Wednesday, September 10, 2008

God's Plan--Better than My Plan

In my years as a writer--aspiring writer, author of books, magazine article writer--I imagined and accomplished many things. I dreamed of having a regular column--and I did (in Livestock Plus--an agricultural magazine). I've self-published several books and helped a friend make his dream come true in putting his columns together in a book (check out Chaplain's Corner; A Collection of Columns Written for The Nebraska Legionnaire 1986-1988 and 1990-2001 by Reverend Dr. Paul Rowoldt).

I had a few dreams that did NOT come true. I haven't been on a talk show . . . none of my books have been picked up by a major publisher. . . and I haven't hit "the big time".

However . . . it's very obvious to me, now, that God had a different plan, a bigger and better plan, for me. A plan I never, ever, even dreamed! One of my favorite Bible verses has always been, "For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord. "Plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." Jeremiah 29:11.

One thing I never imagined doing was owning and writing a newspaper . . . but clearly, that was the plan God had for me. How long has He had this plan for me? I don't know. It doesn't matter. I'm sure that He planned each and every step of the way . . . and that each and every step of what I did up until now prepared me for what I will now be doing.

My (previous) dreams of being on a talk show and hitting "the big time" don't seem important at all.

Right now, this, the Nebraska Family Times, is my future.

Thank you, God, that You do not limit me to my own dreams and plans! Thank You for YOUR (so much better!) plans for my future.

E-Mail from Vyckie

When I got home from work today (I work as a private-duty nurse a few days a week) I had an e-mail from Vyckie, the current (just for one more day!) owner of the NFT (Nebraska Family Times). Vyckie and I are meeting tomorrow for the "official" hand-over of the NFT. I am very greatful that Vyckie will be working with me and answering my questions for as long as I need her. Without her support and help I would not have taken on this venture! The learning curve was steep, but I'm confident I can continue the paper in the same tradition as Vyckie and her family . . . with the focus on family and conservative, Christian values.

Vyckie and I have talked about making a few changes in the paper; changes that will give readers more valuable (and fun!) information in every issue. I'll keep you updated on the changes as I make them.

Anyway, as I read through Vyckie's e-mail, I had to laugh a little bit. In the e-mail she answered several questions I'd had in my head and was meaning to ask her, and she listed some of the things I'd have to do for the "changeover"--and again, I'd been making the same list in my head! THANKS, VYCKIE! As I told her, our great minds think alike.

As I wrote in my first Editor's Letter, the newspaper is for you--the readers! If you have any questions, suggestions, or comments, please e-mail me at or comment here on the blog.

Write What You Know

My dream of writing was put to the side during high school and college and the first few years of marriage. I was too busy learning how to be a nurse (I'm a Registered Nurse; I graduated in 1989 from Midland Lutheran College in Fremont with my BSN) and a wife, and later, a mother (Tim and I were married in 1989; Cody was born in 1991 and Morgan in 1993).

During my first few years as a nurse I worked in a variety of jobs; Child and Adolescent Psych, Telemetry (heart monitoring), Home Health, Private Duty, Long-Term Care Employee Education, teaching at the local community college, and teaching Lamaze.

Eventually I became interested in writing again. The main advice I have for all writers and aspiring writers is, write what you know. And that's what I did! I became interested in communication with patients--how to ask sensitive questions, telling a patient bad news, and so on. I wrote an article about communicating with patients for a nursing magazine. When I taught Lamaze I discovered a magazine called Childbirth Instructor. At that time I'd taught Lamaze for several years, and faced some interesting people and classes, so began writing articles for that magazine. It was a huge thrill to see my name in print and know that I'd accomplished my childhood dream of writing. (It's still a thrill to see my name in print!)

Several years later a nurse friend and I were talking about all the people we'd met who were unhappy in their nursing jobs, yet felt stuck in their current job. Both Martha and I had had a wide variety of jobs . . . some we liked, some we didn't . . . but through the years we'd both had a "perfect job" or two, and we knew that "perfect jobs" in nursing are available, if the nurse knows how and where to look. We had a brainstorm and eventually co-authored our first book, How to Find Your Perfect Job in Nursing.

We eventually decided to self-publish, and what a thrill it was to see our names on the cover of a book! It was--and continues to be--very gratifying to hear people say how our book has helped them find their "perfect" job in nursing . . . or at least a great job in nursing.

In the near future I'll post about how I used the advice to "write what you know" and wrote about my favorite job of all, being a mom.