I spent my childhood in Portland, OR. My parents divorced when I was in fifth grade. A year later my mother met and fell in love with her partner. I grew up with my mother’s partner and the community of women that became a part of our lives. My mother and I have always been close- she is the greatest mother anyone could ask for! (Peeps, that’s no exaggeration.) It could be my “live in the moment” personality, but it seems that each year my heart grows closer to her. I consider her partner, now going on 25 years together, my dear friend. We see each other whenever we can squeeze in a visit, we enjoy holidays together and they are an important part of my children’s lives. I also have a wonderful dad! My parents worked hard to make sure that I didn’t lose a relationship with either parent after the divorce, and my dad’s involvement in my life has been irreplaceable. He blessed me with the gift of always being interested in my activities and who I was becoming throughout my life. I am grateful that we get to see him and his wife several times a year. They are wonderful grandparents to my kids.
I studied Asian Studies and Political Science in college– but most of that knowledge moved out when the child-rearing phase of my life moved in. I studied Chinese all four years– thankfully I’ve remembered much of that. After graduation, I was awarded a Fulbright scholarship so my husband and I spent our first year of marriage in Taiwan. I then worked at a Chinese adoption agency while my man got his Master’s degree at Denver Seminary.
We now live in Seattle where my husband is a pastor. (Is this the part of the intro where I say “I love my husband and he is one of God’s great gifts to me?” ‘Cause he is.) We have four children. We adopted our youngest from China in the summer of 2011. I get to stay at home and connect with other moms as together we figure out how to walk with Christ and raise our kids. When I’m not wife-ing, mothering, cleaning, cooking mostly-whole-food meals, hosting dinners and doing Women’s Ministry, I enjoy reading, sitting alone at Starbucks, walking with friends and shopping at Goodwill.
I became a disciple of Christ in high school and I don’t think it’s inaccurate to say that I was hostile toward Christians before that. (Just ask my now-best-friend. In a noisy scene at her locker I loudly and aggressively bullied her about how close-minded she was for being a Christian.) As I listen to many who wear the mantle of “Christian” it seems that the Jesus they describe looks like them- he loves everything that they love and demands no change of their thoughts or behavior. But the Christ of scripture does not look like us. He says that following Him means dying to me- my appetites, comforts, habits, and my natural tendencies. Understanding what Christ said about Himself and what the true Christian life entails will weave its way through many of these Blog posts.
As my Canadian cousin would say, “I have a foot in each bucket.” Today I carry that world of my childhood in my heart and relationships. I now also live in a world with Christ at the center and everything else as secondary. But the same Christ who said “I am not of this world” also moved into our neighborhood, and we are to go and do likewise. We are to be “in the world, but not of it.” We are to be separate, but involved. We are not to be “conformed any longer to the pattern of this world,” but we are called to love those in the world that God deemed precious enough to die for. To achieve this call, we need to be “transformed by the renewing of our mind” and have the Spirit of God in our every breath. God help us.