Meet Our Team
Let’s just get it out there, I love Hallmark Christmas movies. If you want to know me, I’ve got to be real. Let’s hope this doesn’t mean I have to turn in my man card.
Stuff You Might Want to Know
I’m also a huge sports fan. I watch college football every Saturday in the fall, with special attention on my Auburn Tigers. My family can quiz me on scores from my childhood and usually, I can remember. Wake Forest game, 1969? 57-0, Auburn. Clemson, same year? 51-0, Auburn. I was seven.
I remember the Clemson game because my family went to the Holiday Inn for dinner on Friday before the game and they ran out of apple pie. The Clemson players ate it all. We returned the favor on Saturday.
• Dad Jokes
• Watching golf
• Football, but you already know that
• Morning coffee with my smoking hot wife, Jennifer
• Reading a great book
What Revs My Engine
Working with life-affirming ministries both as a speaker and as a specialist with Heartbeat International, one of the greatest organizations in the world. If you know these people, you’re blessed.
Speaking at events. I speak at a lot of fundraising events, and travel about half the year. It’s a blast to meet new people and see God working with and through them.
Writing about faith and life in a transparent way. I’m no theologian, but the stories of Biblical characters captivate me because these people are so real. And, we can see a lot of the same stories today; which is what this site is all about. When we are transparent about our stuff, others connect. It’s what I try to do when I write.
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I am passionate about real change. My own life has been powerfully transformed by the love and mercy of God.
Where My Heart is: Family
My husband Kirk, and I live north of Nashville and have five children ranging in age from 9 to 28. Our home is currently shared with three of our children, a cat named Meatloaf (named after the singer not the food), a dachshund named Aubie (named after my husband’s beloved Auburn Tigers), and my 88-year-old mother-in-law who keeps us all on the straight and narrow.
What I do: Teach
I currently homeschool our two youngest boys and love the range of children I am blessed to interact with in a homeschool cooperative (a motley crew of sixteen families). They are our ‘peeps’ and we love doing education and life with them.
My fifteen years as a high school teacher exposed me to so much within the human experience from my work with immigrants, refugees, and highly at-risk youth, to the other extreme of walking alongside incredibly high achievers who surpassed me in their knowledge and insights. Most of my students were normal kids trying to stay afloat within the drama of high school. I loved every one of my more than 3,000 students, and I am certain I learned more from them than they ever did from me.
What Gets Me Excited: Change
I am passionate about real change. My own life has been powerfully transformed by the love and mercy of God. I am on a journey with Jesus that continues to challenge me and bring radical change into my every day, while at the same time drawing me closer to the One who gave me life. I am proof, that it doesn’t matter where you’ve been or how bad you think you are; the God who created you can bring real and lasting change; I can’t help but share this grace.
What Makes Me Tick: Random Stuff
- A book that changed me is Enemies of the Heart by Andy Stanley.
- My favorite daily activity is my morning date with Kirk; we sit in the two well-worn chairs at the end of our bed, sip coffee, and ponder life.
- I have held a lifelong dream to travel to all fifty states; 45 under my belt and 5 to go. I love any travel adventure, but in my heart, I will always be a Southern girl.
- In the spirit of Outliers, I have spent 10,000 hours working with children as well as speaking. Most of my experience speaking has been in small group settings of 5 to 25, but I have also spoken to audiences of over 5,000. Ironically, if I am conversing with a stranger, especially about a topic that isn’t my thing, I can become an internal mess. How ridiculous is that?
- I can’t stop listening to The Greatest Showman Soundtrack.
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I grew up in Alabama and still firmly believe winter should never dip below 50 degrees unless there is some snow to show for it.
My husband Matt and I love to travel – in our three years of marriage we have made it to San Francisco, CA, Seattle, WA, Portland, OR, Kennebunkport, ME, Charleston, SC , Disneyworld, Boston, MA, and many, many more. Currently we are planning a train trip around Italy, a road trip through Canada, and a hiking trip to all of Utah’s national parks. Who knows where we will head next?
My dream house is a tiny log cabin, customized to keep my two fur children, Hank and Flynn, comfortable.
What am I passionate about?
Real life and big, loud love. I’ve spent too much time just studying Jesus. Jesus didn’t die for us to learn more facts about him, he died for us to recklessly chase after him, leaving a burning trail of love behind us wherever we go. I’m passionate about making every, single person feel like they have room at this table. I’m passionate about enthusiastically inviting everyone into this adventurous life he calls all of us to.
Where can you find me?
Usually doing yoga somewhere, writing, reading, or playing music. I am passionate about yoga – for me, it’s one of the most effective ways for me to quiet my soul and spend time talking to Jesus on my mat. Plus, the breaking a sweat isn’t bad either! You can also find me attempting to hone my musical skills at the piano, singing and playing all kinds of tunes.
What inspires me lately?
- The Greatest Showman
- Actually, most Disney princesses
- Bethel worship music
- The sheer happiness of my puppy, Hank
- Bob Goff’s, Love Does
- Yogis on Instagram
- And of course….coffee.
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I’m the self-proclaimed nerd of the team, with an electrical engineering degree from the University of Tennessee, making me a VFL (Vol For Life). For those who don’t know, this means I own several pieces of clothing which some would say is the most obnoxious orange on the planet. However, Tennessee fans wear it proudly.
Video games. Currently this means Overwatch on my Xbox. My friends will say I’ve bragged about reaching a competitive ranking of “Masters.” However, because almost none of my friends play video games, this means absolutely nothing to them (or you probably), but they are nice enough to feign interest.
Board games. While my wife Laura doesn’t share my love for video games, we have a joint love of board games. We enjoy hosting game nights at our home, and if you meet us you can almost guarantee you’ll get a Game Night Invite at some point. Our favorites right now include Ticket to Ride and Settlers of Catan. When you join us however, don’t ask to play Monopoly. Laura and I have a competitive side and we jokingly call Monopoly, “The Marriage Ruiner.”
In addition, I’m learning guitar. Five weeks into learning at the time of this writing (2/11/2018), I’m having a blast. My goal is to one day be able to play alongside Laura while we worship.
1st Faith Team
I’m thrilled to be a part of the 1st Faith team. Here, we believe faith is simple and one of the ways we grow our faith is through true connections with others. As an only child, I see one of the beautiful things about Christ is that we can be brothers and sisters in him. That is a big family (and one that we want to be bigger).
What this means is that I have a lot of brothers and sisters that I know nothing about, so I look forward to more true connections through 1st Faith. A true connection is a two-way street, so I want to hear from you.
I want to experience life with as many of you as possible (both the highs and the lows), because through the story of your life there is another parallel story at work: The story of how God is working in you and through you.
A part of 1st Faith is about looking into the beauty of that story and using it to grow not only our own faith but the faith of others around us. So, I want to connect, chat, and get to know you. Feel free to reach out. Let’s see where this adventure of faith takes us.
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