After marrying my high school sweetheart at age 20, my husband Larry and I have been involved in vocational ministry for 30 years. We have 3 children and have lived in Michigan, California, Arizona, North Carolina and presently reside in Florida where we serve at Christ’s Church in Jacksonville.
Our ministry adventures have not only taken us around the country but overseas as well and I have been involved in ministry to women in each place we have served. My college degree in teaching has helped me in serving as a group leader for Bible Study Fellowship, leading women’s bible studies, one-on-one mentoring, speaking, and leading worship at women’s events. I have also worked on church staff as a Creative Arts Director, Worship Director, Worship Leader and Service Producer. I’m presently crafting a book for women entitled: Tending the Garden Of Your Heart. It is a compilation of themed devotionals, personal stories, guided inquiry and the Word, design to encourage and refresh women of all ages.
After losing our first born daughter, Jessica to a malignant brain tumor when she was almost 6 years old, my heart was shattered and the faith that my husband and I had sung and spoken about in ministry, was put to the ultimate test. But, the things my precious daughter taught me as I watched her face adversity with remarkable faith and grace, left an indelible mark on my life that encouraged and challenged me. My own faith was placed in the crucible along with my marriage, family and ministry. Through much prayer and support, we emerged from the fire with a tenable strength and resiliency. The suffering served to purify and authenticate my relationship with God. No suffering is wasted in God’s economy and my intentional response to the trials that I have faced since then, including the struggle with a debilitating disease, the stresses of church staff life, and a bout with cancer, have been imprinted with Jessica’s courage, her childlike faith and her pure love for God. What a gift it was to be her mother and to learn how to live joyfully and obediently from such a sweet, trusting heart.
I’ve also had to embrace the importance of caring for myself well. Being a worship pastor’s wife and mother has been rewarding but draining and because I haven’t always taken care of myself, I’ve suffered the consequences. Only through working with a health and wellness coach and committing to a regular exercise program, have I been able to regain a measure of health and it still is a daily battle. As I’ve ministered to women of all ages across the country, one common hurdle seems to be universal: as women, we often focus on caring for the physical, emotional, and spiritual needs of others and disregard our own. Somehow we’ve bought in to the lie that neglecting ourselves makes us more spiritual. I am deeply committed to helping women see themselves as treasured daughters of their Abba Father, worthy of being cared for well. As we become our very best, we bring glory to Him, fulfilling His greatest purpose for our lives. My heart is for women of all ages, believing with every fiber of my being, that we were never meant to navigate the sometimes turbulent, but always interesting, waters of this life by ourselves. In addition to helping women take care of themselves physically and emotionalIy, I find my greatest joy in encouraging women to deepen their relationship with The Creator and Lover of their souls through the Word, guided inquiry, conversations, personal stories, and humor. God loves us lavishly and knows us completely.
“Consider the kind of extravagant love the Father has lavished on us—He calls us children of God! It’s true; we are His beloved children.” 1 John 3:1 The Voice
“Put on your new nature, and be renewed as you learn to know your Creator and become like Him.” Colossians 3:10 NLT