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a captive audience

November 11, 2008

when i was a young girl, just a few years ago about 6,7, 8 years old, i used to role play, dream and pretend. i would sit in my room for hours and talk and talk and talk…to myself. well, not exactly. i would line up all my dolls and stuffed animals across my bed so they would all face me. each week i would ask my teacher for all the extra unused work sheets, then pretend to read them…to my audience.

i would talk about anything and everything. what i learned in school, on the playground, at my cousins house, and of course, i would make stuff up.

i loved talking. i loved sharing. i loved looking into each of their button little eyes as they stared so attentively back at me.

several years ago i went through a class at church called “discovering my ministry”. one thing we were encouraged to do was go back into our childhood and resurrect memories of things we enjoyed doing. what seemed to come naturally? how did we play? what brought us pleasure? those things are often our natural giftings.

teaching, sharing, writing and speaking to my dolls and animals was something i loved doing! that, and pretending i was marie osmond. what?!

i have had a handful of opportunities to speak at youth functions, retreats & women’s functions, and it has always felt so natural, so…right. but it’s not something i have pursued.

i’m workin that out in my mind right now as i’m seeking God on this.

but i wanted to ask you all – do you remember your childhood pretend play? what did you enjoy doing? is it still a part of you today? are you living a piece of it, or all of it?

25 Comments leave one →
  1. November 11, 2008 5:12 am

    I either did artwork all day long or played outside in the woods.

    So. I’m called to be a tomboy visual artist?

  2. Emily permalink
    November 11, 2008 5:48 am

    Tam, I loved being a secretary and pretend typing! So, I became an Administrative Asst. and did that work until I had my Son almost 7 years ago, but am still typing all the time :)! Not to show my age, but at the time I was planning to work in an office home computers were uncommon and the World Wide Web hadn’t hit the scene in every home, so I was doing something unique and what I thought special. Also, I LOVED being with my MOM. I just loved being with her all the time, just following her around and being in her presence. I use to cry when she had to work the afternoon shift or on weekends and beg her not to leave me. I missed her so much! She’s so a beautiful soul! I still adore my Mommy and my little man loves to be with me as I did with my Mom. I love that about my relationship with him. He loves nothing more than to sit with his Mom and read a book :)!

  3. heidi permalink
    November 11, 2008 6:29 am

    WOW… hmmm…

    When I was young my parents took me too see the Carpenters in Portland. It was a big night. I so wanted to meet her. At that time, my parents were gone alot. So every moment was special.
    My mom bought me a beautiful party dress from Mier and Frank’s and of course warm leotards and gloves and a bright red purse.

    Was I going to meet her?? (Karen Carpenter) was my question over and over again. We walked in the concert hall… it was so beautiful. I shuffled along looking all around… Where was she??

    We walked into a line of many and suddenly escorted to another door. Sitting there was Ms. Carpenter. She took my breath away… Stunningly beautiful and very tall.
    I touched her hand and even through my white lace gloves I felt her warmth.
    She gave me a smile and brushed my hair out of my eyes with her fingers and she said “sweet little girl, when I sing Superstar.. it’s for you”

    We were briskly taken away and there she was on the stage…

    “superstar” started… I so wanted my big brown brush to sing with her.

    Was I destined to be a pop star… No I cannot even carry a tune.

    That night my parents took me to that concert of a lifetime and for icecream and then they told me the biggest news….

    My new daddy was adopting me.

    I got totally off track with all this, but my memory bank went on overload… I’m sorry Tam.

    I haven’t thought about this for a very long time and now I am crying. But, it was one of my best memories of MY WHOLE Life.. Here was a COMPLETE stranger I thought and he loved me and wanted me to be his.

    Did it change me into something I am today??


    I had this song down, with the big fat brush and all!!!!
    Was I headed for a big music career?? Would you believe I cannot even carry a tune!!

    What I love was.. Karen Carpenter, she had it all… I thought at that age. People loved her and she made people stop and listen to her, she was welcoming, and you felt an incredible peace.

  4. November 11, 2008 7:02 am

    I played house a lot. I was always the mommy.

    I also played the piano, sang & studied all sorts of dance.

    Not sure what ministry THAT would all fall into.

  5. November 11, 2008 7:19 am

    My days usually revolved around devising ways of getting radical. Building jumps for everything I had with wheels on it. Getting lost in the woods. Lighting stuff on fire.

    little boy stuff

    My ministry has reflected that. I Love showing people how to rearrange their priorities and get back to living life the way God intended.

  6. November 11, 2008 7:24 am

    What you did.

    Add a little art and music…

    It’s really strange. When I went to college I had a music scholarship so I chose to be a music major. But I really didn’t want to practice 6 hours a day so, my second year, I changed to an art major. Math and English were always extra classes I took for fun. By my junior year I had declared Elementary Education. That way all of it could work together in the classroom.

    Kind of funny how that works. All along I wanted to teach. From first grade I was teaching the other kids in class and always my dolls when I returned home.

    “Train up a child in the way he should go and when he is old he will not depart from it.”

    I think somehow that applies.

    Love you, Tammy Jo!

  7. November 11, 2008 7:30 am

    The one dream I’ve had since … as far back as I can remember (6 at least) was to be married. This really puzzled me for awhile when I was asked to think of something that I’ve always wanted to be or do since I was young. I couldn’t think of anything. Until I thought back to some of my first memories, and thought, “well, except be married.” Then I realized how huge a thing it was for me.

    Apart from that, I’ve always had it in me to teach to some degree. Not as strong as you (teaching your stuffed animals) but it does come out … usually in impassioned speeches to my steering wheel or to invisible people walking around my house. 🙂 I think (know) that God had/has a LONG way to go to bring me to a place where I could actually teach without damaging everyone I talked to. He’s still working on that. 🙂

  8. November 11, 2008 7:47 am

    I knew it. When I first subscribed your blog I had to decide which folder to put you in. There are lost, including one called “Just for Fun” which your blog couldn’t go in because even though it’s really fun, it’s more than that. I chose the “Those in Ministry” folder. You have a ministry right here on your blog, sweets. I would not be surprised if God takes you to a podium somewhere, and then to another.

    I made speeches to dolls (and to my friends–I don’t know why they kept coming over). I was the police captain, the judge, the doctor, the librarian, the teacher, the singer, Wonder Woman, and Spiderman. Doctor, librarian, teacher, and singer were my favorites.

  9. November 11, 2008 8:25 am

    I had pretend friends and made up stories. Hmmmm…I wrote a lot too b/c I loved writing donw all my made up stories. I also played noah’s ark taking care of all the animals with my stuffed ones.

    And I made it a point to make sure I knew all the kids and played hard with them all.

    What does that say?

  10. November 11, 2008 8:50 am

    i used to love performing. like singing and dancing in front of my mirror. i still do this. regularly.

  11. November 11, 2008 9:58 am

    Our (grown) three biological daughters never had those imaginary friends… that I can recall. They were always into sports.

    However, the six year old girl we are adopting is ALWAYS pretending this or that with her “babies.” She loves to play “mommy” or “teacher” or just about anything where she is in charge. lol

  12. November 11, 2008 10:36 am

    I don’t know how you are IRL, but on here you have a way of getting people talking and holding their rapt attention. It’s wonderful.

    I, on the other hand, spent my childhood pasting stamps to the bathtub to try and send it to my grandparents, going on adventures and occasionally falling out of my chair at school to see if I could get a laugh from all the kids who thought I was too shy to talk.

  13. November 11, 2008 11:39 am

    kind of shows why you’re such a phenomenal blogger! You had topics brewing since age 6…those plush friends were a lucky crew!
    If I shove cotton down my shirt, can I be one of your special audience? Oh…wait…

  14. November 11, 2008 11:42 am

    cathi – i could go so many directions with your comment.

    but i will not.

    youre welcome.


  15. November 11, 2008 12:40 pm

    I wrote. That is the only thing I can remember much. I do this today, but not as much as those days. I actually have been craving to write something, but who knows what. I think I also have always been a good helper. That is what my parents would always say. I am good at assisting others, like my husband, in leadership. I am not the idea person, but can easily put an idea into action. So I would say I am still doing the things I did as a child.

  16. November 11, 2008 1:15 pm

    I performed and I wrote and I read. I would sing and dance and put on shows. I would go out into the yard with a boom box and make up routines… sing my heart out and assume a talent scout would drive by on our country road, hear me and sign me on the spot. I had a big imagination.

    And I wrote. All the time. I wrote stories, I wrote poems, I wrote letters and essays. I wrote notes to my parents and would leave them in their room so they’d find them when they went to bed and go to sleep with a happy thought. (I was very concerned for others feelings and taking care of everybody. Very mothering.) When I was about 8 I woke up in the middle of the night and wrote this poem: “God gives himself to each of us, to each a special part. But I am the luckiest one of them all, for unto me he gave a piece of his heart.” And the next morning my mom hung it on the fridge… and I decided I would be a writer… and a singer and a dancer and an actress. And a nun with 9 kids… but I digress.

  17. November 11, 2008 1:16 pm

    @Heidi… I can’t stop re-reading your comment. I loved Karen Carpenter… but I love your story to pieces.

    Oh, and Tam… we’ve had this conversation about Marie. Don’t get me started again. My bionic woman can take your wonder woman anytime if you give me any grief…


  18. November 11, 2008 1:51 pm

    psh – i can take you down Gitz! i’ll pop you one with my WW Bracelet. dont think i wont. i CRAY-ZEEEEE 😯

    ive had the best time reading through your stories, friends! i love this! thanks for sharing so much here 😉

  19. November 11, 2008 6:02 pm

    I love Heidi’s story too….

    I honestly don’t remember what I did. 😦

  20. November 12, 2008 4:37 am

    I played with Lincoln Logs, Legos, erector sets, and that other building toy… the one with different colored sticks of varying lengths and wheel shaped connectors? Everything had to be symmetrical. I also was into performance and managed to snag the lead in the 6th grade play, a dragon. I totally sold it too. hehe.

    Today I think words are my legos… assembled into metered poetry and performed whenever I can get a chance.

  21. November 12, 2008 6:43 am

    I wrangled the neighborhood kids into our basement and played school. Of course I was the teacher. I was always the mom playing house. I wrote a lot of stories and drew pictures. But my FAVORITE thing was to load up 45s(what? they were records. what are records?) on the automatic record player arm and perform with hand motions and choreography in my room. I would pretend to be on stage acting and dancing in a broadway play.

    In high school I did plays, I’m a mom now, lead kids and adults in worship. With the kids I get to lead hand motions and choreography. Apparently I’m living the dream. And still I whine.

  22. November 12, 2008 9:13 pm

    holy cow. wow! that’s wierd to know. I mostly played house and babies. Go figure! That’s exactly what I do now. I was also fascinated with pianos and singing, which is exactly what I do also.

    I used to love to play school, now I teach music.

    My cousin and I used to pack our suitcases and pretend to run away from home and live in shacks in the woods. Glad that one didnt’ come true. I’d be a homeless runaway….hehe 🙂

  23. November 12, 2008 9:15 pm

    oh, and I use to pretend to “preach” to my dolls. But the thought of doing that now to real people scares the living crap out of me. I’M SO glad that isn’t my life.
    I do really well ministering one on one, I’m not such a big fan of speaking to large crowds… all.

  24. November 13, 2008 11:44 pm

    I always played school. I played house a lot with my little brother. My mom had quite a collection of children’s music that I used to listen to over and over. I used to spend hours making stuff, arts and crafts.
    As an adult, I have taught in church, schools, and daycares…I have taught music and art. I also take care of my best friend who has multiple health problems. I still spend hours working on arts and crafts and teaching it to sixth, seventh, and eighth graders.

  25. November 14, 2008 1:59 am

    much to my mom’s demise, i wasn’t a very girly girl. although i wasn’t tomboyish either. i don’t know what that means i was… hmmm…

    i played school a lot. and i teach (formally and informally) now.
    i used to write a lot, too. which is interesting to look back on.

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