Well, here we are again, friends. Are you enjoying the Authors’ Open House so far? Me, too! In case you missed them you can go back and check out posts from Rachel McMillan, Meghan Gorecki, Jaime Jo Wright, and Mikal Dawn (see remaining line-up here). I’m up to my ears in preparing for the ACFW Conference, so I am indebted to these sweet ladies for keeping you all company.
Today is Laurie Tomlinson‘s turn to make herself at home here. Laurie and I first connected on Facebook then she blessed my socks off when she recognized me at last year’s conference! (Made me feel less invisible!.) Laurie is gifted at telling love stories and supporting other authors. She has selflessly helped me wordsmith and edit and not fall off the author ledge. I’m so excited to read her upcoming novel that’s recently been contracted…big things coming! Be sure and pay attention to what this sweet lady is up to.
Say hello to Laurie…
God Didn’t Design Everyone to Hustle Like Usain Bolt
It’s about this time of year that we celebrate the relief of mid-90-degree days in Oklahoma. We stay inside or hurry from home to car, for within 30 seconds, our skin protests the heat by sticking to leather seats, our hair reaches to the sky in surrender, and some magnet from the sun drains our internal batteries.
It’s now that I can picture my perfect fall day so clearly and succinctly: A trip to the last farmer’s market of the season for butternut squash. Leggings tucked into fuzzy boots. Home filled with the scent of a hearty stew bubbling in the crockpot. A run on my favorite trail with cooler air that’s refreshing to breathe. Hot chocolate in my hand with S’mores by the outdoor fireplace. College football on the TV all day. The hug of fleece pants and a hoodie as we take an evening walk around our neighborhood and say hello to our lovely neighbors who are also coming out of their summer hibernation. Lastly, falling asleep with a book and a warm mug of tea.
With trusted friends, I often let the (mostly kidding) dramatics fly:
FALL, COME QUICKLY! WE NEED YOU!
Yet come fall, I will miss our lazy summer mornings with nowhere to be and slicing through the marine-blue plane of the swimming pool, along with ripe farm veggies and cold nectarines straight from the fridge plus all that the grill has to offer.
(Note: I actually took a break right here to arrange an end-of-summer BBQ. Amen.)
I started this post intending to talk about seasons and how, if you can’t find a way to be happy where you are, then accomplishing your goal, arriving at your destination, and experiencing your dream come true won’t give you true satisfaction. The last thing the internet needs is another pat on the head saying, “Be patient and work hard in this waiting season. Your time will come.”
While I’m a firm believer that waiting produces the most important growth, that’s not what this post is about. I want to speak on not losing ourselves along the way. On not losing ourselves when we get there.
I just signed my first book contract (another point for summer!) and know for sure that this elusive event — while a wonderful, satisfying, pinch-me-is-this-real? thing — won’t solve every problem or answer all of life’s mysteries. Dishes still pile up in the sink, you will still have to change tires on the dusty side of the highway, and you will have to navigate a new season in which your art is no longer solely your own.
That’s the nature of work, though. No matter what section of the path you’re walking (sometimes crawling?), there’s always email or comments to answer, content to read, a conveyor belt of to-do list items to conquer. Publication can feel like a sprint where the only way to stop the road from crumbling beneath you is to gather as much information as your brain can hold and make alllllll the connections until your network sags under all the weight.
Except we’re not Usain Bolt charging for an Olympic finish line and God never intended us to do that to ourselves or the dreams and talent He gave us.
If we let ourselves rest and really lean into the place God has for us right now, the opportunities will still be there. We won’t miss anything — except for maybe the frayed singe of burnout. We will gain valuable experience in placing satisfaction with our work, not in any outside force, approval, or circumstance, but in the life it brings us and in the communion with God it affords.
Whether you’re beginning your very first story or have spent time on the bestsellers list with your multiple novels, this practice is important for the quality of your work and every aspect of life.
So I’m going to enjoy the last few weeks of slow, golden mornings and catching my kids with ripe blackberry stains on their cheeks. And I’m going to stop trying to mimic the Usain Bolts of this world and go off-route to play in the sprinklers every once in a while.
About Laurie Tomlinson
Laurie Tomlinson is an award-winning contemporary romance author, freelance editor and PR consultant, and cheerleader for creatives. She believes that God’s love is unfailing, anything can be accomplished with a good to-do list, and that life should be celebrated with cupcakes and extra sprinkles.
Her debut contemporary romance novel releases in May 2017 from Harlequin Heartwarming.
You can connect with Laurie on her website, Facebook page, and Twitter. She is also a regular contributor to The Writer’s Alley blog.
#AuthorsOpenHouse welcomes Laurie Tomlinson who shares
about taking time to rest from the hustle. — TWEET THIS!