Stepping out and opening myself up to new opportunities is not something that comes naturally to me. Talking to people I don't know. Going to new places with which I'm not familiar and don't know anyone. Really. These things used to terrify me, and I still quite often have a jumble of nerves trying to turn my stomach inside out. I have, however, figured out how to quiet them and do it - whatever "it" is - anyway.
I've often joked that God had me go to four colleges (after saying one and done before I began) and work about nine jobs in seven years (summers, internships, etc.) so that I'd get used to new situations. He was preparing me.
Now, I speak on a regular basis, traveling to unfamiliar places without a single familiar face. I'm still not the best at starting a conversation with strangers and small talk is not my specialty. But I've learned to make do.
I've also learned that there are doors God opens for us that we never would have sought out or even noticed on our own. I never intended on or imagined I'd be a speaker. I've always loved to talk, but mostly with people I know well. I never dreamed I'd be an author, either. I actually detested research papers and writing for school.
Now I love both. I get to meet some really great people and have some wonderful experiences. I also have the pleasure of even more doors opening. Most recently, I traveled to TX to interview a cousin of mine to write her life story (which, prayerfully, will be released May 2014.) It was an honor and pleasure. She is a vibrant, caring, lovely young woman who's faced some tremendous challenges. That's why I thought her story should be told.
The trip also benefited me in that I had the chance to visit family I only get to see every decade or so and some friends I haven't seen in about that long or longer. It was a wonderfully, blessed trip and I couldn't have expected anything else.
Then, on the last flight home, I was on a plane with an exuberant, comedic, engaging flight attendant. By watching him and listening to some interactions with other passengers, a nagging started in my mind. This man had a story, one I imagined deserved telling.
Usually I'm the girl who never talks to strangers or puts myself out there. But in the little over an hour flight, the nagging wouldn't go away. So as I exited the plane I stopped for a moment, handed him my business card and said, "I'm an author and you seem to have a story to tell. I'd love to tell it for you. If you're interested, please feel free to contact me." He was very gracious and appreciative. We said good-bye and I walked off the plane.
Today, four days later, I received an email from him, inviting me to tell his story. I have no idea what his story is (other than he was at one time a football coach - college, I think - and retired to become a flight attendant. Oh, and his dad is one of the last surviving veteran's from Pearl Harbor.)
I look forward to finding out what else there is.
But most of all, I'm glad I've learned to live outside of my comfort zone and allow God to open doors I never would have hoped, dreamed, or imagined.
It's funny how time seems to slip away unnoticed. I have several blogs (The Mommy Answer; Moms for God; Surrendered Living), none of which I consistently write on. And I have this one. I know I'm not consistent, but it always amazes me how much time passes in between checking in on each (or even one) of my blogs.
At least I have a legitimate excuse, I think, for this one. I spent the last several months writing and editing, speaking and signing. I had a flurry of events between October and December and barely caught my breath long enough to do my Christmas shopping.
January has been completely different: I haven't had a single event, and I'm really enjoying the break. We're getting back into routine here at the house (kind of) and I've been getting a couple manuscripts ready for release later this year. (Keep an eye out!) I'm also working on some incomplete manuscripts, working on them steadily for the more distant future.
I hope that you're able to join me on this journey and am honored by any who check out my books. So far I have 5, by the end of the year my goal is to have 6 MORE!
So, if I don't post here every day, or every week, or even every month, I hope you can extend some grace and still check back once in a while to see what's going on.
And just in case - Happy Valentine's Day. Hope it's full of love!
I love words - the written word, spoken word, and best of all, the Word of God! I hope to always speak life with my words.