Sandra is an author, retreat leader, and disaster responder who is passionate about helping people discover and trust their inner wisdom; deepen connections to the Divine, self, and others; and live freely into the fullness of life born of Spirit.
During Sandra’s initial career as Professor of Curriculum and Instruction, at Mississippi State University, she led the development of the Mississippi Writing/Thinking Institute as part of the National Writing Project, the premier professional development program in which teacher experts teach other teachers their approaches. Sharing the work with those teachers was the highlight of her first career.
During the last half of her Professorship, Sandra began exploring spirituality more deeply and broadly. At age 51 she retired to go on her deepening spiritual journey to seminary and beyond. After seminary she established and directed Silentia Center for Spiritual Formation for several years before she became a church pastor.
All through those years of teaching and pastoring, Sandra felt a call to be a writer. She wrote volumes in her journals and amassed piles of manuscripts intended to become books, but published only a few poems.
Finally in 2004 Sandra retired from pastoring to devote herself full time to her writing. She moved to Gulfport, Mississippi, to live in community with close friends and write.
Today her work is writing and volunteering with Presbyterian Disaster Assistance. In the latter, her primary role is coordinating Emotional and Spiritual Care curriculum development of two types of programs: resilience retreats for those who serve others and trainings for preparing responders to offer emotional and spiritual care. Her work connects people to their own wisdom and resilience and supports growth in both. Also as part of her disaster work, she is immediate past president of Mississippi Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (VOAD).
Sandra remembers sitting on her haunches ‘writing in the dirt’ as a little girl. In high school she sat for hours in front of her upstairs window writing… writing… writing, sometimes on unlined sheets of paper, sometimes in a diary. Then in 1977 for Christmas she was given her first adult journal. By the time Katrina struck, Sandra had over a hundred journals filled with reflections, poems, and soul work. Since Katrina that writing has continued and grown into this book sharing all the Grace she experienced after Katrina.
Sandra’s published poetry includes a thank-you poem to those who came to help after Katrina, Like Magi, You Have Come and Mama’s Rolls. Both are included in Katrina’s Grace.
Born in Tupelo, Mississippi, Sandra now lives beside water near Jackson and Starkville, Mississippi, writing, enjoying life with her family and friends, and thriving on paying it forward through her continuing disaster relief work.