Today is MEMBER MONDAY, my favorite blogging day of the week. I just love getting to know fellow FaithWriters members, don’t you? Today we meet Shann Hall-Lochmann VanBennekom (betcha can’t say that 10 times, fast ). Instead of an interview, Shann opted to write her own monologue, which I think is great. Something a little different to keep things interesting.
So grab a cup of coffee, sit back and get to know Shann.
My name is Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom and if you’re wondering about the name, I really have only been married once. The Hall is my maiden name and the rest is from my husband’s Dutch roots.
I used to be an RN in the obstetrics floor of the local hospital until a chronic illness forced me to slow down. It was at that point when I turned to my love of books to keep myself sane. I also kept a daily journal of my children’s lives as well as my own prayer journal.
I have three delightful children and 95% of the time I have a wonderful husband. The other 5% I have 3 whining, look-at-me, can I borrow the car-type kids and a tired, grumpy, overworked husband.
Emily, my oldest, has her Master’s degree in school counseling and is presently working at a local college. Quinten just finished his 2nd year of college and dreams of becoming a minister. Lydia still has 2 more years of high school where she excels academically and enjoys the swim team.
My husband, Chris, is my computer genius. If not for his knowledge and patience with my impatience, our house would be computer-free — or at least damaged somewhat by my throwing one out of a nearby window.
The day I realized I needed to write in order to survive came fairly late in my life. I had always made up stories for my children and also did some local storytelling. Once in a while I would dabble in poetry, but I would basically write only when the mood hit me.
My epiphany came one day when my illness had been causing unbearable pain for far too long. I cried out to God, asking why he wouldn’t help me. I very clearly heard a voice say, “Have you ever heard the story about the man who was caught in a flood? A fire truck stopped and offered to help him evacuate and his answer was ‘No the Lord will save me.’ Next a boat came along, and then a helicopter. The man refused to be rescued each time proclaiming ‘The Lord will save me.’
Finally, as he clung to his chimney, he looked to the heavens and asked God why he didn’t save him. God answered ‘I sent you a fire truck, a boat and a helicopter what more do you want?’
Then I heard God say to me, “Shann I’ve given you what you need to overcome this pain, I gave you passion for books, especially the Bible, and I gave you an outlet in your writing to express your inner most thoughts and feelings. Why haven’t you read My word or written a single story?”
I realized I did feel better when I read and wrote in my journal or made stories up in my mind if I was too weak to hold a pen. These are the gifts God sent me to survive my flood and I, in my ignorance, ignored them. I understood the meaning of humility when I realized I was the man in the old joke, clinging to nothing but a chimney. After that, I tried to read and write when the raindrops started falling instead of finding myself crying out for salvation in the middle of the flood.
As of yet, I have not had anything published, but in all fairness I haven’t submitted very much either. I’m still working on that fear of rejection, or worse, ridicule.
The last book I read was one of the Harry Potter Books, I’m not sure which one, as I’ve read them all at least 10 times each. If I can’t get to the library, I read whatever is in the house, whether it’s romance (I’m usually desperate if I’m reading that) or my favorite Young Adult books. I’ve read almost every book my kids have read, although Lydia may have forged ahead some now that she is older.
My biggest pet peeve is one many have seen me comment on in the little gold boxes when I critique an article and that is the improper use of pronouns. If you pass by my door, you might even hear me scream at the TV, “The letter was left for Meg and me, not Meg and I!” Oddly (or maybe not so oddly), my screaming at the TV is one of my kids’ pet peeves.
In five years, I hope I will be a grandma, spoiling my babies’ babies, enjoying life as much as I can, submitting my devotions and children’s stories to someone on a regular basis. But mainly I suspect I’ll just be taking it a day at a time. That’s what has gotten me this far, and I hope it’ll keep me going for many years to come.