I’m truly very ordinary. That’s not false humility, it’s true. So whether you’re ordinary, extraordinary, or anywhere in between, I invite you to take a peek.
My personal story:
My testimony is appropriate for women and teen girls in any arena. I love sharing the hope and love that is without condition with those who are where I’ve been; in the pit of mud and mire. We don’t grow up with dreams of living a shame based, fearful existence, but all too often those are the results. Regardless of a person’s past, present, or future, our identity and worth are found in Jesus, and He is all about the one who is lost and struggling. My personal story is a story of rescue by the One who indeed left the 99 safe in the fold to find me and rescue me from that horrid pit.
I love my family, really really love them. I recently saw a sign that said, “Home is where my bunch of crazies are” and that includes my two Golden Retrievers, Lily and Luca and our kitty Bella. I’ve been married to Nick since June 3, 1989 and we have a daughter Ashlee and a son Nico. Ashlee blessed us with a second son when she married Allen and they have given us two beautiful granddaughters and a third one on the way! Being “Mimi” to those sweet girls is such a gift. I so appreciate friendship and have truly been blessed with amazing people I call “family by choice”. The best way to start my day is with a hot cup of coffee on my patio with my Bible, and Lily and Luca keeping me company. I love traveling, the beach, taking walks, cooking and baking pies like my grandma, reading, and writing.
I love simplicity. I love the simple things in life, because when you think about it, they are the things that really matter. All too often we miss the forest for the trees. We get so caught up in our efforts to make our mark on the world, to acquire the latest and greatest, biggest and best, that we miss out on the wrestling matches with our little boy, the tea party with our little girl, and the walk with our spouse. We find ourselves frantically running from one thing to the next barely catching our breathe. And for what? For the ever illusive goal that will finally make us happy, successful, fulfilled.
Or there is the other extreme which is where I fit. Rather than striving for perfection and driving ourselves to keep trying and never resting, those like me tend to hide. It feels safer to hide within that comfort zone rather than to risk failure. The problem is that this scenario doesn’t produce the promised results either. Those of us in this camp can end up in a prison of “safety”, emptiness, and loneliness wondering what we’re here for.
Theodore Roosevelt said, “It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”
I have spent many years in this struggle and have found that I am not alone. We were made for connection, relationship, and purpose, all of which require the willingness to be vulnerable, to be known. Because we were made for connection and relationship, our enemy uses shame, fear, and judgement in an effort to keep us insecure and performing. His plan is to convince us that God is harsh, demanding, and unapproachable so that we will resort to performance over intimacy.
My life verse is Romans 8:28, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” This is my life verse because He has indeed done exactly that. He refuses to allow our pain to be in vain. Jesus gives it purpose. He takes the shame of our failure and turns it into redemption and restoration. He gives beauty for ashes, and boy did I bring some ashes!
I was one of those rare people who knew what I wanted to be when I grew up and it never changed. I now realize counseling, coaching, mentoring, and writing, are a big part of my calling. What was born out of a challenging childhood God has developed and cultivated through my own personal experience with Christ centered therapy, Bible study, and most importantly an intimate personal relationship with Jesus.
Hebrews 12 talks about the joy set before Jesus that made him willing to endure the cross and scorn it’s shame. That joy was to see us set free from the bondages of this life that promise release but produce emptiness. I have a passion to share His plan to turn what the enemy meant for our destruction into hope and healing. Jesus longs for us to experience a life of abundance and freedom. He’s done his part at the cross, our part is to grasp His outstretched hand and begin the journey towards that freedom. I can think of no greater privilege than to share this hope with those who are where I’ve been.