Wednesday, April 9, 2014

My life story... so far

I was born on Oct. 28th 1981. I am the oldest of three kids. My parents had been married five years before deciding to have children. My dad was 30 and my mom 25. Neither of them were Christians at the time. They had bought a farm straight out of college. 200 acres of wild rice. There was a little one bedroom home on that farm, and to this day, that is where my dad still lives! The house now has four bedrooms and two bathrooms. My dad has done a lovely job making it a wonderful place to go home to.

My little sister came almost exactly 2 years after me. Molly Nell. The Lord has done such great things in our relationship! We used to fight like cats and dogs. We both got saved around the same time...I'm getting ahead of myself here...I also have a sweet younger brother who has been a great "Uncle Boo" to my kids. Boyd overcame great odds at age 2 as he battled a whelms tumor (cancer of the kidney). He went through chemo and lots of radiation and is now 26 years old!

 My dear brother Boyd.

My sister Molly and I.

My mother was an alcoholic. It was a very rare evening that she wasn't plastered. I remember at times going to bed so angry at her... even embarrassed for her... and wanting to be angry at her in the morning to punish her some how for what I felt she was "doing" to our family... but when I woke up and found her sober it was like I just couldn't be mad... I really liked my mom sober and I remember always wanting to enjoy that short time I had with my sober mom in the morning before going to school... and so the cycle continued... sober in the morning, goes to work (she worked my whole life), she started drinking on the way home from work (and I found out later, at work), gets home, drank more, makes an elaborate and wonderful dinner, we all sit down to her hard work and can't be thankful because we are all too mad that we are forced to spend another night with a drunk. I remember being terribly embarrassed numerous times by my mother at school events, at our home when we I had sleepovers... I was humiliated by her childish behavior. I remember fearing for my friends' lives as we drove with my drunk mother through a twisty canyon... My mom loved us through food. It was her "love language" you could say. I remember choosing not to eat one time and it visibly upsetting her. I began "feasting" on her being upset and developed an eating disorder. In a weird way I was using my eating disorder to punish her but in the end it only messed me up.

My poor mom. One of the loneliest people I have ever met. I don't think even her very closest friends knew her that well... At some point I transitioned from seeing her as my mom, to a lost soul in desperate need of Jesus... that is when everything changed... that is when forgiveness flooded my heart and enabled me to see my mom as the Lord saw her. My anger suddenly turned to pity. My poor mom.... Isn't that sometimes how forgiveness comes? Through pity? Through sadness for someone else's life... their poor decisions...Pity can lead to compassion and we could all use more compassion. My mother needed to be right with her Creator. My mom died the day before she was supposed to come and stay with me to help me with my new baby. It was sudden. She had destroyed her heart and it gave out on her. I remember just feeling so sad for her. Feeling torn up inside that she never got to know God and allow Him to work in her life.... 

My mom and sister at my sister's wedding.

I have always been close to my sweet dad who became a born again believer my freshman year in high school. My dear dad was persecuted by his own family, his own children, for his faith and convictions. I remember mocking my dad on numerous occasions when he asked us to turn certain tv shows off because he thought they were an offense to the Lord. He did the very best he could raising us children to be in a home with love despite the woman he married. He is now married to a woman who loves the Lord with all her heart and she has been such a wonderful "Mimi" to my children.

Pictured on top: Mimi with Rhea, Molly and her youngest-Piper Jean and Me with my youngest, Charis. Pictured below that: My dad (aka: Poppop) with four of his grand-kids in the wheel barrel on the farm I grew up on.

When I went off to college at age 17 I couldn't shake my dad's faith from my mind. I tried to through drugs and a boyfriend but I couldn't forget what the Lord had done in my dad's life! While in college and living in rebellion toward the Lord I encountered different people He put in my path to remind me of Him and His best for my life. The Holy Spirit was working even though to the outside world it looked like I could care less about Christianity/God.

When I was 20 years old I felt like I was finally ready to surrender to God. All this initially began through a cult called: International Church of Christ which teaches you must be baptized in their church to be saved. A dear friend was driving with me to my baptism and she said: "Look, you don't have to do this. I just don't think this is right. Let's start over with the Lord together." I didn't get baptized that day and the Lord used her mightily to direct me to a bible teaching church: Calvary Chapel in Santa Barbara California. A year later I was baptized in the ocean by my pastor, Britt Merrick. I had left all that worldly lifestyle behind and had decided to follow Christ! Around the same time, like I was saying earlier, God was working in my younger sister's life and she too got saved! Because of Christ my sister and I are best friends. And now she is moving across the country to be in the same town as me with her husband and three precious children! God changes things. He renews relationships. He brings hope where there is none. He restores.

I spent the first five years of my Christian life wondering if I would ever get married... it seemed everyone around me was getting married left and right! I got impatient and settled, and started dating a non-believer.... it was the longest month of my life! I was in constant turmoil. I listened to ONE sermon that whole time on 1 Peter 2:11 which says: " I beg you brethren to not give into the lusts of your flesh that wage war on your soul." That was me. I was giving into the lusts of my flesh and there was a definite war on my soul. I broke up with that guy and told the Lord: "never again!" 3 weeks later Scott LaPierre and I reconnected after not seeing each other for 9 years! Scott and I grew up together in the same small town. Neither of us were Christians during school but the Lord had done a great work in our lives since and we were excited to meet again :) My whole family remembered him and they (except my mom) were thrilled to hear he had become a born again believer!

Scott and I talked for hours and hours on the phone and decided to see each other again. After only a month or so of dating we were engaged and then 7 months later we were married and 11 months later we had our first child, Rhea Grace :) Now he is a senior pastor of a church in south western Washington and we have three more kiddos with another on the way. Scott's parents also became born again believers about a year into our marriage and Scott got to baptize them both! How awesome is that?! Now they have moved to be with us here in Wa. We are blessed and thankful!

My wonderful in-laws at an anniversary party we threw for them a few years ago.

Our most recent family photo at home on the farm.

Everybody has a story. This is a condensed version of mine. I am so grateful to know God! So grateful for how He has worked and is working! So grateful that by simply trusting in His Son that He then came and worked and is working in my heart to change me into being more like Christ. I get to be with Him for eternity because of what Christ did on the cross. He is a good, good God!