Thank you for being interested in knowing a little more about me. The most important thing is that I am a Christian. I am not religious, but I am spiritual. I believe with all my heart that Christianity is about having a personal relationship with Christ and following Him. And being a Christian is about living and embracing life to the fullest. I want to be all that I was created to be and to be a pleasure to my Father in Heaven.
As for personal details-- my husband, Mike, and I are the very proud parents of six wonderful children: Brook, Adam, Peter, Alex, Allegra, and Max. Brook's husband, Keith, is like a son. Adam's and Peter's wives, Jenn and Nicki are our daughters. I choke on the words "in-law" because Keith, Jenn, and Nicki are like our own. Brook and Keith have five children: Caleb, Joshua, Sam, Luke, and Hannah. Adam and Jenn have one child so far: Evie. Peter and Nicki are expecting their first. And Allegra has blessed us with William. I also have spiritual children who mean the world to me. The Lord has given me His special love for them, too.
We live in a rough part of our town. Our house has been shot at several times (that we know). We have been robbed too many times (always on the outside, not the inside.) A man was shot in our front yard. A prostitute was knifed and came to us for help. We have fed, clothed, and helped the homeless and less fortunate. Gang members, prostitutes, alcoholics and drug addicts have come for help, as well as people who just want to know Jesus. This is not a once a year thing, this is our life....everyday. It may not be normal for you, but it is for us. I don't know how to live any other way except to live life to the fullest. God has called us to this....maybe not forever, but for the past 23 years. Have we always embraced it? No. Sometimes we get tired. Sometimes we want to move. Sometimes we can sense dangerous elements in the neighborhood. We must be discerning. We have to pray. And pray. And pray. And love.
But we are safer in God's will than out of it.
Mike and I are senior chaplains with International Fellowship of Chaplains (IFOC). We have a ministry called Mano y Mano. Our "hand to hand combat" is prayer. I am an Ambassador for our local NC Senior Games/Silver Arts program, and a USAPA Ambassador for Lee County in which I oversee the local pickleball clinics. As a local artist, I am the incoming president for the Sanford Brush & Palette Club. We are very involved in our community, and our training will help us help more people to help more people.
I speak regularly on a variety of subjects to all ages. I speak about art, art education, and my specialty: fingerpainting. I have spoken to nursing students on health and spirituality, fifth grade students about perseverance, and dental assistants about patient care. I speak at conferences and to other groups about relationship with God and faith.
So these are some of the things that we do, but this is not who we are. We are human beings, not human doings. Our lives center around Jesus and the cross. People who know this understand what I am saying. People who don't, ask....please ask. Sadly, we as imperfect people have not always provided the best examples of Christ's love and sacrifice. We have substituted religion for relationship. Religion is not of God. It is man's way of trying to harness, codify, and control the presence and power of a living God who loves us dearly. He wants to be an active part of our lives.
I want to share why I have this blog. It was becoming necessary as my book and art garner more attention. People wanted to have a place to go and check things out. For me, this has been a difficult process. I have been slow on promoting the book because I couldn't separate the manuscript from me. I am not here to promote me but promote the message God has given me. It has taken time to work through that; and I have had to trust and believe Him.
As the blog continues I will share what God is doing in our lives. I hope that people will come to know how very real His is and who He is.
If you are a friend, I thank you for stopping by. If we have never met, I hope someday we will and become good friends. Always..........