Saturday, July 16, 2011

I'm proposing....

Yes, you know I am married. But that leaves you wondering who I am proposing to and why would a married woman blast her extra-marital business across the internet for everyone to judge...

I am writing a PROPOSAL...
for a BOOK...
MY book for teen girls.

Ladies, is there not enough gossip in the tabloids to hold your attention? You needed to come here to try and find some? You know you don't get gossip here. Just good ole' fun about being a mom and my tricks of the trade when it comes to dealing with kids...and now TEENS... of my own and other people's teens.

"You are AMAZING! I just wanted you to know I couldn't have gotten through this year without you!"
After I got this message I realized how this incredible ride I am on is just the beginning - Ladies and Gentlemen, we are just about to pull out of the gate...HOLD ON, it's going to be a crazy ride!

This morning my PURPOSE DRIVEN LIFE devotional said that people who look into their own future and envision their lives "down the road" actually have more success than people who just plod along day by day.

Well, would ya look at that, all the people who think I am an incurable DREAMER are right...and I don't have to feel like I am getting tsk-tsk'ed by the teacher when they say it. Now, the next time someone says, "She's got her head in the clouds again..." I can say, "YOU BET I DO!! Grab your tickets now, you're gonna wanna see THIS!"

So, the theme of my morning devotional was PERFECT for the day I would rush out the door to my favorite and most productive writing spot - PANERA - as soon as my husband packed up the kids for the pool. I have been asked to plot my marketing plans for this book.

So, get comfy and insert the dreamy music here...

I see a shelf filled with a series of books and journals, activity books and picture books by Michelle Kemper Brownlow for teen girls that will raise their awareness of the world around them and give them the permission to OWN the space they take up. That space will be unique and beautiful like each of them and will have distinct boundaries that will celebrate the kind of woman they are "training" to become. Now, I know all these books would be spread all over the bookstore in their respective genre - but just humor me. Let's PRETEND I would have my own shelf. Isn't it pretty?

I see my iPhone (which I don't have yet) and make sure I synced it (which I don't know how to do) with my calendar so that the directions to the school I am speaking at later this week is included.

I see myself lurching back and forth as I tell just one of my many goofball stories that accompany every workshop I run. I have sat with young girls for over 9 years and made stories from my own life relevant to what we were talking about that day. Whether it was girl drama, boys and boundaries or parents, I have the story - ask them, they'll tell you!

I see flying (gasp, gasp, I don't like planes....breathe....if God wants me to I will....that's better) to events, book signings, TV appearances (OK - that felt weird to type), speaking engagements, schools to share something I have lived through and learned with girls who are struggling to stay afloat in this thing we throw at them called life. Sometimes it seems we parent from the lifeboat and just let them flail until they "kinda" get it!

The plans God has for this project are the ones I want to follow. I have followed His lead from the beginning. When I was struggling with what I was supposed to be doing with my life - go back to teaching high school, continue writing children's programs/curriculum for churches and teaching teens on Sunday, go into a different field altogether - I prayed and had a long chat with God. Thankfully He doesn't mind that sometimes that means meeting me in the bathroom. I picked up one of my own teen's devotionals and opened it. The words that jumped out at me said, "WHERE IS YOUR MISSION FIELD?"

Teens have been my passion since I taught back in the mid- 90's but I guess I always thought my connection with them was completely based on the fact that being right out of college, there weren't all that many years between us. But when my own children became tweens and the conversations would go from in front of the TV to around the kitchen table WITH ME... I realized they can sense how much I love them without me even having to do anything special. Just listen, be my goofy self and let them BE who they are.

I started to think about all the books out there for them... there were some but what teens go into the bookstore and head right to the self-help section for teens? What books could I suggest for them?

Well, they wanted me to help them now.... NOW... not when I found a book and after they had the chance to read it.What could I offer with my writing background? What kinds of topics would I cover?

That's when I decided I would focus on TEEN GIRLS.

My "Advisory Team" of 30 lovelies that I like to refer to as The Butterfly Girlz have shared their lives and their best advice with me for the book and the girls from "the gathering" group on facebook, which is comprised of 230+ girls from around the country, is always buzzing with issues, advice, girls crying out for help.

I have even spent hours on the phone with MOMS who beg, "I just need your advice..."

There is a need for this book. There is a need for teen girls to feel like they have someone to turn to.

So, I see this book becoming almost interactive when paired with the LIVE scenario of a facebook group!

So, we are headed up the hill of this big ride that starts with this book proposal.

So, as you see, I propose.


AlaneM said...

I LOVE your proposal Michelle!

Working at my local school has re-kindled my own passion for teens/tweens & I long to have a more meaningful connection with the kids than I can develop while serving lunch & driving them to sports practice.

I think that God is nudging me toward a particular ministry but I still have a lot of praying to do over it...and then my pastor's sermon this morning was totally relevant...and now your blog...

Keep the posts coming dearie, you inspire me & are lighting a bit of a fire under my big butt!!

Theresa said...

Age of Opportunity is a great book about shepherding teens.