Writing, for me, is how I process. If I go too long without writing, I'm not in a healthy place. But I've also found it's one of the best tools I have to encourage other people. For me writing isn't just therapy, it's also a calling. And whether it's random reflections here on this blog, books for publication, content editing for friends, or grant writing for causes I care about, my heart is to use my writing specifically and especially to strengthen and help women and children.
I think this journey started when I was a child drafting poems and newsletters and thank you notes. My high school English teacher gave me a massive thesaurus for graduation because of how much I loved using hers in class. And though I majored in Special Education, an insightful instructor urged me to minor in Creative Writing.
Married before my final year of college, I began writing during our babies' naptimes and ended up publishing two devotionals for teen girls when I was in my twenties: The Girl in the Mirror & No Matter What. The second title ironically launched the week I lost our first daughter, Kali Grace. (Her name means "rosebud," which is the label you'll want to look under for reflections on miscarriage and loss.)
Over the years, I've bounced back and forth between professional writing and developing special education programs. After three years of teaching middle school resource, we welcomed our third son, and I came home from the classroom. During that season I wrapped up the manuscript for my first novel, a retelling of the story of Naaman from three servant perspectives. I have yet to publish this story, though I have pulled it out again recently.
Before too long, our fourth was born, a girl. At this point my husband was working on writing his dissertation, so I took on a role as writing supervisor in a university marketing group for about a year, a role which happened to provide tuition benefits and childcare for our kiddos, which was what we all needed to stay sane through that harrowing process. Eventually I did another three-year stint in special education, this time pouring myself into launching a resource program and serving as director and academic coach.
Wanting to continue to build resources in our community, I completed a grant writing certification program. I'm excited to be able to come alongside nonprofits and other organizations to create funding strategies for the important work they've set out to accomplish. I plan to especially focus on projects that promote spiritual growth, mental health, and/or educational progress in the lives of women and children in our local community. With this lovely new logo (left) created by Carissa Grace Art, I'm inspired to take this writing journey that much more seriously. And I'm also committed to moving forward with my own publishing goals as well.
A sincere Thank You for joining me on this journey. I, too, am a vine, and your support means the world to me as I seek to fulfill my calling while loving my husband and these wild olive shoots sprouting up around our table. Grace and peace, multiplied, michelle