UPSTATE EXPOSURES MAGAZINE WOULD LIKE TO INTRODUCE YOU TO THE LATEST ADDITION TO OUR WRITING STAFF – MS. HEATHER REEVES.
I’m Heather Reeves. My roots run deep in Upstate, South Carolina. I have been fortunate to store up sweet memories of a carefree childhood in the little town of Liberty. I never had a desire to leave small town southern living and find big city lights. Presently, my husband, Dustin, and I live in the same small town, creating new memories for our family. We have been married for nineteen years and have one daughter, Emma, who is twelve. My hometown and the people in it molded me into the person I am today. My parents, grandparents, and teachers had a great impact on my character and ambition. As a child, a Sunday School teacher once gave me a bookmark that said “Bloom where you are planted.” I was quite certain that God had this theme in mind for my life when he led me to my current teaching position at the same elementary school I attended as a child. I am grateful and content, I might add. Wonderful people and places exist all around me in this beautiful Upstate area in which I have been “planted”.
I have been teaching children to read and write for many years. I received my undergraduate degree from Clemson University, a graduate degree from Southern Wesleyan University, and achieved National Board Certification. It is no cliché that teaching is a calling. I am very passionate about getting to know my students, meeting their needs, and building a life-long love for reading and writing. Several years back, during a writing lesson, one of my students stopped me to ask, “Mrs. Reeves, what do you truly love to do?” The odd question struck me. I asked my students what they thought my answer would be and of course, they all unanimously said writing. They were most certainly correct. I do enjoy a variety of hobbies from crafting, music, decorating, and gardening. However, I truly love to write. I figured that out many years ago when I had good teachers who recognized and nurtured that talent in me.
Words are powerful and they can be used for good or evil. Unfortunately, we see more of the latter every day in the media. Words should be used in honest ways to share optimistic and positive stories that uplift the world. Let’s face it, we all face hardships in life. Whether personal or professional, adversity doesn’t pick and choose whom it affects because it eventually affects everyone. However, there are numerous stories of people who have experienced it and have come out on the positive side. Fortunately, it can alter your life in positive ways.
I am one of those people who know what it is like to experience adversity in life and come out on the positive side. There was a time that I wondered if I could ever manage the challenges of a rare, chronic health condition. I remember searching for stories, blogs, and articles to read. I remember feeling a sense of support, hope, and validation when I found myself within the writer’s story. I remember pouring over stories about people overcoming their suffering and trying to comprehend how and why their perspective changed. I remember the awe I felt when people described the personal growth they experienced from overcoming their obstacle. Reading other people’s stories gave me a you-can-do-it, I-can-too attitude. Simply put, the value of sharing your own journey as a means to help others cannot be measured.
One of my favorite Mother Teresa quotes is,“ I am a little pencil in the hands of a writing God.” I humbly compare myself to a little pencil in the hands of God. I have asked that He show me how to take who I am, who I want to be, and what I can do, and use it for a purpose greater than myself. As write my column each month, I hope you find a bit of yourself in the stories of others who have overcome some of life’s greatest challenges. My prayer is that it helps you rediscover hope, knowing that all things are possible with God.
Heather Reeves, Challenges Column Contributor
Heather Reeves, a 5th grade language arts teacher, lives & works in her hometown of Liberty, SC. She is a graduate of Clemson University & her family enjoys cheering for the Clemson Tigers. Heather also enjoys gardening, crafting, traveling, & spending time with her husband and daughter.