June 22, 2015

A Word Cloud!

Every writer has her favorite words and topics. I turned to a word cloud generation tool to help me get an inside look at this blog. Here is a conglomeration of my favorite words and topics.


Image Credit: http://worditout.com/

June 8, 2015

What I Wanted To Be When I Grew Up

"What do you want to be when you grow up?"

I don't know about you, but I got asked this question a lot as a kid. And my answer changed all the time! I wanted to be an astronaut and explore the fascinating things I saw in night sky. (When I was really little, I used to think that stars were tiny pinpricks in the sky that the light of Heaven shone through.)

After having to take a lot of medicines as a young girl, I asked my mom where the medicines came from. She said, a pharmacist. So, I decided I wanted to become a pharmacist so that I could make all medicines taste like candy. I had a plan of soaking hard candies in liquid medicines.  :)

My parents thought I might pursue a career in medicine--as a nurse or doctor--because I used to read our medical book FOR FUN when I was younger. I was fascinated to learn about our amazing bodies, diseases, treatments, and all things medical. I never shied away from blood. Or adventure.  :)  I remember wanting to be a storm chaser, too. Read the backstory to my fascination with thunderstorms here.

In 5th grade, I believed that my best quality was soccer.  :)

That same year, I was asked to make a book. I wrote about what I wanted to be when I grew up. Like the nostalgic girl I am, I kept the book all these years. Here's what I wrote in photos!

Clearly, I was conflicted.  :)

As you might imagine, I had a hard time settling on a major to pursue in college. But I entered my freshman year determined to make a career in social work. With my strong sense of social justice, this seemed a great fit to me.

But then, a year and a half in, I felt a distinctive pull to switch my major to Communications. And I did. The academic dean at my college asked me the same question that day I'd been asked all my life: "What do you want to be when you grow up, Laurel?" I still really had no idea, but I liked that a degree in Communications offered me a lot of options. In college, we joked that Communications was the degree for people who didn't know what to do with their lives. There was some truth to that! I considered going into radio, editing, and a few other Communications-related fields.

But the funny thing is, the career I ended up in has been staring me in the face since I was 7 years old. My mom tells me she doesn't recall ever seeing a 7-year-old write as much as I did. I began journaling, chronicling our trip out west and all the things we saw and did. I kept journaling for many years of my life. I always enjoyed writing. My mom told me I was a good writer (but moms are supposed to say that kind of thing, right?).  :)  It wasn't until I hit my stride in college and then absorbed lots of information in two writing-based internships that I truly thought, "I could make a career out of this." And love doing it, too!

It took a few years, but one of those internships launched me into a job as a full-time writer. Hindsight vision is 20/20, right? What seems so clear now (how I ended up as a writer) was very murky for years. I'm just glad that God knew better than I did and led me to a place where my passion for justice meets my love of writing.

June 3, 2015

What’s New with Dave and Laurel

I’ve been asked lately about what’s new with Dave and me.

Well, last month, we started tutoring a young Burmese family in English together. I’ve always loved to teach (just ask my younger sister!), and it’s been fun to make lesson plans and help this family get a handle on some of the basics of our crazy language!

Another ministry opportunity that I recently jumped into is writing to people who are in prison. I write once a week to encourage one person and share about my faith over time. Of course, I love to write—so this is a natural fit for me! Some of you might find this odd, but I really like to send and receive snail mail. There is something so personal about that—because it takes more time and effort than sending off an email or text. And there’s a lot more room for creativity! I can doodle and use stamps … and even send origami or a picture I colored. (Yes, I still color. Don’t judge.)  ;)

Meanwhile, Dave and I are keeping an eye on the housing market and familiarizing ourselves with the steps we need to take. We’re excited to start seriously house hunting next month!