly expire, so I think we’re all “on the move,” in one way or another. We are moveable gardens and transplanted roots, all asking what—and where—home is now and what else it could be.

My favorite quote from Christie’s book Roots and Sky is that homecoming is a “process rather than a moment.” It takes some time.

Because to establish home is to strain for it. Home is not a passive landing pad, but the place where we battle for roots.

Read the rest over at Christie Purifoy’s blog…

Almost There Book

It’s Release Day!

July 18, 2017

Today is the day! Book release day! Cue the clapping, sweating, and nervous pacing. In lieu of champagne, can someone please bring me another cup of coffee? Oh, and another diaper for the crawling baby at my feet?

After years of dreaming, writing and rewriting, then months of edits, Almost There: Searching for Home in a Life on the Move is officially released!

Amazon has been shipping it for a few weeks already because Amazon is like a honey badger. It does what it wants. But for all intents and purposes, the little book with cars on the cover is zipping around the literary universe today.

I am thrilled. And terrified. And exhausted. I’m spending the morning of release day in a vacant house that we will soon own, waiting for a furnace inspector to come. I’m dropping my daughter off at VBS and ensuring I packed her backpack to include a water bottle labeled with her name, a clean pair of underwear, and water-defiant sunscreen.

It’s a normal day by most accounts, but also a day filled with tenderness. Because when you pour your heart and the intimate details of your story into a book, it’s a little terrifying to offer it to strangers for purchase. And then for those strangers to post Amazon reviews.

My mother-in-law Katie reminded me of Psalm 37:4 this morning: “Trust in the Lord and do good. Dwell in the land and cultivate faithfulness.” Writing a book while parenting a toddler, being pregnant, birthing a newborn, and moving three times has been an illuminating lesson in the labor of faithfulness. Now that the work is done, the new challenge is to let go of the outcome.

In other translations of Psalm 37:4 read, “Dwell in the land and feed on the faithfulness of God.” As in, do the work and be faithful in the task set before you,  but lean on the promise that God is faithful. It is God who sends it out the work and uses it for his purposes and glory. What a relief.

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