I was born in Rochester, Minnesota where my dad was in school at the Mayo clinic. But I was born again in California at Mt. Hermon Christian Conference Center when I was seven. God had blessed me with good, mature, Christian parents. I was the youngest child and have two older brothers.
One thing our parents believed strongly in was Christian schools. My middle brother and I were both sent to Christian schools at the age of 14. I took the train from Southern California to Orlando Florida to go to a boarding school called Hampden Du Bose Academy. I went all four years. Life wasn’t always perfect or easy but it was wonderful because I was exposed to great speakers such as Billy Graham and many of his team. I was introduced to great authors like Amy Carmichael, Hudson Taylor, and Elizabeth Elliot, who had been a teacher there years earlier, before she married Jim.
I found that the Lord was real and relevant and that He was always right there with me, even when my parents were 3,000 miles away. It was a good experience for me, although the discipline of a boarding school is not always easy. Difficult as it was, however, it prepared me with valuable and necessary life lessons that would serve me in the years ahead as a believer, mother and pastor’s wife.
Many missionaries sent their children to this high school and as I listened to their stories, they put me to shame with the sacrifices they had made in life. One friend, Marilyn, did not see her parents for four years because they were missionaries in Africa. Billy Graham’s daughters attended this school as well and two of them were my roommates. Although I was surrounded by amazing people, there was one girl named Lolly who was two classes ahead of me who made the greatest impact on my life. She caused me to realize that it is one thing to be saved and another to follow Jesus and give up your will for His will. It was because of her prayers for me for one whole year that I felt God calling me to full time Christian service. Lolly also was called as a missionary to South America.
I went on to Westmont College for 2½ years and then transferred to Point Loma and graduated from there. Don and I met at our church and were married our senior year. God had called him to the ministry shortly before I met him. We were headed down the same road and excited about our future. The following year we went to Bible College in England and then home to land in the middle of an exploding revival that would later be known as the “Jesus movement.”
We were on staff at Calvary Chapel in Costa Mesa, CA when Kay Smith, Pastor Chuck’s wife, came and taught a Bible study in our home. It grew so large that it had to move to the church. It was during this time that I fell in love with ministering to women. Kay, my mother, and mother-in-law were great examples to me of how to pray, what it looked like to have a heart for God’s Word, and how to practically show the love of Christ to the women in the church. Out of those experiences, the Lord has given me the privileged opportunity of heading up women ‘s ministries in the churches Don has pastored and sharing through the years at women’s retreats and couple’s retreats with Don.
The Lord gave us three boys that have given me countless illustrations and now grandchildren that do the same. It is not easy to be a wife or mother or woman in the crazy world we live in today but Jesus has answers for us. How grateful I am to Him and His precious Word.