To me, life is all about being connected to others. Relationships are a top priority in my life. Nurturing relationships takes time, and I try to purposely spend as much time as possible on that. I’m more likely to be coloring with my four year old daughter than cleaning the kitchen. The time with her is more valuable than a clean house. I’ll go shopping with my mom rather than get work done, even with a deadline looming. She’s more important. If my husband wants to do a project together, we’ll do it – no matter what my plans were for the day. He deserves the best of me and my time. Being connected to others is a vital part of my makeup and something I choose to be intentional about.
This sense of connectedness is also central to my spiritual life and my ministry in TWU. I am really passionate about discipleship – not just going to church, but truly knowing God, being connected to Him, and having a relationship with Him. Really digging deep into God’s Word is the best way I have found to nurture that relationship. I did my first “real” Bible study the summer after my 6th grade year. My mom and I, along with some of my friends and their mothers, did a mother/daughter study of Genesis by Kay Arthur. It was life-changing for me, and I was hooked! Ever since then I have searched for ways to learn more and help others learn more about how to connect with God. This desire brought me into TWU. I serve as the Marketing & Advertising Director, but I also have taught at many events, and teach Bible Studies throughout the year with my friend, Suzanne Pichon. Seeing other women learn how to truly know God in a more personal way brings me great joy and excitement.
I love spending time with my family. My mom, my husband Danny, and our daughter Riley are very close, and they are definitely my very top priority. We love to go camping, bike riding, and work in our garden. It’s not really about what we do together, but that we are together. I feel the same way about my friends. With busy lives, we have to be intentional about nurturing those relationships. Simple moments with those I love are key to me – they are what life is all about!
Professionally, my life is all about connections, too. For the past ten years, I have taught at Bonne Ecole Elementary. I love working with kids – not just helping them make academic connections, but also helping to mold and shape their character. This year, I am the school librarian, which means I will likely be headed back to school soon to pursue a Masters in Library Science. I love the chance this has given me to use a good story to get the kids thinking about a social/moral issue. Through literature, we have so many discussions about good vs. evil, empathy, making good choices, and what justice really is. Hearing their thoughts and seeing their character unfold is an awesome privilege. At Bonne Ecole, I chair the Sunshine Committee, which works to basically encourage staff members in a variety of ways throughout the year. I have also worked with Suzanne Pichon to start the SHINE Club (Serve, Honor, Inspire, Nurture, Encourage). It has been so cool to have that opportunity to intentionally model and teach character traits to a group of kids. Seeing them search for ways to serve, to want to make the world a better place, brings such a sense of accomplishment and hope.
Right now, I am working to organize ways for our school and SHINE to be involved in Relay for Life. Relay For Life means a lot to me, because I have lost my father, my sister, and my father-in-law to cancer in the last 5 years. It gives us a chance to honor those who are no longer with us, but also the fighters and survivors. Seeing so many walk the survivor lap every year is an amazing thing – and it is amazing to cheer them on! I am really drawn to find ways to help those who are sick, to bring encouragement, and to find little ways to overcome a disease that to so many seems insurmountable. For me, it is fighting back, connecting to and honoring those we have loved and lost. It helps me see a purpose through the pain and know that Hope is still there.
And now, I am excited about this opportunity to connect with others – to share a bit of my life and what God is teaching me, and to hopefully help you connect to Him a bit better. God has big plans for you, me, this blog, and TWU!