My first book is released today and I really just can’t believe it!
It has been quite the journey, writing I Choose the Sky. It has been a wonderful journey of prayer and soul-searching and reflecting on the lives of the women in the Bible and the lives of the people surrounding me who show me how to live the Gospel.
This book is the story of seventeen women whose lives were woven into the tapestry of the Word of God. They are women whose lives are relevant and and important, women whose stories mattered enough to be written into the Bible. Many of their stories go untold and unknown - too many women do not know the stories of Tabitha, Esther, Priscilla, or Lydia. I wanted to bring their stories to life. But as I wrote this turned into more than just a book - it turned into a challenge for women to live the Gospel - to live virtue and charity and hospitality - to choose Jesus above all things - and most importantly, to be bold and brave in following Christ. Bringing the stories of these women to life taught me a great deal about our loving God and what it means to be a woman.
As I celebrate this book being published today, I feel overwhelming gratitude for my most incredible parents. You will read about various people who have touched my life throughout this book, and I highlight them because they have taught me well to do what I am writing about in any given chapter. You will find my parents only on the dedication page. Why? Because they would have been every example I would have used through the book to highlight how I was taught to do all that I wrote about. You would not have read about anyone else! They are the ones who taught me how to live every theme I chose to write about...that I am loved by God, how to open your home to others, how to evangelize well, how to be bold in my faith and witness to what I believe, how to be kind, how to put God first, how to choose virtue, how to give very generously, how to use my gifts to bring glory to God, and that God wants me joyful. They are the first and most important people in my life who taught me and encouraged me to choose joy - to choose Jesus - and to choose the sky.
This book was also made possible because my parents raised us in a faith-filled home where we were encouraged in making art. In our family home (which we call Wilson World), there is art everywhere. There are instruments galore and a painting or three on every wall. There are bookshelves filled with hundreds of books. Our creativity was always encouraged. It remains a huge blessing to have been raised in this home of artists. My father is a brilliant artist in countless forms and my mother makes the abundantly meaningful art with music and teaching children to sing. My siblings and I all make art in some way, and my words are one of my ways to create art for the world. For that, I am grateful.
Today, I am also thankful for the love and encouragement of my dear ministry mentor Mrs. Nick. After reading Mulieris Dignitatem in 2009, a passion was set aflame within me for helping young women, but I did not at all know how to channel it. When our life paths crossed, Mrs. Nick was the one who taught me how to do just that…to channel my passion and my love for showing young women who Christ is and helping them to see that a life spent conscious of every waking moment of His love was a life of great joy. I continued to learn how to express myself in words by listening to her talks, by poring over her writing, and in conversing with her every day as we rocked back and forth in our chairs in campus ministry. I do know in my soul that part of what I do is carry the torch of the ministry she created for young women for 20 years - it is an honor and a privilege to have learned from her and to have seen her steadfast, undying, unshakeable love for young women and leading them to Christ. She helped water the seed God planted in my heart when I read Mulieris Dignitatem. While she is not here on earth with us to read my book, I know she would be very proud of this work, and the thought of that brings me joy.
So, friends, I am honored to have words on paper, I am honored to have been raised by the most wonderful disciples of Jesus, and I am grateful to be a little pencil in the hand of a writing God who is sending a love letter to women all over the world. Why He chose me to do this work, I do not know, but I am happy, humbled, and blessed that He did.
Order my book here : http://store.lifeteen.com/ichoosethesky.aspx