Here are the tangibles.
I grew up on a farm in the heart of the Midwest. My childhood included loving parents, 2 younger brothers, and a tiny, tiny loving church. I graduated from high school with 20 other students in my class, located in a “village” of about 850 people.
Yes, I was sheltered. 🙂
My childhood did not, however, include a lot of things. My parents started with basically nothing except a powerful work ethic. Dad worked for (and then eventually with) a local farmer, raising crops and cattle. My Mom went to work at a nearby grain elevator so that we would have health insurance (and later on afford family vacations too). My younger brothers are both talented, inspiring men who constantly challenge me to go deeper. (Married to amazing women, I might add. Our family is cool.)
My husband, often referred to here as The Builder, is a hard-working, talented, self-employed contractor. After college and the start of our careers, we came back “home” to no-man’s land (rural-living) around our 7th year of marriage because this is where his business was thriving. He built us a house (that story here) -with help from our supportive families- over the course of three years. That was straight-up insane. We have three incredible children that keep us busy and regularly baffled. I like to speak highly of my husband and kids, but we come with our own built-in baggage and issues. Our marriage has not been perfect, but the God of our marriage is. Because of the grace of this God, we are still married. Whew! Thank goodness.
The Lutheran church is where I was raised, but I was also heavily influenced by a local non-denominational Bible church where I was part of the youth group. I’ve had exposure to many different church bodies and joyfully appreciate the community church provides. Our current Lutheran church community is a powerful force for good in our lives and I cannot imagine where we would be in our marriage or daily lives without it.
How I Got Here
I taught High School English for over 6 years until giving birth to baby girl #2 and having a melt-down to my husband about how there was no way I could work full-time and be a mom and maintain my sanity. He was disturbed but kept it together and agreed we would look into options. Up until that point it had NEVER been our plan to be a one-income home. But I felt like a train-wreck already, and couldn’t bear the thought of pretending like that was working for us.
Making the move to stay home was one of top-five scariest moments of my life. Moment? I meant over-a-year-long assault on my self-esteem and self-concept. When we made the metaphorical move to one-income, we also made a physical move away from our dream-home and the community we had grown to love. We moved “home” (which is bitter-sweet) to an itty-bitty house. New part-time job on the low-end of the totem pole, part-time home with whiny toddler and new baby fighting ear infections, away from my friends and anything that made me feel of value. We were and remain very thankful for the home we had to live in during that time. But it was tough.
I desperately wanted us to buy a house and when we finally found something we were going to start working on, the blog Home Building was born. There’s a lot more to that story. But I named it home building, because I had finally seen the value in my job as a home builder – at home with my kids, creating a home where my family could rest in the peace and love offered there.
In addition to homemaking more than I ever had before (or at least trying to), I worked various part-time jobs to make ends meet, and continued doing some speaking here and there as I had been for years. Over time the blog was growing and I was being encouraged to do more speaking. The things I was learning as I struggled through our messy life as a family, were providing me with more than enough content to share. A couple years ago I realized that my speaking and writing was more than just a stress reliever or a special occasion a couple times a year. They were of value to people! This was a crazy shocking revelation and one that continues to baffle me. But God has made it clear He has something up His sleeve with this business. So I’ve been working towards this moment of risk-taking. (Not a strength of mine.)
Sharing our stories is of infinite value because when we share our stories we create connections with each other, encourage each other, and find relevance in our own story. That’s why I share mine. I’ve seen authenticity beget self-worth and more authenticity when shared among friends. Or strangers.
She Finds Truth
That’s one of the truths I’ve discovered. There are others too and so when I decided to tweak the blog and really focus in on speaking, She Finds Truth made sense.
That brings us to today. She Finds Truth is a place where I’m processing the Truths I’m discovering as I wade through the daily messes that I can’t seem to shake. I would love to have you join me regularly. If it turns out we are going through the same messes at the same time, we can lift one another up. That’s my favorite part.
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. For as we share abundantly in Christ’s sufferings, so through Christ we share abundantly in comfort too.” 2 Corinthians 1:3-5