Elizabeth Sherrill Master’s Writing Workshop—Introduction

Authors of such Christian classics as The Hiding Place (Corrie Ten Boom), Cross and the Switchblade (David Wilkerson), and God's Smuggler (Bro. Andrew), Elizabeth and John Sherrill have ghostwritten, co-authored and edited more books and articles than I can grasp. They were editors and contributors of the Guideposts Magazine back in the day when people thought it was a travel magazine, if they’d heard of it all. The Sherrills traveled coast-to-coast, up to Alaska and around the world, writing over two thousand stories of real people and the great work God had performed in their lives. In April 2012, I had the privilege of attending Elizabeth Sherrill’s Master’s Writers Workshop. The week I spent at YWAM (Youth with a Mission) Woodcrest was so huge it’s hard to approach in a mere blog post. So I’m going to make it a six part series, taking it one day at a time with the hope I can be as interesting my witty teachers.

Sarah Elisabeth with Elizabeth Sherrill

Sunday—New Friends

Last minute plans in place, a week’s worth of work done in a day, frantic packing, and then we were on the rainy road for the thirty minute drive to YWAM Woodcrest on that Sunday evening. I hadn’t been there before, but it wasn’t hard to find back in the lovely piney woods of East Texas.

My mama helped me unload at the building that contained the classroom, Resonate News office, and upstairs’ dorm. With no one around, we found the office with my new friend, the copy machine. After playing with it a bit, my other new friend, Joyce, arrived and showed me how to operate the machine we’d run manuscript copies through. I estimate we handled about 3600 sheets by the end of the week.

Joyce and I with a small stack of our duties. Help!

Finally, I met my roommate, Meliza. She settled me in my room, showed me where the important things were, i.e. restrooms and the separate kitchen building.

Meliza, my sweet Philippine friend!

I spent an hour and a half making copies and stapling them together. Four manuscripts, 4-6 pages each, 25 stacks. This is what’s known as “working your way through.” I was blessed with that opportunity.

Too much excitement pumping through my veins, I laid awake that night, only imagining what meeting Elizabeth and John Sherrill in person would be like.

In the next post, you’ll read about the first day of the workshop and a special visit and stories from Loren Cunningham, founder of Youth with a Mission (YWAM).

Have you read one of Elizabeth and John Sherrill’s books? How did it impact your life?

Update: I recently saw on Facebook where the Sherrills were flying to London for their 65th wedding anniversary!

Right at Home—Confessions of a Homeschooler, Home Business Owner, Stay-at-Home Daughter

  If I were a place, I’d be home

Sarah Elisabeth

Whether you’re one or all three of the above, you know it takes more than a simple explanation when asked things like,

“Where do you go to school?”

“What kind of work do you do?”

“So you still live at home with your parents?”

My Education

The first question usually makes me laugh, because I look more seventeen than twenty-seven. I still have people ask what high school I go to. Flattering, I know. A laughing “I’m passed that,” is usually followed with, “Oh, so you’re in college?”

“Um, no, I decided to bypass college.”

“Oh. So what do you do, exactly?”

Not an easy question or a short answer. I must admit, answering the home school question is safer than it used to be when I was a kid and most home school families were hiding out. Because of early pioneers like my parents, home schooling is a different story today. But it doesn’t shorten the answer, because it’s still a novelty to some people and the stereotype questions take a bit to diffuse.

After graduating, I chose to continue education at home, creating studies to advance my business and writing skills. One term for this is Self-Educated, but I can’t take all the credit. My mama’s still the best teacher in the world! We’ve created our own terms, such as LEP: Life Experience Portfolio. I’ll have to do a blog post on that someday.

My Business

A home business is another novelty people dream of and want to know more about when they meet a real live home business owner. I love talking to people about my work and lifestyle because I’m passionate about it and would love to see more people living the call God put on their heart. But how do I explain my many endeavors fast enough to keep eyes from glazing over, or the undo awe that I’m some kind of smart person?

I never have a pat answer. I don’t practice ahead of time what I’m going to say or how to explain the life I live. Each person I meet is unique and deserves a custom answer.

I start off with, “I’m a writer.” If they’re still interested, the conversation goes from there.

My Home

Ah, and the last question. Embarrassing for some, perhaps, but it’s a badge of pride for me. The good kind of pride that allows me to look people in the eye and say, “Yes, I’m still at home with my mama. That’s what affords me to do all the creative stuff God’s called me to do.”

Because we synergize our incomes and share expenses, neither of us has to work a full time job. My mama pursues her filmmaking. I pursue my writing and businesses.

And if I were a place, I’d be home.


Which of the three are you, or that you desire to be? Share a piece of your life in the comments.