These are the words that have been on my spirit a lot this week. Sometimes I think the Lord is speaking something to me, and I wrestle with it and wrestle with it. I have these little dialogues in my head about why I don't need to do thus and so because it doesn't make sense, or that it wouldn't be in the best interest of yada, yada, yada to do thus and so, and it wouldn't be a wise move, and think about the long-term ramifications --- blah, blah, blah.
Some of you know that I am working on a book about head covering. Last week I finally finished the long and laborious toil of the book proposal. This thing would get me up in the morning before the boys woke. I would write and write. And I would stay up too late writing, after I put the boys to bed. Seems like I ate and breathed the thing until it was finally done and mailed to the publisher. I need your prayers and your help. More on that in a bit.
So I finished this beast of thing --- wrote drafts, proofed, re-proofed and proofed some more till I just wanted to get the darned thing out of my hands. Still, God had been nudging me about letting Ashunoah read the sample chapter that was a required part of the book proposal.
Oh, if you only knew me! I can be terribly sly and it's nothing I'm proud of. Well, Ashunoah knew I was working on a book proposal (he knows I'm a writer, no big thing), but he didn't ask what I was writing about, so I didn't (yet) mention it. Finally, I casually worked it into the conversation that the "women" in the "head covering" "book" I'm "writing" and the "book proposal" this, that and the other. Finally, he got the big picture that I'm doing a book on the (re) emerging head covering movement. He was really kind of laid back about it (he's that sort of guy...mostly), and nodded and just kept right along.
Days would pass and I'd be up early working on the proposal, or up till late at night working on the proposal (in between those two extremes I'm busy running after two toddlers who don't like to see me sneak up to my office to write for 30 minutes. "Mama! Come downstairs, Mama!"...so off I go).
He saw me working on that thing and he began to champion me on. He went out and bought me nice folders to put the proposal in so I could submit it in an attractive package; he bought special, better quality, heavier paper to print out the many pages of the book proposal on. One night he even told me he was proud of me for working so hard on this thing!
That, in and of itself, is a testimony, as many of you know he was not leaping for joy when I told him I felt led to cover. And even after he was "fairly okay" with me sometimes covering, he was never thrilled with it, and we still had some bumps in the road over the covering. It's been some road, that's for sure. To hear him say he was proud of me for working so hard on this thing was pretty amazing, but I'm not naive enough to think that there may not ever be any more bumps over the covering issue. But, I am most thankful for what I have. The Lord, dear ones, has shown me much grace.
I mailed the proposal on Thursday, but before that I was doing more proofing and editing and printing. And I felt the Lord nudging me about letting hubby read the sample chapter. Oh, I was resisting, beloved. Oh, that you could be a fly on the wall of my brain! I was like, "Okay, Lord. I'll do it. I think. No, wait. I can't do it. You know that part where I say yada, yada, such and so? Nooo. I can't have him read that." or, "Well, if the proposal is accepted, he'll read it anyway. Is that good enough? No?" or, "I'll read it to him. No? Because I might skip over some parts?" And then, something inside of me kept answering back when I'd say to myself, "Well, I'm not sure if this is God saying to let him read it, so I just won't let him read it." then, something (Someone!) would say, "Oh, I get it. In this very book proposal, you talked about not being sure, but you'd rather err on the side of obedience, than to walk a different path, and now you are saying just the opposite?"
Ouch. I couldn't say anything about that! So, in the end, I handed him the darned thing and let him read it. I told him I wanted his blessing on it. That sample chapter had a LOT about him in it, but you know what? He was impressed. He told me he really liked it and what parts he really liked in it.
Sometimes we don't have to understand why God wants us to do this thing or that thing. We just have to obey. Later we may understand better, and maybe we won't. But the point is to trust God and follow his nudgings and promptings. He loves us and put His Holy Spirit in us to lead and guide us. The more we respond and obey, the better prepped we are to respond and obey the next time a nudging or prompting comes along.
But back to the book. The proposal is off, but it will take many weeks before the editor says "yay" or "nay". Lisa, from over at Those Headcoverings, (she is an incredible wealth of information) said on her blog some time ago that she sensed a movement was afoot. She could not have been more right. Indeed, there does seem to be a movement afoot, the likes of which we may easily underestimate. We may term this 'movement' a spiritual (re)awakening of some sort, if we care to define it in such terms at all (I realize that there may be some who are uncomfortable with the term 'movement' and don't want to minimize the holy beauty of covering by saying it's part of a 'movement'. I understand and appreciate that. My intention in terming this a (re)emerging movement is merely to find a framework wherein I can practically place women who are new to covering and who have had, many times, a 'sweeping transformation' with regard to their covering. These women appear to be popping up everywhere throughout the U.S. and internationally, as well. I am one of those women. The term 'movement' becomes a loose way to identify such women and is not at all meant to diminish the holy and beautiful practice of head covering). Many women who are now practicing head covering just sensed a leading from the Spirit that they should cover. Many have no history with head covering. Many of us couldn't find a single book that could offer us the kind of support we needed --- a book written by real women for real women who want to embrace the ancient spiritual practice of head covering. Lots of books have been written on the topic of head covering, but there was still something missing.
My hope in penning this book is that women who are looking for support and advocacy in head covering can find it in this book. Too many women feel alone in their families, communities and even churches, as they may be the only woman covering. And this out of the blue! Spouses have a hard time (often) getting their minds around why their wives feel the need to cover their heads. Wives try to explain, and sometimes hubbies come on board, but many times they don't. I hope this book will offer direction, support, insight and courage for women who feel led of God to cover. I hope they will find the strength to cover (or, for that matter, the strength to submit to their husbands and not to cover --- the book will address this scenario, as well) in a culture where covering is not esteemed --- even in many Christian circles, churches and denominations. Many of you may recall that I am covering in the face of my pastor's disagreement with it.
Anyway, my idea is that this book will be comprised of many voices who represent many situations and angles of covering. I am interested in your voice, too. If you think you might like to be a part of this project, please drop me an email (see my profile) and let me know. I'm interested, in particular, in women who live in the states (it's okay if you're a missionary who currently doesn't reside in the states. If you were born and raised here I can use you!). I'm particularly interested in "new" headcoverers (maybe those who have started covering in the last year or two). I'd like to tell your story if you are one of a few, or perhaps the only, head covering women in your church, community or family. I'd like to hear your story if your hubby didn't like it, or maybe your friends, pastor and sister didn't like it. In short, those women who are covering amidst uncomfortable circumstances, but who are trying to press forward in it. If your hubby doesn't want you to do it, I want to hear from you. I need your stories more than you know. I'm also interested in you if you have a history of covering or if you have been a committed covering Christian woman for a while. I'd like to write a little about that, as well. Let me hear from you or feel free to pass this message around. I may not be able to use all of your stories, but I may use some (depending upon the responses I receive). I already have a core group of women I'm working with, but could use some more. Let me hear from you, dear ones. There are many women out there who need to hear voices the likes of ours. We have experiences that can help them as they begin (or continue) this journey of covering.
Love to you, dear ones.