For years, I tried to be perfect wife, perfect mother, perfect teacher, and I crammed so many activities into my days, twenty-four hours couldn’t possibly hold them all – perfectly. Once I became an empty-nester, I discovered the motto, “relentlessly eliminate hurry.”
Where were those three words when I juggled full-time teaching, attended every sports event in every season for each of three sons, and still tried to find time for extras like, say, date night with my equally busy husband or lunches out with the girls, or a quick trip to visit my parents six states away?
I started life as an Air Force brat, moving all over the country more than a dozen times before entering high school. My deaf sister was born in the midst of all those transfers.
From the age of four, I knew I would be a teacher. I attended college as a special education major, met a great guy, Jack, married him, and had three sons in under five years. It was during the early years of our marriage, that I truly found my Savior and dedicated my life to Him.
When our boys were small, I was a stay-at-home mom. We collected our gear and went to the pool in our small town in Indiana, Eric on his trike, Adam in the baby bicycle seat, and Danny in the infant snuggly strapped to my chest. When it rained, everybody donned galoshes (how about that for an old-fashioned word?), and we stomped through mud puddles to our everlasting glee. It was fun.
It was exhausting.
In order to do something more grown up than play alphabet bingo with my oldest, I started to write. I won a contest! I submitted articles to magazines. They were accepted! Cool! I kept writing until my youngest had a couple years of elementary school under his belt, and then I returned to my first love. Teaching. Even better, I was allowed the privilege of teaching in Christian schools.
I never thought I’d care whether I became a grandma or not. Grandmas are old ladies. Surprise! As soon as the first kiddo was born, I was hooked. We now have seven grandchildren. No matter where they live, and they all live out of state, I’ll find the time and the finances to travel and visit every two months for the first year of the new baby’s life.
You gotta stop and smell the roses with those little ones. Now that my oldest son holds the same military rank as my father did when he retired, experience tells me: those grandchildren will be in college before I have a chance to blink twice.
To the Present
As of May 2016, I retired from teaching. Twenty-five years. Wow! I visit school occasionally, as a sub or the leader of a creative writing workshop, but my time is spent learning the craft of novel-writing, my new and growing passion. And some day, when it’s more than good enough, Sparkles from Silence will be available to the public.
I have so many story ideas, I expect to be the Grandma Moses of 21st century literature! Right now, I’m finishing a middle grade novel series based on the true story of my sister and me, World Without Sound. You can read a portion of Sparkles from Silence on the World Without Sound page. Book 2 is written, and I’m sketching out Book 3 of Krista’s continued progress toward communicating through language.
Think about it. A person who has never heard language, never heard thunder, never heard train whistles or leaves rustling in a breeze is instructed to use her voice to communicate with words. Fifty years later, it still isn’t easy, but the real-life Krista has earned three college degrees—which outclasses me by a long shot!
Check out my blog posts covering faith, literature, my writing journey, or social issues. You can find them by clicking on the blog tab above. I also contribute with book reviews to Scriblerians a site where nine authors share their opinions with parents who would like good ideas for their children’s reading material.
If you’ve scanned all the above paragraphs, you know I’ve lived life for a while now. I’ve learned what seems to be perfect probably isn’t, and what appears strange and intimidating might become an amazing blessing. May anything written on this site point to faith in Christ and bring encouragement to all those who read it.