Hi there. I am glad you’ve landed here. It’s a little challenging to introduce myself in the void of the internet, but here’s what I would tell you in person. I am:
- a mom of six of the most delightful humans I know
- married to my best bud (I know, I know, people always say that.)
- a lifelong Christian (regular style, but with kind of a quirky history)
- an analytical, curious type. I not-so-secretly want to be a PI.
- a Pacific Northwest girl at heart (weather and coffee and the beach, baby)
- a newbie sailor
- an extremely non-competitive runner
- an advocate for abuse survivors
- an interested conversationalist
- still figuring out what I want to do with my life
As far as the advocacy piece goes, it’s like this. I am first and foremost a wife and mom. God and I have talked a lot about this, because He basically tossed me willy-nilly into a space I really never planned on occupying. I am happy to be here, doing this work and finding my way forward, but I will always prioritize my family. My advocacy work may take a back seat, but it has become an important piece of my life and history. While I’m on the topic, let me add that advocacy is a newly emerging as a bright new, glitzy new, important new world that has not sorted its own principles out yet. It’s going to get pretty important for us who are serious about doing this well to figure ourselves out in the next few years. I do have some thoughts on that.
Speaking of thoughts, this online space is where I intend to gather mine. You’ll find a mix of things, but it’s going to include some things on advocacy principles, some old stories I wrote about my kids, and maybe some pieces about the travel we do as a family, or the sailboat we just bought. Most of my advocacy work the past few years has been over on Facebook, where I make it my mission to share accessible, shareable, easily absorbed excerpts from the books I read about abuse. You can click through to that page, here.
I also participated for a few years with my husband, Peter, and a good friend of ours in starting a non-profit called Awaken, dedicated to raising awareness about abuse in churches. Awaken is being dissolved as an active entity, but we put together quite a bit of educational material which is preserved online. You can find that here.
At the moment, the only explicitly advocacy-like work I’m doing is helping Peter and another friend co-facilitate a discussion group on recovering from spiritual abuse, over at Real Life on the Palouse, as part of their weekly Restoration Night.
The last five years of deconstructing and reconstructing has left us in possession of some surprising and important insights into the rest of life, like about church and parenting and relationships. Our parenting style has, in fact, changed almost completely between our firstborn and our lastborn (as the kids routinely point out); but I attribute the flourishing, trustful relationships we have with our kids to some of the changes we’ve made as a family. Our early years as parents weren’t terrible. We got a lot of helpful education and habits from our church at the time, along with a lot of authoritarian junk we’re still shedding and apologizing to our kids for. For entertainment purposes, you can read about the years in the trenches over here. I had very little time on my hands back in those days, but when I did, I wrote down the funny things our kids did. Please don’t hold me too responsible for all the mentions of swats and discipline — I wouldn’t do it the same way again.
With that, let me say again, welcome. I’m glad you’re here.