I've just sent in the second draft, and unless there is something catastrophic about the revisions I've made, the book will move next to the copy-editing stage.
I should feel elated - or, at the very least, relieved. But mostly, I feel irritable and tired, a mood I recognize as distinctly unpropitious on the eve of a 10-hour car trip and a visit with the in-laws.
What exactly is a woman to do to celebrate that she's finished a book?
In my case, she takes her husband's suit to the dry cleaners and wonders whether the stain on the sleeve has anything to do with the better part of a week it spent on the floorboard of the van. She buys stamps and sends the two thank you notes she had been meaning to write weeks ago. She decides to try the Portuguese restaurant her friends had been raving about and orders herself lunch - because who wants a cold sandwich when congratulations are in order?
And then she sits down to write a blog post in the hopes that more words will produce more joy. (60,000 had apparently been too few.)
The book is finished. And so am I. Which is why I feel no need for defending that I am taking Harry Potter Books 1 and 2 with me to Chicago tomorrow.
I have written the book I feel God has given me to write, and I have done it as faithfully as I know how. But I'm reminded that even when we want something holy and commit ourselves to that good, it rarely comes as easy as we expect or feels as exhilarating as we hope.
And that's ok. Because when the work is finished, rest awaits.
"So then, there remains a Sabbath rest for the people of God, for whoever has entered God's rest has also rested from his works as God did from his.
Let us strive to enter that rest." Hebrews 4:9-11