Where you live: Currently in Michigan while my husband is in school, but California is home.
What you do as a vocation or avocation?
I'm licensed as a registered nurse, but currently as a stay-at-home mom there's no job description that does NOT fit me in some way!
Your two favorite books:
Besides children's books? Let's see.... The Bible. Everything in my life goes smoother when I'm reading it on a regular basis. It's hard to choose besides that, but I would say the one that has most recently really inspired me is "The Journey of Desire" by Jim Eldredge. Eldredge convinced me that my deepest unmet desires are not thorns to torment me, but seeds to keep me hungry for Life as it was meant to be. I needed that.
Your two favorite songs:
"I Will Go" by Steve Green: All I ever wanted to do in life was be a missionary. I've been "where there are no easy roads" and I can hardly stand to be living the easy life when so many people in this world live with need that is so wide open and hungry and painful. I feel that I owe the world a debt of kindness for all the love and generosity that have been shown me. I'm SO privileged, and I can't keep it to myself. My life is not my own, and what makes me happy, what fills me with passion, is to be poured out.
"You are Loved: Don't Give Up" by Josh Groban: When I'm having a rough day, feeling lonely or rejected, I turn up the itunes and let Josh Groban remind me not to give up because I am loved. No one could say any greater words to me than are written in that song. Josh Groban doesn't know me, but God talks to me through his amazing voice and lyrics.
Why you are interested in spirituality?
I guess I'm not, really. Spirituality is a hunger that drives people to something more than what is tangible: I'm mostly interested in what satisfies that hunger. Personally, I've never found anything satisfying besides the God of the Bible. As uncool as it sounds, I don't really believe it's all about the journey. Sure, there are treasures along the way, there are morsels to whet my appetite, but what keeps me going is my hope in a banquet that is waiting at the end of the line.
Your favorite quote:
"And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes, and there shall be no more crying, neither sorrow, nor death, for the former things are passed away." Revelation 21:4
Your favorite web sites:
Facebook. Embarrassing, but true.
My Mother. This woman gave birth to four children naturally, two of us born at home, and to hear her talk about it, nearly every moment raising us was an absolute pleasure! At 39 she lost her husband and two older sons in a tragic accident. She went from being a very contented, behind-the-scenes, stay-at-home mom and supporter of my dad, to taking over his video production work. She carried her own grief and that of my brother and I (at the time ages 7 and 8), and never lost her faith. She never lost her beauty, gentleness, or her love for people. Twenty-two years later she is as full of life and joy and dignity and faith and wisdom as ever. And as graceful as she is in the public eye, she's just as good at hiking mountains and climbing trees. I'm so honored to be able to call her my friend and mother!
A spiritual lesson you hope to learn?
That I am loved personally, deeply, actively by God. I think I could be at peace through nearly any kind of turmoil if I could accept that in my heart as I believe it in my head.
A place in the world where you feel spiritually "connected?"
In the woods. I grew up in a small town near Napa Valley, in a simple house under towering pine trees. Our family spent lots of time exploring the woods, and my mother was always pointing out God's handiwork to us. As a college student I found solace and inspiration in long hours spent alone in the forest. There I feel that I am on the threshold of heaven, and I've never found another setting that brings the same sense of quiet rest. The sea is a close second, though!
Editor's Note: Artwork above by Adel Arrabito Torres. Adel blogs at: http://thisjourneymyhome.blogspot.com