Weeks ago my husband received a request for some of his poetry to be included in an anthology of Mormon poets. As the weeks have past, Doug has had several exchanges with the man compiling this anthology. We were both astounded to realize that there would be 70 poets included in this work. Well, maybe I should say I was astounded. Where on earth do you find 70 Mormon poets??? Doug sent in several poems (they wanted to publish 5) for them to select. A selection was made and lo and behold all the poems that were selected were from a book of poems that is being published this year by Parables Publishing, called 'Adam's Dream'. Doug requested from the man doing the anthology the name of that work so that Doug could give credit to the anthology in his own book.
This morning Doug received an email with the title of the new anthology. The title will be "Fire in the Pasture" which is a line from one of Doug's poems that was not originally selected to be in the anthology. The poem, titled 'Finding Place', will now also be included in the anthology. Not only included, but will be the opening poem of the work.
Now, let me tell you something completely unrelated. When I had a houseful of young children I was never sure if I was being a good parent or not. The house was often a mess. My kids often looked as if no one had ever taught them how to brush their hair. (And with six daughters that might have been true) They wore mismatched clothes, probably watched too much TV, squabbled with each other, snuck cookies out of the pantry and a whole host of other mischievous acts. They didn't make their beds with any regularity and only did their chores with the threat of Mom's wrath hanging over their heads.
Most of them are grown now. Four are married. Four are in some stage of their college education. Two are parents. Two are still at home, making messes and doing chores for the same reason their older siblings did - to avoid my wrath. But all of them are wonderful. They all are intelligent and caring and responsible. All of them follow the teachings of Jesus Christ which they were taught at home - mostly by their dad.
Why I tell you both of these is this. Doug has been working on his poetry for more than thirty years. He was writing poetry long before we met back in 1981. I have been a mom going on thiry years, my oldest is twenty-nine. Sometimes the rewards we seek, desire, even deserve do not come for a very long time. Doug for a long time has wanted some recognition that what he loves, what feeds his soul - poetry - was not a waste of his time. He wanted to know that he had some talent in that regard and that perhaps, through his work he might uplift others and bring them closer to the Savior. I, for a long time, wanted to know that my efforts at mothering were also not a waste of time, that perhaps I had some talent in the mom department. That perhaps through loving my children I taught them to love as well.
Today through an email, Doug recieved that reward. Today as I watched my grandchildren run into my youngest daughters arms to exchange hugs after church I had one of those rewards as well. It pays to be patient, to wait on the Lord to show you that your efforts are not in vain. When discouragement hits, I think it's important to step back and tell yourself - this is worth it - I just need to be patient. It's kind of like the line from the movie "Feild of Dreams". "If you build it, he will come." If we are patient those things that we most desire will come!