It’s out! Everbloom, the first book compiled by the beautiful women of Redbud Writers Guild.
From the Pareclete Press website:
Through the pain, loss, beauty and redemption in these pages, you’ll find freedom in Christ and the courage to embrace your own story. The women of Redbud know the importance of spiritual shelter, and how easy it is to feel alone and misunderstood. In the Everbloom collection they offer essays, stories and poetry: intensely personal accounts of transformation, and the journeys to find their own voices. Best of all, they invite you to join them, with writing prompts that encourage a response of honesty, faith and imagination. Accept the invitation: set out on the journey to find your own voice.
Below is a small excerpt from my essay, Untangle, which I am honored to have alongside so many powerful, vulnerable and grace-filled stories.
Here I sit at the airport terminal, waiting to head back to Kansas City after a surprise weekend for my brother’s birthday. It’s been three years since I moved from Milwaukee, and you’d think I’d be used to the alternation of flights between home and where I now reside. I’m not. I have been uprooted and yanked from my soil—good soil I sat in for twenty-eight years—and transplanted to foreign terrain, unfamiliar bearings. Passengers spill into the terminal, men and women looking tired and content to arrive. I am mentally imploring the plane to unload forever so I will not have to board. I am too familiar with airports, hum of engines, whir of thoughts. Constant middle ground—it’s no longer where I grew comfortable; I have difficulty gaining my footing in the new. I cannot stop fidgeting under God’s hands, though I realize he’s trying to work in me. Daily life moves on, and they call my group to board. I shuffle down the aisle and hide in the back, next to the oval window that will let me glimpse Lake Michigan until we rise above the clouds. With lift of metal wings, I am air bound, suspended between lands. Root detaching again and again as I split time in two places. I had thought I would spend my entire life in my Wisconsin hometown. Even if my ministry took me traveling, I would always return from my rounds to the curved streets I know so well. Or, at the very least, I’d stay within the state. Within driving distance to get to my family. I had wound my roots deep and did not want to uncurl them for anything.
Then, in a whirlwind I never saw coming, I was stripped of familiarity, wrenched from the warmth and love I reveled in, and planted where I was the new girl, with a job I wouldn’t necessarily pick for myself. The span of time from application to acceptance was three weeks, and I moved to Kansas City two and a half weeks later. Knowing no one. But they needed me there as soon as possible, and I, in faith—or naively, as I see it now—took the leap and landed nine hundred miles away from the world I loved. For the sake of my growth, my gut assured me—for the calling of God.
We are all in this beautiful life journey together. Please order your own copy and take courage to tell your own tale, or multiple copies to share with the women in your life!