Medicine Lodge, KS
After coming to know Christ in high school, I knew in my heart that God was calling me into full-time ministry. I was drawn to Crystal Peaks after hearing about it in college. In hearing the mission of the Ranch, my eyes were opened to a ministry that was in line with what Jesus had put on my heart. I spent weeks considering, pondering, reasoning, and seeking God’s best plan before I eventually got the message that He was asking me to come take part in His work...regardless of whether or not I felt equipped, financially stable, or ready. At that point in my life I was a young believer, and I’m not sure that I would have ever had the courage to travel 1,700 miles over two mountain ranges without my Jesus being so clear – Go. Trust me, daughter. It was here, in the midst of a ministry fully submitted to Him, that I truly met my Lord and Savior face-to-face. Looking back, I can see many milestones that Jesus walked me through in order to prepare me for the position that I now hold at the Ranch. I am grateful that He used His vast army of believers to pray for me, remind me of His faithfulness, and help smooth out the rough edges I had. Well, most of them.
I am a non-traditional staff member here at Crystal Peaks because I was a part of the Ranch for 3 years, left for 5 years, then returned to the Ranch “for good” in 2018. In the 5 years I spent away, my life changed considerably. I got married to my best friend, we had our first child and we grew in more ways than we could have imagined by being appointed to work at a church. Thankfully, my husband and I were given so much grace in being on the same page about coming back to Central Oregon one day, so we continued to pray for God’s perfect timing to return. In the fall of 2017, he came home and said, “it’s time.” Immediately I knew what he was saying, and I knew our lives would transition again...this time with our 2-year-old son in tow and our daughter on the way.
I can say confidently that through all of my sheepish “okays” to God’s direction over the years I have never regretted following Him. He has grown me in leaps and bounds as a wife, mother, ministry leader, and genuine proclaimer of the Gospel. This growth has been mostly by trial and error, but Jesus has provided abundantly in every circumstance, at just the right time.
What I love most about my day-to-day activities is walking up the Ranch driveway in the mornings with a peaceful feeling of being “home.” It reminds me of Isaiah 32, “See, a king will reign in righteousness and rulers will rule with justice. Each one will be like a shelter from the wind and a refuge from the storm, like streams of water in the desert and the shadow of a great rock in a thirsty land. Then the eyes of those who see will no longer be closed, and the ears of those who hear will listen. The fearful heart will know and understand, and the stammering tongue will be fluent and clear. The Lord’s justice will dwell in the desert, His righteousness live in the fertile field… The fruit of that righteousness will be peace; its effect will be quietness and confidence forever. My people will live in peaceful dwelling places, in secure homes, in undisturbed places of rest.”
There is nothing like setting foot on this property, expectantly awaiting what Jesus will do.
My favorite part of my job is overseeing our internship program. To see like-minded but uniquely created individuals answer the call of the Lord to come to the Ranch is incredibly humbling and adds such rich relationship to my life. Their journey to arrive is beautiful, sometimes scary, and always fruitful. I can’t thank my God enough for allowing me to walk alongside our interns for a season of their lives. It is a gift that makes me smile just thinking about it.
What do you love about Central Oregon?
Since I’m from the great mountainous state of Kansas, one of the most prominent things that I love about Central Oregon is the Cascade Mountain Range. There is little beauty that compares to looking up at the incredible snow-topped Three Sisters in the distance. I also love hiking! Back home, we have something similar, but it’s called walking. There’s usually not an incline, and it often doesn’t end at the base of a waterfall or overlooking a beautiful river basin. Being outside exploring my Creator’s wonderful canvas is one of my favorite experiences!
What is the funniest thing a kid has ever said to you at the Ranch?
The funniest thing that a kid has ever told me here at the Ranch came from the mouth of a little boy who was fairly uneasy around horses. As we walked out to the paddock in search of the perfect horse, I began introducing him to some in our herd that I thought might be a good fit for him. As we walked up to Shamis, one of our lovely mares, I explained her unique “buckskin” coloring to this bright-eyed child. The boy’s eyes suddenly became the size of dinner plates! Out of his mouth burst, “I don’t want any horse that has a buck in it!”
What is an interesting fact about you?
My husband and I met in a college class when the professor insisted on announcing each student’s birthday. As it turned out, we were born on the same day. Upon further discovery, we were actually born on the same day in the same hospital, even though we lived 2 hours away from each other’s hometown. He likes to tease me that I was the loud baby disturbing all the other babies in the nursery. I like to tell him that God orchestrated us to meet in college because I wouldn’t have liked him as a teenager.