I never thought my life would lead here but I am ever so grateful that it has. As with all stories, they take time to unpack and unfold. Mine will be no different as you get to know me. What I do want you to know at this time is that, oh my goodness, God is amazing to have taken me through life to where I am now.
My grandma had sent me to church camp when I was younger and I did enjoy it but I had not fully pursued the Lord. It was when I was 15 and started attending church regularly and being discipled by youth leaders that my walk with the Lord was encouraged and grew. I went on to work at that same camp for three summers, learning to clean toilets, lead a work crew, memorize scripture, work with children, share the gospel and form godly friendships to encourage each other. It was also in working at camp that I realized that I needed to get a further education and I enrolled in dental assisting school at our community college.
The 1980’s-90’s were pretty formative for me. I went camping with a friend in the summer of ’87 and there were some really cute guys there with a boat. (Ha! What a way to start the life story I share with you!) These guys invited us to join them for campfire time with their youth group that was there for a summer waterskiing retreat. When we got home from the weekend, my friend and I decided it was time to start attending church! So starting in August of 1987, my world changed.
Dental assisting was so fantastic for me. I loved the order of things and compassionately working with people. After graduation from dental assisting school, I was able to travel with YWAM for a month to Lithuania to serve in a dental outreach before taking a full time job. Not long after I started my first real career job, I met my future husband (at the church that I had started attending as a result of that camping trip!). “How I met my husband” stories are so fun but, I think I may save the details of that for another time. We met around Christmas of ’93, got engaged in April of ’94 and married on September 24, 1994. It was a whirlwind year!
It didn’t take long for our family to grow. We had been married about a year and a half when our oldest son was born. About 17 months later, Caleb was joined by little Emma, then we were blessed with twin boys, Ben and Isaac on April Fool’s day of 2000! Four kids in under four years, we thought we may be done. Then we decided that really… if four came that quickly, they would likely all leave just as quickly and we would be lonely! So, we decided to have one more (for our own entertainment and to keep us from entering the empty nest so quickly). It was during the pregnancy of our fifth child (Ruthie) that the Lord changed our hearts regarding that subject. After Ruthie, we were blessed by Sarah, Clarity, Valor and Eli. In nineteen years of marriage we had gown a supersized family and would not have changed it for anything.
People always say that the years go by fast and it is true. Emma is married to Jed and they have two children of their own. Caleb, Ben and Isaac all live on their own but are still very much a part of our everyday lives. We just have five at home now, we still have many parenting years ahead of us and we treasure every moment as we know how quickly it all speeds by.
Looking back it is apparent to me that one thing surely leads to another. Following the Lord and going where he would take me is the best way to make sure that I end up in the right place. I see His hand in it. The lessons we learn along the journey and the growth that we experience are the things that move us on to whatever is around the next corner. It is a privilege to live in relationship with God who cares about my past, present and future and walks with me in it.