I grew up in the (legitimately) small town of Quinter, Kansas (population 800). Throughout my youth, I had three dreams: to be a teacher, to travel overseas, and to become an author. Even though I loved fantasy stories, I was very practically minded when it came to life, and I quickly realized that trying to be an author right off the bat would not provide me with a livable income. So, I focused my energy on obtaining the other two dreams. With visions of traveling and being immersed in other cultures, I left home after high school and… made it as far as Omaha, Nebraska. OK, I hadn’t traveled very far yet, but Omaha did offer me plenty of diverse opportunities. During my years there, I worked with a Sudanese ministry and became involved with a Spanish-speaking church. I was also able to spend three months in Mexico, courtesy of the university’s ESL program.
In 2007, I graduated from Grace University with a double Bachelors in Bible and Elementary Education and an endorsement in ESL. A couple of months later, my dreams of seeing the world were realized when I moved to China to teach ESL at an International school. It was during this time that the third dream started to rear its creative head again. Due to the recommendation of a friend, I became a member of faithwriters.com and began publishing my writing in something other than a newsletter. In 2010, I moved back to the U.S. and taught for a year on the Navajo Reservation (another long-time dream of mine). At the end of that year, I moved to Albuquerque, tired and exhausted. With no energy left to pursue my own dreams, I cried out to God. “I’m tired. I have no dreams of my own left, so whatever you want for me, if you have a guy out there for me, I promise that I’ll try not to run away.”