Inspirational author Renee Greene gives God all the glory for her writing.
The Lucedale writer and blogger has been published in the newly released Chicken Soup for the Soul: Listen to Your Dreams. Renee is humble about her literary talent saying "if God can't get any glory from it, I don't want any part of it…to God always be the glory, who is the One who gave any of us the gifts He gave us to be used for Him."
Renee's piece, titled Final Departure, is about her father and beloved stepmother, Luther and Norene Miller, both deceased. Renee's father had been an auto mechanic and had been fond of Crown Victoria cars. Final Departure reflects on a dream Renee had in which she sees her father driving a Crown Victoria after he had passed away. When Renee had the dream, Norene was still alive, but is sitting in the car next to Luther. Renee shared the dream with Norene shortly before her passing. She believes the dream was a revelation or premonition that Norene's time on Earth was limited.
When she learned her essay had been selected by Chicken Soup, Renee was ecstatic. "I was shocked. I just started crying," she said recently in a telephone interview with the George County Times.
Renee almost didn't submit her entry because she didn't think it was good enough. She had been encouraged by a fellow blogger to seek publication of some of her writings. She has been blogging regularly two years and has about 400 followers.
Her site, www.hearttokens.home.blog, includes links to her poetry and to her blog, "Blogging through the Bible - a Bible study ministry of likeminded blogging sisters."
"A blogging friend told me my writing style would fit Chicken Soup. When I read the topic for submissions, I remembered the dream I had. It just hit me. It was a God-inspired thing," she said.
By the time she learned of the call for submissions, the deadline was near. She wrote Final Departure in two days and hit the submit button shortly before midnight of the deadline.
Renee and her husband, Roscoe, have two grown children, Angel and Chelsea, and six grandchildren. They live in Central community and attend Lighthouse Worship Center. Her hobbies are watching nature, blogging, writing and reading, especially the Bible.
"I like simple stuff. Faith, hope and love speak to my heart. I especially love hope. My favorite poem is by Emily Dickinson, the one that says 'Hope is the thing with feathers that perches in the soul and sings the tune without the words and never stops at all,'" she said.
Renee said her writing really took off the day she started writing from her heart. Her blog site is called Hearttokens and derived from Psalms 86:17, "Show me a token for good, that they who hate me may see it, and be put to shame."
"I started seeing hearts pop up everywhere in the strangest places, in nature, in pictures, everywhere," Renee said. She took it as a sign from God. "I take something like that, those hearts, as a love letter from God."
"God wants us to know He really loves us. Sometimes we are too hard on ourselves. God loves every one of us. Each of us is his favorite," she said.
Renee was born Angela Renee Miller and grew up in Greene County where she graduated Leakesville High School in 1986. Friends there may know her as Angie Miller as teachers called her by her first name. She has lived in George County since 1993.
Chicken Soup for the Soul: Listen to Your Dreams was released in August and contains 101 short essays about how dreams can act as powerful tools for redirecting your life, changing your relationships and making you a happier person. The book sells for $14.95 at bookstands and bookstores nationwide. The Chicken Soup for the Soul series, which began 27 years ago, has sold more than 100 million books with more than 250 titles and has been translated into more than 40 languages.
Award-winning journalist Nancy Jo Maples has been writing about Mississippi people, places and things for more than 30 years. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.