I was raised in an Air Force home in which our family was assigned to a new base every two or three years. As a result, I have lived all across the United States, as well as in Izmir, Turkey and Aviano, Italy. My parents were Christians who regularly hosted Friday night Bible studies in our home throughout my childhood. I have many memories of sitting in the hallway with my little brother listening to my Dad teach the Bible to young, single Airmen and then slipping upstairs to play until we heard people talking loudly, which meant it was time to come downstairs for dessert! I accepted Christ as my Savior when I was a young child, and I leaned on His strength throughout my years as a high school and college student, especially when I started over in a huge, new high school in Florida at the beginning of my tenth grade year. When I moved to St. Louis to start graduate school a few months after my college graduation, I prayed to God, again asking Him to protect me and be with me. But graduate school was harder than – and very different from – what I expected. I was living alone, working up to thirty hours a week to pay for my living expenses, and taking difficult classes. I didn’t have any Christian friends, and I felt isolated and very alone. I also felt like God had somehow let me down. I had been trapped my whole life in a futile cycle of performance and legalism, and I never felt like I was doing enough to please God. I understood the concept of grace intellectually, but it hadn’t penetrated my heart. During my first year of graduate school, I made a conscious decision to put my faith aside for a while and follow my own path, hoping to find happiness and significance in life through academic achievements, the approval of others, and relationships. That fateful decision led, after several very unhappy years, to a moment when I found myself on my knees, broken and asking God to rescue me and extend a forgiveness and mercy to me that I knew I did not deserve. Jesus Christ, my forever-faithful Savior, met me in that moment with overwhelming love, acceptance, and forgiveness, and I experienced in a new way the power and reality of God’s grace. He truly loves us unconditionally, completely, and passionately. There is nothing we can do that can stop His love for us, and there is nothing we can do to earn that love. From that moment on, I have been living my life with a deep knowledge of God’s endless grace and mercy. Every day is a testament to His provision and faithfulness, and He provides me with joy, peace, and hope, no matter what my circumstances are. I have had the privilege of serving my students as a college professor and sharing the grace I have received by treating my students with love, acceptance, and compassion. I want to encourage my students to see themselves as God sees them – precious and worthy of love. Even more importantly, I have had the privilege, along with my husband, of raising our 3 boys to know the grace of Jesus.
“I believe in Christianity as I believe that the Sun has risen: not only because I see it, but because by it I see everything else.” C. S. Lewis “The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love.” Galatians 5:6b
Friends describe me
A hard worker and an encourager
Reading, Zumba, Walking, Watching Clemson Football
My undergrad alma mater
My worst subject in school
In college I drove
1985 Toyota Corolla
I can’t answer this one as an English professor; it’s like trying to name a favorite child. The Bible, everything by C. S. Lewis, The Hiding Place, Beowulf, The Secret Garden, My Side of the Mountain, Classic Christianity, everything by the Brontë sisters, Zora Neale Hurston, Flannery O’Connor, Jane Austen, T. S Eliot, Charles Dickens, and on and on . . .
This one is so hard, but here we go: The Princess Bride, Raising Arizona, Moonstruck, Gattaca, Life is Beautiful, The Peanut Butter Falcon, Waking Ned Devine, Chariots of Fire, The Painted Veil, Unbroken, Brooklyn, The Rear Window, and many more!
Any kind of dark, French roast coffee
My latest accomplishment
Finishing a book manuscript
Eighteenth-century British women satirists