While at school I was good at English Language but not so hot with English Literature. My reading was limited to true life stories. I did not like writing letters unless I had something good to write. My husband would sit at night and tell my children stories about his childhood. I never shared any stories from my past.
In 2004 when my fourteenth child went to primary school, I decided I would freshen up my typing skills and learn to use a computer. I had an idea that some day I would write about my family. My children in the primary school were being taught computer skills. I wanted to get up to date.
I went to a typing class back in 1976 at the technical college in Coleraine. My second child went to play group while I attended the class. I had just moved to that town. I got to meet new people. I enjoyed the coffee break more than the actual class. I was learning to type on the old typewriters. I learned basic skills, asdf with my left hand and lkjh with my right hand, but made friendships there that have lasted till today. I met an Indian lady, Shanti, who taught me how to make curries. Pauline became my friend. She had two children the same age as my own. Everyone from that class went on to full time employment. Motherhood became my full time employment.
Habits never change. At my new computer class I enjoyed the coffee break best. I got to chat to some of the other ladies. One said to me, “You could get a job in Management with your skills after having fourteen children.” She only encouraged my pride. I thought to myself, “Yes that is true. I must apply for a job. I could supplement our income. My talents could shine for all to see. At last I could be free from the kitchen sink.”
When I returned home I threw the car keys on the table and announced to my husband “I am going to apply for a job. A lady told me today I could easily get a job in Management.” He looked at me perplexed. He was used to my strong will. He did not say anything. I didn’t ask his advice.
I went upstairs to my room and thought “Perhaps I should ask God? Is it his will I go out to work? It seemed a good idea to me, I could earn some money.”
God spoke to me through the scriptures, in other words “Do you want to work for me.” I believe looking after my husband and children was the work God had called me to do. I gave up the idea of going outside the home to work. I had a full time job at home. I gave up the struggle. Going out to work was not mentioned again.
I finished the computer course. Brendan let me use his computer to practice my skills. There was an exam at the end of the ten weeks. I had to complete a basic skill, such as writing a letter, save it and print it out. I pressed the wrong button and my work disappeared. My fears came rushing back to me of being in an exam and not knowing what to do, and failing. Panic set in. I felt like I was in the board room with Lord Sugar.
I steadied myself and thought “What am I doing getting annoyed over this exam. I have a life experience of rearing my family, which is more important than a disappearing document on a computer. It is not the end of the world.” There is nothing wrong with failure. I learnt from my mistakes. I am careful to save all work I write on the computer now.
Over the years when I read from the bible some words would speak to me. I would write them down with the reference. If I needed to remind myself I could refer back to my notes. Brendan called them my “Rewrites”. He thought I was re writing the bible. But he always bought me a new diary every year to keep my notes in. I have a shelf full of these books.
I thought I would like to progress to getting a computer to keep my notes. But a computer is a bit more expensive than a notebook. I was given some money so I said to Brendan “I wanted to buy a computer.” Laptops were becoming popular. Sometimes the children wanted to use Brendan’s computer to do their homework. I reassured him that if I got one the children could use it. He agreed and I bought a basic Dell Laptop.
E mail was becoming popular. I used the laptop to send e mails to my children or friends. Once in a while I would send an email about all the news in my family to each of my children who had left home. I got great feed back from them. They enjoyed my writing and wanted me to keep in touch. This was the beginning of my writing. I was encouraged by my children’s response.
My children taught me how to use the new laptop. I did save some notes on it. My children got the most benefit from it, doing their homework.
In April 2010 I was diagnosed with cancer. It was my birthday at the end of May. I was returning from one of my hospital visits when Brendan brought me to PC World. He wanted to buy me a new Laptop. He said, “This is for you. Don’t let the children use it.” It had a gleaming, shiny red top. I said “I want to write a book about my children.” I have many life experiences I wanted to write about.
One of my daughters told me recently she thought I was crazy. In one of her weak moments she didn’t think I would use it . I had cancer after all. My husband believed differently.
After I knew I was healed I began to use my laptop with great enthusiasm. I wouldn’t let the children use it. I wrote down about my recent experiences going through cancer. I even watched Alan Sugar’s “The Apprentice” on I Player. My son suggested I start a blog. He set it up for me on WordPress and I stumbled into the cyber space. Alleluia. The whole world has opened up for me.
In 2012 we were visiting our daughter. She had just bought a new I Pad. She accessed much information through touching the screen. She could type up an e mail swiftly on the touch typing screen. Brendan was watching. In May of that year he bought me a new I Pad. It has been such a blessing to me. My blogging has increased. I can be in touch by e mail. I can take photos easily and transport them to emails or WordPress. I can take it on a flight with me. I can take photos from the aeroplane portal. I take photos on the beach.
My shiny computer sits on a shelf near me. It was used by my children since 2012 for home works, applications for jobs, writing up CVs, e mails and watching movies late at night. All their information has been deleted from it. I will use it again. I will collate all my re writes and use them.
My husband is a skilled writer. I have learnt much from him. He has written four books. Thousands of copies have been distributed here and abroad. Staying Alive has been translated into Slovakian, Italian and will be translated soon into Russian.
There is a time for everything under heaven. God has guided me along the path of life and saved me from many snares. It is now time for me to write and tell stories of good news.
Thank God for the development in Media Technology. We are living in the days Daniel spoke of when knowledge and travel will increase. Daniel 12 v 4
2 thoughts on “How I Learned to Use a Computer”
A one word reply Angela….Lovely!!! Thank you for that trip down memory lane regarding old typewriters & the worldly wisdom that anything & everything outside the home is profitable. Praise God for the wisdom you have gleaned over the years & praise God for a supportive husband who was always creatively generous in his giftings, facilitating others to become the people God intended them to be. He has certainly been walking in tune with the Holy Spirit. I have ALWAYS been blessed by your lives from the moment we met over 30years ago to now though many miles separate us. Every moment with you two had been a blessing, because you were both honest & authentic in your desires & struggles to follow God wholeheartedly & had nothing to hide in your honesty. And isn’t that what He requires of us..to be honest & authentic before Him. “Keep on keeping on” & may your flow of words continue to be in happy rhythm, in union, with Him as you press on “to know Him & the power of His resurrection”. Philippians 2:10. Love Áine xxoo P.S. Do I forward photos to this address or to another one????
Great job mum. Your are much more proficant than me at blogging. I need your advice!!