An author and retired counselor drawing on thirty-five years of experience helping individuals apply biblical to principles to real life.
When I seriously felt the Lord was calling me to write I was 23, married, a high school dropout and had two children. A stay at home mother with a military husband, life was busy to say the least. Also, I could not type. Did not know there was such a thing as a Christian bookstore. Had never been in a public library. Outside of the Bible, I had not read three books cover to cover in my life. I could hardly spell well enough to write a legible letter to my mother and have mild dyslexia. It goes without saying that I had no idea how books got published or what the process for contacting them might be.
But, the Lord had given me a passion. I knew what He had done for my life and I wanted to share. I was also foolish enough to believe that if I had actually heard His call, He would take care of the rest. My husband did not really approve of what I was doing, but he allowed it if all my other work was done. I worked for seven years with a pencil and paper. I would listen to the radio (preachers mostly) and think about how they formed sentences and developed thoughts. About that time, our airbase was closing and even thought he did not support my efforts, Bill brought home a used dictionary they were going to throw out. What a blessing! All I had to do was learn how to use it! During that time, my first (and only) magazine article was hand written and published in Home Life Magazine. That single event went a long way toward giving me enough courage to continue.
By 1975 I had been working for eight years. We had left the service and were now running a cattle ranch while Bill also held down a full time job. I had taught myself to type using the limited knowledge I had gleaned for my four months in the eleventh grade and an old Royal typewriter I bought at a garage sale. I was about 3/4 finished with a book I called “The Holy Ghost and Dirty Dishes” when a recession and falling cattle prices put our farm in deep financial distress. We didn’t think we were going to be able to make the mortgage payments that were due. I hoped the book might bring in something, but I had no idea how to contact a publisher. While visiting at my pastor/brother-in-laws home the subject came up and he grabbed a paper from the stack to which he subscribed. “I have no idea if they publish books, but there is an address on the back, why don’t you send it to these folks and see what happens." I did and within two weeks had a response from them with a contract enclosed. When I finished the book, which Victor Press named, The Happy Housewife, the money paid literally saved the family farm.
I thought at the time that since the Lord had answered my prayer and at last made me an author, surely I would now be busy traveling, ministering to groups and writing more book. Instead, financial troubles continued and I went to work as an Avon Lady. Of course that is not the end of the story. I would publish another book in 1979, 1991, 1994, 2002, 2007. Now I am officially “retired” and since the income is steady and I don’t have to show up for a job, I can write. I was 64 I when I put up a website, contracted for a new book and officially (at least in my mind) became an author.
Oh, by the way, along the road I earned a high school diploma (1975), raised four kids, became a widow (1979), entered college at age 43 earning Associate, Bachelor and Master degrees and become a Licensed Professional Counselor. I worked on staff with a mega-church in Dallas for almost 12 years and finished out a Ph. D. in Religion and Society from Oxford Graduate School.
Hummm, wonder what my testimony will look like when I am 75?
A list of my published work:
Personality According to Pooh (Standard, July, 2009)
Living With Eeyore, (Standard, 2007)
How To Hang Loose in an Uptight World, (Pelican, 2002)
Who Am I? A Woman’s Guide To Self-acceptance, (Nelson, 1994)
Wanting to Follow, Forced to Lead (Tyndale,1991)
Love Around the House (Victor, 1979)
The Happy Housewife, (Victor,1976)