I grew up on a small farm in North Dakota. It was rare that I went into town to play, and since my two sisters were each about 7 years apart in age from me, this meant that I spent a lot of time alone. Books were great companions, and I loved riding bike, jumping over self-made obstacle courses (I’m an experienced hay bale jumper), and practicing cartwheels in the yard, as well as in the living room . . . and about anywhere there was space enough for it. Poetry also became a welcome pastime.
Springtime on the farm brought baby chicks to catch and hold. Summertime transitioned into dodging the pecks of those same chickens as I fed them. Fall meant many trips around the field with my father, watching the wheat or the corn get sucked up into the combine. Winter was simply cold – very, very cold! (Thus, my love of hot chocolate.) Above all these memories, picking crocuses in the hills with my mother tops them all. It just doesn’t get much better than that. To complete this picture simply add a dog, Lassie, a bottle lamb named Milky, and many, many cats.
In 1998 I graduated from high school and headed off to Concordia College in Moorhead, MN. I graduated magna cum laude with a BA in Political Science and Philosophy. I surrendered my life to Christ in the summer of 2002 and from that point on, my life changed dramatically. This time in my life consisted of a tug-of-war between my own expectations and what I felt God was telling me to do. To put it plainly, it was a time marked by confusion. My original intentions to pursue a law degree no longer seemed to fit. I developed Plan B and was accepted to seminary, only to sense the Lord telling me I still wasn’t on the right track. Meanwhile, I began volunteering in children’s ministry, in which I now have over a decade of experience teaching anywhere from toddlers to sixth graders.
The most significant ministry responsibility I will ever experience began when my two children were born. They are my precious treasures entrusted to me for this brief time on earth. It was during this stage in life that I rediscovered my love of children’s books. Hours and hours were spent with a little one in lap and book in hand. Then one day, it just clicked. Poetry was inspired within me again in the form of my first book, My Kiss Won’t Miss.
There are more stories to come . . . time will tell!