I remember praying so often in 2018 for a story to write. The decade of rejections had done their damage. I even asked God to take away my desire to write if it wasn’t His will for me. Knowing that serving others was most certainly His desire, I signed up to volunteer in the church nursery.
The Sunday before the stars appeared on my ceiling, only one little baby was dropped off in my care. Isabella was all coos and smiles, content to let me hold her in the rocking chair, as a flood of emotions washed over me. The way I’d felt and dreamed while holding my own two babies (the eldest having just turned 13) came vividly and powerfully back to me. Your Nursery Is an Everywhere was conceived in that moment.
The second piece of the puzzle came when I recalled a poem I used to recite to my college boyfriend, who was, by then, my 18-year groom. “The Good-Morrow” was penned by John Donne in the 1600s about romantic love. Suddenly, I knew my favorite line from that poem could just as easily be describing the love between a mother and her baby. “For love . . . makes one little room an everywhere.”
Lastly, God gave me the inspiration of a ceiling sprinkled with stars. I wrote the book in one exhilarating day, revised it for a few more, shared it with family and friends, and set off to the local SCBWI conference. There, I met my editor. Each step in the process of creating this book has been a gift.
There is a mysterious commonality between my two published picture books. Surely it is no coincidence that each of the stories was a result of holding a baby and praying a fervent prayer.