My Passion for Reading and Writing

One of the fondest memories from my childhood is of days spent in my backyard reading during the summer months. I loved to sit under a one hundred foot tall tree with the soft breeze blowing, reading my favorite mystery book series about Nancy Drew. For those of you too young to remember, Nancy Drew was a young girl who was adept at solving all sorts of mysteries. Once I finished one book, I couldn’t wait to gobble up the next one. Perhaps it was a bit of an obsession, but it was one of my favorite past times.

By the time I got to junior high, I continued to love reading. In addition, I began to learn to write. Mr. Walsh, my 9th grade English teacher made it his priority to teach his English students how to write a term paper for college. I remember sitting in my living room in the evenings working and re-working my papers for him, as I learned how to put my thoughts and words together in a readable form. Mr. Walsh taught me the importance of starting a paper with a catchy introduction, then proceeding on to explain two or three points related to the topic, and ending the paper with a strong conclusion.

In addition, Mr. Walsh was big on teaching us vocabulary. Each Friday he drilled us on words we were to have memorized that week. Every week he had us review the word “guerdon,” which means “reward.” If we didn’t remember any other word that week, we were sure to remember the famous word “guerdon.” When we did well and memorized all the vocabulary words that week, Mr. Walsh would often give us a dime to buy an ice cream bar at lunchtime in the cafeteria. Sadly, a few years after I had Mr. Walsh as my teacher, he was killed as a car struck him when he was getting into his car after picking up an item at a Seattle bakery. What a tragic loss for all his past and “would be” students.

Once I reached college, due to Mr. Walsh’s good training, I felt prepared to tackle the papers I was required to write for my various classes. I recall one of my English professors at Northwest Bible College telling me she thought I should attempt to have my work published. Little did I know that having some of my writings published some day would become a reality for me.
Fast forward to 1995. I wrote in my journal that year that I hoped to start writing my first book by the time I was forty years old. Well, I missed my self-imposed deadline by two years. When I was forty-two, I started my first book, although I didn’t even realize it initially. In February of 2000, I started an Internet prayer group for people who have a health condition called Multiple Chemical Sensitivity (MCS). People in the group expressed the desire to have some type of Bible study along with the prayer aspect of our group, so I started writing devotionals to send out to the group approximately once a week. When I first started writing them, I had no idea they would one day be compiled into a book.

It was interesting to see God’s hand and confirmation throughout the process of writing my book. In January 2001, I went to take my daughter to a choreography practice for an upcoming mission trip she would be going on the following summer. I couldn’t go inside the building because I was allergic to the mold, so I recall sitting outside the building on a freezing January afternoon all bundled up trying to catch a few glimpses of what was happening inside. While I was sitting there, a woman named Donna came and asked me if she could close the door. I explained to her why I was sitting outside and asked if she would kindly leave it open. We got talking, and she asked about my illness. I told her about my Internet prayer group and the devotionals I was writing. Her response was, “Do you suppose the Lord might have you compile those in a book someday?” I told her it was funny she should mention that, as that had been a passing thought in my mind too. I wondered if this might be a prophetic word from the Lord.

Donna then gave me a Scripture she felt the Lord was leading her to share with me. It was Habakkuk 2:2-3, which says, “Write down the revelation and make it plain on tablets so that a herald may run with it. For the revelation awaits an appointed time; it speaks of the end and will not prove false. Though it linger, wait for it; it will certainly come and will not delay.” At the time, I felt that verse was possibly a confirmation that the Lord might be leading me to someday compile my devotionals in a book. I wrote the verse down in my journal and always kept it in the back of my mind, waiting to see if the encouragement from Donna was indeed a prophetic word that would come to pass.

In 2002, it was interesting how all of a sudden I started meeting various people who were in the process of writing books. I had never in my life known anyone who had a book published, so it was a bit ironic to me that in the time span of about a year or so, I met five people who were on that journey. The first person I met was Connie Pitts. Connie had MCS and was primarily housebound due to her reactions to fragrances. This motivated her to write a book called, Get a Whiff of This: Perfumes (fragrances) — The Invisible Chemical Poisons. Connie and I became good friends, and as she went through the process of writing her book, I was watching her every move and learning a lot that would help me when it came time to publish my book.

Another person I met that year through my prayer group was BilliJo Doll. She wrote a fiction book that was published called, The Seekers. I also met Linda Nathan, who wrote a book called, The Dark Side of Karate. Linda later joined the advisory board for my ministry, Aroma
of Christ and became the editor for my book. Through Rest Ministries, I met Judy Gann, another woman in the process of getting a book published. Lastly, I met Roy Gardner, a man from my church who wrote a book called, Rejoicing in Him. Roy was ultimately the one who introduced me to the publisher of my book, Pleasant Word.

Meeting all five of these people right before I was to have my book published, in my mind, was more than mere coincidence. Having a publisher perfectly suited for helping me publish my book “drop in my lap” through meeting Roy was definitely a “God thing.” I love it when God confirms His will in such obvious ways, as then we know we are on the right track in life. Once I got hooked up with Pleasant Word, it took about a year to complete my manuscript and have my book in print. My book, Comfort in the Storm: Devotions for the Chemically Sensitive was released in December 2004. Having a book published was a very enjoyable experience, and indeed one of the highlights of my life so far.


Categories Janine's Blog | Tags: | Posted on November 13, 2011

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