Do you remember the “Highlights” magazine? When I was a kid, I wanted to be the first one to get the magazine when it came to my house so I could beat my siblings to the hidden pictures puzzle. Highlight magazine was full of puzzles, riddles, games and other pages created to make learning fun. I believe pediatrician waiting rooms are still scattered with Highlight magazines. I wouldn’t actually know since it’s been, ahem, years since I’ve visited one.
I also had a subscription to another magazine called, “Cricket.” In case you haven’t heard about the Cricket magazine, I pulled this description straight from their website: “CRICKET Magazine has delighted and entertained generations of kids with contemporary stories and classic literature from the world’s best writers, paired with illustrations so beautiful they take your breath away. CRICKET’s signature cast of rambunctious bug characters offer humorous commentary on the stories, teaching vocabulary and introducing advanced concepts.”
Just reading the description reminds me why I had a subscription to Cricket. Contemporary stories. Classic literature. World’s best writers. Yep, please make that come to my house.
When I was about 12 years old, apparently, I read something in the magazine compelling enough for me to write a letter to the editor. I can’t remember what I wrote on a page of wide-ruled notebook paper, then folded, stuffed in an envelope I addressed and put in the mailbox.
But I do remember the moment my cousin called from Texas to tell me he saw my letter to the editor in his Cricket magazine and I ran to grab my copy – and I saw my words in print. My words on a page for others to read. I have no idea what compelled me to write the letter or what the letter said. But I remember the excitement of my words being printed. I remember the excitement of someone reading the words I wrote. (Really wish I saved that issue.)
Fast forward to high school where a teacher, Rhoda Zaph, saw something in me that caused her to pull me from class to attend a writing seminar. Maybe she thought I had a leaning towards English and writing. Then, my senior year, our whole class took an aptitude test to help us figure out what career would be best for me. I remember sitting with my school counselor going over the results. Overwhelmingly, my results said I should be a social worker. I looked at the counselor and asked if social workers could make any money. Her response gave me my answer so I decided to go the pre-dentistry route.
Me. The girl who hated my math and science classes decided to go into dentistry. Bad choice. I ended up changing my major (or I should say, “chemistry ended up changing my major”) to marketing and I went on to recruit attorneys for big law firms. (Some would tell you today I am a sort of social worker who works for free. Jokes on me.)
As a young girl, I sat alone in my bedroom and filled spiral notebooks with stories. As a teenager, I filled notebooks with thoughts and stories. As an adult, I typed words into a computer.
Also as an adult, I wrote a book and it was printed. Lots of people have read my book and have written me notes about how it impacted them. My words matter. (You can find out more about my book here.)
As a young girl, I had a dream and a vision. I wanted to be an author. Not many people knew about my dream. I don’t think my parents knew about my dream. But I believe the Lord gave me a dream to write words to encourage people.
Do you have a dream or a vision? Do you have a secret desire to learn to play a musical instrument? Or learn to dance? Do you want to be a baker or a chef? Do you want to start a company? Do you want to see the world? Do you want children even though your body won’t physically let you?
It’s never too late. Dr. Seuss’ first book was rejected 27 times before he found a publisher. Duncan Hines wrote his first food guide at the age of 55 and didn’t license the using of his name until he was 73 years old. Vera Wang was an ice skater and fashion editor before deciding to become a designer at the age of 40. Henry Ford was 40 when rolled out the Model T car. I have a friend who recently retired (you do the math ‘cause I’m not telling), sold her house, moved to a new city and is going to a ministry school to prepare to become a missionary.
And my personal favorite is Laura Ingalls Wilder. She started writing the “Little House” books at the age of 63 and published her first book at the age of 65.
Proverbs 22:6 says, “Train up a child according to his way. Even when he is old he will not depart from it.”
We are born with certain talents, bents and giftings. The Lord created some of us to be logical thinkers so we can build amazing skyscrapers and bridges. Some of us, He created to be creative to make life pretty and fun. Some of us he gave the gift of mercy and compassion. And the list goes on.
What is the gift or talent you want to develop or use in a new and different way? It’s not too late. Take a step toward it – today. Tell me about it in the comments. Let that be your first step.
Note: I tracked down that English teacher and told her I was an author. I told her that because she believed in me all those years ago, I never gave up.