For the Wanderers and Wonderers

What did you want to be when you grew up?

You may wonder why I’m asking that question. I’m not sure, to be honest. Maybe because when I was little, I wrote little stories, then cut up the paper and stapled everything together so it looked like a book. I’ve always written.

I’ve also liked to perform. I was a dancer, and loved drama, and did little skits with my friends growing up.  I loved playing make believe.

Then, when I did grow up, I went into broadcasting and had a 15-year-career (behind the scenes, for the most part) in radio and television.

In a way, I’ve always known, at least generally, what I wanted to do.

Granted, I’ve done other things besides writing and broadcasting. I’ve worked for a Chamber of Commerce and an Economic Development Foundation and worked a few years in the hospitality industry at hotels. But as I’ve aged, I’ve turned back to my childhood love of writing and creating.

My husband will tell you that he wanted to be a rock and roll guitarist when he was a kid. And today, he is definitely NOT a famous guitarist, although he still has his love of music. God is using other talents of my husband’s in his current job.

As much as I love writing, I’m still not sure what place it holds in my future. I don’t know what I’ll write, if I’ll ever finish a novel, if I’ll write screenplays, or just be a happy blogger.

In the long run, perhaps I don’t need to know. I just need to follow the path that God has in front of me. Praying that no matter where he leads me, I’ll honor him.

I think there are a lot of people today who might be lost or wondering what to do with their lives. They may have lost their job in the pandemic. Or quit their job due to other circumstances. Others may feel like although they have a good job now, is this really what they’re meant to do in life.

Do you wonder what your purpose is in life? If you’re walking the road God created for you?

I wish I had a good answer for those who are wandering and wondering. I don’t. But I go back to the question of what I wanted to be when I grew up. If that doesn’t point you in a direction, then maybe volunteering somewhere will, or taking a continuing education class at a community college, or just getting involved with your church. I do know this: Prayer is the first step. The second step may be up to you. After that, look out! You never know where God is going to take you.

Transitions in Life

What’s the old saying? The only thing that is constant is change.  Something like that.

I’ve been thinking recently about transitions in life.  Although we may say we wish our kids would stay little, or that we could stay in high school or college forever, or that we could stay 25 years old and not grow older, we know that life doesn’t work that way.

And it’s usually for the better. When we don’t go through the transitions in life and go on to the next stage, we’ll miss something wonderful that God has planned for us.

My niece just graduated high school, the last of her siblings to do so. My niece was such a cute baby and I wanted to coddle her forever.  Her big sister and I were very close and I have memories of her toddling to me and lifting her arms so I could pick her up.

Precious memories.  What would’ve happened if we stopped time right there?  Obviously, things like my one niece’s high school graduation and the excitement and hopes we have for her as she moves on to college would be gone. We wouldn’t see her blossoming into the young woman filled with sky-high, wonderful dreams.

With my other niece, if time had stopped when she still held her arms up for me to carry her, we would’ve missed her wedding, and her beautiful son.  Would I trade meeting my great-nephew to keep his mother as a toddler?  Look what we would’ve missed!  No way!

Most times, we’re nervous graduating college.  The bubble of academia and college life was something we quickly got used to. What would the real world be like?

Yet, if we don’t transition, then we miss out on marriage, family, and watching our own kids grow.

Transitions are scary, there’s no doubt.  But I wouldn’t want to miss the journey going from my own wedding day, to the day I went wedding dress shopping with my own daughter to watching her being escorted down the aisle by her father. If I could’ve stayed young, I  would’ve missed too many sweet moments.

I look forward to growing old(er) with my husband. We made the transition from a house full of teenagers to empty nest.  And yes, the empty nest time has been very sweet.  But when the next transition comes along, possibly of grandchildren, you can bet I’ll be standing in that doorway ready to leap.

Life is scary. Growing up and growing older can be frightening.  But I don’t want to stagnate — and I don’t want to miss the next exciting part of my life that God has planned.

What about you? Were some transitions in your life more difficult than others?


A Leap of Faith

A couple of weeks ago, I posted about the “Pioneer Spirit.”  And the week before that, we talked about “Living an Adventurous Life.”

Do you sense a theme here?  I’m now struggling with making my own leap of faith, while seeing others around me taking their own and stepping out in faith.

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In my life group from church, we have transitions taking place.  One couple has just joined us. They were happy and content in their home state, with their family nearby as they raised their own family.  Yet he was unhappy with his job — very unhappy.  A friend told him about a job in Texas. They had never been to Texas, never even visited.  Yet here was this opportunity for them, and through fervent prayer, and discussions with their family, they took that leap of faith and moved to a state they had never been to and settled here. Thankfully, they found our church and life group and we’re happy to welcome them and look forward to getting to know them.  God has a purpose.

Sadly, another member is leaving us and moving back to her home state, to care for her ailing and aging mother.  She’s leaving her job and friends here to go back to her hometown. While her hometown is familiar to her (unlike the couple who had never been to Dallas before), she is still taking her own leap of faith to balance her life with that of honoring her parents, leaving her job and not knowing if this is a temporary move or permanent. Only God knows the plans he has for her.

Finally, another young couple I’m very close to is also leaving Dallas.  They are young, still in their 20s and newlyweds. She has a great job opportunity in another major city in Texas, and he is supporting her and so they are moving. It is a leap of faith for them to venture to this city that they’ve never lived in and know few people. In my heart, I know this is a great move for them and a wonderful opportunity, so off they go on their new adventure.

But not all leaps of faith require uprooting your entire life and moving to a new city.  Sometimes a leap of faith can be a new direction in your life, whether it be career oriented or a new church or just letting your kids grow-up and releasing them to the adult world.  It can be a change in your attitude, in how you conduct yourself day-to-day.

For me, I’m struggling with a change of direction in my own writing career. It’s a strange emotion as I let go of one dream and start to embrace another — still fearing, still wondering if this is the right decision.

So, it makes me ask: what makes you take a leap of faith?  I’d love to hear your stories and ideas. How do you get past fear and even your own emotions?  How do you get out of your own way to take that leap? 

The Pioneer Spirit: Alive and Well

This last week I had the privilege to accompany my friend and newly published author, Mindy Obenhaus, to beautiful Ouray, Colorado for a marketing and promotion trip for her debut novel, “The Doctor’s Family Reunion.”  The book takes place in Ouray, so what better opportunity to make sure the local bookstore and library had copies on hand.

Ouray is a beautiful, historic town in southwestern Colorado. As I learned more about the history of the town, I was amazed by the courage it took for the earliest inhabitants to settle there. It is a town surrounded by mountains (rich for mining), and the terrain is rough.  Even today’s roads are narrow and filled with switchbacks that make traveling in any adverse weather a challenge.

But the beauty and majestic scenery of this town make it all worth it.  And I soon discovered that the pioneer spirit is still alive and well today. In talking with merchants and business owners, I quickly learned that once most people arrived in Ouray, they never wanted to leave. (Believe me, I understand that sentiment).  And so, they took a leap of faith.

Take the new owners of the wonderfully restored, historic Beaumont Hotel, Chad and Jennifer Leaver.  They lived in Colorado Springs and came to Ouray to celebrate Chad’s birthday and enjoy a weekend away.  That birthday weekend turned into a life-changing event as they discovered that the Beaumont was up for sale. Something hit the heart of both Chad and Jennifer and they took a great leap of faith, gave up their jobs in Colorado Springs, and purchased this wonderful property.  They changed their entire life to live in Ouray and own this hotel/restaurant/spa.  (If you’re there, you MUST try the fried Brie at the Beaumont Grill. SO GOOD! And take the daily tour of the hotel with Brian. It’s great. Tell him I said hello.)

What kind of courage does it take to uproot your entire life like that?  It must be the same spirit that our ancestors had when settling the western states.

Brandy Ross of Switzerland of America Scenic Tours and Jeep Rentals had that same spirit, when she left Arizona to settle in Ouray.  I think there’s a reason Brandy and I clicked so well this week. The tagline on her website asks “What’s Your Adventure?”  And following my own advice from last week’s blog to “live an adventurous life”… well… it seems like we want adventures and leaps of faith in our lives. (And  yes, I highly recommend doing a Jeep tour with Brandy’s company. What a wonderful experience I will do again and again every time I’m in Ouray!)

Others I talked to in Ouray said similar things…that the first time they laid eyes on this town they never wanted to leave and they did whatever it took to make it work.  There’s the gal who works as a cashier at the grocery store by day and a restaurant hostess by night. She does what it takes to live in such a beautiful place.  Many others work two jobs or take seasonal jobs to enjoy a life like nothing else in Colorado.

We all love to dream about taking a leap of faith like Chad and Jennifer, and Brandy have done. I think that pioneer spirit still resides in all of us, even in a small way.

For most of my fellow writers, it’s the perseverance to keep working on their manuscripts and do what it takes to make them shine and get them published.

For others, it could be home-schooling their children and providing the opportunities for more educational field trips, and living that adventure together as they grow into adults.

And for someone else, it’s a missionary trip through their church.

So, what’s your adventure?  What leap of faith do you want to take, whether it’s something as big as uprooting your entire life, or as little as being a pioneer in your current job?

After visiting with the wonderful residents of Ouray, Colorado, I can only applaud them and admire their pioneer spirit.

It inspires me to take my own leap of faith, however big or small that might be.