I sat in church today and the pastor asked us what we were doing with the talents God had given us, why were we holding them back from a world that needed us to be fully alive? My first thought was, well…..I wasn’t holding back. I WAS using all my talents. I’m a teacher, a single mom, a daughter, a landlord, an advocate, a “leadership team member”(ooooo and awwwww)…..But the more I let his words, and MY defensive response sink in, the more I had to really look at my reflection in the mirror. I had MY answer clearly and purposefully driven, just in the wrong direction. See….I’ve been told numerous times that I should write a book, start a blog, speak my story, both in secular and in sacred locales, so that all that I’ve learned along my journey could encourage others; I’ve learned alot, trust me. But that means risk. That means the chance for people to IGNORE what I’m pouring out of my soul. It means that people can stay unsubscribed to my blog and it will be readerless. My posts on Facebook are easy because I have a captive audience. 685 (as of today) “friends” have the opportunity to read, or not, whatever I post, but I can delusionally believe that maybe all 685 people ARE reading my thoughts, and I can sit back and feel smug, with all the self-appreciation of a published writer, without the authenticity of really putting all of me on the line. So I decided to take a step today. Here I am. I write because it’s what has kept me sane on this 43 year journey of mine. I write to encourage others who have walked similar roads. I write because, without doing so, my story would wither inside of me; and my life, while saved and eternally secure, would miss it’s mark for how I showed up in the here and now. So here I am. Wholly present. Owning this moment that I’ve been given. Giving definition to the footprints I’ve stepped. Branding my life like a historical marker along a country road. For better or worse, thanks for joining me on this journey. It’s like we are getting hitched, pledging our devotion to each other; me as the author,and you as the one opening the book…..