Exactly one week ago, at 11:19 in the evening, with the neighborhood fireworks and smoke bombs exploding incessantly in my ears, I backed-up the latest version of the story I labored to birth fully two years ago. I decided the crazy display of noise and light was for me!
The next morning, with my heart in my throat, I sent those 91,782 words spread over 342 pages singing through the invisible cosmos of electrons to my editor, Gary.
And, my word, what a project this has been!
Five years ago, I unpacked forty or fifty journals onto the bookshelves of a microscopic house in the city of Springfield, Michigan and, as I leafed through their pages, was sucked into a kaleidoscope of remembrance and retrospection.
I replaced the last of those precious records and sat a while, regarding the tidy rows they made with satisfaction and marveling afresh at the amazing times they held – amazing opportunities, amazing experiences, amazing lessons, amazing growth. Even the volumes themselves were an accurate depiction of the growth they described. What began as a box of letters my late husband and I had written one another prior to our marriage shifted into a stack of loose pages bound with a giant black binder clip. The pages were then transformed into a neat file of spiral notebooks until they were transmogrified into a collection of handsome leather specimens.
The urge to share the life I’d discovered in those pages swept over me as I sat there, thinking and remembering, and the idea of this book was conceived.
But it took awhile to get started. Though I was single and, by then, with an empty nest, my practice became steadily busier. It wasn’t until I met my second husband and moved 1200 miles away that I was able to find the time to begin.
Begin I did, however, almost the moment I was settled into my new environs, and by the end of the year I was finished.
Or so I thought.
Since then, I’ve combed through the manuscript all of three times. The only other things I can compare the process to is the birthing of my children, the accomplishment of my midwifery certification, the tending of my husband as he crossed from life to death, and the scaling of Pike’s Peak with an extra slender windpipe.
It’s the story of my effort to grow from girl into woman, into wife, into mother, into midwife while serving so many special families, including my own.
It’s the story of my walk with God as He revealed Himself to me, as He redeemed me, as He transformed me into the woman He created me to be.
The story was a joy to write. It was wonderful to relive the myriad sweet moments I spent serving and learning with families that produced one hundred and twenty-three beautiful babies. The story was painful to write, too, as I relived all the struggles, as well as all of the triumphs.
My desire to do the story justice has been my primary challenge. But I did my best and I turned it in. I’m grateful to have a set of professionals poised now to work their magic over it. I suspect I’ve got as much work ahead of me as I have behind me, but I’m excited to have gotten this far, and I’m beyond excited to see what will come of it.
My prayer is that it will bless you ♥
Many thanks, again, to Katie Reid for editing my first book proposal, to Cindy Lambert of Somersault Group for helping me craft and polish my final proposal, to Wes Yoder of Ambassador for being my agent, and for Gary Terashita of Regnery Faith for taking me under his editorial wing!
Many thanks to my husband, Steve, for reading through and editing every single version of the manuscript! Oh my goodness! It’s gotta be true love! Many thanks to Megan Woodard, my stunning daughter-in-law, and to Hannah Simmons, my lovely daughter, for reading through and editing portions of the second draft while on vacation. Gosh!
Many thanks to my children, Hannah Simmons and Paul Woodard; to my parents, Durrell and Mary Banfield; to my sister, Kris Ratkos; to my Aunt, Kathy Shaw; and to my friends, Ginger Osborn, Lauri Zoyiopoulos, Linda Healey, Cheri Swalwell, Cher Gatto, Pam Crowl, Jolina Petersheim, and Cheryl Skid, for reading through the first draft of the manuscript and providing valuable feedback.
Many thanks to God for the story, for the expanding ability to write, for the time to write, and for the glorious sunset and wee little mouse to keep me company as I wrote.
And many thanks to all of you, my readers, for your continual interest and support!
To read a little more about my upcoming book, click here!
Stay tuned for news regarding the book’s release date!
Kim Woodard Osterholzer, Colorado Springs Homebirth Midwife
Photographs by Kim and Steve Osterholzer