Well the way I am beginning to see it is each time I had a meltdown, something has happened to give me hope and encouragement immediately following my lowest lows. I’m talking about questioning everything about my self-worth! I’m referring to that point where you examine your life and wonder if you are making any difference at all, anywhere? I’m confessing to having doubts about my purpose and what I am really here on earth to do? I am being honest about wondering whether I would ever “measure up” and “make good” with what I “wanted to be when I grew up?” Yeah, I have issues…don’t we all?
So fast forward a couple of months later. More frustrations, more aggravation and discouragement, more challenges technologically with social media and getting the audio book finished (which, by the way, will be available on May 1st- miracle of miracles!) It felt like there was no end to the hurdles…and then I viewed the analytics on Amazon about my book sales! Mistake! Meltdown #3!
I had been working my tail off since October: trying to learn everything Jeremy was teaching me, putting it all into action- applying my knowledge of Flickr's Creative Commons photos to include in my blog (which I was writing almost every day), adding captions and titles to those photos with BeFunky, connecting with people on Twitter and growing my following, sharing wonderful articles, videos and photos on Facebook regarding motherhood, starting to learn Pinterest and still doing speaking engagements at MOPS groups and attempting to get my book into the hands of people who could promote it for me, as well as handing them out for free when I saw someone who could use a laugh! All this hard work and my book was going nowhere!
Meltdown #3 happened on Friday night, March 14th, 2014! How do I know this date you ask? We had a dinner date on our calendar- an invitation from our dear friend Phyllis, who is in my book. She is the angel/surrogate mom/ adopted grandmother of our family, and she had invited my husband, son (who was home on break from college) and me for dinner. Meltdown #3 had taken everything out of me that day. I couldn’t “pretend” to be happy and sociable, with swollen eyes and a recurring lump in my throat, so I declined. Besides, I had to get ready for a Mothertime Marketplace consignment event the next day where I would be selling my book at a venue for moms and babies. Perfect. I stayed home from Phyllis’ dinner party.
The very next day, as I sat at my vendor table wishing women to stop by and purchase my book, three young ladies stopped and picked up a copy. They looked at the book, then at me and yelled, “Senora Ana!” They were three of my Spanish students from fifteen years ago. They recognized me and we hugged and started talking about motherhood (go figure!) One was pregnant, one had had a little boy and the proud aunt was holding him. As we were fondly catching up and laughing about the trials and triumphs of being a mom, the organizer of this event got on the microphone.
“Today, we have Ann Van De Water here with her new book, MOMMY MEMOIRS and she is signing copies for anyone who is a mom, wants to be a mom, knows a mom or has a mom!” she read from my giveaway blurb. She continued, “and the lucky winner of the free giveaway copy of her book, is…” at which point she called the name of one of my three students who was standing right there in front of me!
There were hundreds of women and their families, shopping that day for their children at this consignment sale put on by the Buffalo Baby Expo and Mothertime Marketplace! What were the odds that this organizer would pull the name of one of my own students to give my book to that afternoon? What were the chances that she would be standing right there, right then, anxious to accept my book and start reading her old Spanish teacher’s memoir about motherhood?
What is the likelihood that this bit of encouragement would come my way, once again, the day after a third major meltdown when I (once again) was questioning whether or not I should continue plugging away with my book, considering the "odds" of it going anywhere?
My husband and sons have been the biggest supporters of my book. They have been my rocks and cheerleaders since I began this journey! I couldn’t have done it without them. Wes, my darling, keeps saying that even if I touched only one other life with the words I’ve written, it would be worth it…and yes, that is true! However, I am beginning to believe that God has bigger plans. God’s hand is on my life and on this book…no doubt about it!
I have one last story to share with you. Stay tuned!