Michelangelo said “The greater danger for most of us is not that our aim is too high and we miss it, but that it is too low and we hit it.”
Once upon a time, a girl child was born to loving parents in the state of Kansas. She had a happy childhood and her mother passed on to this little girl, her love of books. And, she became a voracious reader, taking weekly trips to the library. Her mother thought she should become a teacher or a librarian, but her father said she should become a lawyer because she loved to argue. She did neither.
She fell in love and got married right out of high school, and quickly had two sons. She still visited the library on a weekly basis, reading to her sons and for her own pleasure. She worked first as a keypunch operator and then as a computer programmer. Then she traded her novels for text books and got an Associate’s Degree in Computer Science. And it was good.
Unfortunately or fortunately, that marriage didn’t last. Soon another white knight swept her off her feet and married her. She still visited the library often, and by this time her personal library had more than 500 books in it. She had another son, and went back to school. (Does this sound like a repeat performance?) This time she got a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Psychology, and went right on to graduate school to get her Masters of Science Degree in Psychology from Oklahoma State University. And it was good.
In the meantime, her job had changed. She began teaching students at United Electronics Institute in Oklahoma City how to program computers. Soon she was teaching at the University of Central Oklahoma. Money became tight and she dropped out of the PhD program she was in, and took a full time job with a software company. And it was good.
In this job she traveled all over the country training people how to use the company’s software. She developed courses for classroom training in Oklahoma City. Soon she became the head of a training department, and then the manager of five departments. She believed in teamwork and encouraged everyone to help one another. She advocated personal growth, promoted job related reading, and it was good.
Her boss decided one day to invite all his customers to get together in one place and have a Users Meeting. The employees would give presentations and hopefully the users would listen. She was asked to be the emcee for this meeting. She did it, but she didn’t feel comfortable at all. So when he said they were going to do it again, She went looking for help. She found Toastmasters. It took 18 months for her to get her CTM, but it was good.
At her company, she volunteered to take an overseas assignment in Wales, which meant leaving her current position within the company. Management split her five departments and gave them to three people, which made her feel very good. Her family went with her to Wales for 18 months, where she worked and played tourist. She saw many wonderful things, met great people, tried new libraries and bookstores and had a fantastic experience. It was very good.
When she returned home, the company asked, ‚Äö?Ñ??Would you became the Human Resource Manager for the company, and be in charge of internal training. Again, she developed course material and taught them, but now the things she was teaching were not so concrete. She was teaching things like facilitation skills, management competencies, leadership techniques, and total quality management. And, of course, she was reading everything she could about these topics, and novels, too. This was good.
She was instrumental in starting a Toastmaster’s club at work so others could share in the personal growth that Toastmasters provided her. She worked on the manuals diligently earning her ATM, ATM Bronze, ATM Silver and DTM designations.
One of the manuals she completed early in her Toastmaster career was the Storytelling Manual. The first project was the hardest, since it seemed so different from giving a speech. She wondered how SHE could tell a story. After all, she only READ stories to her children, she didn’t TELL them. Could she do it? She did, and as soon as she told that first story, she knew that from then on, storytelling would be something she loved. She was instrumental in creating a Storytelling Toastmaster Club in the Oklahoma City area.
It seems inevitable that she would eventually be involved in writing a book. That her first book is about storytelling is appropriate, too. The book, ‚Äö?Ñ??Steps to Storytelling,‚Äö?Ñ?? is about how to tell stories, and Carol Dean Schreiner is its co-author. Book two is ‚Äö?Ñ??Say It With Flowers‚Äö?Ñ??, which is a collection of her late husband David’s stories. Book three is in the planning stages. They are good books, too.
She became involved with her church after her husband David passed away. First, she took a class on Sunday morning (Basic Ideas of Science of Mind), followed by Foundations. Then she took the other classes as they became available. It was during one of these classes (Spiritual Practices) that the seed of ministry began to grow. She and her husband had firmly believed that his was the main role, and her task was to support him in his task. When his lifework was finished, she began to feel that perhaps she was called to the ministry. This was not what she wanted to know, so she ignored it. The more classes she took, however, the more certain she became that this was her path. Eventually, she talked with her practitioner and then her minister. Saying it out loud was a first form of acceptance. Filling out admission forms was another step to acceptance. She still doesn’t know how this story will turn out, but she knows she has to do it. And she knows it will be good.
Four and a half years after David’s death Suellen met a man named Mike whom she came to know well and love deeply. He supports her in whatever she does, and she supports him in his endeavors. As busy introverts, they often spend time sitting together in their home office each working quietly on his or her current project. When she and Mike were dating she was amazed that his spiritual library had many of the same books in it that hers did. And, that he had more books of all types. Their home does somewhat resemble a library with books in every room. And, this relationship is good, too.
Suellen’s oldest son James is a Chaplain in the Air Force, currently serving overseas. His wife and five children are currently living at Shepherd AFB. Her second son, Richard, is living with his wife and two children in the Kansas City area. Her third son, Nathan, lives with his wife and two daughters in Oklahoma City. When Suellen married Mike, he added five more children. Vic, the eldest, died in 2008, leaving a wife and two daughters. Melody has two children. Shavonne, Beverly and Lauren do not have any children, yet. They all live in Oklahoma City.
Suellen graduated from Holmes Institute in 2004 and became a licensed minister for United Centers for Spiritual Living. Suellen spent a few months as a staff minister at United Life Church in Oklahoma City, and a couple of years as the Coordinating Minister at Unity of Oklahoma City, both on a part time basis. She started a Teaching Chapter in Edmond, called Inner Journey. It is a non-profit organization that provides classes, seminars, stories and speeches on any of life’s lessons from a Science of Mind point of view. She is busy and it is good.
This is not the final end of the story. God is in charge of that. But it is the end of this chapter. And that is good, too.