Monday, September 12, 2011

Story 2011

There's an age we all reach when we begin to sort out our dreams from our reality. For me, I think it hit me at about 16. I wanted to be a forest ranger, and I believed the life would suit me. I consumed Thoreau, Emerson, and every naturalist poet I could find to fuel my dreams. When I got to Florida State University, I couldn't pass chemistry to save my life. My roomie, Pam, used to coach me through each week's lessons, and it began to dawn on me that I might have chosen the wrong path. I chose Journalism, but in my first class, one of the essays the professor read aloud was mine, and he mocked my imagery and my anthropomorphism, saying I was completely ill-equipped to be a serious writer. So I went back to my default dream, education, because deep in my heart was a child who wanted acceptance, and I knew that as a teacher I could give children what I needed for myself. I don't regret that decision. I am a good teacher, and I understand how to reach and teach children. I value a child's innocence and spirit, and have guarded many kids from the harsh realities of the world around them, while trying to equip them with the skills they need to live their lives.

But something in me never let go of the writer within, and I have spent my free time writingwritingwriting, trying to make it work. Trying to make something meaningful, relevant, and worthwhile out of my words. So this week, I'm going to Chicago. A group called Story 2011 is meeting, and I'm going to try to pass muster within this "creative collective." I actually have my friend from Hobby, Laurel, to thank. She shared her blog with me --From Snowflakes to Hotcakes. Laurel kind of explores various topics that are a part of her life, and she wrote about a book she was following called A Thousand Gifts. Laurel's writing encouraged me to start my own blog; I felt compelled to get started on reading A Thousand Gifts as well. The author, Ann Voskamp, shares her life through A Holy Experience. Ann writes with very few words. In a whisper, she can share a shout. In a handful of words, she can express a heartful of desire, desperation, delight. Over time, I've been learning that I can let God define my time and talents, and then refine me to fulfill the purpose He has for my life.

So wish me luck, would you? I'm going to learn from Ann and other Christian writers and artists who have dreams similar but much larger than my own. Let me take this writing and commit it to Him, and then see what happens next. I am excited...ready...and very hopeful that I can learn to yield, surrender, and follow, and that my reality can finally match His dreams for me.


  1. Parallel lives. First thing that came to mind was my brother who started at the Air Force Academy studying German and History. After two years he was home working for McLane's. One day he woke up and decided he was going to SFA to study forestry which quickly changed to wildlife management after a round with botany. Finally he graduated with a degree in photojournalism. After working for a newspaper for years, he was laid off during a massive downsizing. He had to reassess his interests again. He is now an electrician. Whodathunk?

    I also had a winding path. I started out as a prepharmacy major. I didn't like school so I would have to have worked harder to get better than a C in chemistry. Then came the degree in psychology (actually two degrees in psychology.) After years of working any job that would hire me while following my husband's military career. Finally, I found I was a good teacher and decided to get my certificate. I wish I could find a job doing that now, but maybe I am opening another door.

    I hope you find your voice at this workshop.

  2. So glad God could use my little corner of the internet to bless you. Ann is amazing, isn't she? Such grace! She is such a blessing, and I'm thankful that she lets God pour into her and use her to bless all of us! I'd love to hear how Story 2011 went! :-)


Sharing our journeys with one another is something I value. Please share yours!