I was blessed to grow up on a farm in northern Indiana. I say I was blessed because when I was growing up we had so many adventures in the woods, the barn, and, if my parents didn’t know, anywhere our bikes could take us. Our world was safe, and life was good.
As soon as I could read, I wanted to be a writer. I received kudos throughout my school years. My senior year, my English teacher suggested I write a book of poems for publication, but I didn’t have the confidence.
When considering college, I wanted to be a writer, but my dad said there was no money in writing. At that time there were no professional writing courses anyway other than journaling and English literature courses. Writing was all I wanted to do, so after two years, I became discouraged and dropped out.
Some years later I married a man who encouraged my writing and continued to push me until I wrote a query to Union Gospel Press. I have been writing for them since 2007. My first assignment was writing poems, of course, then feature articles and meditations. I also had a small article printed in Gaither’s Homecoming Magazine.
My first book, “Experiencing God While Caregiving”, is about my journey through the years of caring for my husband until he died. I look back on the writing of that book and realize I didn’t know what I was writing. The title suggests the book is about caregiving. After speaking at a conference for caregivers, I realized it wasn’t about caregiving, but I couldn’t identify the topic. When an author is unclear what the topic of her book is about, you know there is a problem.
I remarried, and I live with my husband on Dewart Lake in Indiana. We have a great view of the lake from our front room, but my office faces the woods in the back because I still find a woods to be most inspiring to me.
Currently, I am working on a book for women. The main character becomes a widow and feels plunged into the “great unknown.” There are many scenarios in which a woman can feel lost or need a new approach to life. I will be blogging portions of the book on this website.
I have a son and five stepchildren or eleven stepchildren if we count the children of my deceased husband. I only count as stepchildren the ones I buy Christmas gifts for and the others are my friends. I should consider a book titled “Experiencing God as a stepparent,” but I am learning I don’t have that figured out yet.
My husband was excited when we bought our house on the lake, but it happened to be the one I lived in with my family when I was in high school and college, so I had mixed feelings. Somehow, I thought I would have moved on to greater accomplishments by now, rather than move back home. My first year in the house, I was grieving my parents’ death and my lack of ambition. I realized time was running out and I wondered what I had accomplished.
I had accomplished a lot really. I was a Bible teacher for ten years. I served in various ways in my church, taught Sunday school from Middle school to adult, worked in the healthcare field for several years, owned a custom drapery business for twelve successful years, and was major partner in a business my husband and I started.
I’ve battled depression for years and was even suicidal a couple times. I have my thoughts on all that, but I feel sure none of my thoughts would make it into the psychology journals.
When I was in college a girl in my dorm was wearing a shawl she had knitted. I admired it and her skill. It became very important to learn to knot and I taught myself. Then my roommate needed a dress for a special occasion and she mentioned it to a friend. The friend told her to find a picture in a magazine of a dress she would like, and her mother would make her the dress. I was stunned that anyone could do that, but the dress was beautiful. I didn’t teach myself to make a dress from a picture in a magazine, but it did excite me to improve my sewing skills. Over the years I have tried almost every needlework hobby, but it has come down to knitting, crocheting and sewing. I like sewing, knitting, writing and looking at the tall trees out the window of my office or walking among them.
This story about me, makes me wonder about depression, drive or ambition, love, and hobbies.. Is there a connection? I have a tray in my office that hangs from a hook, and the words on it ask: What makes you come alive? Great question! I have spent the last few years trying to come up with an answer.
You can find me on Facebook, Sherry Newcum-author. I will be posting encouragement for caregivers, jokes, short devotions, and miscellaneous other good stuff. Follow me at @Snewcum on Twitter and Instagram.
My greatest concern is for soul care, so here’s to life, love and refreshing our souls!