Why Blog?

It isn’t what most people would choose for themselves. Most little girls would rather have been born with a passion for dancing, or even horseback riding. I.. was born it seems with a love for writing.

I was 9 years old when I had my first poem published in a school newspaper. In those days, my writing was about the simplicity of life and about my dreams.

By the age of 11, I began to journal nearly daily. How I wish I had some of those journals from back then. Still yet today, I journal- but not on a daily basis.

2002: My Blog Dawning

2002 was one of the most difficult years of my life. In depression, I did the only thing I knew that could potentially help- I wrote.

I started blogging anonymously at non- WordPress site. Mostly, my posts were about the pain I was trying to process and a bit of my creative writing from time to time. I wrote nearly daily in a letter style to myself. Before I closed the blog down, I printed many of my entries and put them into a notebook.

2008: Blogging, round two

In 2008, I began my first WordPress Blog. It was a way for me to try to digest in writing some of the questions about faith that I was experiencing.

2011: And Now

In 2011, I launched simplyspokn. At the time, I had just left the world of journalism and missed writing about life here in rural Appalachia and also about my own journey and struggle with Faith.

It has been push and pull up until recently. I wanted to write consistently when I first launched over 6 years ago, but lacked the dedication and planning that daily posting requires. I also have taken breaks to try to focus on mere survival, as the last six years have been anything but quiet.

So, there goes. That is why I started blogging.

How about you? Why did you start blogging?


The Story Behind a Name- SimplySpokn?

I have a thing about names.

There is a fairly unique story about how I came about the biological name that I have. My oldest son is named for a 1990s Nickelodeon cartoon character and my youngest son is named after an Uncle that neither he or his dad ever knew.

I even took thought in naming my new kitten, Joel the Brave, that came into my life last month. The name Joel means “the one to whom JEHOVAH IS GOD”.

But, SimplySpokn?

Seeing as I have committed to GOD to getting my blogging back full time, I felt it was time to talk about why I gave the blog THAT particular name.

Partly, it starts with a unique part of who I am. I am an “old soul”, meaning that I tend to like things that most people my age would think was old-fashion or outdated. One of the things I love is the art of letter writing. At about 12, I started signing my name “Simply, Heather”

(I will gladly send you a letter, if you would like to email me your mailing address. Send email to fstopchick (AT) gmail (DOT) com) 

The other part of that is that I am a simple person. I don’t care much for having lavish things for myself (though I do love old fashion soaps wrapped in paper). Even if I had millions to spare, I would much rather live a simple, relaxed life and bless others with what extra I have.

SimplySpokn became a Motto

I wanted what I write here, what I share here to be simply from my heart. I am no eloquent writer, nor will I pretend to be. I am no theological student, but I will share with you the Truths that CHRIST has revealed to me through HIS Word.  I am no expert, but I can share with you what I know.

If you blog, I’d love to hear how you came up with your blog name or of how the title represents who you are.

Me? I am a simple lady. What I share here is simplyspokn here, filtered through GOD’s grace.


Who Am I?

The first day of college, I was asked by my professors to write an essay on one thing: Who Am I?

I thought I knew then the purpose of that exercise. I thought it was a simple writing assignment in which the professor would get a decent grip on where we were in our writing journey and what areas we most needed help on.

I dragged out my 3 ring binder from the top of the closet. Here is some of what I wrote, nearly 20 years ago:

“…therefore, this is not just a paper- another sheet before your eyes.
It is ME, professor
What I am
My joys and tears I cry.
It is a sliver of my hardships; a record of what I have survived”

And I think of a song..

I can’t ask the question Who Am I without also thinking of a song that my Daddy often sang.

Song, Who Am I (made famous by Elvis Presley, written by Charles ‘Rusty’ Goodman)

Came to dwell among the lowly such as I
To suffer shame and such disgrace
On Mount Calvary take my place
Then I ask myself this question
Who am I?
Who am I that The King would bleed and die for
Who am I that He would pray not my will, Thy Lord
The answer I may never know
Why He ever loved me so
But to that old rugged cross He’d go
For who am I?
When I’m reminded of His words
I’ll leave Him never
If you’ll be true I’ll give to you life forever
Oh I wonder what I could have done
To deserve God’s only Son
To fight my battles until they’re won
For who am I?
Who am I that The King would bleed and die for
Who am I that He would pray not my will, Thy Lord
The answer I may never know
Why He ever loved me so
But to that old rugged cross He’d go
For who am I?
But to an old rugged cross He’d go for, who am I?
(Source: azlyrics)

So Who Am I, then?

I could answer that by saying I am Mom and Daddy’s oldest daughter. I am the oldest of my siblings. I am a Kentuckian (with a Georgia peach heart). I could also say I am a Customer Service Representative. Or that I am a mom and a friend.

But is that really Who I am? Those are pieces of me, but not me.

I could say I am a survivor of abuse. I am a divorcee’, twice. I am a Grad-school drop out, and a I am a lower-middle class citizen. They may be true, but yet they are not me.

Who am I, then? A writer? A blogger? A photographer? A Snoopy Collector? A bookworm? Again, all pieces of me but not who I am entirely.

Hey Internet, help me out..

I’ve long collected notebooks of quotes that smack me in the face. I was browsing around Saturday evening when I first came across this quote:

Quit letting who you were talk you out of who you’re becoming. – Bob Goff

That hit me square in the mouth.

I am NOT my Past

It is easy to let our past circumstances or the family or places we are from to become some kind of definition for us. They are merely trail makers. They tell me only, “You have come this far.”

They don’t tell me or you- where I am today and where I am going.

Rest In Peace

I have been living in the definitions of my past. And they have kept me from living.

So at church yesterday morning, I decided to visit one of those things (more on that tomorrow, okay?) one last time. I let myself look long and hard at a very painful part of me that I have been letting cripple me. I kissed it, told the memory thank you for what it taught me..

and I pulled the plug.

I cannot and WILL NOT let who I was keep me from who I am becoming.

Who Are You?

So, I ask.. Who are you? What circumstances and things have you allowed to define you or to hinder you from enjoying life?


The back of the drawer

This was originally written January 2009. 

I cleaned out my desk today. I threw away many ink pens that no longer worked and straightened my paper clips and other office supplies. I opened the top left drawer of my desk. There behind a large bag was a stack of journals.

Unused. Forgotten.

Not two or three, mind you, but a small stack of six.

I hadn’t really forgotten that the journals were there. From time to time, I would pull one of them out, with full intent to begin journaling and writing again. I would place it back into the drawer, with a sigh, and nothing would ever come of it. To me, the journals had become symbols of the writer’s life that I will never have.

You see, onced upon a many year ago, I dreamed and aspired to be a writer. I wrote poetry and short stories daily, filling composition books and 3-ring binders full of writings. I even had a few published in a local paper. Like all fairy-tales though, the pangs of life snatched away my dreams. I stopped writing in 2002, shortly after my parents filed for separation. In the 6 years since, I have not wielded my pen in poetry but a few rare times.

I look at the unused journals in the back of the drawer, and something comes to mind: I stopped writing because I felt I couldn’t be a writer anymore. Simply said, I just quit.

I think about the Words of our LORD in Matthew chapter 4:

and HE said unto them, “Is a candle brought to be put under a bushel, or under a bed? and not to be set upon a candlestick?…………Take heed what ye hear: with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you: and unto you that hear shall more be given.” (Matthew 4: 21, 24)

Have I been sticking my candle under the bed? Have I taken what GOD has given me and been a terrible caretaker of it? It is hard to be a Christian writer when you quit writing altogether.

How about you? Is there something in your life that you have shuffled into the back of the drawer? Has GOD given you a gift that you haven’t touched because of grief, anger, or plain old laziness? Is there something in your life that you have put off doing, but a still small voice inside of you insists on reminding you about it?

As for me, I took one of the journals and placed it in my favorite chair this afternoon. Can’t be a writer for GOD if I don’t get restarted.