I Never Planned to be a Writer

I am still not sure I am a writer. Although admittedly, I write, and I enjoy it. For me, an idea is the start of writing. I get ideas that spill out of my brain and must get onto paper before I forget them. Perhaps I can be so egotistic as to say that the Spirit pounds inside my head until I sit down and write something. That seems to be what happens. Back twenty-five to thirty years ago, such an idea came to me. That was the idea of writing a book featuring girls of the Bible. I have written about the origins of the book, Bold Girls Speak, in the foreword, published by Wipf&Stock, 2013.

In the mid-1990s, I heard a sermon about the raising of the daughter of Jairus. I was consumed with the idea of what this story would be like from the girl’s point of view. From beginning to end, the sermon featured the men in the story: the father, Jairus, Jesus, and his disciples, but how did it impact the girl? Why is the twelve-year-old daughter not mentioned, beyond that she wanted something to eat? It would be interesting to explore how the whole incident looked to her. I also immediately searched the Bible for other girls, and I mean young girls, not women called girls, in the Bible that are not given attention.

I did not have the writing skills, nor the Bible background, at that time to write such a book. In the early 1990s, I also got my first Apple II computer. Writing was a burden until the revelation of word processing. Now suddenly there was such a thing as spell check! Writing became a creative process. At that time, I wrote out several stories of girls I found in the Bible, some very obscure, and most unnamed. I researched the Bible background to the stories and it was fun.

I put this project aside to pursue a master’s degree in education, which required writing dozens of papers. Not exactly creative writing, but I did get efficient at writing on the computer. My writing ability was also noted by some professors. It was another decade later before I reread my “bold girls” manuscripts. I never lost the vision of that book. Now I realized I needed more biblical knowledge to get the cultural and theological points more vivid and accurate. Many years later, that unfinished book was one of the reasons I went to seminary and finished an MA in Biblical Studies, which required mountains of writing and a thesis. That thesis led to another book, The New Perspective on Mary and Martha: Don’t Preach Luke 10:38-42 Before You Read This! Wipf & Stock 2013.

When I was young, I imagined being an artist, or a musician, but never a writer. I left my rural Iowa background a week after graduating from high school, when I started summer session at Kansas University out of state, I was still seventeen. I was fifty years old when I escaped the conservative churches of my childhood and went to seminary. Driving me was the urgency to get to the bottom of arguments concerning women as commonly interpreted from the Bible. I kept running into walls when I read commentaries, including Greek and Hebrew explanations. I went into the admissions office of Denver Seminary intending to just take the Greek classes, but I did well and enjoyed being able to read the Bible in Greek. I committed to finishing the degree, with no goal in mind other than increased knowledge, which certainly pays off in much deeper understanding, even if it sometimes leads to even more questions.

Now the pounding in my head propels me into exploring women’s issues in the church, family, and society. I find a void in inspiration and encouragement for women with life experiences in my age group. A woman doesn’t get past seventy years without deep joys and sorrows, which are important to explore. We are not ridiculous objects of pity as in “The Old Woman Who Lived in a Shoe,” or, “There Was an Old Woman Who Swallowed a Fly.” If one is lucky enough to read to grandchildren, it is surprising how often children’s stories feature unflattering portraits of old women. But there are also stories of wise old women who are the inspiration and repositories of wisdom, most often found in multi-cultural sources. Let’s recover that heritage for the elderly.

About My Work

BOOKSI have written two books encouraging women to lift all human-imposed limitations placed upon them.

​​Bold Girls Speak is a collection of stories from the Old and New Testament about girls who survive and thrive in their time and place.

The New Perspective on Mary and Martha ​is my new look at Luke 10:38-42. This book is a rewrite of my MA in Biblical Studies. Imagine this story with Martha out of the kitchen and Mary is not even in the house! No more being crushed in the vice of having to find more “Mary” study time when “Martha” service is just as important!

I have self-published Learn to Read German Theology Fast! or, in German, Deutsche Theologie Lesen. This book is available on Amazon. Please contact me for corrections in the answer keys. I am working on a new edition.

BLOGIn addition, I write on other theological and life issues on this site. Please check the categories under my blog, which include:

  • Mary & Martha
  • Bold Girls Speak
  • Reading Theological German
  • Equality and Justice for Women
  • Living with Dementia ​
  • Caretaking
  • Widowhood

POETRY: Theology has been and continues to find expression distinctly and amply by generations of theologians and commentators in various academic genres. I find that theology can also be expressed in other forms, such as in ​my poetry.

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