I was born at a young age (my dad's joke), in Concord CA. I was the youngest of four kids, two girls and two boys. Dad was a truck driver for Beacon Oil for most of his career and Mom was a house wife/homemaker, at least that's what they called them back then. My mom already had two girls when she met my dad, and Dad was married before but had no children. Mom was under the impression that Dad couldn't have kids, and that was just fine with her. Her quiver was full with her two little girls. So they wed, and about two years later, Mom found out she was pregnant with my older brother. Dad was in hot water over this, but of course, my brother was a welcome addition to the family when he arrived. About two years after that, mom was pregnant again with your's truly, and pretty much wanted to strangle my dad. Yet, growing up I never felt I wasn't wanted, or at least my therapist says I shouldn't feel that way.
We moved to Antioch, CA when I was three. There were a lot of families on our street and kids right around our ages so it was a great place to grow up. Riding Bikes, trick or treating, playing hide and go seek, birthday parties, comic books and swimming pools are all fond memories of my childhood.
I was fortunate enough to attend the same elementary school from kindergarten to 6th grade. Go Turner Falcons! I was unfortunate enough to attend Junior high at all. Hated that place with a passion. Some of the same kids I went to grammar school with turned mean. Labels were placed on everyone. Judgement was passed based on the clothes you wore. Pretty much the worst three years of my life. It felt like forever when I was living it, but I look back on that time and know it adds to the person I am today, so I don't despise it.
High school was a little better. The mean kids from Junior high kind of ignored me in high school, which was fine by me, but I was coming into my own. I took art classes all throughout high school and had a real knack for drawing. I had been doodling from a very young age, mostly superheroes, and I just kept right on going with my art work. As a kid, you couldn't find me without a drawing tablet. So I thought I would have some sort of a career in art or design. I also enjoyed drama and acted in a couple plays my Sr. year.
I wasn't really prepped by my family to go to college. My folks just wanted me to get a good paying job since they both came from very humble beginnings, so I worked at the grocery store in town for several years until I realized I was cut out for a little more than stocking shelves and checking groceries.
When I was 21, I enrolled in community college with a big plan to exit my well paying job to go off to Bible college. Didn't really know what I was going to do once I got there, but I knew I wanted to go. Finally, at the age of 22, I was an official Freshmen at Bethany College in Scott's Valley, CA. In the four years I was a student there, I made some of the best friends I could have ever hoped for and had some incredible encounters with God that have shaped me into the person I am today. I met my beautiful bride there, though we didn't start dating until after we both graduated.
I earned my BA in Church Leadership (ministerial) and was hired at a little church in Cupertino, CA as the music and young adults pastor. I spent almost 17 years of my life at that church and had a wealth of experiences there, from kids ministries to choir, and from Christmas productions to youth pastor. My three beautiful kids also came into my life while I was there and I wouldn't trade those experiences for anything, the good times, and the bad. Again, both have contributed to who I am today. I try to embrace that which is trying to kick me in the gut because I'm going to learn soething very valuable from it if I let myself.
Today I am working on a ministry with my wife called "Missionaries to Ministers." We want to help the helpers that may be struggling in their ministries, marriages and personal lives. Being a pastor takes a great toll and they need someone to talk to. We want to be in place when that need arises.
I dream of writing a book someday. I've had a lot of practice since I've been journaling for over 20 years and have filled over 65 journals. I love journals. And someday, my kids will inherit them. I know they will find that I was not perfect, but I hope it's evident to them that I loved the Lord and tried my best to live a life pleasing to Him. Yeah, they'll discover a lot of the mistakes I made but hopefully they'll watch me grow up as they read. I'm not afraid for them to know about my shortcomings because I think they'll ultimately know how much their dad loved them in spite of it all.