Jenna St. James

When all you have are words…

So, I got invited to this AMAZING event happening next year in 2019. Literally, a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for me, since it is not going to happen again in 2020. I didn’t overthink it (totally not me)… I just jumped! Why am I telling you this? Because as most of you know, I’m an open book. I’m the kind of person who believes in telling it like it is.

As most of you know, this hasn’t exactly been my year (LOL)…but, it hasn’t been all bad, either!!! I believe in giving praises where praises are due. Outside of my family, which I will thank personally in a minute, I wouldn’t have been able to get out of bed on some days if it wasn’t for other authors AND my readers. The encouragement, the AMAZING fundraiser earlier this year immediately after the fire, the continued support. All of that means so much to me.

I was talking with author, Ava Mallory, the other day, and even though it’s been nine months since the fire, when I told her about how the “writing/reading” community stood behind me, I started to cry a little. Without you guys, I wouldn’t be able to do what I do.

Now, as far as my family goes…most of you know that my sister generates ALL of my book covers. She is the most talented person I know. And that is truth. Not only does she design my book covers, but she also repurposes furniture, repurposes vintage cars (wait until you see what she’s doing with a ’57 Chevy truck), makes AMAZING crafts, AND she writes!! She’s also working on restoring a little Silver Bullet for us to travel around in and sell our books out of. Juliana is multi-talented.

But my mom…I feel that needs to be a curtesy cap. But my Mom. My MOM is amazing. She’s the one that holds us all together. Every day she wakes Jules and me up with a text that tells us both that she loves us and is thinking of us. We are her first thoughts. Throughout the day, she texts us and reminds us we are loved (my co-workers LOVED hearing my Mom’s snapchats last year)…and at night, you better believe Jules and I know we are loved, talented, and that she’s proud of us. Every day. That’s what she says to me all the time, “I believe in you, Jenna.”

Words that are not to be taken lightly. “I believe in you, Jenna.”

I’m a miser. LOL. I willingly admit it. I spent 12 years in full-time ministry. Our first church, we made like $115 a WEEK. Yes, read that, my friends. LOL. I learned how to budget and live on that kind of money.

I still live by the philosophy, “Be a good steward with your money,” even though I am no longer in the ministry.

So, that brings me to today. Right before Christmas. I know I can ask for a Christmas present from my Mom, and I’m prepared to do it…money to pay for my room next year.

The phone rings last night. I answer it. First thing Mom says, “I put some money in your account today. I just thought you could use it.” I started to cry. I didn’t even HAVE to ask her. But I do anyway. I tell her I was going to ask for money for Christmas so I could pay for my hotel room and not worry about it later. Not because I don’t think it will be there—I totally do. You, my readers, have jumped at the Ryli Sinclair Book 9, plus I have two more due out by March. I’m not worried. But the fact my Mom says, “It’s what Mom’s do,” brings me to tears.

Because you see…I know the truth. I know it’s not what ALL Moms have to do. I taught over a decade in public school. I could have a student one day, and not the next. Only being told they were removed from the house. I’ve witnessed the underbelly of “family”…the unpleasantness. What my mom doesn’t understand (and what I never want to tell her) is that, in actuality, it’s not what ALL Moms must do. It’s what SHE DOES. It’s what MY MOM chooses to do for my sister and me because she LOVES us and she BELIEVES in us.

Simply put. “I believe in you, Jenna.”

And it’s those words that keep me plugging on. My Mom is my biggest fan. My Mom is my sister’s biggest fan. And for that, I want to give a huge shout out to my Mom. She doesn’t have to (even though she believes differently)…she CHOOSES to tell my sister and me DAILY that we are talented and we are loved.

I don’t have a lot to give my Mom. In a few years when she’s no longer able to live on her own, she knows we’d LOVE to have her live with us. But outside of that, I don’t have a lot to offer my Mom. I have words. I’m good with words. I’m honest with words.

My Mom, my sister, my readers, my writer friends…all of you have made me what I am today in December of 2018. Believe me, I’m a TOTALLY different person than I was from the woman of February 24. That person had two jobs—the school district and the writer. That woman thought she had the bull by the horns. That woman was delusional. LOL. That woman, a few hours later, would have to rely on people to give her underwear, to give her a toothbrush. That woman would have to fall hard.

And that’s okay. We’ve all been there. It’s picking ourselves up from the ashes…relying on others to help when they can…it’s all those things.

Thank you, readers…thank you, Jules…thank you, MOM!