I’ve been a follower of Jesus since before I was a Christian. I know that sounds ridiculous, but it’s kind of true. I’ve wanted to be a missionary since I was in first grade, although I wasn’t saved until I was going into third grade. (I also wanted to be a concert pianist and have ten children. My mom says I made it about half way on each of those goals!) My natural tendency is to have compassion for people, and I saw those in foreign countries as needing something that I already had. Whether that was Jesus or just access to clean water and healthy food, I’m not sure. But I wanted to help others
.After I became a born-again believer at the age of 9, I began to understand that what all mankind needs is a spiritual birth into the family of God. No amount of medical care, health food, or social justice will change a man or woman eternally. Only God can do that. I wanted a deep, meaningful walk with God, so that my life could make a difference, but I didn’t know how to get that relationship .
I was raised in a different sort of situation than most. My parents, teenagers at my birth, divorced before I was two. My paternal grandparents took on much of my care and training, and eventually gained custody of me. But they didn’t keep me away from my parents. So, I spent years going back and forth from one place to another. I had three “homes,” each completely different from the others.
In one place, church was normal, expected. In another, no one went to church. Ever.
In one home, games were played. In another, the TV was always on HBO or MTV. In the third, we watched game shows on TV.
In one home, there were standards for dress, music, entertainment, and dating. In another, I was given free rein on all of these.
In some situations, I was the eldest child, sometimes of three or four, or as many as eight siblings and cousins, when the extended family was around. And at other times, I was the youngest child. Or the only child.
Sometimes I felt coddled and spoiled. And other times, I felt neglected and abandoned.
In my close family, I saw marriages that lasted 50+ years, but most lasted only a few. I saw addictions, abuses, teen pregnancy, abortion, suicide attempts, and infidelity. But God also allowed me to see redemption, restored marriages, healthy and healing relationships, and above all - His faithfulness and grace. If any life could be described as an oxymoron, mine certainly was. And that extended to my spiritual walk, as well. I wanted desperately to obey God and to follow Him. I prayed that He would allow me to do something for Him. And yet, at the same time, I was not faithful in reading His Word, and I was even less faithful in obeying it.
In spite of my sin and struggles, God brought me to a wonderful, godly man who loved me enough to make me his bride. Together, we have five children, which include a set of twins with a very unique birth story, one physically disabled daughter, only one son, a multitude of learning challenges and abilities, and a whole lot of love and fun! Training and discipling these five blessings has been the greatest challenge, the most vigorous pruning, and the deepest joy of my life. I often think that they raised me, rather than the other way around!
My husband has always had a heart for ministry and serving others. As a child, he struggled in school and felt that he was stupid and unusable in the Lord’s work. But through college and early in our marriage, God revealed to Mike that he is useable - because he is willing. Mike has tremendous gifts in the areas of building, construction, and logic to figure out good solutions to big problems. As a result, he has been serving as a helps missionary around the country and the world for nearly 25 years. Most of our lives are spent “on the road,” as we travel and build for others in the ministry. You can imagine, this has given us our fair share of unique opportunities and experiences.
Throughout the journey of ministry, marriage, and parenting, the Lord brought me to several sources of deep, purposeful Bible teaching that transformed my life. First, my husband. He is a godly man who practices what he preaches. The impact of his example in my life is immeasurable. There are so many truths about God that I understand better as a result of having lived life and experienced ministry with Mike. Then, expository, biblical preaching in my local church, personal Bible study, ladies’ retreats that paired doctrine with practical advice from God’s Word, and even seminars that were designed to teach me how to counsel others biblically all worked together in my life. Actually, it was God Himself, through His Word (His revealed will to man) that changed me.
Now I began to understand better the big picture of the Bible. God loves me unconditionally, despite my sin. He sent Jesus to take my punishment and restore me to fellowship with Him. In return, I want to love God and serve others. Don’t just hear the Word, obey it. All for the glory of God. These big truths permeated my heart, soul, and mind. And so I began to teach it to my children. Homeschooling turned from a drudgery to a delight when I recognized that my duty as a mother was to instill these principles in my children’s hearts so that they could have a growing relationship with God, too.
As my children matured, they would bring their problems - or their friends’ problems - to me. The Lord impressed on my heart that every problem has an answer in the Scriptures. So, I purposed to not address any issue without a Bible principle and verse. Sometimes, a verse would just need to be mentioned once. Often, we parked on a particular passage for a long time. “Be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you,” seemed to be on our minds and lips for years as we raised our kids! (And it seems that a lot of the turmoil in our country could be eliminated through these basic principles, too!)Also, as a result of our ministry of helps, we traveled frequently and met many, many pastors and wives. We were in churches good and bad, but we learned from them all. Many times, ministry couples would share their burdens with us. I am so glad that they could do that. I believe it helps to hear an outsider’s perspective, especially in a hurtful situation. But again, God was teaching me more about Himself and His Word and how to apply it to situations that come into our lives regularly.
God has burdened my heart to share those truths with others; therefore, I am starting this online ministry for women. Not for pastor’s wives exclusively, although I hope many will join us. Not for missionaries exclusively, although I believe they need encouragement as much as, or more than, anybody. Not just for new believers or stagnant Christians. Not for the old or the old- fashioned, nor for the young and trendy.
But for women. All women. Like you.
In today’s world, very few women stay in their hometown. Most don’t have the regular input of a godly mother or grandmother. I dare say, most don’t have the input of any other Christian woman. Or if they do, the contribution is shallow. I envision ThinkBible.online as a community of women who are walking with Jesus in all ages and stages of life. My goal is that the resources here will challenge, edify, and encourage ladies - will encourage you - to think about each aspect of their lives in light of the Bible, and then to obey the truths learned therein, all for the glory of God.
Let’s go deeper into God’s Word together.
Let’s grow together.
Let’s love and serve others together.
And as we do, may God receive all the glory for His fruitful work of grace in our lives!