I grew up in a place called Plain Grove. Technically, it’s a village. Descriptively, it’s a long stretch of farmland. It’s spotted with deciduous forests and the occasional creek-carved valley.
The first twelve years of my life, I thought living among the plains and the groves implied that we were plain people. Farm people. People who shop at Cliff Pollock’s general store and pick up penny candy for the kids in the meantime. People who make time for sitting on porches, smoking pipes, and damming up creeks for swimming holes.
The nearest town to Mom and Dad’s red farm house on the southern end of Plain Grove is called Slippery Rock. The town’s name is derived from a winding creek that holds true to its name – albeit, no more than any other creek. Now that I have a husband and children of my own, I make my home on the border of Slippery Rock and Plain Grove.
God led me to my husband in the shadow of Granite Creek Canyon, not far from Jackson Hole, Wyoming. We’re both from Pennsylvania, and it’s always been a mystery as to why God led us to meet in Wyoming. We met when my friend Michele and I visited the American Wilderness Leadership School, where we both worked in a past summer. Darrell was working there, and I was captivated by his blue eyes and his love for God. We were married two years later, in 2006, and we chose to leave the Rockies and settle in Pennsylvania.
We moved into our home in Slippery Rock in 2010, when I was six months into the longest pregnancy I swore there ever was. Bekah was born in November. Caleb came close to four years later. As I think about the timeline of my life, I am immensely thankful for this family and for the calling on my life in this season.
Ten years ago, it was all much different. Ten years ago, I was in the thick of my career as a special education teacher – Life Skills Support, senior high. It was a humbling career, weaving humility into the fabric of my being with each day. I taught students with mild to moderate disabilities, and I loved the students. There were aspects of managing it all that wearied me, but mostly, I appreciated it. The season lasted almost eight years: long enough to plant my feet in the soil of the district, attain a master’s degree in education, and join Christ in washing the feet of a few disciples.
My years in the classroom were coupled with work as a youth leader at a church down the road from the school. I spent my weekdays in the classroom and my evenings and weekends watching sporting events, sharing coffee, taking walks, attending weekend retreats, and joining teens on mission trips. Investing in the lives of teens fueled my passions for life, God, and serving others.
Shortly after Bekah was born, I cut back on the weekend and evening commitments. The teens I mentored through the youth group were growing into young women with careers, husbands, and children of their own. This is the season in which we’re living abundantly now.
I write part-time, mentor younger women part-time, lead Bible studies, and love being a wife and a mom. My passion is to walk closely with Christ and share his love with the world.
I’m convinced that most of us lack the deep fulfillment we crave in life because we’re looking in the wrong directions. We search for fulfillment through our careers, and we hope to find satisfaction through success, entertainment, material possessions, relationships with other people, food, hobbies, wine, and more. None of these pursuits ultimately leave us with lasting satisfaction because we were created to crave communion with the God of the universe.
This space is dedicated to examining the ways we encounter God in our ordinary lives. It’s one woman’s journey toward encountering him in a way that’s deeply satisfying and wholly fulfilling. Thanks for joining me.
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