Born with big dreams...
I've always wanted to live everywhere and do all the things. Growing up, I aspired to be a photojournalist and an Olympic ice skater, or be Corrie Ten Boom and Madonna simultaneously. I dreamed of travelling the globe while saving it and always being close to the sea. In reality, I was born in the suburban South with a penchant for poetry and a deep soul.
My greatest desire? To share the beauty I saw with everyone so they could see it too.
It didn't seem so confusing when I was five-years old twirling in the middle of the street in my slip and Burger King crown. Ah, innocence!
Lost in everyone else's plans
Somewhere in the weirdness that is adolescence, I built a belief system.
To be loved, achieve.
To be beautiful, assimilate.
To be accepted, repress.
People told me I should do this and be that. I listened to everyone except God, who was always there, always loving me and never giving up.
So the art in my bones took backseat to living life in the right order.
A few years later, I lay my head on my office desk wondering why I was so exhausted from my wonderful life.
Babies grow you up to what matters most, almost overnight. After my daughter was born, I began to explore the words I'd kept buried for almost a decade. But there was a lot of inner work yet to be done. Spiritual work about being real with God. Compassionate work about loving my whole self: heart, body, and mind. Courageous work about the value of suffering. Community work about letting others in and loving well. Creative work about calling and grace.
After a long afternoon at a beach called Thunder Cove, I encountered God in a new way which was "...the gift of being loved and giving up the fight to need to be heard and write something worthy."
Making beautiful things
Things started happening when I decided to let God in fully: we homeschooled our kids for a marvelous four years, experienced a major move, and launched my writing career. It sounds great, but it wasn't peaches. (Is anything worth doing easy?) There were panic attacks and bouts of epic loneliness. But God began doing something really cool: He filled in the gaps. The holes I thought I had to make up for my whole life? He started taking broken pieces and making beautiful things with them. I wouldn't change it one bit. Now I know what courage is.