Timothy Jay is Timothy J. Tressel (Tim)
I grew up on a small family farm in Northeast Ohio. I was a stereotypical middle child (a people pleaser) to no nonsense parents (typical of the 70’s and 80’s) who lived out their Christian life and demonstrated a hard work ethic to be successful.
I enjoyed all sports and was always active outdoors. I was very involved in 4-H growing up, taking beef steers to the county fair. I would consider myself to have had a wide group of friends.
After high school, I attended Bowling Green State University in Northwest Ohio to study business. I became very involved in the campus ministry Active Christians Today (ACT) which grew my faith. A few months after graduating college, I began a corporate job in market research and management. Then six months later, I married my high school sweetheart, Sue.
After ten years “on the ladder,” I decided to jump off and into the environment of a small business, thanks to a good friend. It suited me much better. I was directly involved in decisions and tasks. This was very satisfying. God knew what I needed! By this time I was also a dad, blessed with two wonderfully different girls. My oldest, Lydia loved playing instruments in the band (high school and other orchestras). Then my youngest daughter, Leah was very athletic, specializing in the sprints during her high school years. I love being their dad, and always will be, but guess what? Children grow up…. So it was time to listen to God in another area that He had gotten my attention over the years – writing a novel.
I have always loved stories, mostly listening to them; whether from a book or someone telling a good one around a campfire or the supper table. One of my earliest memories is my mom reading bedtime stories. I also remember many of my elementary teachers setting aside time to read to the class. The stories were so vivid and took me places as I was captivated by the detail of the plot and characters. From seventh grade through high school I was blessed to have had some very encouraging but demanding teachers that pushed me and those who wanted to improve on their creative and technical writing.
Below is a picture from my scrapbook where I was awarded second place in an essay contest during my seventh grade year. Still my dear friend, Rebekah Giesler next to me, and many others throughout middle school and high school got the best of me with their efforts. But it was those wonderful teachers that inspired and pushed me and my classmates to produce our best work.
Thank you: Rebekah (Giessler) Zanders, Deb (Chovan) Roby, Terry Griffith, Lucinda Frailly,
and Don Airhart
Now in college and knowing I wanted to do something practical (middle child thing), I studied business and took all the required business courses, but most of my electives were either literature or history classes. I always enjoyed writing assignments, especially term papers! It was a way I could get outside the numbers of statistics and accounting and craft a position to support my research (not exactly fully creative – but writing).
There were other instances in college and in the corporate world that allowed me to utilize my creative side with developing logos, slogans, employee handbooks, and incentive programs. Now that I’m running a small business, I can imagine and implement website and advertising designs as needed. It is very fulfilling!
About ten years into running the small business, I started getting a sense (from God, for sure) that some of the ideas in my head for a novel needed to be put to paper. I slowly began the process but still had two active preteen girls. By the time the first went off to college, a creative force (think dam breaking) hit me so hard that the entire manuscript flowed out and Alliance Lake ~ Be Still was finished in four months.
To sum up… It took me a very long time to fully admit that I love to create. Whether it is a home project, a landscaping project, or book, I love to design. Some people enjoy the building or execution process and I do also, but what really “revs me up,” and what God has gifted me with is in the area of design. It only took me half a century to fully admit and embrace and I give Him all the glory for the ideas and designs He allows me to discover.
PS. My youngest is in college now. I think the water is rising against the dam again….
- Studying early American history. I can also be found reenacting in 18th century clothes from time to time.
- Landscape projects
- Cleveland Indians
Just after turning fifty, the monumental no doubt about it middle age birthday, I had to laugh when I read Act 2:17. Luke reminded us of what was spoken by the prophet Joel.
“In the last days, God says, I will pour out my spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your young men will see
visions, your old men will dream dreams.”
So…where does that leave me?