mission ready marriage: the process

Within an hour after giving birth to two of my three babies, I vomited.

I don’t know if it was a release of emotions, nerves, or physical exhaustion. Perhaps it was a reaction to medication. Or maybe that’s just my body’s response to childbirth. Unforgettably, passing off your newly swaddled baby to Daddy or a nurse so you can puke isn’t exactly awesome.

In the middle of last week, I received a box of early copies of my book, Mission Ready Marriage. I was like a hawk watching for the UPS man and then when the box arrived, I waited almost an hour to open it up. #weird

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I don’t know what is normal or par for the course with the emotions associated with writing a book, but to me, much like my childbirth experiences, I wanted to vomit.

I have been faithfully pouring out my heart in the form of blogging for over eight years. Something about blogging feels safe to me. I don’t think too much about what I write. I write about what’s going on in my head or heart and hit post/publish. In the world of blogging and internet writing, today’s news is already forgotten by tomorrow. But a book feels more permanent, more weighty, and more delicate.

Earlier this year, I made the decision (with Ryan’s blessing) that I would self-publish. This book project has been a personal goal of mine and after much consideration and prayer, I decided that I wanted to skip the process of shopping for a literary agent and going a traditional route. I know that process can sometimes take months, years, or never happen. Selling your ideas and passion to someone else can be more intense than writing the actual book.

By choosing a more low risk form of getting my book out into the world, I have in some ways taken other high risks. I have been the one to design the cover, to edit the ideas and words, and to spend our money getting the idea into something tangible. I am not an expert and I took a risk in going forward with this book anyway.

I already know that it’s not perfect.

There’s something just a bit askew on the cover. I’ve already found a few grammatical errors in the content that I spent 463 times combing through. Maybe some of the ideas or sentiments don’t quite convey. And those are just the technical aspects.

This book is a memoir. I worry that maybe I was too honest or not honest enough. I question whether or not I represented the events with accuracy, if I overshared my emotions, and if I offended anyone in the details. Deep inside me, there’s a huge fear welling up about opening up that box of books, sharing the links for you to buy it, and fully exposing myself and my struggles that I shared. It won’t resonate with everyone; some may call it amateur or simple and that’s just fine.

I suddenly feel the need to apologize for something that I should be proud of. I feel the need to hide something that could quite possibly give others a message of great hope. I feel the need to shut up, quit writing, and hide this little light of mine. I know that’s not truth, that’s the lie of fear.

The complete irony of all of this is that this theme of control, the need for perfectionism, and my subsequent, utter brokenness is a major theme of my book and my life. In Mission Ready Marriage, there’s a repeated idea that God can still use things that are imperfect and blemished for His purposes and His good.

I am inside about a two week window of having links to both print and electronic copies available to the public. I am praying, as I have throughout the entire process of giving birth to this book project, that God would be glorified and lifted up. I have done my best to be obedient to deliver a message God has been weaving in and out of my life for a few years now.

The baby is here. I’m getting her all swaddled up and ready to meet you. Let’s hope the nausea stays away.

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18 thoughts on “mission ready marriage: the process

  1. Holly Wilson says:

    Claire,
    I cannot wait to purchase and read your book. With or without simple flaws, God is going to use your book to touch the heart and lives of many people. Thank you for your obedience, for listening to the nudging of your heart, as you pour truth into the lives of others on each page. Congratulations on your first book!

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  2. Nell Shafer says:

    Claire,

    As a military wife myself, I am excited to read this! Looking forward to sharing it with all my friends at PWOC!

    I hope you get those jitters out! Mythbusters deemed it plausible that you can actually get cold feet when you are nervous or scared about something, so even in the times you are most nervous, I hope that you keep your feet warm!! Looking forward to what God has for other wives through your book!

    Love,
    Nell

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    • claire says:

      Thank you so much Nell. I love the scientific evidence from Mythbusters. Makes me feel more normal =) And I had PWOC sisters in mind when I organized the outline of this book.

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  3. Judy Griffis says:

    Congratulations Claire on your new book! I was just thinking what a great blessing your book will be to countless people, and how the Lord has used you to bless others!! May God use it as a wonderful instrument of His grace and power in all situations of sustaining His children through various circumstances in their Christian walk as they read of your personal journey and your dependence upon Him. Love you!!

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  4. TERESA ROBERSON says:

    It is natural to be nervous, excited, anxious, and did I say nervous anytime you give birth to a child or anything God has laid on our hearts to do. He isn’t looking for our perfection but obedience, and that you have done. I know His anointing has been upon you as you prepared and wrote this book. Therefore, He will bless it and others who read it and He will receive the glory. I am looking forward to reading Mission Ready Marriage!
    Your Very Proud Mother

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    • claire says:

      Thanks Mom. I am so grateful for you and Dad and what constant cheerleaders and encouragers (and supporters) of my dreams you have always been. All my love, Claire =)

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  5. Kathy Milligan says:

    Dear Claire…I heard a friend say once, that after his wife had their first child he felt more vulnerable than he’d ever felt in his life! I’m sure that these feelings are normal….but, put your mind to ease that this book will touch, encourage and be a lifeline to more than you will ever know! You are good! I can’t wait to see the feedback! We will be among the first to buy one….we’ve been waiting on this and are thrilled it’s finally here! This is just the beginning…..

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  6. Martha M. Roberts says:

    Claire, I am so proud of you! I love your blog and read it faithfully. I just had to give you another point of view on combat ready marriage. As a 42 year veteran of marriage, I think you need to be combat ready even if you do not serve in the military. Some days, raising your children feels like you against a very evil world. Trying to protect their innocence was an ongoing battle. Protecting your marriage against outside forces was another one. Now watching my DIL, Mandi and my daughter, Amanda, doing a wonderful job raising my six grandsweeties makes me aware that their battle is even tougher. They also homeschool which is a big job, as you know well. I look forward to your book. I love your book lists. I often stay up way too late to finish a good book. Praying for you and your family.

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    • claire says:

      Thank you for the sweet encouragement Martha! I believe you are right, at every stage of our marriages and raising kids, we have to fight to keep them healthy! Thank you for your prayers! xoxo

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