When your kids believe in your work more than you do


Today, I’m joining Emily Freeman as we take every Tuesday for the month of December to unwrap the gifts of our ordinary days. Join us?


Under the coffee table, next to a stack of books I hope to read and a college-rule notebook filled with a list of submissions and rejections from various publishers and agents, sits a piece of lined paper with scraggly edges. At the top, my daughter wrote this (verbatim):

book IDEAS for my mom


~about how your kids make you feel like you Live in a fairytale

~about your husband makes you feel like your a queen

~your husband and you rule your fairytale

~ your husband is your King

While I question some of her theories on my “fairytail” life and the whole “husband is king” pronouncement, I adore the fact that she snuck away to a corner in her room and scribbled this list. I find lists like this all over the house. Lists of my girl’s favorites, her ideas, her dreams, or the name of the paint on her bedroom wall. I want to encourage that kind of dreaming, the everyday kind, where the biggest thing on the list might be the outfit she plans to rock tomorrow.  I also want to encourage the kind of dreaming that believes that no matter how many rejections one receives, there is still room for something new. There is still room for hope.

It’s no secret around my house that I’m a struggling writer, that I rack up rejections like my teenager racks up text messages. It’s bordering on ridiculous. But every so often, when the stars align and the moon is a waxing crescent and the sun remembers she’s meant to shine–God takes pity on my poor writer’s soul, and I receive a “yes”.

The “yes’s” used to keep me going, like a giant gulp of fresh air before a deep dive into the abyss that is publication. But, more than a yes, more than seeing my name in print, or having readers engage with my writing, is the fresh air I receive from “Book Ideas for my Mom”. I want to prove to my children that there is worth in pursuing the hard things–worth in engaging the seemingly impossible, and saying yes to myself anyway. Yes, I will continue to work even when the reward is small and the work goes unnoticed. Yes, there are disappointments. Yes, I am the queen of my kingdom, and it will not always look like a fairytale. Sometimes it is a mystery, a tragedy, a comedy of errors. But it is a story, a good story, and with the help of my little people, I am telling it.


What kind of ordinary gifts are you finding today?


  • God writes the best stories…. thank your daughter for reminding me. 🙂

    • KimberlyCoyle

      He sure does:) Thanks for stopping by, Lyli.

  • KimberlyAmici

    What a lucky mom you are to have a daughter who make lists of ideas for you! How sweet and encouraging.

    • KimberlyCoyle

      You should see some of the other lists;) I do believe I’ve earned the title of Mean Mom on some of them!

  • you are one blessed mama.
    she knows your heart and is speaking your language – you keep on keeping on, her little eyes are watching you.
    praying a yes for you~

    • KimberlyCoyle

      Thanks so much, Lori. I’ll take that prayer anytime!

  • That list is adorable!

  • “There is still room for hope.” Yes! Yes there is. Your daughter is much like my 15 year old, Though my daughter doesn’t leave me lists, she is always encouraging me to write. It is a blessing to have children who encourage us to follow our God-sized dream.

    • KimberlyCoyle

      Sweet:) Fifteen and already an encourager. What a blessing!

  • Mick

    I am cracking up. This must be written. I believe your king will decree it…

    • KimberlyCoyle

      Mick, you have no idea. I swear my husband, or king, as it were, had a hand in this list;) Hilarious.

  • Kathleen Botsford

    Love this! The list, the struggles and most of all the rejections! My goal as a writer is to have the courage and determination (not to mention, time) to collect as many rejections as I can……rejection always precedes success. Every fairytale says so!

    • KimberlyCoyle

      I love the way you summed it up! Every fairytale says so, indeed:)

  • Heidi McCahan

    Awww, what a blessing she is. Our kids help us dream big sometimes, don’t they? I’m sorry you’ve battled rejection with your writing. I’m just wading into the publication pool … and seriously considering self-publishing. 🙂 Don’t give up. The world needs to hear what you have to say.

    • KimberlyCoyle

      Thanks for the encouragement, Heidi. Best of luck ( and a whole lot of grace!) for your publishing endeavors!

  • RestWeary

    The innocence of children is so wonderful.

  • This is so sweet! Thank you for sharing your struggles. Here’s to fairytails!

  • Yuko Kato-Jones

    We often forget to see the world like children do, with eyes filled with hope and wonder. Perhaps we grown-ups are the ones who cannot see the world clearly through our eyes tainted with struggles and disappointments. You create such a beautiful kingdom for your children, and I hope my little ones would feel the same way when they are a little older. And just a reminder – J.K. Rowling was rejected by 12 publishers before her manuscript was finally accepted! You can do it too!!

  • I love this, Kimberly. What a sweet girl. Aaand… I had no idea you guest posted at Chatting when you lived in Switzerland! And I saw that Emily compared you to Kimberly Williams!! Yes! I just love her.

  • So precious!

  • Caroline Starr Rose

    You are modeling so much: passion, perseverance, courage. Here’s to the slog that is the submission process! When my guys were little I remember one of them reading the brand name on the back of the toilet and asking if it was the potty’s publisher!

    Might you stop by my blog and tell me when you sign with someone?

  • Well, would you look at how her list really did inspire you to write about your fairytail kingdom! Nice. Very nice.