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In short, I'm an overgrown kid.
 
(How's that for summing it up in as few words as possible?)
 
I am most in my element being surrounded by dozens of kids, entertaining and educating.   Much to my mom's chagrin, I never wanted to be a teacher.   I always wanted to work at the YMCA.   The Y has a lot to do with the person I am today.   I spent most of my life there, and I will always have a fondness for them.
 
 
 

As the oldest of five kids, I had a lot of responsibilities at home and little time for extracurricular activities as a kid. Most of it was self-inflicted. My parents were both hard workers and scraped by to provide the bare essentials and a happy home. I couldn't ask for a pair of new shoes and $25 to pay for softball after watching my dad count pennies to get a gallon of milk, you know? So, I wasn't a star athlete or drama club queen or anything like that in school. Thanks to the band director and a pair of battered marching shoes and old white gloves he dug out of a closet, I was a member of the marching band. Me and my secondhand clarinet that was forever dropping off B flat keys at the most inopportune times. More than one Tuscarawas county football field swallowed up one of those keys on a Friday night. As those of you who are familiar with the clarinet can attest, missing the key that covers the very first hole in your instrument is not a good thing--it means nothing but air comes out. My mom and dad paid more money replacing that darn key than they ever did on the instrument. If you can remember back to an Indian Valley football game in the late 80s/early 90s with a short, chubby girl in tattered band gloves and goopy-polished shoes faking her way across the football field, then, chances are, you are remembering me.

With my music career going nowhere, I had nothing left that was mine other than my books. I loved to read. If I wasn't reading, then I was in the middle of an adventure. (My best friend Mistey and I had some grand adventures.) We were the two coolest single chicks on the planet. If we weren't hanging on the ski slopes in the Alps or jetting across the Atlantic on the Concorde, we were helping our hunky pirate captives battle evil British commodores or recording one of our many platinum-selling records. Most of our adventures also included two particularly adorable superstars of the day.

Halfway through sixth grade, I moved to a new school and faced Mr. D, the hardest, meanest English teacher to ever step into a classroom. Jenna Rose talks about social suicide in The Perfect Girl--you want to know about social suicide? Have the hardest, meanest English teacher to ever step into a classroom smile at you as he's passing back writing assignments on your second day of class, and you have the only A he's given all year long. (Okay, so maybe I'm not positive if it was the only A of the year...I know it was the only one that day. The way the other students treated me after that A, you'd think Mr. D had never in his history of writing assignments ever given an A to anyone.)

Two years later, Mr. D moved to eighth grade with us and we went through it all over again.

But (and he'd kill me for starting a sentence with a conjunction) I can honestly say that I learned more about writing and English from Mr. D than any other source I have ever studied. For the first time in my life, an adult was showing interest in my writing. Maybe I really could do this...

...and here I am. I'm doing what I dreamed.

 
If you'd be interested in an author visit to your school or church group,
 
 
 
 

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bible passage:
2 Samuel 22:3
 
book:               
The Grey King by Susan Cooper
 
music style:    
Christian hip-hop/rock
 
band/act:         
KJ-52, tobymac, Peace of Mind
 
food:               
Pizza Hut stuffed crust pizza
 
picture book:  
Shel Silverstein's The Giving Tree
 
movie:            
The Breakfast Club
 
Wanna know some others? Just ask!
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
For by grace you have been saved through faith,
 and that not of
yourselves, it is the gift of God, not of works,
lest anyone should boast.
Ephesians 2:8-9
 
 
If you just can't get enough of me, you can always check out my blog.
 

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Music is a very important part of my life.   I especially have a deep connection to Christian music.   See, I called myself a "Christian."   I grew up in a church, left as a teen, and searched for my own path.   I came back to the church and declared myself a "Christian" because nothing else seemed real enough to me.
 
Problem was Christianity didn't seem that real to me either.   I did the church thing because it left me feeling good when it was time to leave the sanctuary each Sunday morning.   I did the church thing because the people around me expected it from me.
 
It wasn't until an afternoon on a hillside at the Alive Christian Music Fest that I ever knew there was more to this Christian thing than being in church.   Mac Powell's voice rose into the setting sun-- lyrics I was singing along with and knew well.   Then, it hit me.   It was like the sky opened up and Christ Himself was singing those words to me:
I never climbed the highest mountain
But I walked the hills of Calvary
Just to be with you
I'll give everything
~Love Song, Third Day
Since that day, my life has never been the same.   See, that day He showed me that the Christian thing isn't about going to church.   Yeah, that's important.   What its about is having a relationship with the One who took my sins upon Himself on His Own Will and died so that I didn't have to face up to those imperfections.   He died for me so that I could live in eternity with Him.   It's not about getting all dolled up in a pew, singing the right songs, and playing the part one day of the week.   It's about building a real relationship with Your Savior.
 
If you're not sure if you really know Jesus Christ, just stop right now and pray, asking Him to know you.   Then, find a friend, a trusted Christian adult like a youth pastor, or someone else you've noticed is a Christian, and ask them to tell you about Him.   Last, but not any less importantly, get a Bible and start studying.   It's the only way to truely find Him.
 
God Bless,
 
~B.
 
 

 
 
Copyright 2005 Barb Huff
Unless otherwise noted