GOSHEN COUNTY – Many know Carolyn Lewis as the smiling lady who runs the Whimsy antique store along Lingle’s main drag.
Lewis will be the first to admit she’s worn many hats over the years – business owner, designer, wife and mother. One some may not know as much about is Lewis’s almost 40-year career as a Christian speaker, addressing women’s and couple’s groups at everything from lunches to seminars.
“Generally, I tell the story of my life and how I came to know Christ,” Lewis said recently. “Generally, when I’m asked to speak, it’s a lady’s luncheon or dinner.
“Basically, I get called to speak to lady’s groups – I used to do workshops for a couple days at a time, more teaching and training sessions.”
One thing Lewis has done longer than she’s been a sought-after speaker is write – daily journals, outlines for her programs and poetry. And now, Lewis will bring her writing skills to the religion pages of the Torrington Telegram and Lingle Guide as a regular columnist.
Lewis is originally from Iowa. When she was young, Lewis moved with her family to the mountains outside Evergreen, Colo., and later to Cheyenne, where she graduated high school.
She attended college at Colorado Women’s College in Denver and worked there until she met and married Toby Lewis, her husband of 57 years – and counting.
Through it all was her writing, Lewis said. It’s something she’s still passionate about today.
“I’ve basically been writing all my life,” Lewis said. “I enjoyed it as a young girl. English was always my favorite subject in high school and college.”
Throughout the years, though, her writing was usually a private, personal affair.
“For years, I’ve kept what I call spiritual journals of my journey with the Lord,” Lewis said. “I’ve got a lot of journals and a lot of stories of what’s gone on in my life.”
She definitely doesn’t consider herself a professional writer. Lewis doesn’t get up in the morning, intending to write, she said. She waits for the spirit to move her during her regular morning Bible reading and study.
What she does do, she said, is find a word or idea in a Biblical passage that captures her imagination and pursues it.
“Things start coming out to me that I get interested in,” Lewis said. “This last couple of months, I’ve been onto a ‘path’ – my path, the path we take and how we diverge from that path and how to stay on the right path.
“I don’t know – I got interested in that word and I looked up the different meanings,” she said. “I started writing my thoughts on how that affected my life. Most of what I write is how God’s word has applied to my life and what I learned from it.”
In addition to her journals, Lewis collects some of her thoughts, the results of her musing, in story form – how a specific idea or Biblical concept has been reflected in her life – in addition to writing poetry from time to time. One thing she’s never done, though, Lewis said, is share much of her writing outside her immediate family.
That all changed with the help of two men Lewis identifies only as Jay and Caleb, who own a construction business based in Goshen Hole. The men were doing some work for the Lewis’s last summer at their Torrington home when they learned about her writing. They asked Lewis to recite a couple of her poems for them and their reaction was not what she expected, she said.
“They loved my poem I read to them,” Lewis said. “So, I made them one. They took it out to where they live, made a frame for it and put it on their mantel.
“I’ve never had guys want to read my work,” she said. “If I came out with a new poem, they wanted me to present it.”
Jay and Caleb went so far as to text one of Lewis’s poems to a friend while he was traveling to Texas with his horse. They soon let her know they’d heard back from their friend, who also enjoyed the poem, saying it inspired him.
Most of Lewis’s work, particularly her public speaking, is centered around her life and how she’s found inspiration and strength through the word of God and applying it to her own daily journey. It could be as simple as dealing with being locked out of one’s own home, watching hot air balloons rising into the air or her experiences learning to fly a plane.
But, at the bottom line, Lewis hopes people who read her words on these pages will find some kind of inspiration, knowing someone else has gone through things that are similar to what may be happening in their own lives.
“I want to be an encourager for people in different ways,” she said. “Whether it’s to trust God more and relax and know, if you’re praying for something and not getting anywhere, to relax and know he’s working.
“I want to encourage people to do more than they’re doing in their life, to use the gifts he’s given them,” Lewis said. “God’s given each of us a different gift – what to do with our life, how to lead our life and what we’re good at. I have a path I follow and I share it with people.”
Lewis’s column, Quiet Time Insights will appear every two weeks on the Religion page of The Torrington Telegram.