Your Story: Emily Maynard

Note from Alana: I first came across Emily at prodigalmagazine.com. I was drawn to Emily’s rawness and how she showed her strength through her vulnerability. I’m honored that she would share part of her Story here today.

My Story: The Busiest Person Doesn’t Win
by Emily Maynard

It must have started when they named me.

Emily means “Diligent One,” and I definitely am that. I may not always be the “Focused One” or “Tasks Completed One,” but my life has been full of energy and opportunity. I traveled extensively in high school, worked my way through college in the Midwest, and moved back to my beloved Portlandia. But somewhere along the way, my name got twisted up. Somehow, somewhere, I took on the name of “Does Everything One,” which quickly turned into “Disappointed One,” “Self-Berating One,” “Flakey One,” and “Exhausted One.” And let me tell you, these titles are even less fun in real life than they are on this page. When you’re so tired you can’t even sleep, your body starts to reject certain food groups, and your immune system is on permanent hiatus, it’s probably time to start paying attention. And that’s what it took for me to stop competing and start listening to myself. Continue reading

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Your Story: Joy McMillan

Note from Alana: Joy and I met through the pre-marriage program Josh and I participated in. Joy and her husband Joe were the leaders of our group. This was almost 7 years ago! I have greatly enjoyed the development of our friendship and I’m honored to share Joy’s story here today. 

I Once Was Lost
shared by Joy McMillan

I’m sure the longing to live in someone else’s skin started long before the awkward puberty-stricken days of 7th grade, but that is when I recall the daydream beginning.

And the dream always unfolded in the exact same way: me, in all my spectacled, short-haired clumsiness, standing alone on the playground.  Some sort of chaos would inevitably break out amongst my classmates and the distinct need for a hero would arise.  This is when my fragile heart would practically beat out of my chest with excitement – it was my cue, my moment to shine.  Even if it was painfully nonexistent. Continue reading

Your Story: Cassandra Holmes

Bedtime Stories That Paved The Road to Redemption
shared by Cassandra Holmes

Every child knows what bedtime stories are. Sometimes parents read them from books, other parents make them up as they go. My favorite bedtime story was “The Man & The Woman Story”. Basic as far as stories go, but this one is special. This one is mine. Continue reading

Your Story: Kimanzi Constable

Note from Alana: My friend Joe Lalonde introduced me to Kimanzi at the WordCamp conference I attended in August. When Kimanzi shared his story, I was amazed, motivated and encouraged. So much so, that I just had to share it with you! Thank you for sharing your Story, Kimanzi. I heard it at a time I needed it most.

Existing Is Not Enough Anymore
shared by Kimanzi Constable

Have you ever had one of those days when you just wanted to scream, cry, and then go back to bed? For twelve years this is how I felt everyday! Ok, maybe not everyday but the last few years have become worse and worse.

Here’s the problem I faced: I have no college degree and special skills. So how could I move onto to something better? Continue reading

Your Story: Abigail Livingston

Note from Alana: Abbie is a dear friend of mine. I have known her my entire life – our parents have been friends since before Abbie and I joined this world. I am blessed and honored to be able to share part of Abbie’s story here. I love you, lady!

Sexuality Redeemed
shared by Abigail Livingston

I grew up in what I’d call a “Christian Bubble”. My parents loved (and still love) Jesus, and they tended to raise my siblings and I on the overprotective side (their intent was out of their love for us). But this created in me a level of ignorance about how the world was in real life. Part of that ignorance was about how to have or pursue healthy relationships with boys. I was taught that “true love waits”, meaning that I should not have sex until I get married. There was not much else shared about romantic relationships as I was growing up even in church-and I was definitely not allowed to date. Continue reading

Your Story: Gary & Laurie Pokorny

Note from Alana: Laurie and I were coworkers prior to their big move. I remember hearing of their dream to pick up and start over in a new place. At the time, a small part of me thought, “I’ll believe it when I see it.” I am so inspired by their courage and faith, I wanted to share it with you!

We Sold Everything for the Dream
shared by Gary and Laurie Pokorny

The American Dream. How is it defined? Webster’s definition: an American social ideal that stresses egalitarianism and especially material prosperity; also: the prosperity or life that is the realization of this ideal. Some say it’s the ideals of freedom, equality, and opportunity traditionally held to be available to every American; a life of personal happiness and material comfort as traditionally sought by individuals in the United States. Well for us, the American Dream was pursuing a passion or calling that was haunting us for 10 years. It was going against the traditional path. It was taking a risk and a huge leap of faith. Continue reading

Your Story: Michael Good

How I Quit My Job
shared by Michael Good

On December 30, 2011, I went to my last day of work as I knew it. I was quitting my job to launch a business with my wife, Claudia. Just three months prior, our first child was born and Claudia had cut her hours way back to stay home with our son. Our total monthly business income at the time I quit: $140.

A little background

At the time I quit my job, we had been married for 8 years. I had recently turned 30. We had been living a pretty dull existence up to this point, a life scripted by society’s expectations.

Michael and Claudia

I was extremely unhappy at work, but felt trapped. I didn’t know what else to do, so indecision caused me to remain in my awful work environment for years.

However, a new wind was blowing much needed courage into the hearts of my wife and I with the fast approaching birth of our first child. Continue reading