Stephanie Thompson’s name is familiar to many Oklahomans; she’s been involved in radio, television and print media in our state since 1983.

Now Thompson’s name is known nationwide, since her stories have appeared in several of the “Chicken Soup” books.

She’s also been published in magazines such as Guideposts, Angels on Earth, Positive Thinking and Sweet 16.

Thompson appeared at a book-signing event at Edmond’s Around the Corner Restaurant on Saturday to showcase the “Chicken Soup” books.

One of the writer’s projects has been “State of Change,” a radio show and newspaper column that focuses on people who have been through difficult circumstances and are now doing something to help others, she said.

Although her work has now expanded beyond the “State of Change” format, Thompson still speaks to groups about that ministry.

“God has just dropped stories into my lap,” she said. Most of the heroic people featured in her writings are Oklahomans.

In 2004, Thompson won a place at Guideposts magazine’s writers’ workshop. She received an all-expense-paid trip to New York City and took classes to enable her to write for the magazine.

“It was very intensive,” she said.

Along with her writing, Thompson speaks at churches and seminars, teaching others to live intentionally through goal setting, journaling and having a relationship with Christ. She said she decided back in 1999 that whatever she did career-wise should be done to the glory of God.

The local author also has worked with at-risk youth since 1995. When she served as program director for the Basic Entrepreneur Empow-erment Program, she taught 51 gang members and DHS recipients to make wise choices regarding their futures.

In 1999, Thompson founded “Girltalk,” a program designed for at-risk eighth- and ninth-grade girls which teaches healthy self-esteem, positive choices, the importance of education and how to set personal goals.

That heart for helping others runs in the family, too. Thompson’s husband works for an area college, doing assessments that help Oklahomans get off welfare.

The writer said she’s blessed by working with people who have experienced God’s changes in their lives.

“The greatest reward in my work is that I get to hear how God works in people’s lives,” she said. “I see what I do as a ministry more than a business.”

Now a stay-at-home mom, Thompson works from her home office and writes in her spare time (“between 10:30 p.m. and midnight,” she jokes). Along with stories from her own experiences and interviews, she has ghost-written stories for others and keeps up her own busy writing career.

Still, the writer said her first priority is her home and family. When her daughter, Micah, was an infant and Thompson was struggling to make the decision whether to continue in her career or path become a stay-at-home mom, an interview with another mother changed her life.

That woman, Edmond resident Amy Eldridge, is a board member of Love Without Boundaries, an organization that provides aid to children in Chinese orphanages. During the interview, Thompson noticed a Chinese symbol on Eldridge’s necklace, and asked what it meant.

When she learned that the symbol represented motherhood, Thompson said she felt God was speaking to her. Almost immediately, she left her “State of Change” radio show to be at home with her daughter.

“Being called to be a mother is every bit as important as being on the radio,” she said.

Now, even though Thompson is the recipient of many awards from a number of media organizations, she thinks the title “Mom” is the most valuable of all.

(Alice Collinsworth may be reached via e-mail at acollinsworth@edmondsun.com.)

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