by Rachel Johnson
We’re back with Part Two of Stephanie May’s Spotlight. Read about her new job as a Chief Story Evangelist (we know, we’d never heard of that awesome occupation, either!), her favorite author, and the spots in the world that she’d like to explore (or re-explore).
Q: You recently started a new job as a Chief Story Evangelist for Adventures in Missions – or, in your words, you are “a traveling journalist for Jesus.” Tell us about your job.
Adventures in Missions has sent out 100,000 missionaries in the last 23 years, and every single one of those missionaries is living a miraculous adventure of a story. My job is to help them tell their stories. I get to look around at what God is doing in and through His kiddos – here in the U.S. and around the world – and talk about it! I get to run around every day with a camera and write all the while – it really is my dream job. I can’t believe that this is my life!
Q: You’ve also started contributing to Wonderfully Made’s blog! (Dang, girl, how can we keep up with you?!) What inspires you to write, and how do you overcome the inevitable writer’s block that all of us experience at one time or another?
My inspiration to write comes from my life – what I’m doing, what God’s doing, and all of the beautiful messiness in between. For me, writing is like sitting down and talking over coffee – it’s all about sharing the best parts and the hardest parts of life, and realizing that we’re just not alone. Something really beautiful happens in community when we’re truly honest with one another, and that’s the place that I try to write from.
When I get really stuck, I try to get my focus back on what God’s teaching me in that moment. I also try to get out knowing that taking time to live inspires our work. But when it comes down to it, especially when I’m stuck, I just have to write. Usually my writing is terrible – and then after I tweak it, shine it up, and mess with it enough – it isn’t quite so terrible anymore. I think the best way around writer’s block is to plow right through it.
Q: I read on your World Race blogthat you love author Shauna Niequist’s books – I do, too. If you’re anything like me, you have page after page of her words highlighted and memorized. What’s your favorite quote or passage that Shauna’s written?
I laughed when I read this question because I just recommended Shauna’s books to someone at lunch!
Her writing has seriously changed the way I live and the way I see the world. I love the way she zooms in on life, helping us slow down enough to see where and how God is moving and to be able to roll around in His goodness, celebrating every last bit of it.
I have so many favorite essays, but this is the passage that really inspires me to toast to the everyday’ over and over again.
“The life you’ve been waiting for is happening all around you. This is it. This is life in all its glory, swirling and unfolding around us, disguised as pedantic, pedestrian non-events. But pull off the mask, and you will find your life, waiting to be made, chosen, woven, crafted.
Your life, right now, is exploding with energy and power and detail and dimension, better than the best movie you have ever seen. You and your family and your friends and your house and your dinner table and your garage have all the makings of a life of epic proportions, a story for the ages, because they all are. Every life is.
You have stories worth telling, memories worth remembering, dreams worth working toward, a body worth feeding, a soul worth tending, and beyond that, as though that was not enough, the God of the Universe dwells within you, the true culmination of super and natural.
You are more than dust and bones. You are spirit and power and image of God. And you have been given today.”
Q: How do you recharge your batteries?
Oh, man. These last few months have been so crazy, so recharging my batteries has been quite the challenge. I am an extremely social person and I love spending tons of time with the people I love. But, that being said, I really recharge by having time alone. More than anything I love sitting at a coffee shop as I read and write. That’s the place where my mind comes alive and my heart unwinds.
Q: Just for fun, since you mention on your blogthat you can’t sit still for very long, list your top three international travel destinations.
Hmm, good question! I think having just spent a year living out of a backpack in some amazing places with the World Race that right now I want to go back and visit a few favorite spots. There’s something wild and adventurous about roaming to the edge of the map, but there’s a comforting beauty in revisiting places that have already stolen your heart. So here goes:
1. Spain – I studied abroad there in college and haven’t been back since. I think about it constantly. To me, Sevilla is one of the most magical cities in the world.
2. Italy – I’m completely romanced by everything Italian – the food, the language, the culture, the architecture. I’ve been to Italy several times, but I’ll never get sick of it. Besides, I can always use more pasta in my life.
3. Uganda – We went to Uganda during our eighth month on the race and it was one of my favorite experiences of them all. Our host family, comprised of Moses, Mama, and baby Jeremiah, was the most incredible family unit I’ve ever met. Jeremiah was so cute – I literally tried to take him home in my backpack. I can’t wait to go back and visit them someday.
Q: How can we stay connected with all of the great things going on in your life?
I would love for you to stay connected! I’ll be blogging regularly on my blog, The Lipstick Gospel. I’ve become quite the tweeter recently, and if you’d like to catch up more on my World Race adventure, you can visit my WR blog.
Thanks for having me!