Oh, Donna. Oh, Donna.
It's funny how God brings people into your life.
Two years back, I was pretty active on a writing site but a bit disgruntled with the lack of meaty critiques. Praise is good, but praise without constructive criticism is pretty meaningless. At least, I think so.
I started a private, online critique group through Yahoo!, inviting some of the women (it was all women, for whatever reason, nothing against the guys) from that list to join me for a roast. One of the women that came aboard was Donna Shepherd, a pastor's wife from Ohio who had written here and there, not seriously, and at that point in January 2003, didn't really know what she wanted to do. She dabbled in children's stories and poetry, and did (and does!) quite well in both, but it seems evident with how busy she is today that the Lord has called her, at least for now, to focus on devotionals and other inspirational writings. Donna just finished a 30-devotional project and has more assignments on her plate; if you had asked her not even two years ago if she would have been doing this, she'd have chuckled and said, "No way. Not me. I'm not a real writer."
Well, Donna is a real writer, with a talent for ideas and with words and passion to share Christ through her work. She does this while helping her husband, Don, run a church and a private mortgage business.
Donna did something really nice for me today, something that brought literally brought tears to my eyes. I know that may be hard to believe with my reputation for sarcasm and self-deprication. Donna told me I've been a God-send to her, but really, she's been a God-send to me.
I love you, DonnaBelle.
And I appreciate all the members of the Master's Artist. The way this group got together can only be credited to God. Deborah, Susan, Mary, Lisa, Donna, Michael, Jeanne and Mark (and Suz, who isn't with the group anymore) each have encouraged me, inspired me, made me laugh, made me think and made me want to be the best writer -- the best child of Christ -- I can be for the Kingdom.
You all are the best. I'm so blessed to be among you!