Tell us a little bit about yourself and what God has called you to do? I am a wife, a mom of 4, a teacher, and a student. I love nature, learning, and friends who bless me beyond measure. We started the journey of adoption ten years ago which lead me to an interest in attachment, trauma, and mental health. Last fall, I began a Master’s program in counseling at Lancaster Bible College. I hope to work with families and children impacted by trauma as well as individual counseling.
Where do you live and have you lived anywhere else? I grew up and have always lived in Lancaster Pennsylvania, except for my college years at Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Virginia. I absolutely love to travel but I am a hometown girl through and through.
How do you carve out time with God everyday? I am learning that God has placed His Spirit in me and I carry His loving presence everywhere I go. This truth helps me to see that my relationship with God is not defined or confined by a “quiet time.” I live my days with God by pausing to adore Him, noticing His beauty all around me, offering Him my sufferings, and noticing His divine presence making simple moments sacred. Through this new lens, waking up a bit early to spend some focused and extended time in His presence is an extravagant gift. It is no longer something to check off my list. However, even this new way of being can benefit from practicality. Thus, if I want to wake up early, I set my alarm on my phone and put it in the bathroom. No hitting snooze, no choice but to get out of bed and turn off the alarm before it wakes up everyone in my house.
What is your favorite Bible Verse? Colossians 2:7. "Let your roots grow down into him, and let your lives be built on him. Then your faith will grow strong in the truth you were taught, and you will overflow with thankfulness." I love this verse because it speaks to my deepest desires: to be rooted, to grow strong, and to be overwhelmed with gratitude.
What is your best organizational/planning tip, other than your Anchored Press Devotional Planner, of course? If my friends are reading this, they are laughing. I am not the person to go to for organizational tips but I will say that Siri is a lifesaver. I can just tell her to put something on my calendar and she does it. She always gets it right. She never accidently puts a dentist appointment on a Sunday or on the right date but wrong month. Although my digital calendar is a necessity, the paper and pencil planner helps me to be more connected with my life and aware of my choices.
What is your family’s favorite go-to easy meal? Tacos. The Old El Paso from the box type tacos. Not Mom’s favorite but everyone eats them.
Tell us your favorite God story (in your own life)? Picking a favorite story feels like picking a favorite child so I will just offer a simple one. One morning after the last day of school God brought a student to my mind. The student was a middle-of-the-pack kind of kid and certainly not one I found myself thinking about often. I couldn’t stop considering ways I could have encouraged her or engaged with her more. It seemed so random to me and puzzling since school was over and I had no outlet to act on any of my new convictions. A week later, I took my kids to our school auction and we were packed into a small gym, happy to have seats. My younger son saw a friend sitting on the floor up front and jumped up to go sit with him, leaving an empty seat beside me. An empty seat for this girl on my heart to “happen” upon and a divine moment to speak life to her and to tell her I SEE her. God’s presence and love was so clear to me in that moment. What a gift.
What are your 3 favorite books, other than the Bible of course? The Grand Paradox by Ken Wytsma, The Artist Way by Julia Cameron, and Let Your Life Speak by Parker Palmer.
We are dying to know . . . if you could go back before you started your adoption journey, and give yourself one piece of advice, what would it be? I would tell myself to be faithful in the moment without demanding a positive outcome. I would tell myself that the method of parenting I once considered “biblical” is kind of . . . not, and it is ok to shake up those norms and find brand new ways of helping children grow and heal.
Let your roots grow down into him, and let your lives be built on him. Then your faith will grow strong in the truth you were taught, and you will overflow with thankfulness. COLOSSIANS 2:7