How does one actually decide what to put here? What defines us? Our place? Our space? Our education or experiences? Our culture? Our faith? It is impossible to tell you who I am, but I will give you some stats that might help you know where we meet and begin together.
Born in California, but moving 43 times in my life and living nearly everywhere, I am a mix of Euro-Spanish-Italian and German-Norwegian people. My family and faith of origin range from Baptist to Lutheran. My parents are both happily remarried to my wonderful second parents. (don’t you hate “step”?) I have 8 brothers and sisters and am married to a man who has 7 himself, which means, I do family BIG. Together, husband Lance and I share 4 gorgeous human beings- nearly all adult age now.
I was a stay at home mom for many years, and when the youngest were in 2nd grade I went back to school, starting on my Bachelors degree (General Studies with minors in Organizational Leadership and Human Services). When I finished that, I began the process for ordination in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. That required a Master of Divinity which is a 4 year degree that includes a year of internship. In May of 2016 I graduated from Luther Seminary and was approved for ordination in June.
A long time advocate for those who do not have voice for a myriad of reasons, I have given over 15,000 hours of volunteer time to the US Army and their families. I adore military families and teaching them how to be resilient. Out of that flowed extensive work on suicide pre/inter/post-vention.
In the hours of early morning I love best to write, craft (scrapbook, knit, spin, sew, paint) and find this a deeply connecting spiritual activity time for me. In the evening hours, I love to read and knit snuggled up by my best friend and partner in all things good and bad for the last 23 years.
I don’t know what is next. I am praying over the idea of pursuing my Doctorate in Philosophy- but first there are student loans to pay off. I do know this: in the answering of this call to be a pastor, I did not choose the profession. It was chosen for me- I just accepted. Why? Because I wanted to be the best me and to do what I was created to do. In accepting this, I have found surprise after surprise and joy upon joy. I am happier than I have ever been by choosing to do what I am made to do, not what I necessarily think I “want” to do or am “good at.” And the best surprise has been that the more I learn, the less I know. That is good for an anxious person- to learn to let go and not know everything- to not even need to.
So here we are- on this journey together. Where do we meet up? What shall we explore together? What gaps can we bridge, you and I?