6 years old, maybe 7, that’s when I wrote my first book. Pictures, words – all by me. All wrapped up in a ribbon, to be sold – 5 cents a piece. A nickle would buy a Zero bar. When my dad picked my brother and I up after church on Sunday—that’s how divorce worked when I was little – he wouldn’t give me a nickel for my writing, so I gave it away, gave it to him.
I’ve had that dream, to write, since I could. First, I dreamed I’d write great novels as I sat under a big tree on a wide green lawn, at a table with tea.
I wrote poetry – stories were hard.
Jane Austen – she wrote big novels. She had a story to tell and no one to pass it on to. No daughters, no sons.
I’m just Maryleigh – with a journalism degree, some news writing on a resume page. I gave my writing to God, as a gift, as a love offering. He put the dream in me, woke it up, but I didn’t know what to write out – so I gave it to him while I birthed, loved, taught to walk, told stories, sang love songs off-key – and wondered if I would ever write. Why would He put this in me only to never call it out.
Jane Austen had no daughters to tell her story, so she wrote.
I have 5 sons – sons who drop and listen to their fathe’sr and grandfathers’ stories, who pull every word into the sweat of their skin into their soul – and it grows with them into men.
My stories? They roll their eyes, listen with exasperation. Girl stories? No way.
God knew a mother of sons only would need to tell her story, to pour into someone the worth within her.
He knew even before I was born. He placed the desire within me . . . so I write.
“God created a ‘Pass-it-Down’ mechanism within each of us, the need for our life, experience and learning to be given away. It is something as necessary to us as water is to life” (My Life is Not my Own).
Jane Austen passed down her stories, her soul’s inheritance, through her stories. Her stories didn’t put much money in the bank or give her independence -but it gave her hearts that heard and carry a measure of her story.
Looking back to that six-year-old me, I think God was telling me something. That something is just a part of me as this crazy-gotta-write-or-I’ll-explode need to write: The dream grows in the giving away of it. The giving away is an open-handed way of loving my neighbor – for free, at no cost. Just.love.your.neighbor.
Sometimes people need love – in the same way a six-year-old-little-girl needed a daddy to invest 5 cents in her dream. A few posts ago, I wrote about Christ telling all of us, “Feed my lambs. . . Shepherd my Sheep… Feed my Sheep” (Feed My Sheep). Open-handed love has the ability to Feed His lambs. The pouring out of our gifts into others Shepherd’s His Sheep, feeds His sheep.
Love gives away, for free. Pass it down – and thank you for letting me pass it down.
Pull up a chair, settle in have a cup of Key Lime Ginger tea, head over to Lisa-Jo’s and share your own post on the word. . . Writer. . . on this not-yet-raining Five-Minute Friday. Pass your story down!