I always kind of wondered if there wasn’t something wrong with me. Even as a kid, while everyone else seemed to have their feet securely planted on terra firma, I saw stories everywhere. And, of course, I was right smack dab in the middle of them. If I pondered this, I thought it was weird. Live in the present, in reality for heaven’s sake. I didn’t share this with anyone in case they thought it was weird, too.
I did have one kindred spirit though in my grade school years at Lowell Elementary in Seattle. At that time the school district offered a program where we school children boarded buses to catch the dress rehearsals for the Seattle Symphony. Joy! Kathy and I sat next to each other whispering stories that matched the music. (Horses were invariably involved.)
Don’t get me wrong, living in a fantasy world holds danger. But that’s not where I was. I just saw stories. “What ifs,” “imagine what would happens,” “wouldn’t it be crazy tos.” I found it odd. Though it did come in handy at times. For example, if I read a book or saw a movie with a sad ending, as long as it didn’t leave me depressed or near – catatonic, I’d make up a better, more satisfying ending, dust off my hands, and move on.
It’s not like I spent time agonizing over this. No, I led an ordinary life. I graduated from college, taught for several years, met and married a tall, handsome Viking, and started a family. When our two daughters reached school age we chose to homeschool and followed that route for twenty years. With great joy I might add. I loved homeschooling. Even making lesson plans excited me. Call me crazy. (And some did.)
Music was another passion. I played piano and guitar and even wrote songs. Fortunately, my husband loved music as well and it filled our home. For years the girls took piano and voice lessons. I remember overhearing a friend ridicule opera one day. “No one sings at each other like that in real life,” she said. I had to chuckle. You haven’t been to my house.
We sang often at church–mostly the girls and I–but every once in a while the four of us would perform a quartet. At Christmas we sang a mean “Angels We Have Heard on High.”
We gardened at our home in northeast Washington, read tons of books we had accumulated, camped, and made memories.
Before I knew it the girls were grown and my homeschooling days were over. Yikes. Now what? I began to pray, asking God to show me what He wanted me to do. It was hard, letting go of a life I’d enjoyed so much for so many years.
I knew God had a purpose for me in this new season of life. I still wondered about my propensity to imagine adventures and tales at the drop of a hat. Was it weird? Was I?
And then through a series of events – reading books and articles and meeting all kinds of people – my eyes were opened. I wasn’t weird, just wired differently. I was part of something bigger. I was one of those quirky writers! What do you know? It was a gift.
We writers may not be appreciated when it comes to balancing household accounts or keeping track of the myriad everyday details of life but I bask in the thought that we bring color and excitement to the world.
So I decided to embrace my gift and allow the Gift-Giver to fashion me into the person He created me to be in the first place. He led me to a small group of women who use their gifts of writing to encourage others and shine light into the world. They inspired me to do the same. So I did. Lo and behold, after many, many months, a novel was born.
Things may change in the future but for now I relish this season, this time to write. I am grateful for time spent with family and friends and for God’s leading and love. Through ups and downs I know I can trust Him. After all, He promises that He does all things well.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I see a little “what if” peeking its head around the corner…