Monday, March 23, 2015

"Listen to Your Mother"--Passions Combined

What do you do when some of your specific passions come together in one setting? For me, I have been doing a happy dance! Before I share the reason for my rejoicing, though, here's a bit of background...

I have always been passionate about writing. My first book attempt came in 5th grade with my pencil written story entitled "The Land of the Unicorns." I had high hopes of a published children's book with colorful and engaging illustrations and a wide audience of readers. My story never made it off of the notebook paper, but at least I was starting to dream! Since then the love for writing has only increased with each passing year. There is something so magical about carving out words and sentences with description and feeling, communicating my thoughts and passions through letters on a page and having the opportunity to connect with the hearts of readers, some of whom I will never meet face to face. Since beginning this blog and later publishing my book, I have been especially passionate about sharing our amazing journey in the world of "Holland" as we raise a child with special needs. It is my desire to create greater awareness concerning Down syndrome, to demonstrate the beauty and value of children who happen to carry an extra chromosome, and to share the goodness and faithfulness of my Savior every step of the way.

We will now move on to passion number two. I was very much one of the shy kids in my school growing up. I was soft-spoken and easily intimidated by my peers. When I enrolled in the required speech class during my junior year of high school, I did so with fear and trembling. When the time came for me to deliver my first speech, I walked up to the front with clammy hands and a pounding heart. However, as soon as I opened my mouth and the words began to form on my tongue, I found myself coming alive and made the shocking discovery that I absolutely love public speaking! That love evolved into a passion for theater in college, during which time I performed in three musicals and two stage plays. As an adult I have enjoyed various opportunities to preach, teach, and lead worship in a number of settings, and while I may still experience butterflies in the stomach at times, I love every moment of it!

So...back to my happy dance! In January I was introduced to an annual show called "Listen to Your Mother." To quote directly from their website, "The mission of each LISTEN TO YOUR MOTHER production is to take the audience on a well-crafted journey that celebrates and validates mothering through giving voice to motherhood–in all of its complexity, diversity, and humor–in the form of original readings performed live on-stage by their authors" ( This year, shows will be held in 39 cities across the U.S. including Oklahoma City. Each live show is recorded and broadcast on the LTYMShow YouTube channel over the summer. My mother, also a passionate writer, and I were encouraged to submit a piece of original writing for the OKC show and wait to see what would happen. As soon as I learned about this event, something inside of me leaped and said "Yes! I want to do that!" I was thrilled when we were both invited to come and audition our pieces for an opportunity at landing a spot in the production. A few weeks ago we made the three hour drive to OKC on a beautiful sunny day for our 10 minute audition slots. It was worth every mile! (Of course we were sure to stop somewhere for a sweet treat before commencing our journey home). I was glowing later that night after receiving a phone call offering me a spot on the show and learning that my mom had received a similar call!

The next month will be very busy with multiple trips to OKC to meet with fellow cast members, rehearse the show, and culminate on the actual production day at Will Rogers Theater on April 26 at 2:30 p.m. I feel extremely humbled and honored to have this unique opportunity to join my voice with the voices of other mothers around the nation and share a little portion of my journey with an audience I would have never had the chance to touch otherwise. Getting to share this experience with my own mother makes it extra special!

To learn more about the Listen to Your Mother Show and this year's OKC cast, follow the link below:

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