It took me a long time to convince myself that I could call myself a writer. It seemed too big and important and I did not feel worthy of the title. I’ve overcome that. Not because I’m big and important but because God is and I know that the message of encouragement He has called me to share is also big and important. And now it seems He has me branching out to do some speaking. I’m not quite as comfortable with calling myself a speaker but I am completely comfortable with proclaiming His message to all who will listen. I am fairly certain I will always be more comfortable as a writer in front of my computer screen than on a stage but I am completely willing to answer His call and go where He leads.
Home is where my wifi router is. And for now, home finds me hopping across the pond between the Hill Country of Texas and the perfect little English borough of Yarm. Our home in Texas has three amazing porches that extend the length of the home, it has walls of windows and sits on an acre of land with slopes down in typical Hill Country fashion to a creek that sings its song at the foot of our property. In England, our small apartment is on the River Tees. I get a perfect view of the sunrise over the river when the skies are clear – which in England is always something to hope for. In both of our homes, I feel like I’m on a writing retreat every day.
I’ve also lived in Brazil and Singapore and traveled the world as much as we’ve had time and budget for. I will, however, always be a Texas girl. It’s true that “You can take the girl out of Texas but you can’t take Texas out of the girl.”
Writing doesn’t have a beginning date for me. It’s something that seems like it has always been a part of my life. I’ve always loved stories. I remember thinking and dreaming in parables from an early age but I’m not sure if I wrote much down on actual paper. If I did, my mom probably has it all. She has always been such an encourager of my writing. (Thanks, Mom!)
As a teenager, I did not enjoy reading much. With my bent towards perfectionism and struggling with comprehension issues, this was a disastrous pairing. I sometimes wish my parents had held me back a year. I don’t fault them for not doing so because well, in that era, you only held kids back if they had serious learning disabilities. Mine weren’t serious and weren’t really discussed. Because of my late birthday, I was always the youngest in my class, the last to date and the last to drive. I had to work so hard to keep up in all areas social and academic. I forged my way through my school years and many of my adult years quietly. Finding as many back rows and as many corners as I could.
Reading books is still a challenge for me. Don’t get me wrong, I love books. I love touching them, smelling them and thumbing through all the adventures their beautiful pages contain. I plan to write one or two someday and I truly hope you’ll read them when I do. When I’m reading a book, my mind tends to wander. It either gets trapped in the beautiful phrasing or it takes me somewhere else I hadn’t planned on going. Often it’s somewhere I needed to go, but it’s a side trip, nonetheless. Where some people eat books up for lunch, my intake is more like a multi-course gourmet feast where every morsel is driven over all of the taste buds, processed and savored.
If I do ever write a book, I plan for it to have short chapters. And all my fellow self-diagnosed ADD’ers say, “thank you!”. I love small bites. I love short chapters. I get excited when I pick up a book with chapters that are only 3-4 pages long. Even better if the print is large. Because… hello 50-year-old old eyes! While I can’t eat a whole book for lunch, I can take in and digest a short chapter with large letters. Very satisfying.
Perhaps this is why I love blogs so much. Blogs are basically short chapters.
As an older teenager and into young adulthood, I wrote poetry and songs. The writing slowed to a crawl as I began to live the bigger and more important story of being a wife and mom to three. Some seasons are made for living the story and not writing about them.
As you can see, our family has grown. My heart is full but will always have room for more. (How’s that for a not so subtle grandma hint?)
As I’ve entered the empty nest season, the words have floated back to the top. Often they flow like water from a fire hydrant. I now have time to pursue this long-time passion of processing life through my fingertips. I am grateful.
“Thoughts disentangle themselves when they pass through the lips and fingertips.” Dawson Trotman
Blogs have hosted my heart words for a decade now. I see blogging as more of a hobby but writing is “what I do”. You’ll see on my menu bar the various blogs I have. My self-diagnosed ADD is fairly apparent by the variety. My life is full therefore my brain is full. I love to live stories and I love to share them; both through my words and through my photography (I’m an amateur with a great camera). It is in the sharing of stories that we find a shoulder of comfort to lean on and take a breath and encouragement for our feet to take our next step as we live out our own stories. Our lives matter. Our stories matter. A story worth living is a story worth sharing.
Feel free to peruse the smorgasbord of menu items I’ve set out for you. Follow me on social media. I hope you will enjoy your “lunch”.
Andrea Stunz… she breathes, therefore, she writes … and speaks … and basically goes wherever God wants her to go. Never in want of adventures!
And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching. Hebrews 10:24-25