I never had any intention of becoming an author or speaker. But somehow, the words and stories found me. It all started when I had some thoughts about giving that began bubbling up in me. With sheer terror coursing through my body, I presented my brief message to our church congregation. To my amazement, my voice was strong and my words were very well received.
About a year later, I gave a greeting at the beginning of the service. After giving another offering message, my husband said, “You know you have a teaching gift?”
I said, “No I don’t.”
He said, “Yes you do.”
I said, “No. I have an— ‘every now and then when God gives me something to say, so I’ll do the offering’ — gift.”
He said, “There is no such gift.”
And, I said, “Yes, there is, and I have it.”
Yet, I had to admit there were words that God wanted spoken through me—and I was the only one who could say them. So, I decided to cooperate and it’s been the most incredible experience of my life. As I continued to share my life experiences through speaking, and then in written form, my words have brought comfort, encouragement, and hope to many, many people.
My first book came about only because I decided to preserve the antics of my first (best!) cat, Knickerbocker. I had so many hilarious stories about him that I never wanted to forget. Once again, it was my husband who foresaw that there was much more to it then I realized. He suggested that I add some of my testimony and, the next thing I knew, He Was Never a Cat: Knick’s Story, My Story, Your Story had been created.
But our life included numerous trials as well. Financial difficulties, physical illness, emotional struggles, and more disappointment than I could fathom were some of what greeted us for a stretch of about fifteen years. During a time of reflection on those years, as well as my entire life’s journey, I recognized in a deeper way than ever before, that God was with me in every single situation. In every loss, every victory, every tear, and every joy, He was there. With new revelation, I understood that we truly have a God for all seasons. And with that, a new book, A God for All Seasons: Inspiration and Reflection for All Times, was birthed in my soul.
A few years later, I was thrilled to author A Cat Named Mouse, an illustrated children’s picture book. Being treated like a rock star during school visits, and having parents and grandparents tell me that my book is their little one’s favorite, is beyond anything I could have ever imagined.
I’ve also won several book awards, met folks online from all over the world, participated in more craft and vendor shows than I can count, and gave presentations to various groups, churches, libraries, and schools. I even taped a spot on our local television station! All of this from someone who preferred to be behind the scenes, and who never had much affinity for reading or writing…or for children for that matter.
I am living proof that God has a sense of humor. My story also demonstrates that it’s never too late to discover the hidden gifts and talents that we never knew we had. We all have value and purpose. I’m so thrilled to have discovered a side of me that I never knew existed. How about you? What stories might be lying dormant in you? What contributions can you make with your unique skill set? You don’t need to change the world. Just start in your own little corner. And, like me, you might be in awe at where life will take you.
About the Author
Patti Tingen is an award-winning author and speaker, bringing the message that we all have value and purpose. Her hope is that her words of personal experience, humor and testimony will continue to bless and inspire others. Patti has authored two nonfiction inspirational books as well as an illustrated children’s picture book. She and her husband Doug live in beautiful Lancaster County, PA.
Please visit www.pattitingenauthor.com to learn more.
A God for All Seasons and He Was Never a Cat are available from the publisher, BookLocker.com, as well as from Amazon, BarnesandNoble.com, and many other stores. If purchasing from BookLocker, use this discount code when checking out to get 10% off: Backstory
A Cat Named Mouse is available at Amazon, BarnesandNoble.com, and many other stores.
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