It's June- and a new month means a new focus for the Just 5 Things series! Because of some scheduling glitches with last month's kitchen focus, we'll pick that back up in the fall with some of my favorites. This month we're hearing from writers and you will love it.
What better way to start than with Shannan Martin?? Formerly Flower Patch Farm Girl, Shannan is probably my favorite person to follow on Instagram. I'm really intentional about keeping my feeding positive, encouraging, and following accounts that spur me on towards Christ. Whoosh. Shannan's account does that so well. She doesn't veer from hard things or tricky topics and instead encourages us all to wrestle with those gray areas. I love her story of going from a pretty typical middle America life to being flipped upside down and inside out and challenged in so many ways and redefining what she thought the Gospel looked like.
Girlfriend is so real. If you haven't read her blog, do it. And do yourself a favor by pre-ordering her book. I am SO excited to read it/really nervous about how it will challenge all my comfortable ways. You'll love her answers to the questions!
1. Give us your elevator speech. What's your go-to way to introduce yourself?
My name is Shannan Martin. 17 years ago I married a suit-and-tie political staffer who is now the bearded chaplain of our county jail. When I daydreamed about our future kiddos, they all looked like him (think blue eyes, but no beard). No one was more surprised than me when my family was built, instead, through the stunning gift of adoption. One of my life goals was to live a farmgirl existence on a piece of land. We did that for a while, then God relocated us to a shabby, easily overlooked neighborhood on the far edge of a city. What I'm telling you is, I got it all wrong and I'll never recover from my gratitude. God rescued me from what I thought I wanted and offered me the actual life he created me to live.
2. What has surprised you the most about being a writer?
Aside from the shock of signing a book contract after seven years of writing for free, the most surprising thing to me is that I never feel like I've figured it all out. Writing is a tricky beast and sometimes even a frenemy. It causes me untold amounts of angst and is one of my greatest joys. It ebbs and flows. It keeps my humility in check and reminds me of my humanity every single day.
3. What is one thing you say 'no' to (or hire out!) in order to say 'yes' to better things?
Despite the fact that I've been blogging for almost eight years, I am the very worst when it comes to anything techy. I work around this in various ways (my blog is still hosted on Blogger, which makes all other seasoned bloggers gasp) but most recently, I've begun to hire out necessary tech-related enhancements. Part of me has felt a certain degree of embarrassment over the fact that I can't just FIGURE STUFF OUT, but a larger part of me now feels relieved that I don't have to. I can pay someone and go cook an elaborate dinner, instead.
4. What would you tell your 10 year younger self?
I would tell her that in exactly ten years, she will realize one evening that all three of her children showered on the same night with zero help from her. Those days of assisting small people with every little thing eventually do come to an end. She will feel a tiny bit wistful and nostalgic when it happens, but she'll also cheer! From the couch. While she reads a good book.
5. If you could only read one thing or from one author, who/what would it be?
I don't typically re-read books or re-watch movies. BUT, I have now read Tattoos on the Heart by Gregory Boyle three times, and I guard my inked-up, underlined copy like the hope diamond.
Thank you thank you thank you for joining in the series, Shannan! And thank you for being obedient and honest and sharing all the God is teaching you!
Read more from Shannan: