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Tales of Fantasy, Mystery and Adventure Under the Influence of Christian Homeschooling

S. A. J. Lyttek, a multiple award-winning writer, always loved writing, but didn’t arrive at the profession in the typical manner. After college and graduate school, she plunged into government consulting. In this environment, she discovered a knack for writing tests, interviews and other measurements. That soon became the focus of her career—reigniting her love for the written word. Thus captivated, she spent evenings freelancing “fun” writing including short stories, poems, articles and cards. When her eldest was a toddler, she quit full-time work to stay home and write. Eager to spend more time with her children, homeschooling intrigued her. From preschool through high school, she homeschooled both sons while continuing to freelance. An integral part of the homeschooling community, she has developed and taught writing classes to a generation of homeschoolers. Married to her childhood sweetheart, Gary, Mrs. Lyttek loves to share her commitment to homeschoolers and her fascination with the written word.

The Boring Life

1/20/2021 9:38:00 AM BY Susan Lyttek

Today is my friend Karen’s birthday. So this is (kind of) a tribute to her. Did you see the ‘kind of’? (I’m hoping that all my memories are correct and apologize if not in advance!) And if the picture looks odd, I promise it will make sense by the end.

I first met her when we were two in church preschool. Her mom and my mom became close friends so even though we were in different school districts, I spent a fair amount of time with her. Of course, at that time, her last name was not Boring. She married a wonderful man to acquire that moniker.

She became, whether she liked it or not, a constant in my life. That puts a lot of pressure on a fellow kid. But our birthdays are only a couple weeks apart. Technically, I’m older. But I always felt like Karen was older. She stayed even keel a whole lot more than I did. That was especially the case once we got to high school. There, we did indeed go to the same school. (Though our high school was bigger than many colleges!) While I socialized with her at church youth group, I didn’t really see her that much at school. She was much more grounded than I was and always seemed to have a plan or some place to be. At the time, I would have called her ‘boring’ even though on this side of high school, so many years later, I wish I’d been a little more boring and made more logical and honorable choices.

At school, I pretty much only saw her if we were in the same class (which only happened once or twice) and when I was acting the music groupie. It seemed there was often a guy in the orchestra or band that I had a crush on. And since she was in the orchestra and the elite choir, I would run into her in the musical neck of the school. In those years, I was trying desperately to fit in anywhere (other than the smart kids’ group) and therefore fit in nowhere. I’m sure she had her own struggles, since that sort of comes with being in high school, but I didn’t see it. She seemed mature (a good thing in my eyes at the time) and straightlaced/dependable (a bad thing in my eyes then).

I both admired and scoffed at her desire to go to the mission field. Admired the guts it took to decide that, but scoffed at the whole Christianity thing. Christianity was what I played at when I wanted to look good. I taught Vacation Bible School one week and partied with my cousins the next. I wrote moving religious poems at a church retreat over the weekend and then skipped class to smoke or hang out with my friends the following Monday.

But to Karen, God and faith were real. I remember her witnessing to me at one youth group, though I don’t remember what either of us said. I wasn’t ready.

But her words and her life bored down into the core of me. Eventually, her words and those of others saw fruit.

Because that is the other definition for ‘boring’. It means tunneling in. It means digging deep with a purpose. When I worked for transit, I saw the huge machines they used, the borers, drive through impossibly hard soil and rock.

Thank you, Karen, for boring into me year after year. I’m glad we’re still friends on the other side of it all.

Oh, and Happy Birthday!