Welcome to my personal, somewhat eclectic blog. Here you will find posts that touch your heart, your mind, and your funny bone, sometimes all at the same time. That’s just who I am. When I was a teenager, I would wear pearls with T-shirts and jeans, sweatshirts with shorts in cold weather, and hang nostalgia beside modern art on my walls. When my mother said I was eclectic, she said it with admiration. Somehow I made “eclectic” work in my attire and my décor, and I think it works with my blog, too.
If you’re used to visiting me on a blog called “Sound Off,” you’re in the right place. It was time for a name change and a makeover, and, well, I’m attempting to make the change. For years, I wasn’t sure “Sound off: Wait! Did I say that out loud?” was a completely accurate title for my blog. After all, I write what is appropriate and polite and true. I click “Publish” only after much thought and some hesitation, not exactly the loose canon my former name suggested.
Finally, after some thoughtful prayer and contemplation, I decided “All Things Work Together” — based on my favorite Scripture verse, Romans 8:28, is a better choice for me. The verse says:
“And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose” (NASB).
I have seen God work in and through me — giving me beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, and garments of praise for the spirit of heaviness, that I might make a stand for righteousness and bring Him glory (Isaiah 61:3). In short, He has shown me, indeed, that He can work everything — even tragedy, heartache, pain and loss — for my good.
I see the world through God-colored glasses. While I am an optimist, it is because I believe God’s promises are true. I don’t believe in “separation of church and state” or a dividing line between what is considered secular and spiritual. To me, it is one giant package of God’s design. For that reason, I will often tag my posts “Christian life” even when no apparent spiritual element, reference to Jesus, or Scripture verse are present; my Christian worldview influences the way I see everyday life events; it is simply part of who I am. I make no apologies, but I also intend no offense. Believers and non-believers alike follow and love my writing. It is real. I am simply expressing life as I see it, generally finding humor and meaning in everyday experiences.
I am a mother of five, now officially all adults, and the “Gramsy” of one. To be honest, I have only birthed one of the five children who call me mom, because I got four the hard way — through marriage to a widower when his children were 9, 8, 5, and 3. (I too had been widowed, but, sadly, I had been childless at the time.)
In 1994, I changed my identity from “widow” to “married with children,” and I entered into a life completely different from what I had led in the past. I left my career as a journalist to become the instant mother of four, and the eventual mother of one more (the weeks it took to convince my husband that four children were not enough plus that 40-week process that ensures women become mothers at their utmost point of exhaustion).
When I married that second time, instead of going into work each day, I stayed home — and started home-schooling my children. After four years of that, my children and I went to school; they went to learn, and I went to learn more — as a teacher. Then, nearly 13 years later, I determined to learn more in a formal setting — as an online student in Educational Technology. (I graduated in May 2013. Yay, me!) It was while I was pursuing my master’s degree that I began this personal blog, named by my colleagues who have such names for their own blogs, such as Lalla-Land (for my dear friend Lalla) and Bird’s Eye View (for my colleague H. Bird).
Lalla coined the title “Souders Sounds Off” for the blog and assured me she would be my first and most faithful reader (OK, I added the “most faithful” part; she was my first follower but actually stopped following me when I became a bit prolific. Go figure. She still picks up my links via Facebook but was tired of cleaning out her email box.). Other students in the class said “If you write it, I will read.” Hence, this blog. (For the sake of simplicity, I shortened it to “Sound off,” but now you know the original, intended title and to whom the credit belongs.)
Now my college career is over — maybe — as is my teaching career. I am happily marketing intellectual property for university inventors as well as for a business incubator. In my spare time, which somehow is much more spare than it was when actively parenting and teaching, I write. Here. A demonstration that “All Things Work Together.”
Because they do. Because God makes it so for those who love Him and are called according to His purpose. That includes me. And, I hope, you.
Thanks for reading!