Self Portrait Number 1

I was four when this picture was taken. I doubt I even noticed that my picture was being taken. I can say with some certainty that I was actually reading in this photo... not just posing for the camera.

Have I told you the story of how I taugh myself to read?


I was four. I loved books. I love the pictures. But I loved the words more. As an oldest child, I had adults reading to me. They did not struggle with the words. It felt like they all were in on a big secret. I decided I needed to crack this code for myself.

I sat cross-legged on the brown carpet of the den next to the record player set up under the stairs. As my mom put on a record, I took the record sleeve, removed the liner notes, and soon figured out how to follow along. Not only was I teaching myself to read, I was also learning all the words to Carol King, James Taylor, Joni Mitchell, Crosby Stills Nash and Young, Amy Grant, Keith Green had ever recorded... At the age of four, I was inadvertently being steeped in the magic and artistry of song writing and storytelling. And I lived in a world where I could spend my morning in my favorite pj’s, sitting on my window ledge reading to anyone who would listen... this doll must have been a particularly good listener.

So, why is this the first story I tell you this year?

How many times has someone handed you a picture of yourself in such a unedited moment. A photographic recording of you lost in a moment and caught being completely yourself?

Over the past year (2018), I was given 3 different pictures of myself at different ages. Each of these photos caught me off guard, brought up big emotions, and served as a reminder of who I am and where I’m headed.

So, this is the first of 3. I actually had a dream about this picture. I woke up thinking about it. I texted my mom on the way to work about it. Early the next morning she found me and put the picture in my hands. I needed to be reminded that before I was ever striving to become anything, I have always been a storyteller, a reader, a listener.

This year, (2019) I am heading back to school. As a grad student. Again. I was accepted into the Marriage and Family Counseling Masters program at Northwest Nazarene University. I has been a year of recovering who I am and all the things I am so passionate about. After teaching in universities for the past 8 years and working in the nonprofit space for the last 2 years I find that I want to put myself in a position to do the most good. And for me, being in a place where I can work with helping families become healthy and strong means that our community becomes healthier and stronger. All boats rise.

This has been my reasoning going into all this. And, since it’s a new year, and I am starting a new chapter, I was also feeling like I wanted a fresh start with the blog as well. You can still find my old blog,,, but from now on, this is where I’ll be focusing on what I’m reading, learning, and writing. Right now my grand plan is one blog a week. But, it’s January 1st. Let’s see how it goes, shall we?

This is Not the End,