Fashion, Cooking, Decor & Creativity
I wear many hats, like most women. I am a worshiper of the King of Kings, a wife and a mom. Church and family have intersected my entire life. Growing up as a small-town girl in a small church comprised mostly of family, I learned early on the importance of strong faith and strong family. When Steve and I married and had our sons, Andrew and Gregory, I discovered a new purpose. One of my favorite mom quotes is from Jackie Kennedy, “If you bungle raising your children, I don’t think whatever else you do matters very much.” I have bungled many times. Thank you Jesus,for empowering grace covering every bungle! Our boys, I still call them boys, are now men, and I am so proud of them.
The Grace of God is something I cherish. For a long time, I struggled. I viewed God as a director. He was constantly directing my performance; and my performance was always lacking. I was striving for perfection, not in Christ, but in my flesh — which of course is impossible. When I saw for myself God’s love for me and that He was applauding me, for just being me, the mirror of performance shattered. I took His hand and began to dance. Life has certainly not been perfect, and neither have I, but I have learned to hold His hand and let Him lead the dance.
To all my fellow worship leaders, I have to say you just haven’t led worship until you’ve led in a prison service! This was a unique time in our lives. We raised up a church within the prison. We focused on leadership development as we raised up leaders in the inmate community church. They were the most exciting worship services I have ever experienced. We would joke that we had to go to prison to experience true freedom.
The most difficult and the most rewarding time of my life. For 10 years, Steve and I pastored Grace Awakening Church. We often say, “how we started was not how we finished.” We started the journey simply being obedient in what we knew about pastoring. By the time the journey came to a close, we were different people. It was here we learned to be a prophetic people. We merged prayer, praise and worship. We became Revivalists for the Kingdom of God. We also became sponges for learning and practicing what God was revealing. We now know God used this time, mostly in isolation, to train us and launch us into this next phase of ministry.
Owning a boutique, I have an excuse to shop. The best thing ever! I love fashion and accessories more than most, and I have the closet to prove it. Home décor is an amazing thing. Though a few years ago, I learned how to part with things I’d had for many years, I still enjoy shopping for the perfect piece or creating the perfect flower arrangement for my table. I remember a worship conference when Michael Farren said, "Every songwriter needs another creative outlet to fuel their writing abilities.” I believe this to be a fact. I’m a much better songwriter and musician, if I have another creative outlet. Can coffee be a hobby? Yes! I’m not a coffee connoisseur, but my favorite coffee is from our local diner. I love it in a thick white mug with a side of pancakes.
My business experience is in real estate and retail. I was a banker prior to opening a mortgage company. I enjoyed the fast-paced world of finance. I also like the community of small-business. To start with an abstract idea and take it to a storefront is one of the most rewarding feelings.
Now, with the launching of The Rising, we are moving into doing a podcast and blog. All we do is flavored by our spirit of entrepreneurship.
Fitness & Nutrition
Over the past few years, fitness and nutrition have become something I not only do because I need to but because I enjoy it. Inspired by our son, Andrew, a person trainer and nutritionist — he has pushed me far beyond what I thought were my limits. I found, like most things, the limits are in my mind. A few years ago, I decided at each birthday I would increase my fitness challenge. Age does not mean you have to diminish in strength and stamina. I do things now I couldn’t do 20 years ago. Nutrition has become a hobby. I enjoy learning new ways of cooking that better serve our waistline and our heart health. Don’t get me wrong. I still make the best biscuits and gravy in the county. But then again, some things never change!
I have read so many books where to begin! Some of the most impactful books in my journey early on were Joyce Meyer's Battlefield of the Mind and Chuck Swindoll's Grace Awakening. Anything written by Dr. Myles Monroe is on my list of must-reads. One of the most powerful of his books is The Power and Purpose of Prayer, and Kingdom Worship. The Chasing God series by Tommy Tenney inspired me to run hard after God. Most recently, I loved Authentic by LaMar Boschman. Much of LaMar’s book is taken from a class he teaches at Christ for the Nations (which I attended), the Theology of Worship.
So many movies! There is a joke in our family. If Twister is on, I will stop everything to watch it. Unfortunately, it is true. I have the lines memorized when Jo and Bill are fighting in the truck. “I’m a happy person!” and “I know her name!” There are things about that movie that reminds me of my Texas childhood. It's nostalgic. In the movie, Jo lost her Dad as a child too. Plus, I have memories of watching it when our boys were still children. You name it. Yes, I will stop everything to watch Twister.