Thursday, July 2, 2009

e-Mom's Bio

Likewise, teach the older women to be reverent in the way they live, not to be slanderers or addicted to much wine, but to teach what is good. Then they can train the younger women to love their husbands and children, to be self‑controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind, and to be subject to their husbands, so that no one will malign the word of God. (Titus 2:3-5 NIV)


Behind the Scenes at Chrysalis

To my great delight, my time to serve God as a “Titus 2 Woman” has finally arrived! I have thirty years of church sermons behind me, plus countless small group Bible studies tucked in the pockets of my jeans. I also have four years of intensive study with Bible Study Fellowship to my credit (1987-1990). In 2004, I completed a series of seminars leading to Certificates in Christian Foundations and Christian Ministry through the Koinos-Pacific Association for Theological Studies.

The Word of God has continued to beckon me like no other volume of history, poetry or prose. In the spring of 2006, I deepened my theological knowledge at Northwest University achieving a Certificate in Christian Faith and Practice. What a privilege! I’ve discovered the Bible is like a fine tapestry, unsurpassed in its beauty, majesty and truth. The depths of God’s Holy word seem inexhaustible, and so is the rich and abundant life that God has given me.

I became a Christian in my senior year of high school, a naïve eighteen year-old, perched on the shimmering brink of adult life. Although I was the school’s student council Vice-President, a cheerleader, and a straight-A student, I teetered on the brink of despair for several months that year. After five years of escalating conflict, my parents’ marriage finally collapsed. My father left our household to accept a position overseas, and my mother—with three children still at home—was devastated. With nothing left to lose, I looked out and up. Soon, the God of the Universe began to wink and beckon. When I heard the Gospel message presented at a Young Life camp called Malibu Club that spring, I nodded, knelt, and claimed his gracious promises as my own.

During my years as an college undergraduate I decided to give back to my community by serving as a Young Life Club leader. It was thrilling when for the first time, two teens in the YL Campaigner Bible study I led accepted Jesus Christ as their personal Lord and Savior. During that period, at a leadership camp at Malibu, I met a dynamic Christian guy who was studying psychology at Seattle Pacific University. We enjoyed an exciting long-distance international romance, and my husband and I were joyfully married soon after we graduated.

For five years after our wedding, I combined my B.A. in Fine Arts (Western Art History) and some evening interior design courses at Highline Community College into a satisfying professional career. I served as a commercial Interior Designer for two of Seattle’s largest architectural firms. My project list included stores, offices, banks, and hospitals. During that period, we were active in our church, and my husband was ordained as an elder. For several years, we happily invested all of our spare time into caring for our local church family. Without a doubt, the highlight of our early marriage was the weekly home meeting we hosted together in our modest two-bedroom apartment.

Eventually, my husband and I began to talk about starting a family. After a routine gynocological exam, my doctor called me at my office with some shocking news. The results of my pap smear looked suspicious, and a subsequent office biopsy spelled out the bad news all too clearly. The lab report said simply: carcinoma in situ. My physician explained that cancer of the cervix had advanced to the worst stage possible—a class IV—and I would need surgery immediately. Our Christian friends prayed fervently and so did we. The morning
I was wheeled into the post-op area after my conization my doctor was unusually tender. A Christian believer himself, he smiled, took my hand and whispered very softly in my ear, We couldn’t find any cancer.” Sure enough, several days later, when I read the lab report, I saw those four beautiful and humbling words: no evidence of malignancy.
God had touched me with His supernatural healing power.

After that dramatic event, we decided to begin our family right away. Our daughter arrived within the year, and exactly three years later—almost to the day—our son was born. Hungry to recreate the family life I had lost to divorce as a teen, I made the decision to leave my interior design career and stay home full-time with our precious babies. Not long after that, by the grace of God, we were able to purchase our first house. After scouring many of Seattle’s suburbs, we eventually spotted a charming 1909 “fixer-upper” in a pleasant urban neighborhood. For nearly three years, I continued to practice my design skills residentially, as we painted and pounded countless nails to make our dream home a reality. Between diaper changes and feedings, I also found myself providing free design services for friends and neighbors.

Unlike most of my Boomer career-minded peers, I discovered that I was thriving as a stay-at-home Mom. To help pay for the mounting expenses of raising our family, I decided to put my teacher/administrator gifts to work. I began a small Montessori-style pre-school in our kitchen for a handful of children, including my own two. As our children grew, I developed a successful after-school art program which I ran out of our basement studio. During this same period, I was able to further supplement our income by serving as a host mother to several foreign college students who had come to the Pacific Northwest to study English. A total of five lovely Japanese women lived with us for approximately six months each.

Our children eventually grew beyond the need for supplemental art education, so I redirected my creative energies toward supporting my husband while he developed our home-based business. I continued my involvement in my children’s education as a classroom volunteer, helping with numerous school activities including parties, field trips, and fund-raising activities. Fast forward ... It's hard to believe, but over the course of the past four years, we have launched our children into the wider world of grown-ups. Both our kids are now college graduates, and one has married. As a couple, we're currently experiencing the bitter-sweetness that accompanies a happy long-term marriage and an empty nest.

My big dream is to write e-books for the Christian non-fiction market. As a veteran wife, mother, designer, and teacher, I feel the Lord has given me much wisdom to share with younger Christian women. My desire is to develop my writing skills and deepen my faith in order to become an anointed Bible teacher and marriage mentor.

From its small beginnings as an outreach to young Moms in 2006, Chrysalis weblog has grown into a community of women that spans the generations. A growing number of Gen X, Y and Boomers regularly subscribe to Chrysalis, and many also take the time to comment on the topic at hand. A unique group of married women has also developed through our Marriage Monday meme, which I'm privileged to host on the first and third Monday every month. I’m truly honored to have the opportunity to meet so many wonderful blogging Moms (and Dads) in cyberspace.

One last thing! You might be interested to know about my e-store, Susannah's {Kitchen}. It's inspired by the legendary homeschooler Susannah Wesley, who flipped her apron up over her head to pray. You'll find a variety of retro-chic vintage aprons for sale, recipe sharing, and reviews of top kitchen gadgets.


Thank you for reading all the way to the bottom of this bio.
I hope you now have a better idea of the person behind the screen at Chrysalis weblog.


Many blessings to you,

e-Mom



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