About Me and the New Me

I am a beautiful mess and by beautiful I don't mean on the outside, I mean on the inside where Jesus is the beautiful part and I am the mess part.  I love Jesus with all my heart and am committed to spending the rest of my life surrendering everything to Him.  Bit by bit I am dying to self.  Bit by bit I am becoming more like Him.  It is not an easy process, in fact it is a violent process.  I have been shaken to the core, pummeled by tragedy but it is turning all for His Glory.

I got pregnant when I was twenty years old.  I always said, my son saved my life.  Had I not gotten pregnant I don't know what would have happened.  At that time I was caught up in a life of drugs and alcohol, my party-party mentality had overcome me and I was lost in it.  The moment I found out I was pregnant I quit, the first moment I felt him move I was overwhelmed with joy.  Once I had him I went back to struggling with a crazed out of control lifestyle, his father and I divorced and I was a single mother.

At the age of twenty six alone in my bedroom, I cried out to God and He came in like a flood. Everything I had ever been taught about Him began to find it's way back into my heart.  I gave up living on my own terms and surrendered to His plan for my life (I am still doing this).  I met my husband(now ex)and married him within a year (Don't highly suggest it).  I will say, I do not regret my choice or the life that it lead to.  I have an amazing life filled with amazing people, that is and has been an honor for me to live and the honor to have served God's people as a pastor.

My son Justin was five years old when we married and we had two more awesome children (Jacob and Luke).  We built our life on our faith.  In 2001 the Lord began to speak to us about starting a church, and The Rivers Edge was birthed in 2002.  It was a journey of growth, and I made lot's of mistakes and I learned.  Learned to lean on Him, learned to lay myself down for His Kingdom and learned to lead by example.  I loved it and loved the people.  Turns out I made more mistakes than I could possibly see at the time with my children and my church.  Ministry can become all consuming and wreak havoc on your identity.

In 2011 my  then husband died of hypertrophic cardiomyopathy at the Rose Bowl during a prayer rally.  He was brought back to life in an amazing turn of events. Think LazarusThe trauma of seeing him lifeless, eyes open and gray will literally never leave me. 
The genetic disease he carries is that his heart is to big, it has too much flesh within it.  You will see the irony of that as you read more of my story.  

We lived with the understanding that every day was precious, after all that is what makes life so valuable the fact that it ends.  This began a journey for me of writing and art journaling that propelled me back into my love of all things creative!

There was lot's of stuff between here and there, one of my boys was shot while I was overseas, he survived but has struggled with the pain and the upheavel to his life, more strange happenings and accusations involving my husband(now ex)...

In 2013 my son Justin went to be with the Lord.  You can read more about that in my blog but obviously it has changed me forever.  I say it shattered me and Jesus is gently piecing me back together...I am a Jesus creation, with all my stitches showing....think Frankenstein.  She's alive, but at times just barely.  Completely dependent of God.  My heart is beating, my body is working but there are still a lot of things that need surgery.  I am pieced together with sacred scars that I don't mind sharing.  Sacred scars that have been mended but will forever be me.  Not broken, mended.  That is the beautiful part, Jesus stitches.

In 2015 my husband of 23 years admitted to years(10+) of infidelity with several people and by saying several I am being generous.   My heart was yet again completely destroyed, my life turned upside down as we were asked to leave our church and as I navigated through this fresh pain of betrayal.  I lost my church community and my husband all within a week. This is the irony of his heart condition, too much flesh.  

As it turned out what I really lost was my identity.  Years of being everything I thought I was supposed to be left me unsure of who I truly was.  I spent the next two years seeking to find myself, longing for the old and lost in the new unfamiliar life I was living.  Working through the wreckage of my heart and the pieces of the past.  Deciding what pieces to carry forward and what to leave in the dark.  You can't live in the light fully when you carry the dark pieces with you. 

This new year, 2018 is the start of the moving forward, the mended heart poured out on the altar of my savior and the dreams of old suddenly resurrected.  I am living a resurrected life!!

So the purpose of this blog is to share my heart, my sorrow, my redemption, my bits and pieces, my art, my lessons learned, my hope and my joy with others.  My hope is that by being brutally honest and real it will set people free.  I am saddened by religious people that act self righteous and I personally just want to be an authentic God-Lover and teach others to be the same.  None of the craziness of keeping up appearances, just want to be me.  Broken but mended, messed up, surrendered lover of God. Some people can't handle it, some people love it.

Bottom line is I am free, truly free and I believe there is more freedom still to come!  Freedom to live my purpose and mission.  Freedom from being dominated by fear.  Freedom to create the life I want. 

My mission statement:
My mission is to build, inspire and resonate hope through creative connection for myself and others that facilitates a healthier mind, soul and spirit.

In light of my MISSION I have started something new.  Stay tuned. Search for it. Follow my instagram @ mendedart, get my newsletter @mendedart.com, facebook @ mendedart and join me on my journey!!

I am just trying to be true to the calling on my life.  So this is my blog about my imperfect life, no ones life is.  

So join me on this journey....let's get real together.


  1. Your blog is a blessing! I'm so sorry for the loss of your son on earth. I have never lost anyone close but my Dad is turning 89 and my Mom 86 this year and I am spending a lot of time with them. I'm making memories that I know I'll hold onto when their gone.

  2. That is wisdom, life is valuable because it ends. Spend all the time you can with them, I have never heard anyone say they wish they would have spent less time....Thanks for the encouragement.

  3. There are lot of men pastors/evangelists/leaders etc... doing naughty things in the closet thinking God does not see. In the coming months and next year God will bring them to light also because they refuse to repent and have chosen to play w/ fire. Does God hate them ? No. You see its better to be disciplined by God hear on earth and given a chance to repent than to face Him in heaven and be judged.

  4. So wow...I am so praying for you. I knew that you were a Pastor's wife and when you mentioned being in Texas I really got confused (sorry , clear evidence I have not been keeping up with your blog). Your strength, and LONGSUFFERING are inspiring. I too have a heart for Africa, have for years, like you don't know why but Our Daddy does!1 So glad you have such a calling and an AWESOME NEW TITLE!!Blessings and love. Merry Christmas!

    1. Read todays blog for more specifics....Thanks for reading. xoxo

  5. Been feeling totally alone - contemplating all kinds of things past and present and wondered out of curiousity what I would see if I typed my name in Google - and it brought me to your page...The Lord is working overtime - not only do we share same name, life events good and bad, HE has made me see that HE is always watching me - and thru reading your page with my name/your name on it - I know I will be ok....thank you, in so many ways - thank you.

    1. Somehow I never saw this to respond...so here is my response; yes the Lord is mindful to every detail of your life. How sweet is that?

  6. Debbie - My heart broke when I learned that you and Gary weren't together. I began to pray and felt prompted to look you up. To read this, only added more to my compassion for you. Why? Because I was once you...

    I don't know if you'll remember me, but I attended TRE when you and Gary still pastored there a few years ago. I was then separated from my husband. I even e-mailed you when you were in Africa. We met occasionally at your Women's Bible Study.

    I can't even imagine what you are going through. Ten-years of infidelity is huge to deal with. I dealt with that, along with 4 marriages and 3 divorces. Through it all, I became a Stress-Relief Life Coach and am writing my first book.

    Your Blogs are truthful and I admire you that. I too Blog on the realities of my life experiences at www.gdwah.com and at www.facebook.com/gdwah. My heart is with you and I will be praying for you continually...


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