I am a pastor’s wife and Bible teacher, and I help seekers of God know and understand who God is, so they can live the big life he has planned for them.
So You Can Know God
I understand what it feels like to long to know God and to feel like he’s near. I wish someone would have told me, when I first put my faith in Jesus, that it’s a journey to draw near to God. I wish someone had encouraged me along the way -that seeking God would require effort on my part that would be rewarded with an indescribable closeness with the Lord.
You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. (Jeremiah 29:13 NIV)
So I’m scooting up in my chair and leaning forward, to encourage you that God wants you to be close to him. He is eager for you to know him in a personal way. If you start looking for him, you will find him. And when you will find him, you will also discover the big life of joy and influence he has always intended you to have.
In July of 1977, I was eight years old when my pastor lifted me from the cold baptismal waters of the barely thawed Popo Agie River in Lander, Wyoming. My small church family was gathered on the shore with their hymnals, and they sang Shall We Gather at the River while someone wrapped me in a huge towel.
Shivering, I asked if I could go back to the car to get warm.
On the way to the car, I experienced a profound disappointment. I felt nothing after being baptized. I was no different except for being wet. What was the big deal about baptism if nothing special happened?
Where was God?
For most of the next decade I looked for God, anxious because my head was full up with information about God, but my heart felt nothing.
One day, in a high school biology class, I gave up on understanding cell division. My mind wandered, and once again I longed to understand this God who sent his Son to save me. I believed –believed in him with all my heart, but I wanted so much more than just that.
In that classroom, I prayed, Lord, I want to feel you. I want to know you.
The next summer I went to church camp, and there some precious folks taught me how to spend time with God every day, reading the Bible and praying. I got home and started to practice right away. At first, my time with God felt cold and mechanical, but then one day it didn’t. One day I was praying and God answered my prayer very specifically. One day I began to know the Lord, until I got to a place where I couldn’t remember ever not knowing him.
God wants us to boast that we know and understand him.
When we know him, we can live big lives that have a significant influence for the kingdom of God.
For this reason, I put my fingers on the keyboard a few times a week to brag –plain old boasting about how God has made himself real to me in the day. I share what the Lord is teaching me as I go through all the same things you do –relationship struggles, feelings of worthlessness that seem to come in like the tide, and general daily frustrations, delights, pains, and joys.
In the middle of all of these experiences God is real.
After 40 years of walking with God, my pantry has become well stocked with his great and precious promises -words that have given me everything I need for regular life. I hope you’ll come to the door of my blog post (the way my neighbor friend comes to borrow a cup of flour to make cookies), so I can share all this goodness with you.
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From Wyoming to Montana
I grew up in the small town of Lander, Wyoming, which boasts of one iconic Main Street and the best 4th of July parade you’ll find anywhere, with a high school marching band, real horses, and Native Americans sporting full beaded dress, all ending with a fireman shoot-out on 4th Street.
When I was growing up, Mom regularly would take me downtown to Ben Franklin’s department store, to buy me the latest Trixie Belden book. I would read until the sun went down, always begging for time to read one more chapter before lights out. A dictionary sat on the wooden shelf in our living room, used to settle disputes between my parents over word spellings and definitions, and we played “It Pays to Increase Your Word Power” out of Reader’s Digest when we went on road trips. This was the home where God shaped me to love words and the power of meaningful communication. Mom became a librarian when I was in middle school, and that fueled even more my love of books.
I attended the University of Mary Hardin Baylor in Texas where, in 1991, I got a degree in words and spoke I do to this fine man.
Now Matt is a preacher in the very church where he grew up, and I’m mighty proud of that. It’s my job to iron his preachin’ shirt and be ready with his evangelist hanky after a passionate sermon. The most romantic thing a couple can do is to work in tandem sharing the good news of Christ, and we make a good team. We recently celebrated our 30th wedding anniversary, and we say to one another, “I like you” every day.
I’m the women’s ministry director for our church, which is challenging and reward working. I find myself trying to make our large church feel like my little church in Wyoming.
Matthew and I live in Kalispell, Montana, where Glacier National Park is my backyard and Canadians come down to shop at my Costco. Occasionally that guy gets me outside, but mostly I’m indoorsy and don’t like nature touching me. I’d rather bake cookies and read books than enjoy the Montana wilderness the way most sensible people do.
In Big Sky Country, I am proudly the mother of this beautiful girl, Jayme, who became Mrs. Dylan Motley. We like him.
Just a few weeks after the world shut down due to Covid, Jayme and Dylan became parents to our first grandchild. What a joy this little guy was during a hard season.
I’m also mother to this tall guy.
Caleb was the man of honor at his sister’s wedding–one of my sweetest parenting moments ever.
A few years ago, Caleb married Mallory, who is a gem from Houston. She brings into our family every bit of charm you would expect from a Texas girl.
That is my story and a photo album of my sweet family. I always write about how God is working in my life, and certainly he has used my family to shape who I am, in the best of ways.
Thank you for stopping by. I pray God will encourage you, as we connect here and draw close to the Lord together.
I would enjoy hearing from you. Visit my contact page if you’d like to send me a personal email.