I'm a Board Certified Counselor on a five year sabbatical and counting. I've traded in my heels and counseling office for bare feet and a home school room. Lover of beauty, avid reader, wishful writer, and hobbyist photographer. My family and I are in the process of turning a church into a home so they can bring home their special needs and medically fragile heart children who need a family.
The long story:
I am a woman who claims Jesus as my Savior and has a deep heart desire to live in such a way that God receives the glory. (though, being human, I often fail at this!) The different dimensions of my life are seen and lived through a Biblical worldview, as well as my relationship with my Savior. This is often reflected in my writing.
I am my husband’s Bride and my children's Mama.
I am a person who actually enjoys being at home day-after-day without seeing a lot of people.
I am certain of my weaknesses, insecure about my strengths.
I need a lot of personal space and privacy but I am willing to share my heart, time, and home when the opportunity arises. I can go for days on end, totally content to not see anyone other than my husband and daughter, complete with my pets and books, writing supplies, and various crafts at my disposal.
When spring, summer, and fall are present you can find me (alongside my husband), preparing, planting, tending, and harvesting a large garden. That, and growing plants, is a huge hobby of ours that we also jokingly refer to as our “therapy”.
I am a Board Certified Christian Counselor and in 2005 established a private christian counseling practice. However upon having children, I turned a corner in my life journey and became a stay-at-home-mom instead.
My ultimate heart desire is to use my education and experience in my own home with special needs and terminally ill children that need a place of love, healing, and refuge. This is a dream I have had since the age of 18 and now, in 2011 is beginning to see fulfillment!
My husband and I have a dream to build a large home, sustained with solar and wind power and complete with a greenhouse and barn, with plenty of yard for playing and gardening, pasture for horses, and maybe even a small pond. This, our dream, is called Shiloh, in our hearts (we adopted the name of the church when we bought it, as it fit the dream perfectly)
Like so very many people in today's world, I've had some difficult and painful things happen in my life, beginning at the age of three by the hands of a stranger who was briefly in our family home and continuing on into my late teens by acquaintances in my life. The effects of these incidents resulted in disturbed behavior as a young child and later led into anorexia and bulimia, self-injury, and severe depression during my adolescent years and early-mid 20’s.
My life was a contradiction of wanting love but sabotaging it when I got it, wanting to serve God but hating Him too, wanting to get better but stubbornly clinging to my destructive ways because I didn’t know how to have an identity without them. I trusted no one but myself, harbored deep anger, resentment, and unforgiveness, and didn’t believe I was worth anything more than I was living.
God in His mercy kept working on my heart, even during the worst years, using a godly couple, an amazing counselor, and a couple of patient and loving close friends. These people continually loved me, sometimes with a tough love that I fought against, as I continually took two steps forward and then ten steps back.
In 2002 at a revival service, I had a powerful encounter with God that changed me dramatically and permanently. The following service I brought my razor blades, dieting pills, fat trappers, ephedrine tablets, water pills, and laxatives, laid them on the altar and have never picked them up since.
When telling my life story, I tell people that although I struggle with the old ways of thinking and have to do battle on an almost-daily basis to find victory, it no longer has such a stranglehold on me that I find I have no ability to overcome. God has become bigger than the struggle, and though the struggle remains in my thought life, I no longer give into the actions that once drove my life.
Sharing my heart through spoken words is difficult for me. Instead, I find my voice through writing.
After a dual infertility diagnosis in the Fall of 2006 and surrendering our attempts at pregnancy by giving up infertility treatments and not pursuing the recommended IUI process in January of 2007, I became pregnant with our miracle baby in February of 2007. After a difficult first trimester with progesterone supplementation and non-stop nausea and being told to "sit on my satin pillow until the 2nd trimester", I went on to have a healthy pregnancy and gave birth to a healthy baby girl in November of 2008.
In July of 2009, we were shocked to discover I was pregnant. However, this discovery came with the trauma of a ruptured ectopic pregnancy that resulted in me losing my right fallopian tube. This further reduced our hope of another biological child. . .
However, in May 2010, to our surprise and joy, I discovered that I was pregnant again and went on to give birth to our healthy, 9lb 10oz son in February of 2011.
In 2012 we lost two more babies in early miscarriages. During this time I co-founded Perfect Joy Ministries, a ministry reaching out to women with infertility, pregnancy, infant and child loss.
As a Mama I practice breastfeeding, baby sign, selective, delayed vaccinating, non-circ'ing, cloth diapering, babywearing, and elimination communication.
I practice a blend of traditional and alternative health practices in my life. As an asthmatic, I still rely on asthma meds each summer into fall, but also supplement with herbs, vitamins, and essential natural oils to keep my medications limited to only 2 or 3.
I am not anti-medication or anti-medical doctor. I am, at the same time, also pro-alternative health.
I attempt to feed my family foods that are whole, unprocessed, and organic as often as finances allow (because let’s face it, healthy eating is an expensive habit) and in the summer and fall use our garden vegetables as one of our main sources of nutrition. Chuck’s and my goal in the future is to raise our own beef cows and chickens for eggs and meat so that we can be sure that our meat products are hormone and cloning free.
We practice recycling, use glass more than plastic when it comes to serving and storing food, and try to be as green as possible as our knowledge allows us to be at this point in time. We have a long way to go before we fully learn and implement all the ways we can achieve this type of lifestyle.
In spite of my attempts to maintain a healthy way of eating, I’m a sucker for a good cup of coffee, especially a specialty coffee drink and rarely say no to any type of chocolate. ;-)
I don’t claim that my way of life is right. I do like to share how we live and why we live the way we do however.
I love to hear from people who live similarly to us but also welcome feedback from people who live differently as well, enjoying learning different perspectives on different issues. All of the things mentioned above will probably be mentioned in one way or another as I fill this blog in weeks and months to come.
I do not write for purposes of judging or condemning but only for reasons of sharing and dialogue with others. I welcome you to share a part of my life journey as I allow you to glimpse the ponderings of my mind, the musings of my heart, and the storyline of my family and Shiloh.