What is something memorable you have done with your family in the past couple of years?
Our family had the opportunity to go to Alaska right before the pandemic hit. It was our parent’s 50th wedding anniversary and their wish was to take our entire extended family on a trip to see the beauty of Alaska … all 15 of us. So they loaded us on a boat in Seattle and off we went on a great adventure. The beauty of the frontier there is incredible. The ocean is vast and powerful, the fjords are amazing and picturesque, the wildlife roam freely because they are protected and feel safe from harm, and the glaciers are unreal. As we explored as a family we had the blessing of time together in spaces and places where cell coverage was limited which brought about a unique opportunity for everyone in the group to be present. The natural state of the land lended itself to being a wonderful outdoor playground of trails, rivers and cliffs that we enjoyed. The most impactful part of the trip was the perspective that we realized as we stood near age old glaciers and felt the smallness that we were next to them. I looked up at them and could see how tiny I was in comparison to their size and their longevity. In those moments, so close to God in his creation, it was easy to see all of my issues as “right sized” and temporary. “I am the Alpha and the Omega, says the Lord God, who is, and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.” Revelation 1:8
What is one of your favorite daily rituals?
I know that telling you my quiet time with the Lord is my favorite daily ritual is probably the answer that I should have to this question, and I enjoy my time with God. However, my favorite daily ritual is my time in the car with my son on the way to school and when I pick him up afterwards. I am sure to be off the phone and ready to listen as my youngest is not the most talkative person and our commute is short. I enjoy hearing him laugh and make jokes on the way to school because he is a morning person. We also keep a bible in the console so that we can start our time together with God’s Word. During this time when his phone is not allowed and the noise cancelling headphones are at the house is when he also will make small mentions of things causing him stress, a paper he is working on, a test he is taking that day. In the afternoon when I pick him up he usually is excited about something he has going on that evening or comments on how things went that day. When he was little, this is when he would finally release the stress of the day as well. This time that we have in the car is short lived – he is a junior in high school. And also it is precious to me. It is a small carving out of each day that I get just with him and I delight in seeing his personality and how he is growing and handling things. I see it as a gift and I am thankful to the Giver.
What is something that brings you joy?
Authentic relationships bring me joy. My cup is filled when I have gotten to spend time with my family or dear friends or with the children and students in ministry. Making memories with my family is such a joy to me and it matters not if we are doing something big or just going to the park. Getting to be together and share our lives, challenges and joys is life-giving. Laughter and lunch with friends, playing silly games with students in ministry, lifting one another in prayer – these are all joyful times that I look forward to sharing. With the Lord as our foundation, we are able to stand together and share his love with one another.
What drew you to children’s ministry?
My very first experience in children’s ministry was as a 16 year old with a new drivers license. I signed up as a Sunday School teacher and taught little kindergarteners at my church, loved it and have never left children’s ministry from that point on. I have volunteered somewhat regularly at different churches since that time until I was hired to work part time 14 years ago. It was the first time I recognized God calling me to a job. Jesus and kids are two of my favorite things so being called to children’s ministry has been my favorite. They have such a sweet and unique way of looking at things as they learn them. Also, they are just funny and a joy to be around. I get to teach them to give thanks for those joys and giggles. If they are struggling, I get to help them look to the Lord and encourage them to turn their trials over to him. They explore, wiggle and ask the strange wonderful questions. Ministering to them is the best job.
What is one of the first things you hope to do at Restoration?
I plan to learn a lot and start forming connections and relationships with people. I am excited to know the Restoration family and get to be part of it. After only one Sunday it is easy to see the connection and joy that people share here and that creates such a wonderful environment for children and youth to learn to grow in their faith and participate in it as part of the body of Christ. Thank you for welcoming me and my family. I look forward to partnering with you in helping your children to know and love Jesus.