In the summer of 1985, a friend talked me into signing up for a weekend retreat for college students. The event was sponsored by a local Baptist church. I was a self-proclaimed agnostic and feminist at the time, so a church gathering wasn’t on my list of standard weekend hangouts. I figured the worst that could happen is I walk away from the weekend with one more reason not to believe in God and a lot more ammunition to poke fun at His followers. As you might have guessed, that didn’t happen. The gospel was clearly presented on the first night of the event and my icy heart began to melt. Eleven choruses of “I Have Decided to Follow Jesus” later, I gave up the chase and said “yes” to Jesus. (A shout-out to the Southern Baptists who keep on singing until everyone in the room is saved.)
While the highlight of that event was meeting Jesus, I also happened to meet a rather handsome, squeaky-clean, church boy named Keith Courtney. He caught my eye on the first day of the retreat and impressed me with his spiritual wisdom (and cuteness!). It was love at first sight. Well, at least for me. Keith was a bit slow to catch onto the plan. (A particularly low moment was when he called to ask me for a friend’s phone number, so he could ask her to his law school formal. I may or may not have given him the wrong phone number.) It’s all water under the bridge now and that squeaky clean Christian boy and I celebrated our 25th wedding anniversary in May, 2012. Our anniversary came on the heels of marrying off our two oldest children, dropping our youngest child off to college, and becoming grandparents (all in 2011, mind you – Calgon, take me away). We are blessed to have all our children and our darling grandson nearby in Austin.
As I was reading over my last “about” page to update it for this new site, I felt kind of squeamish. True, most “about” pages read like a brag sheet of sorts, in order that you, the reader, find the subject (author, speaker, etc.) more credible. (Translation: you will want to read our books, go to our events, read our blog, follow us, friend us, like us, blah, blah, blah.) My old “about” page was no different. So, here’s the deal — if I were to have the pleasure of meeting you face-to-face, I would never in a million years, reel off my resume to you! Why then, would I do that on this page where I have the pleasure of meeting you virtually for the first time?
That said, I want to give credit where credit is due, so here is what I want you to know most “about” me:
God has graciously given me a platform to write and speak about my journey of faith. Not a day goes by that I’m not floored by that fact. I don’t come with any preconceived notions that He has given me this privilege because I’m qualified for the task. Quite the contrary. I am nothing more than a poster child for God’s grace and mercy. On the average day, I’m still a mess of a girl reminding myself of the same truths I discovered back in 1985 at that weekend retreat. I continue to strive, mess up, ‘fess up, and rediscover God’s grace on a daily basis. I’m a work in progress. It is my prayer that this site, my books, and the messages I present at events will point not to me, but to His goodness and mercy. Apart from that, the rest is just fluff.
Thanks again for stopping by!