My story…the long version…
I was born and raised in the sunny state of California. One of my fondest childhood memories is spending summer Mondays (my mom’s day off) on the sandy shores of Huntington Beach. This explains my love for the beach, warm weather and sunsets.
I was raised by my single working mom who made sure we attended the local Catholic Church. I remember studying the pictures on the wall of Jesus’ crucifixion and hating Pontius Pilate, thinking it was his fault Jesus died. Never realizing it was my sin He died for. In my junior high years I can recall thinking about confession, when I had the revelation (from God I’m sure) that I could go straight to Jesus, confess my sin and be forgiven.
I asked Jesus to be my Lord in 1979. My mom took me to a healing service at the same Catholic Church I grew up in; to get prayer for what the doctors thought could be a brain tumor. My mom and I were whisked off to a corner of the room where a woman said “Repeat after me” and unannounced to us, we prayed the sinners prayer! During the worship service I asked God if He was real (this is where I really got saved!) I said “My mom says you are everywhere, how can that be? Are you here right now? With me?” then said “If you are and you heal me I will serve you all the days of my life.” A few minutes later a man standing at the pulpit, whom I never met before, described my symptoms to a tee. I somehow went forward (I never have remembered getting out of my chair and walking up that aisle to the altar). My mom said a glow surrounded me and simultaneously she got filled with the Holy Spirit!
The next day we went back to UCLA Medical Center where they said “We just can’t find anything wrong with her???” I recall vividly once we were out of the building and in the parking garage my mom raising her hands in the air and saying her favorite statement “Praise the Lord!” Instantly I thought “She’s lost it!” Really she had found it! I, on the other-hand, made a deal with God, I told Him (what nerve) that I was going to finish High School, have my fun (drinking, partying, flirting and sex) then when I graduate I will start following Him. To my benefit He did not strike me dead right there and waited! The Sunday after I graduated He recalled the deal and by His grace I have been faithfully serving Him ever since.
The summer after I graduated we moved from Southern California to Santa Maria, California.
I married my husband John, in 1981. In the following months our family started to blossom. Our first child a boy—Joshua, the second a girl—Haylie Anne. We were all set, a boy and a girl—the American dream. We decided not to have any more kids until tragedy struck in 1986. Six weeks after her second birthday Haylie Anne suddenly died. Our “American dream” as well as our heart and lives, to say the least, were shattered.
In 1987 by God’s grace and mercy we proceeded to have five more children; Charles, Faith, Maddison, Parker and Silas.
In 1998 our family moved from California to Idaho.
I am blessed at current with four babygrands, Bryson, Sage, Robin and Haylie (due in Feb. 2017). All are a light and joy to our whole family! We have four married kids: Maddison married Trent Meistrell in 2011. We welcomed two beautiful women into the family in 2014. Our son Parker married Kaila Johnson, and Charles married Breann Hipwell. Also, in the summer of 2016 our daughter Faith married Micheal Garcia. We love and cherish them all and couldn’t be happier!
I am no stranger to heart ache—that’s for sure, however I don’t view heart ache as my companion but rather as the refiners fire, used to shape, forge and mold me into who God has always wanted me to be. What my adversary meant for my destruction God turned for my good.
I have to say I’m very strong-willed. God created me this way. The fire of adversity has caused my obstinate flesh to relinquish its self-will and yield to God’s will. The enemy had great plans for my strong will, but God had greater plans. Unsurprisingly, God’s plans have prevailed, making me very passionate about Him and about life.
This passion is evident in all I do, in the way I love, live and relate. In the tenacity that I love God, love my husband and kids, in the method in which I raised my kids, run my house and in the manner in which I worship, pray and write.
I have found that God is always interested in the heart of a person; likewise I can’t help but to see one’s heart and yearn for its wholeness. Wholeness which I ardently believe is found in intimate relationship with Jesus.
My life goal is to lead people into heart hydration where they can learn to trust God, strengthen their faith, and find Him in deep unwavering relationship. Therefore live whole, full, flourishing lives
My seriousness does know its limits and fun is quite often part of my life, as I am surrounded with a multitude of enjoyable practical jokers, my husband being the worst!
I home-schooled our kids for about 24 years! I loved it! The teaching component wasn’t exactly my favorite; it was the amount of time I got to spend with my children that brought joy to my heart.
My interests mainly include spending time with my family. In summer we love playing bocce ball and hang out together at our favorite park. We also love playing cards—or Bunko!
The whole gang.
When not speaking or writing I enjoy photography, reading, interior design and chatting over coffee or tea. I’m a hopeless romantic and love watching chick flicks or a good BBC film.
Writing is a passion that was hidden in the depths of my heart. I had a prophecy in the early 90’s that said I would write books about the Holy Spirit and children’s books. I hid that word in my heart allowing God to unlock my gift and fervor in His time. Self confidence issues kept me from allowing the gift to rise up. Finally God in no uncertain terms let me know that He would equip me to write and that I’d better get started! What I love most about writing is that God writes through me. I’m the instrument. When I’m done I just marvel— being the first to get to read what was written!
My life scriptures are Psalm 27:4, Galatians 2:20, James 4:7-10, Ephesians 1, Psalm 91, Isaiah 54, Isaiah 51 and Ezekiel 36:25-27.
Psalm 27:4-5 “One thing I have desired of the LORD, that will I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the LORD, and to inquire in His temple. For in the time of trouble He shall hide me in His pavilion; In the secret place of His tabernacle He shall hide me; He shall set me high upon a rock.”
Galatians 2:20 “I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.”
James 4:7-10 “Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Lament and mourn and weep! Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to gloom. Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He will lift you up.”
Ezekiel 36:25-27 “I’ll pour pure water over you and scrub you clean. I’ll give you a new heart, put a new spirit in you. I’ll remove the stone heart from your body and replace it with a heart that’s God-willed, not self-willed. I’ll put my Spirit in you and make it possible for you to do what I tell you and live by my commands. You’ll once again live in the land I gave your ancestors. You’ll be my people! I’ll be your God!”