Tell us a little bit about yourself and what God has called you to do? Growing up, I was the older sister, a farm girl, a former athlete (field hockey), a creative, a young bride (married at 21 – even though I said I would never get married that young!), a missionary and a college admissions counselor. Today I have the privilege of being on pastoral staff as a spiritual maturity minister, a mentor, a pastor’s wife, a boy mom (ages 12 and 14), a free-lance writer, a leadership development consultant, and a champion of those around me pursuing their dreams.
A few years ago, my dear friend and mentor—also an Anchored Press contributor—Jenni Catron encouraged me to write a personal mission statement. And it goes something like this: “To live wholeheartedly and encourage others to do the same.” Simple, right? But this is really what I believe God has called me to do, even though living this out looks different in different seasons.
Where do you live and have you lived anywhere else? I live in Southern California, but I grew up in Hershey, Pennsylvania (Chocolatetown USA!), and then lived much of my adult life in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. Our family roots are in PA but our hearts and our home are in Southern CA.
How do you carve out time with God everyday? I carve out time with God by staying open to experiencing God in consistent and various ways. Every morning I read over the verse of the day from my bible app, think about it and pray that verse over my day. Then I spend a few minutes praying for the people who come to mind. At some point during the day, I find a few quiet moments to read my Bible (currently in 2 Timothy). I also consider a walk outside, a cup of coffee with friends, supporting my family and intentional time with my co-workers as part of my time with God too.
What is your favorite Bible Verse? Share with us why you love it so much. Jeremiah 29:11-13 “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.”
I love that last line, “you will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.” To me, this is what it means to live wholeheartedly as a follower of Jesus—to seek God with all of my heart.
Another favorite is Galatians 6:4-5 in The Message because it speaks to the idea of carefully exploring our identity in Christ, "Make a careful exploration of who you are and the work you have been given, and then sink yourself into that. Don’t be impressed with yourself. Don’t compare yourself with others. Each of you must take responsibility for doing the creative best you can with your own life."
What is your best organizational/planning tip? Share Calendars—with your spouse, roommates or family members: my husband and I work in a church environment that is ever-changing. “Fast, fluid and flexible” is the mantra. Because things are constantly changing at the last minute, it helps to share calendars on our phones so we can be mindful of each other’s schedule when making plans, without having to wait for evening dinner conversation. Another favorite is what I call “smart grocery shopping. “ Every week I buy a few healthy pre-made meals from Trader Joes or Costco. These meals may be slightly more expensive, but they save us a ton of time, energy and open-fridge-door moments when our plans change at the last minute.
What is your family’s favorite go-to easy meal? Soup & Salad bar: we will throw anything and everything on top of a good salad!
Tell us your favorite God story (in your own life)? One of my favorite God stories is the story I told in my devotional. It was 7 years ago, a very tender season in my life. My boys were in elementary school full days. I went back to grad school, then started working in the marketplace after being a full-time stay-at-home-mom. It was also a season of opening up to more self-awareness and spiritual growth. I explored different personality assessments—including the Enneagram, which was a big catalyst for personal growth. And I started studying and practicing spiritual disciplines. Of course, studying was the easy part; consistently practicing was more of a challenge.
What are your 3 favorite books, other than the Bible of course? Let Your Life Speak by Parker Palmer, Daring Greatly by Brene Brown and Strengthening the Soul of Your Leadership by Ruth Haley Barton.
We are dying to know . . . some tips on making sure you are not missing God’s direction.
PAY ATTENTION—to what’s going on around you. Where is God at work in your life and in the life of others?
LISTEN—ask thoughtful questions and pause to listen before making judgements, decisions or conclusions.
READ—be consistent with reading your Bible (the book of life!); also, read books that challenge and sharpen your thoughts and perspective.
JOURNAL—write these things down; the things you’re seeing, hearing, sensing, learning, exploring, discovering. This can be hard for me, so I give myself the freedom to journal bullet-point-style when I’m short on time.
PRAY— Prayer loosens the grip of worry, doubt, fear, shame and anger in our lives. Prayer is often where God provides a sense of comfort, clarity and direction for our futures. “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.” (Philippians 4:6 NIV)