Things are exciting around this joint, I tell you. The new walls are finally getting some paint, and the kids are back in school with a full social schedule, and my book’s publication date is finally growing near. It has been so far off, forever, that it seemed probable that it would never actually arrive.

But just like any huge event that lurks in the distance, the date eventually arrives. There’s a Green Plastic Monkey in my Purse will be published in the beginning of March. Just this week I got an email from the publicity department asking me for all sorts of details that they will use to publicize the book far and wide. This caused me some mixed emotions. On one hand I feel excitement from the top of my little red-head to the tips of my tiny little toes. (All the parts in the middle are much larger, I’m afraid. I just have a little head and little toes. Genetics are such a beast.)

Here I present my tiny little toes. Just for you. Because I love you all.
Here I present my tiny little toes. Just for you. Because I love you all.

On the other hand, sheer panic stung right through me when I sat down to fully comprehend what is about to happen. You know that feeling when someone drags you on a roller coaster, and you finally reach the top of the first hill? You look down and you think, “Oh, dear. Dearie, dearie, dear.” You aren’t sure you’re ready, but you know you’re strapped in to a moving cart someplace near the clouds. Getting out is not an option. So you sit tight and hope that no one dies.

No one is going to die, here. I’m quite certain. But I am wrestling with a similar sort of panic. And to top it off, I’ve started a new book proposal. Since the first book is about parenting, I thought it might be a nice complement for the second book to be about marriage. I have an outline, and Scripture chosen, and a few good reference books waiting. But the more I write, the less this book is about marriage. So far I have 4,500 words written on how not to be a selfish idiot. Anyone who has ever been married or in any other human relationship knows that this is a good place to start a book, but still. The more I write the more confused I become.

I take comfort in knowing this has happened before, and it will happen again. Life is confusing. We struggle. We wrestle. And by and large, if we do not give up, that struggling and wrestling works some sort of magic and the process moves along. Things become clear again. We see the end result.

We aren’t the only ones who wrestle, either. Jacob wrestled with God. John the Baptist struggled with doubt. Jesus struggled in prayer before He died. If these godly men had to work out their faith and get through a difficult process, I can do the same.

But what do you all think—should I go for the marriage book, or the do-not-be-a-selfish-idiot book?

This left Jacob all alone in the camp, and a man came and wrestled with him until the dawn began to break. When the man saw that he would not win the match, he touched Jacob’s hip and wrenched it out of its socket. Then the man said, “Let me go, for the dawn is breaking!”

But Jacob said, “I will not let you go unless you bless me.”

“What is your name?” the man asked.

He replied, “Jacob.”

“Your name will no longer be Jacob,” the man told him. “From now on you will be called Israel, because you have fought with God and with men and have won.” (Genesis 32:24-28, NLT)

7 Comments on Excitement and Panic

  1. memyselfandkids
    January 17, 2013 at 10:41 pm (4 years ago)

    That is so exciting about your book coming out. I am really happy for you.

  2. Anonymous
    January 18, 2013 at 11:02 am (4 years ago)

    Jessie…U are awesome and by the way, I think that is the actual title to marriage “how not to be a selfish idiot” after all if u do then your marriage will never work….I think U are on to something

  3. KristenE
    January 18, 2013 at 8:31 pm (4 years ago)

    I am voting for the do-not-be-a-selfish-idiot book because when you search for a book on marriage the selection is huge. I am afraid people might miss your wonderful book amongst the long assortment of titles. When you search for “do not be a selfish idiot”, there are not as many titles; therefore, yours will certainly win people’s heart and money. Just a thought.

  4. Jessie Clemence
    January 18, 2013 at 8:54 pm (4 years ago)

    Can I assume that you have Googled “do not be a selfish idiot”? It sounds like perhaps you have.

    Thank you for the input. I shall consider your wisdom. 🙂

  5. Tanya M.
    January 22, 2013 at 3:48 am (4 years ago)

    First of all, thanks for sharing your tiny little toes. They are just too cute. 🙂 Secondly, both topics certainly go together. But a ‘do not be a selfish idiot’ book would be great for anybody, any relationship, and most importantly, any Christ follower. Just keep writing, things will become clear again – you said it yourself. I’m excited for you!

  6. Jessie Clemence
    January 22, 2013 at 8:44 am (4 years ago)

    That seems to be the consensus. It always goes wrong the moment we decide to be selfish idiots! 🙂