I can’t remember a time when I didn’t want to be a writer, but word on the street when I was young was that trying to support yourself writing was like trying to support yourself juggling. So I went for the big bucks and became a Christian school English teacher instead.
I met my husband Dan when he was working as a youth pastor making fifty bucks a week and living in a church basement, but I wasn’t daunted. He wrote wonderful poetry and had a yummy Yamaha 650. We crashed it on our second date, and I knew I was in love. For the past thirty years, Dan and I have worked together in churches and Christian schools. I eventually earned an M.R.E. from Grand Rapids Theological Seminary (1990) and, to my knowledge, was the only woman in that era who commuted to classes on her motorcycle.
God blessed us with two phenomenal children. Nate and his wife Allison live in Iowa where Nate works as a construction supervisor. He’s passionate about God and has been spared from so many near-death experiences he could have a starring role in Cats. Nate and Allison are involved in outreach through their church and enjoy motorcycles and sports.
Our daughter Jessica was born with a suitcase in one hand and a dayplanner in the other. Her love for God and people has drawn her to orphanages, hospices, churches, schools, camps and ministries across the world. She’s currently the volunteer coordinator at Warm Beach Christian Camp and Conference Center north of Seattle. (She did not learn how to cook from me. I am still practicing my Jello recipe.)
I began writing for publications when my children were small, and I discovered that people were willing to pay me for doing what I loved. I submitted to secular and religious publications and regularly sold as-told-to articles, features, fiction for youth, women’s interest, and as-told-to pieces. I eventually began consulting with small businesses and conducting writing seminars. When we moved to Iowa, I founded the Cedar Falls Christian Writers’ Workshop, an intimate, hands-on conference for aspiring authors.
When I’m not writing, you might find me with Dan on the back of our Harley. I’m also an adjunct professor at Cornerstone University, and I travel nationally speaking at conferences, retreats, and seminars.
Like most writers, I’ve mined my life experiences as the basis for much of my writing and speaking. My health challenges, caregiving struggles, love of family, fears, and aspirations are all woven through my fiction, nonfiction. But central to everything I share with my readers is my passion for Illuminating truth through story – the truth that Jesus Christ gives purpose and meaning to all that we do and all that we are. My life passion is to impact lives with the love of God and to encourage people to be all He created them to be in Jesus Christ. To learn more visit me at www.shellybeachonline.com.