Thursday, September 22, 2016

First Edition

First Edition
By Tomya Theone Peters
            Did you ever want to be a writer? What would your struggles be if you were to write a book? I have answered these two questions for myself and would like to share them with you. I have the desire to write, and I did write a book. I also had many struggles along the way. The best way for me to explain these struggles is to tell you a story.
            I have a huge weakness as a writer. “I can’t spell worth a flip.” I’ve struggled all my life. I have improved, but that would surprise you if you ever read my first drafts. Even with the help of a computer I will type a right/wrong word. Then don’t get me started on all the grammatical mistakes. How did I ever make it through school let alone home schooling five very bright college educated children? I’ll never know. Well I do know. It was all God!
            When I finished my first book I asked friends and family to help me edit. This was so humbling, but not because of all the errors. It was the fact I had to bother people taking them away from their busy important lives to help me. I also knew how much work editing my book would be. Where do you start with so many mistakes? I imagine this had to be their first thoughts. I have to stop here and say, I am so thankful to all the work everyone put into my completed book.
            Finally, the book was finished. Still not a perfected work of art, but it was my work and I was proud. Right after I published it I was finding errors that had been missed. Things I would do different. I had forgotten to add my bio or the summery to the book to name a few. There are things I would do better next time around.
            Now for what I really wanted to know about my book. What did my readers think? Was my message and voice understood? Did my book move hearts or restore hurting and lost souls? Was my message even heard? More than any of the problems and struggles with my book, I wanted to know if I had made a difference.
            My book was being downloaded by friends, family and even some people I didn’t know. I was excited. Then a new friend told me she had sat down the night before and read my whole book. I was excited to hear her thoughts. I had shared on a Facebook page that I wanted feedback and discussion over my book. My need to know if my intended message was being grasped was eating at me. My friend did indeed have some thoughts for me. Not the comments I thought she was about to give me.
            I had forgotten that I had emailed her my manuscript earlier. She didn’t realized I had already published it. You can probably guess how this very disappointing event ended. I had asked her to put her thoughts on my book’s Facebook page. When I heard her response, “No! I wouldn’t put these thing out for the public to read.” I knew we weren’t on the same page. We had just finished lunch together that Sunday and as soon as I got home I opened up the email she had sent me revealing all the edits needing to be made to my already published book. Suddenly, I was tired and needed a nap. Later I received a phone call that changed my disposition greatly.
            I finally let my guard down that evening and quit my obsessing over what to do with my book when the phone rang. My daughter in-law Kristen from New Zealand called to tell me a Finley story. He is their three year old son. The youngest of three boys. He was having a fussy morning and was in need of some quiet time alone. Kristen told him he could go to his room to rest or read some books. Immediately he began to cry. Between the tears three words were understood. I can’t read! Quickly my daughter in-law comforted him letting him know he could just look at the pictures. A huge smile welled up on his face, filled with relief he went off to his room. Now for the reason my daughter in-law wanted to share this story with me; she knows how I love stories with a message.
            Kristen wanted to share Finlee’s story and the lesson she got out of it. We as Gods children are like this young boy looking at all God desires for us. Things we don’t feel capable of, just as my grandson felt overwhelmed not being able to read. There are many people God has called to do great things. Several would then go on to struggle accomplishing His plans and even failed at times before succeeding. Moses, Sampson, Mary, and Peter to name a few made their share of mistakes. I now was questioning my calling.  Do I have any good news to share through my words? That’s when I became the student of a great lesson from my 3 year old grandson.

I spoke while Kristen listened. I shared my story and she then became the teacher when she said, “It’s just your first edition”. I suddenly felt the weight lifted and the chains gone. Yes, it’s my first edition not the end of my writing career. So read my first edition and find my mistakes. I know I’m not perfect and will make many errors in life. God just looks down and reminds us that he is the one who is able and I am not. He is perfect and I’m perfected. Sorry if you thought this would be the last you would hear from me. It’s not. I will do my best, correct the mistakes, and try again when I fail.  Forgive my imperfections and read my book. Let me know if God is moving you to your next edition in life.
"ALL IN and Totally Consumed"

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