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So Who Am I, Anyway?

About me photo
{My husband, Cameron, and I}

Born and raised in Iowa, I left the corn-state (which I love) to attend Taylor University in Indiana. In 1996 I met my future husband, Cameron on a blind date. In 2000 I graduated in with a BA in Social Work and Political Science. We were married two months later.

After settling in Nashville, Tennessee, where my husband was raised, I was hired as a Child Counselor. This position involved working closely with foster parents and troubled foster children (aged from babies to 17-year-olds) with a wide variety of physical and emotional issues.

I loved my job and loved my foster kids. Cameron and I are praying that soon we will be able to sponsor our own foster children, eventually adopting them into our family permanently.

In 2003 we moved to Wisconsin, and have been enjoying the snow ever since. (Especially my husband, who was excited to purchase a monster-horse power snow blower...for our 20 foot driveway. "It's to help the neighbors." and, in all has helped the neighbors...)

We have seen God's hand of blessing in this move. We've become involved in God's purposes by attending CrossWay Community Church, engaging with other believers in our Caregroup, and learning more and more about truth and grace through podcasts, books, and conversations (LOTS of conversations!). You can see some of those so-important resources here.

I do not cease to give thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers, that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you a spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of him, having the eyes of your hearts enlightened, that you may what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power toward us who believe, according to the working of his great might that he worked in Christ when he raised him from the ded and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places...
~ Ephesians 1:16-20

Our Lauren...

Our first, Lauren Brooke, was born on October 29, 2003 at a tiny-teeny 6.5 pounds. She's six now (did I just type that?) and is in Kindergarten. We are homeschooling this year (it's a long story), which has been interesting.

about me 5
As I type this, she and her sister Elena are dancing around the living room in their pink "ballet" costumes humming various songs. A normal activity for a very normal 6 year old girl.

Besides dancing, singing is her second favorite activity. Lauren's made-up songs are legendary in my extended family. Her key to success? Repeat the phrase over and over again until you can think of something else.

In this picture, she's showing off her first missing tooth. My father informed her the Tooth Fairy would pay her 5 dollars for her tooth. So, obviously, she was very excited. (Thanks Dad...the Tooth Fairy is sending you a bill...)

In a stroke of genius, my husband informed her that the first tooth was worth the most, because it was the first. After that, the going rate for well-brushed teeth is $.25 a pop. (whew!)

Our Elena...

Our second, Elena Marie, was born on March 3rd, 2007. She's an incredibly spunky 3-year-old. Right now we are learning to identify our ABC's and obey Mommy right away. The latter is by far the harder at this point! (To me, the three's are much worse than the two's.)

about me 6
We are currently in the throws of potty-training. We picked out some Tinker Bell underwear and Mommy is insisting on some plastic covers until we get it down pat. Man, I've forgotten how much I hate potty training... If I have to disinfect the bathroom floor one more time...(sigh)

She is the ham of the family, cracking jokes with her little lisp left and right. Having discovered recently that Mommy hates "thpiders", she constantly pretends to find "thpiders" everywhere, and then laughs uproariously when I overreact, which, of course, I do each time.

Who knew that those nasty, hairy, long-legged disgusting arachnids could bring me such joy? ;-)

A little piece of her personality can be seen in this photo. I have no idea where she dug up those goggles, but she wore them almost all afternoon, even through dinner.

Our Bella...

about me 7
Our Isabella Rose was born on December 11th, 2009 at a whopping 9 lbs 4 oz. Naturally, I think she's the most beautiful baby in the entire world. She has her sisters dimples and makes my heart melt every time I look at her.

She has started smiling and laughing, which pleases her sisters. They love to get on the floor and put there head right next to hers to see what she sees, play with the dangling toys and blow raspberries on her cheeks. She takes it all in good stride.

So far, I've been completely blown away with how easy-going she is. Finally! A personality from my husband!!! God knows I couldn't handle another strong-willed child like me!

She doesn't cry during baths, she doesn't cry when I'm sucking stuff out of her's amazing. However, be a little late with lunch and she'll bring down the rafters with her sreaming. At least we know her priorities!

I love those little cheeks! In fact, just typing about it makes me want to go up there, wake her up, and shower her with kisses...but then again... maybe I'll wait until naptime is over.

Our Perrin...

about me 8
Last but not least is our little Perrin Perrito (to be sung to the tune of Frosty the Snowman). Perrin is our shih tzu and he joined the family over Christmas in 2008.

He is the closest thing my husband will get to a son (at least for now) and he's meeting all my boy-expectations. He's incredibly hyper, refuses to cuddle, and runs around in circles in the living room.

He destroys my tupperware by chasing and barking at it around the house, and barks at everything even appears to be coming within 5 yards of the front window.

Yet, he is adorable (as the photo attests), potty trained (YES!), and the girls think he's hilarious. Every now and then he'll even calm down enough to let Cameron brush out his hair or me to rub his tummy.

He's definitely a blessing and a wonderful part of our growing family.

Pursuing Knowledge of Truth

The wise lay up knowledge, but the mouth of a fool brings ruin near. ~ Proverbs 10:14

My husband and I have a passion for knowledge. We also have a passion for truth. What sweet rewards lay for those who go mining for God's truth and His revelation! I'm constantly amazed by all the things I'm learning and have yet learn. All Truth is God's Truth. Since we believe that, we're not afraid to go searching into the depths of dark places for the Truths of the Scriptures to shine their flooding light.

Seeing that His divine power has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness,
through the true knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and excellence. ~ 2 Peter 1:3

I am convinced that truth must exist. Otherwise why do we exist? Why do we not murder our neighbors and steal from our friends? After all, if there is no "truth", than that moral assumption (that murder and stealing is wrong) is an abstract concept that has no meaning. And yet, ask anyone WHY murder and stealing is wrong, and they'll say "It just is."

But what is that truth (that murder is wrong) based upon? What makes us believe that life has value?

That there is more than life than just the random floating of particles. (For what value can there be in randomly floating particles?) That science can serve something greater than itself. (Science is not to be discarded, but used objectively. ) There is a God, and He thinks we have value. So much value, that He sent His perfect Son to die, to redeem for himself a people not rotting away from the emptiness inside, but who can be renewed day by day by the good news of the Gospel. A truth that I cling to every day - a truth that gives my life deep meaning and purpose (beyond a simple website!).

These PDF documents answer with detail some of the first questions many have when searching for Truth. (Note, you must have a PDF Reader to view them, if you don't have one, you can get Adobe Acrobat Reader here for free.)

Beyond these excellent 4-page pamphlets, the book The Reason for God: Belief in an Age of Skepticism is an entertaining-yet provocative book that everyone (including Chrsitians) should read.

Adding to Your Faith...Knowledge

Add to your faith, virtue, and in your virtue, knowledge..." ~ 2 Peter 1:5

As American Christians, the temptation to become theologically lazy is strong. Learning "why" we believe things is a lot of work! (Besides, American Idol is on...). Oftentimes I hear sermons and read books that are less interested in the deeper waters of "why" we believe something than the shallow waters of making us "feel good".

But good emotions only last so long. If your faith is built on "happy feelings," beware! Your house is built on sand and will wash away with the first storm life throws your way. When you are facing trials in life, those previous "good emotions" will be next to meaningless. What will get you through is a deep understanding of God's Word and the power of the Gospel to carry you through the fiercest storms. That comes from studying His Word, and how to use His Word in your daily life. The time to learn CPR is not when your child has passed out! Prepare ahead, and be blessed.

Cameron and I have delighted to discover (and me most of all) that learning about God (aka theology) doesn't have to be a boring! My husband will attest, I'm not much of a studier. I'm an action-girl. I like things that are interesting. These resources below have captured my attention and have taught me much about this great beautiful book (The Bible), and this great beautiful world we are called to be CHRISTIANS in.

(Note the emphasis. I'm not called to be a "kind person," I'm called to be "Christ's person". Which means I study the Bible to see what that being "Christ's person" looks like, and then behave that way in the world. - and yes, that does involve being kind. ;-)

Websites and Podcasts for Growth

  • ~ Challenging thinkers to believe and believers to think.
  • 9 Marks of a Healthy Church ~ How to determine if YOUR church is truly biblically-based.
  • Desiring God ~ Resources on how to enjoy God the way GOD intended you to enjoy Him.
  • Must the Sun Set on the West? ~ Series of 12 fascinating talks by an Eastern Indian discussing why Western Civilization has impacted the world so strongly and how the West may be slowly starting to fade away.
  • In the Public Square ~ Radio Show and podcast that exists to provide an intelligent and genial forum to discuss contemporary issues from a Christian perspective.

Biblically-Based Books Worth Reading (and Sharing!)

Someone I admire said once that if a "Christian" book doesn't make you want to read your Bible more, it's worthless. I'm sad to report that I've read a LOT of worthless "Christian" books. However, Cameron and I have found some real gems worth sharing.

I've hyperlinked all these books to so you can see and read more about them (if you're interested). Or, you can type the title into Google and search for them individually. I would strongly encourage you to add them to your personal home library. I promise they are worth it!

  • The ESV Study Bible ~ What could be better than to start with this? We love this Bible. It the most comprehensive study Bible ever published, and has over 2,752 pages of accessible Bible resources. This version was edited by much-respected theologians like Dr. Wayne Grudem and J.I. Packer. It's also a favorite version for John Piper, R. Albert Mohler, Randy Alcorn, Joni Eareckson Tada, and Nancy Leigh DeMoss.
  • The Reason for God: Belief in an Age of Skepticism ~ I love the way this theological book is written. It's funny, thoughtful, and full of great logical arguments for the existance of God.
  • Lifetime Guarantee ~ An old favorite that explains the amazing transformation that occurs when you accept Christ's sacrifice for your (and my) sins. Wonder why "Christianity" isn't working for you? Perhaps you're not looking at what "Christianity" really means. This book started a MAJOR paradigm shift for Cameron and I in regards to our walk with Christ.
  • When Sinners Say "I Do": Discovering the Power of the Gospel for Marriage ~ Another fun-yet-helpful book that we've used in our marriage to strengthen and sustain us through the difficult times and provide an outlet for praise and worship in the good times. Since we're ALL sinners, everyone who is married or thinking of getting married, can benefit from this book.
  • Don't Make Me Count to Three: a Mom's Look at Heart-Oriented Discipline ~ for when your baby gets a little older! God has used this book so much in helping us learn how to "train our children in the way they should go, so that when they are old, they won't depart from it." There is such sweet happiness in a life lived according to God's perfect will.
  • The Duties of Parents ~ this teeny tiny book (only 58 pages) has had a HUGE impact on how Cameron and I consider our...wait for it...duties as parents.
I'm SURE this list will grow, as we read and learn more and more. If you have a book you'd like to recommend, please let me know about it!


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