I imagined myself a writer long before I even knew the alphabet. My mother claims that before I could spell, I followed her incessantly with pen and paper and begged use of her fingers to print the stories in my head. When I learned to write, I unleashed the words in my mind and filled stacks of notebooks with original novels and prize winning poetry.
My first published poem was a cheesy jingle for Spin Blend mayonnaise. It rang across the airwaves of a hip metro radio station all summer long when I was a gangly girl of thirteen. It earned me the honorary title of Miss Mayo and fifty dollars to spend as I liked. To celebrate, I bought a brand new pair of hot pink parachute pants and threw a party for my seventh grade English class. Though my radio fame faded, my love for words did not. I taught my first writer’s workshop at the age of fifteen and secured my own byline in the local newspaper shortly after.
Eager to unlock the world of words for others, I graduated from the University of Northern Iowa with a degree in English teaching. I had planned to grow gray behind a school desk, but after three short years, my heart was tugged home by a tow-headed toddler who called me Mommy.
My world of words shifted from Shakespeare to Green Eggs and Ham, while my love for writing dissolved into grocery lists and post-it-notes. I no longer scribbled poetic thoughts into journals, no longer crafted stories in my mind. However, in the quiet of the night or the stillness of dawn, the bigger-than-me-demands of motherhood drove me to God’s Word. And this word-girl fell in love with Word Made Flesh (John 1:14) all over again.
Three babies later, when I was buried deep in diapers, dishes and discipline, God interrupted a midnight feeding and whispered, “Write.”
Like Moses before the burning bush, I protested. “I can’t even complete a coherent sentence anymore.”
“I’ll give you the words.”
“I never went to graduate school. My husband’s the one with the M.D.”
“Who will read it? I’m just an ordinary mom…”
“With an extraordinary God.”
My argument ran dry, and I began to write.
From the trenches of motherhood, I penned articles of hope, humor, and encouragement. True to His promise, God placed my words into the hands of thirsty moms. My splashes of inspiration landed on the pages of magazines like Today’s Christian Woman, Proverbs 31 Woman, Hearts at Home, MomSense, Power for Living, and Thriving Family.
Today, I no longer settle in to write at nap times. All five of my babies have outgrown their cribs!
Now I scratch out words in between carpooling, homework helping and sideline sitting. And I scribble stories of faith when the rest of my household grows quiet and the moon sits high in the sky.
And just as the moon often shines through my window as I write, I’m praying that God will use the words of this humble print missionary to illuminate the One who fills my soul.
I am currently working on my first non-fiction book for mothers, writing Bible studies for pre-teen girls, and creating devotions for families who want to bring the Living Word to life in their home.