There’s nothing better than immersing myself in a great book and coming away with new friends. If a beautiful romance is introduced in those pages, even better. A book like that will run through my mind for weeks after I read it. Unfortunately, there are also those times when I settle in to read a love story only to find that it doesn’t meet my expectations. I want the feelings written into the words to be deep, believable, and…of course…romantic.
Real life confession time: My husband’s not an incurable romantic.
Oh, he has his endearingly unforgettable moments, to be sure. He once filled my entire bedroom floor with pink and white balloons on my birthday. For our fifteenth anniversary, he sent me fifteen lavender roses (my favorite color). He read every word of all four of my books in The Camdyn Series. For a man who doesn’t read, that’s a grand gesture.
But…there was also the Christmas Eve that we were at my parents’ house, and he suddenly sat up in bed and blurted, “I forgot to get you a present!” Forgetting your wife at Christmas is pretty entrenched in not romantic enough territory. If we were on a television sitcom, I’m pretty sure that mistake would have earned him a couple nights on the couch, if not a trip to the doghouse.
Somehow, I managed to be gracious and forgiving that night, and it didn’t sting as badly as it should have. The next day, his mother gave me a beautiful pink pea coat that I still treasure. He was going to buy me that gift, but gave his mom the idea so she would get the credit. That Christmas and my not romantic enough husband gave me a great memory of my mother-in-law that I’ve cherished since she passed away a decade ago.
My home church is going through a series of messages right now titled “I’m Not _____ Enough.” The idea of abandoning the tendency to compare myself with others has been especially timely for me. For some, the statement might look something like I’m not thin enough. I’m not pretty enough. I’m not smart enough. The notion of not living up to physical ideals is one that many of us struggle with from time to time, but lately, another vein of comparison has been plaguing me.
I’m not successful enough. I’m not popular enough. I’m not visible enough.
This writing journey has been very rewarding, but it’s also been disheartening at times. When I see another author experiencing success that feels elusive to me or receiving accolades for their work, it’s hard not to filter the way I see things through a lens of comparison. Even on my very best days, someone is going to be doing better, selling more, receiving more recognition.
It’s inevitable that I’m going to have those momentary pangs of jealousy in comparing myself to others—those instances where I think, “Why not me?” Ultimately, though, I have a choice in how I’m going to respond. Will I sulk and believe that my situation is somehow not enough, or will I sit back and smile, knowing that my individual journey will ultimately be more than I imagine?
Even more important, when I’m on the verge of slipping into that not enough mindset, I wonder what God’s thinking. The same God who created the vast expanse of the universe chose to make me fall awkwardly between petite and average height. The God who painted the stars in the sky gave me a mind that teems with words, but didn’t bless me with the ability to express them verbally. If He took such care in the intricate design of the smallest flower, surely He wants me to remain uniquely one-of-a-kind. Comparing myself to anyone else is only going to cheapen what He’s doing in my life.
So, if you see me on the street, I won’t be whining about the fact that I’m not tall enough or not eloquent enough. I’ll be wearing my high heels so my pants don’t drag the ground, and I’ll probably stumble over my words when you talk to me, but I’ll try very hard not to compare myself to you.
My life is far from not romantic enough.
The creator of the universe loves me, and He loves you. In a world of not enough, that’s everything.
Coincidentally, if you’re interested in a romantic guy, you might want to meet Cole Parker. :) You can find him in the first novel of The Camdyn Series, A Reason to Run.
Diana Wise says
Thank you for your encouraging thoughts. It is a good way to start the day.
Thank you Diana! Glad you stopped by.
LOL, I wonder how many husbands are really “romantic enough”?
Ha Lee! I’d guess not very many.
D K Stevens says
I enjoyed the post today.. My husband has times he totally surprises me with being romantic.. :)
Aren’t those times the best? Thanks for commenting!
Katy C says
Great article. Thank you for the reminder that God has created me to be me and nobody else.
Looking forward to reading A Reason to Run!
Thanks Katy! Sometimes we all need a reminder.
Melissa Wardwell Author says
Oh so true. I think we women compare ourselves to others in every facet of life. Whether you’re a mother, a wife, or a writer – you’re making comparisons. God created us to be HIS unique child and only that matters. It takes some years to figure that out, if they ever do at all.
Something God has revealed to me often, and it keeps me from comparing my beginnings to others, is He will put the books in the hands of the people He wants them in. I can do all the work, but if it is outside of hHis will for that book, it will not happen.
Best of luck to you, dear friend.
Thank you Melissa. It’s always nice to find the right readers. :)
JoAnn Durgin says
Awesome post, Christina! Welcome to Inspy Romance. I couldn’t be more thrilled to have you join us as a monthly blogger! :) If your husband reads your books, he’s golden. And I love the idea that he filled the room with pink and white balloons (adorable photo, too). Comparing ourselves to others is always a dangerous road to walk because, in our own mind, we always fall short (in my case, literally, and I don’t wear high heels…anymore). I love the idea of the series of messages in your church and it sounds like a topic we could all explore in our own lives. But God created YOU to be a very special ambassador for Him through your books. Onward and forward! :) Blessings.
Hi JoAnn! Thanks for your encouragement, and I’m really happy to be here!
Ann Ellison says
Enjoyed reading Christina’s post. I love her books.
Thank you Ann! You’re always so sweet! :)
Valerie Comer says
I don’t live in a sea of roses either. But 35 years in, I believe the quiet moments speak louder than extravagant gestures!
So very true Val!
Beth Gillihan says
Great post! Thanks for the encouragement!
Thanks for stopping by Beth!
Margaret Nelson says
When we were going together, and he was overseas, my husband sent me a dozen roses for Valentine’s Day, and I was sure I’d found a romantic guy. It turned out later that another fellow was sending his girlfriend roses, so Jim got the idea from him… Since we got married, I’ve learned to appreciate the things he does around the house, because he rarely thinks up romantic gestures :-)
Hi Margaret! I think sometimes I’d prefer the things done around the house. ;)
Sue Williams says
Loved your post, really spoke to my heart. I have so many Not ___enough, so I appreciated your reminder of God’s grace and love for us. I downloaded your book and look forward to reading it! Blessings on your writing endeavors.
Thank you Sue! I have a lot of not enoughs, but we shouldn’t! :)
Merrillee Whren says
I think surprises are the most romantic.
Surprises are awesome! :)
Diane Adams says
I don’t think I have met an author who was wasn’t struggling to resist the urge to measure their success against that of other authors. We want to be happy for those who are at the top of the charts but it isn’t easy – not just when it comes to writing either! What if you knew that just one person read your book and made a positive, life-changing decision because of something you said? You can’t get any more successful than that! They might not ever send you an email to tell you or write a 5* review, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t happening. In fact, your post today helped me!
Thanks Diane! When I do get those messages, they surprise me to know God could use me in such a way. :)
I loved this article. It is so true when you start to think I’m not ____ enough you have to remember who’s child you are.
Very true! Thanks for commenting. :)
Hi, Christina I am glad to see you on Inspy.
We all feel at one time or another that we’re not good enough.
I think you are good enough as an author writing some awesome romantic fiction.
The Camdyn series was mind blowing , good. That hunky Cole , oh so romantic.
Your the best.
Linda, you’re always too kind! I’m glad you love Cole and happy to have you as a reader.
Carol Moncado says
Hi, Christina!!! SO glad you’re here! i think I have a couple of yours waiting on my Kindle but you know how that goes.
I love this post! My hubby is usually pretty good about remembering stuff and doing little romantic-y stuff, but mostly he’s a solid, reliable, gentleman which is better than pure romance any day!
See you tonight! :D
You’re right Carol. Usually when mine says something super sweet I wind up laughing. :) It was great to meet you tonight!
Nancy K says
Having been married to my hubby for 42 years I count the little things he does as being romantic. He has never forgotten my birthday or Christmas. One time we were in WalMart and went different directions. When we met back up he had picked out a nice ink pen for me. I found that to be rather romantic since he knew what I liked and tried hard to pick out a special surprise for me. Little things like that are so special to me.
That’s great. One of my favorite gifts from my husband was lip gloss for that very reason. :)
Jill Weatherholt says
I love the photo of you and the balloons, Christina! For me, the simplest gesture is often the most romantic. A “thank you” after I’ve done the laundry, is one of those. Great post!
Thanks for commenting Jill! Thank you is always welcome, right? :)
I understand your un-romantic husband. I have one too, but he shows me his life in many other ways. A few years ago we went through the book Five Languages of Love. I found out his love language is acts of service. He’s always doing tasks around the house. That’s him showing me he loves me. I’m learning, after 33 years of marriage that I can find romance in other ways.
Thanks Marylin. I don’t consider him unromantic as much as I consider him normal. :)
Even when I’m “not enough” of something, God’s quite enough for me :-) Did I catch that in your thoughts here Christina….because that is such a powerfully profound simple thought that I could get down in my heart! Thanks for the encouragement :-)
Welcome to Inspy Romance, by the way! I’ve meet some wonderful ladies here & I’m sure you’re going to fit right in with them. God’s many blessings on you :-)
Absolutely! And thank you for the welcome.
Narelle Atkins says
Lovely and inspiring post, Christina :) Thanks for sharing with us.
Thank you! I’m glad to be here.
Stacey Jones says
Great devotional blog. I struggle with ‘not being good enough’ or trying to please everyone until I’m miserable. I forget that our awesome God made me who I am and I should focus on pleasing Him and that will take care of the rest. (Uh, my hubby told me on our first Christmas day that he would take me out shopping for a bargain the day after Christmas. Not romantic at all! LOL!!!)
Thank you Stacey! Glad I don’t struggle alone. :) And it’s usually the small gestures that I find romantic, so hopefully you get some of those from your hubby along the way.
I have read “A Reason To Run and really loved it. I plan to the rest of them but it is a slow process. I think you are a great writer and that is something I am not. God blessed you with a talent so enjoy it. Have wonderful October.
Thanks so much for the kind words!