*See the Updates at the End!*
March 7, 2022
As a kid, everyone wants to be a movie star, a professional athlete or something like that. As you get older, those dreams float farther away as you realize that they are kind of one-in-a-million and well, you aren’t “the one.” You’ve had those types of dreams, right?
I wanted to be a famous singer and of course, that’s not something that I have accomplished in my life. In reality, I didn’t truly “try” to reach my goal…. but you’re with me, you understand what I’m talking about.
My other dream was to be an author/illustrator…
As an adult, I had written a few stories here and there as a way to get some of my feelings out on paper and even submitted some to publishers. I tried to draw some pictures and kept finding that what I really needed was an illustrator but I never heard from a publisher anyway. I didn’t go to college for that either, so I wasn’t really surprised. Like my other dreams, it was far, far away.
Fast forward to 2019. Podcasts and YouTube was a thing and I liked listening to faith messages and motivational speakers. I heard many times that “I can do anything I want to do” and “No dream is too far out of reach.” But, I was living my happy life as a mom, wife and preschool teacher. I had the perfect job that “I was never going to leave” and was comfortable.
Then, the weirdest thing started to happen. I became hoarse and my voice wasn’t working correctly. (We joke that my husband prayed for me to be quiet! Ha! Ha!) I never knew that you could basically “break your voice.” It really started to become an issue. I couldn’t do my job well, it was painful and I was getting really frustrated. I couldn’t even sing “Happy Birthday” right…and I loved to sing, remember? I felt broken. It makes me sad even writing about it. I went to an ENT, started seeing a speech therapist and eventually had to cut back on my work hours. With therapy, I got better and I could handle my part-time teaching schedule- but no more than that.
I loved my job, but this started taking some of my joy away. I was very discouraged. I had a schedule that allowed me to be with my children and it really was the perfect job for me. What else was I supposed to do and have this schedule- without talking a lot and that was actually fun? I went to college to be a teacher! (My graduate program was even focused on teaching children who are deaf and hard of hearing how to speak-how ironic) I needed my voice! It wasn’t gone, but it wasn’t right, either. I finally had enough. I couldn’t do my perfect job anymore, I wasn’t happy and it wasn’t fair. Finally, after a lot of tears, I gave my resignation in the summer of 2021.
Through all of this disappointment, God was working on me. Those dream speeches were loud in my mind. What else was I going to do? I had three dream jobs- a singer, a teacher and an author/illustrator. The first two were out, but God was whispering to me…
Now’s the time to go for job number three. Just do it! Who says you can’t? I know you can and I will be with you. Jump in! Now there are YouTube videos on how to do anything, people can self-publish, there’s print-on-demand, there’s digital art platforms that anyone can use, ecommerce is a thing…I’ve laid it all out for you. Move.
So, after talking it over with my husband and getting his blessing, I did move. I prayed that God would be with me and help me on this journey. I have learned that God puts dreams in your heart and usually it’s you (me) that holds you back. We put our own walls up and talk ourselves out of so much. I decided that I just believed that what I saw in my mind of authoring and illustrating was going to “be.” So many times Jesus tells us to ask and believe- these verses have been my foundation.
He (Jesus) asked them. “Do you believe I can do this?” “Yes, Lord” they replied. Then he touched their eyes. He said, “It will happen just as you believed.”
“Ask and it will be given to you. Search and you will find. Knock and the door will be opened to you.”
“If you believe, you will receive what you ask for when you pray.”
“So I tell you, when you pray for something, believe that you have already received it.”
“And I will do anything you ask in my name. Then the Son will bring glory to the Father. You may ask me for anything in my name and I will do it.”
“If you remain joined to me and my words remain in you, ask for anything you wish and it will be given to you.”
“Until now, you have not asked for anything in my name. Ask and you will receive what you ask for. Then your joy will be complete.”
So, here I am in March of 2022. I wrote a poem to my daughters called “I’m Your Mommy” that is now my first official book. I have started my own publishing company-why not-called “His Little Light of Mine.”
Matthew 5:6 says “Let your light shine in front of others. Then, they will see the good things you do. And they will praise your Father who is in heaven.”
I thought the name was so fitting for this new adventure of mine- because it really is our adventure (mine and God’s together). I have several other titles that I had previously written and more that He has inspired me to write since I started this new journey. I’m doing something different than a typical author and illustrator in that my books will be one of a kind-they are personalized. As of now, I don’t plan to get them in book stores because I’d like to make them unique for gifts. The second one is in the works and is called “You’re More Than My Teacher.”
I have learned and tried so many things this year that I never dreamed of! I’ve realized that it’s not too late to learn something new and I truly can do anything that I put my mind to. The disappointment of my voice seeming to fail me was actually helping to point me in a new direction. Oprah said, “One of my greatest lessons has been to fully understand that what looks like a dark patch in the quest for success is the universe pointing you in a new direction. Anything can be a miracle, a blessing, an opportunity if you choose to see it that way.” I hope through all of this, I can inspire other people to just try what you have thought was once an “out there” dream. If God put it in your heart, and I believe He does, He will help you achieve it-so let Him!
My book will be released soon…in time for Mother’s Day 2022. You can get more information about it at my website- www.HisLittleLightofMine.com
Jesus encourages me in many ways…and so does Oprah. Here are some other things she has said that has empowered me.
“You don’t become what you want, you become what you believe.”
“You get in life what you have the courage to ask for.”
“You have to find what sparks a light in you so that you in your own way can illuminate the world.”
“You are where you are in life because of what you believe is possible for yourself.”
*All Bible verses were taken out of the New International Readers Version.
*The quotes from Oprah can be found in the article “100 Oprah Winfrey Quotes on Strength, Love and Self-Worth That Will Change Your Life” by Lindsay Lowe. https://parade.com/987075/lindsaylowe/oprah-winfrey-quotes/
Updates as of April 8, 2023
I now have 2 personalized books! I also have 3 picture books. God keeps dropping dreams on me and I just keep following directions. My 4th book is in the works and I have a very long and growing list of other ideas! I now have many other products besides picture books, too! (take a look at my store)
All of my printed products are on Amazon with the exception of the personalized books. Amazon is the printer and the shipper but I AM the small business behind Amazon. Amazon is helping me and other self published authors have a chance to succeed. They provide print on demand services. This means that if one of my books is purchased then only one book is printed and shipped. Used to, authors would have to buy hundreds of books up front (lots of money) and hope that they sell. Amazon allows us little people to have a chance without going bankrupt with a basement full of books!
My Amazon Goodies:
Journals for Kids: Christian themed with a picture space and large lines with the dotted midline. Start them writing early!
Lined Journals for children and adults in various sizes and designs. Most are Christian themed.
Journals & Plan Books for Teachers
Sketchbooks- we cannot keep enough around my house! We go through them like crazy! Art family over here. :)
A Drawing and Writing Prompt Book to inspire storytelling! It's called "My Christmas Wishes."
Christmas themed journals and sketchbooks
Bible Verse Handwriting Books- I am so proud of these!
These are special because they are written in first person! If a child can draw something, then they understand it. First person uses the words "I" and "Me." Kids can draw about themselves easier.
What's easier to draw?
For God so loved the world, He gave his one and only Son that whoever believes in Him will not perish, but have everlasting life. OR....
God loves me so much that He sent his Son Jesus to pay for my sins instead of me.
I also have all of my books as read alouds on YouTube. If you don't want to buy the books, you can still enjoy the stories on YouTube! This is special to me because when I was having voice problems, I couldn't read to my babies. They don't know how to go to bed without a story! I used YouTube read alouds and had other people read to my babies at night and we all listened together.
I have some clip art packs on Teachers Pay Teachers.
I currently have my items shipping to stores as I type! My books will be showing up in gift shops around the country in Jesus' name! Amen!
I'm sure I've left something out...I literally learn something new every single day!
There are so many people who have inspired me. I encourage you to listen to some of the wonderful messages that they have to share. The YouTube links are below.