Shel Silverstein and holy moments

Caryn Rivadeneira

November 1, 2011

I think Madeleine L'Engle probably inspired me to want to write more than anyone else. Her unique mix of God, science, reality, fantasy, and spirituality invited me into the mystery and wonder of God and the universe. She compelled me to find my own voice and to process the ideas I encounter more wholistically.

Thank you, Caryn. I love Shel too and can't wait to buy "Every Thing On It" for my high school library (I don't believe that children's books are only for children.)

November 1, 2011

I find I'm being inspired a lot through what I learn in college.  I'll take a class expecting to learn nothing of use, and every time I've felt that way I've walked away thinking "Wow, I'm glad I took that, because I learned (random skill)."  I feel like I'm called to be a pastor, so a lot of classes sort of apply to that lately.

Monica Selby
November 1, 2011

I have been racking my brain all day, and I just don't know.  I've read nonstop for as long as I can remember.  I don't remember a moment like you describe, Caryn.  Certain authors that inspired me: Madeleine L'Engle, C.S. Lewis, John Steinbeck, Edith Wharton.  And a million others.

November 1, 2011

How amazing it is to me that you "knew" at such a young age which path your life would take you on. I'm still trying to figure out my place in the world at almost 49 years of age. I was born with the talent to draw and create most anything, but was discouraged from making a living in the art world by my WW2-era parents ("legal secretary" is the term my mom used, I believe, for the only career that she thought would make me "successful"). When I asked to switch my major over to art (after flunking out of calculus and accounting), my mom once again refused  and insisted I take a hands-on dental assisting course if I didn't stay in college. When she was dying, she finally allowed me to go back to school and take the art courses I so longed to participate in, and I earned a 3.8 average that semester. Unfortunately, she passed away about two months afterwards, and my dad sold the house. I ended up getting an office job and moving into a small studio on my own. That was when I was 22.  Aside from a few years off to mother my kids (which I loved), I've been a Jack-of-all-trades ever since, holding down jobs from an activities coach for the disabled to a mortgage processor to a salesperson selling gym memberships (and many jobs in-betweeen). Right now, I'm a sales administrator for a company that sells vehicles to our military members overseas (for their own personal use when they come back home). Although I've had several encounters and incidents that have led me to believe I really should be writing and illustrating that children's book I always dreamed of, I'm beginning to realize God might have me where I am to finally learn the "art" of organization: setting and keeping meetings and appointments; having a work area where there's a place for everything, and everything is in its place; time management; learning that not everything we want happens overnight, etc. At a bible study last night, Beth Moore (in a DVD) exclaimed in her own personal revelation that many of us are waiting for the "thing" in our lives that we want so badly..but really, we should be waiting on God. Something about her exclamation must have resonated with me, because I had a really great day at work today (usually, I'm stressed and frustrated) and I feel like my whole attitude changed. I guess "it's never too late to be what you might have been" and just because I didn't write that book at 49 doesn't mean I won't be a successful children's author at 59!

Shari Dragovich
November 2, 2011

This is a great post, Caryn! LOVE Silverstein. His books (among a select few others) have been the ones I've dragged with me since childhood - from home to college to classroom to every state we've lived in since I've been married. Now my children love Silverstein and we laugh at night before bed to Runny Babbit wanting to become a "stovie mar" (one of my favorites). I had no idea there was a new book out... I will have to make my way to B&N soon : )

As for how I am where I am today? Oh my... maybe my deep affection for all things literary should be blamed. God certainly took advantage of it the day I ended up cross-legged on the floor of B&N, reading random chapters of "On Writing Well" by Zinsser. I was terrified walking in my house with four new writing books. I thought certain my husband would roll his eyes and chide me for buying more books.

He didn't. Instead, he grinned one of the hugest grins I've ever seen on his face (rivaled only by him watching his children play sports). "Honey, you are incredibly talented and I think you could write things people would really enjoy reading. I'm so excited for you and proud to have a 'writer wife'!"

He left me surprised and speechless. Like you said... holy ground. : )

Again... great post, Caryn!!

November 2, 2011

Maybe we broaden our thinking and expectations---instead of "God is preparing me to do/be _x_,"  perhaps he is asking you to be faithful, willing, content, and to do his will in whatever situation, place, work, event, etc. we find ourselves in.  How blessed to have the clarity of a specific calling; how blessed also to be able to see God's hand and help in the patchwork quilt of a life as described by againali.  Both are spectacular.

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