Tell us a little bit about yourself and what God has called you to do? I have certainly seen God at work in my life recently, as I have faced the battle of my life with brain cancer. I am not quite sure what God is calling me to do, but he has certainly provided me with a very large pedestal to share my faith and inspire others to seek him in times of trouble, times of need, and times of joy.
Where do you live and have you lived anywhere else? I am a California girl, born and raised in Yucaipa with a short 5 years living up north in El Dorado Hills as a kid. After graduating from University of Redlands, I lived in Redondo Beach for 2 years until I married the love of my life and moved to Orange County, CA. We have lived here in the OC ever since.
How do you carve out time with God everyday? Before the kids are awake and moving, I cherish a couple moments reading a few verses with my husband over a cup of coffee as we gear up and pray for the day ahead. Once everyone is out the door and off to work and school, I will spend some quiet time in a quiet house with God digging into His word.
What is your best organizational/planning tip? My best planning tip to keep my family going each day is planning out a menu for the entire week and get that grocery shopping done first thing Monday morning. I love www.emeals.com to make menu planning super easy.
What is your family’s favorite go-to easy meal? With a family always on the run, I have to plan out my week’s menu…but there are those weeks that it just doesn’t happen. In those cases, I lean on croc-pot chicken by throwing in chicken breasts and a huge jar of salsa to make some tasty tacos, burritos, tostadas, or a yummy salad.
Tell us your favorite God story (in your own life)? I have some pretty incredible God stories recently, but I have to share these two special moments that involved my kids’ faith. My husband and son, who at the time was only 12, were all set to go on their first missions trip to Mexico when we found out about my brain tumor. Fear quickly crept in, and we had so many questions about what the future held. My husband felt convinced that they needed to cancel the trip and not go. In the sweetest moment, my son said, “Dad, I know we don’t know what the future holds for Mom, but I do know that our faith is being tested and the enemy is placing that fear and doubt within us because we are about to serve our God in a big way.” He further went on to comfort his Dad and say, “We will need to depend on God more now than we ever have before, and we need to honor Him by serving Him on this missions trip.” As you can guess, they headed south and were blessed so deeply by this trip! At one point, an entire congregation at the church they were serving through gathered around and prayed for them and the journey I was about to embark on. To top it off, my daughter and I are headed to this very church for a missions trip at the end of May!
What are your 3 favorite books, other than the Bible of course? The Shack was one book I couldn’t put down. I love a good light hearted romantic comedy, so anything written by Sophie Kinsella is always a favorite. I am a fan of Max Lucado, and enjoy his devotionals and his gift for story telling. The devotional that kept me centered through my battle of brain cancer was Praying Through Cancer by Susan Sorensen and Laura Geist.
What is your favorite Bible Verse? My all time strength verse is Proverbs 3:5-6, “TRUST in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him and He will set your path straight.”
We are dying to know . . . how do you look at life differently having journeyed through your season of cancer? This is such a great question. After almost 2 years on the battle field, I can honestly look back and see how far I have come, areas where I have grown, and note how God is using me…and yet still working IN me. This question allows me to do a lot of reflecting. The biggest difference in my life is I have learned to let go of control, and have put all my trust in God for not just the care of my health, but also the simple things and little moments of everyday life. I couldn’t grunt, wish, eat, or do anything differently to cure this cancer. Only God can…and He paved a healing path and placed amazing doctors in my care. I had to trust that (and them), and follow their plan of attack. Letting go has allowed me to see the beauty of God at work in the everyday. It has allowed me to remain present in these moments of life and to enjoy the simple things. So when I feel myself try to solve, change, fix, or allow in fear or frustration, I know these are just God’s simple reminders to let go of the control. I must trust that He too can handle this, and I need not depend on my own understanding. I am now at a place of “now what?” “what is next?: This is where God is still at work in me. I am learning that I have to let go of the future and let God show me what is next. I find that when I try to figure it out, try to take back the control or think how can I use this journey, I feel burdened, stressed, and overwhelmed. I am learning that I must release this too. God so graciously provided a healing path for me and covered my family with an abundant amount of peace and care during this battle. I can only trust that the future, this story, this experience, He will also put to use. I continue to pray that I may be simply a vessel to shine HIS glory. The funny thing is, isn’t this how God intended us to live all along?
“TRUST in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him and He will set your path straight.” Proverbs 3:5-6