Someday is Now
By Marybeth Whalen

There have been several surreal moments along the way to publishing my first novel.
I shared it with an author I respected and got tongue tied. There was the day I paused outside a Barnes and Noble with my publisher as she wrapped her arm around me and told me that a year from that moment my book would be on its shelves. Then, I received endorsements from other authors and realized they had actually read it, and had to shrug off the urge to throw up. I discussed my novel with my husband in detail after he read it, and reveled in all his questions. Then, I heard about the marketing campaign on a conference call with public relations professionals.

The truth is, I am not a person who does such things. I prefer my jammies to most any other article of clothing. I like hiding out at home and typing thoughts into my computer … but am not sure those thoughts should be displayed for others to read. I dreamed of being a novelist all my life, but really doing it? That seemed like a dream for someone else. At any rate, a dream for someday and not now. I hid behind the safety of “someday” for a long time. The word “someday” was a promise I didn’t have to fulfill, a risk I didn’t have to take … yet. I could put it off for as long as I wanted, yet still hold on to my dream.

I would have hidden behind “someday” for the rest of my life if not for God sending someone into my life who stopped letting me hide. One by one, she plucked out all the excuses I had to offer and urged me towards “now” instead of “someday.” She held me accountable. She accepted no substitutes. She urged me forward and didn’t let me languish on the corner of Self Pity and Apathy. She was my friend while being my taskmaster - continually refocusing my vision on the end result, admonishing me to keep my eye on the prize, even when I doubted a prize awaited.
When I met my friend Ariel, she was already pursuing the dream of becoming a novelist. She had done the hard work of writing a novel and was looking for a publisher, while I was afraid to write the first word.

Doubts and questions plagued me. What if my efforts were wasted? What if I failed? I would rather not try at all, than fail and admit my dream was out of reach. And yet, if I never tried I would never know. How could I bear to live in dream limbo, Ariel wanted to know? Just do it, she urged me. “If I can, you can,” was her refrain. When I look back, I see how much I needed her prodding, her unrelenting pep talks. It was the difference between someday and now.
My first novel, “The Mailbox,” is based on a real mailbox that sits on a desolate stretch of North Carolina beach. People come from all over the world to write notes to the Kindred Spirit and leave them inside the mailbox. It is a place that houses people’s dreams … words they hold close to their hearts and keep secret, sharing with no one else. It is fitting my novel centers around a place where people share their dreams, many for the first time. And yet, if they only leave them there and do nothing else, how far will that take them?

Do you have a dream you’ve been holding on to, keeping safe? Have you been hiding behind “someday?” Can I be an Ariel voice in your ear today? Stop putting off your dreams. Take just one step toward the passion God has placed in your heart. If you don’t know what that is, seek Him and let Him tell you. Listen to those things that make your heart beat faster. I believe God has called us all to live passionate, purpose-filled lives.

I believe He has an extraordinary plan for each of us. Your plan may not include writing a novel, but it might include leading worship, running a marathon, discovering something new, creating something beautiful. Whatever it is, don’t put it off. You don’t have to plunge headlong into it all at once. A small step every day is better than no step at all.

Someday is safe. There is no doubt about that. But someday is also boring. I am grateful God sent someone into my life who stopped letting me hide behind someday and whispered “Now.” An exciting adventure waited within that three letter word.

Marybeth Whalen is the wife of Curt and mom of six children. They live outside Charlotte, North Carolina. Marybeth is a member of the Proverbs 31 Ministries speaker team and a regular contributor to their daily devotions, reaching over 350,000 people daily. She served as general editor of “For The Write Reason” and “The Reason We Speak.” She and her husband Curt co-authored “Learning To Live Financially Free” and her first novel, “The Mailbox” will be released in June 2010. Additionally, she serves as director of She Reads, Proverbs 31 Ministries’ fiction division. Marybeth speaks regularly to women’s groups and enjoys sharing stories from her daily adventures as a wife, mom, writer and, most importantly, a follower of God. You can find her online at

Please see the back page to order Marybeth’s latest book, “The Mailbox.”


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