HerStory: Meet Linda

Linda

I want you to meet my friend, Linda! She’s the wife of one of the pastors at our church. HerStory is amazing, like each woman’s, and as a follower of Christ she shows His glory in a unique way to her corner of the world. I find her to be a good listener, a talented administrator and one of the most passionate women I know about her role as wife and mother. I’m really looking forward to spending more time with her in the future and getting to know her even more. Thanks, Linda, for being willing to share your heart in the answers to these questions!

My story in a few sentences: I grew up in a Christian home, learned a lot of the Bible, and asked Jesus to save me at age 5. I lived like the world in high school and ended up miserable. God called me back to really follow Him, and I’m so thankful He gave me a new life and a chance to live my life in the light of the cross. Since high school, I became a registered nurse, met my husband at Camp Barakel, lived in South Carolina where he went to seminary, we raised support and served as missionaries to Muslims in England, and then worked with International Students at WMU. After serving as an associate pastor at a church in Portage, MI for 5 years, they sent us out 5 years ago with nine other adults and eleven kids to start a new church in Mattawan.  And that’s where I live now with my husband, Don, and our three kids (two boys, ages 13 and 11, and a girl, age 8).

Three words that describe me: Administrative, resourceful, woman.

The best part of motherhood is: Teaching my kids about God and having a chance to deeply impact the next generation for Jesus. I honestly believe it’s a HUGE part of what God created me to do. Being a mom gives my life deep purpose.

The most challenging part about my life journey: Sin. Which really boils down to my selfishness. Another challenge is having a son with Asperger’s and some pretty persistent anxiety. As most challenges, it’s hard but is not without it’s hidden blessings. I’m much more quick to have compassion for people with mental health illness than I was ten years ago.

What it means to be a part of God’s story: Everyone’s a part of God’s story. He created me and every single human for a purpose in His ultimate story. Recognizing that has given me great peace, comfort, and hope.

What God is teaching me right now: Live a focused life around what God calls me to do, not a balanced one. (That’s a paraphrased quote from Jill Briscoe.) I’ve decided a balanced life is probably an unattainable goal. Also, God’s been teaching me to “Be still”. Cease striving and know He is God. I used to feel unproductive if I wasn’t doing something or multitasking. I am now learning that being quiet and having downtime is good. In fact, I should PLAN time with nothing on my calendar. God is much more pleased when I’m consciously living in the moment with Him in mind than when I’m doing or getting something accomplished. That’s when I can best hear God’s still small voice. It’s not in the wind or fire. It’s in the gentle whisper.

Decisive or analytical? Analytical. Praise God I married a decisive man! We make a good team!

What is your Meyer’s Briggs lettering? ISTJ. I’ve been assessed for different ministries a few times over the years and found the most helpful assessment was the Clifton StrengthsFinder. That assessment identified some helpful information about what I’m good at. One thing that identified is that I’m at relator. (Not realtor Relator – like relating with people!) I’m also responsible and deliberative. (You can google those three terms if you want to know more about them.)

In another life, I’d: Not live with people that have spring time allergies so I could sleep with the windows open at night! But honesty, I don’t want another life. I love what I have now. There is a life I’m looking forward to – I WILL get to live without sin in my next life!

Musical influences: Casting Crowns, David Crowder, Keith and Kristyn Getty, anything by Sovereign Grace Music, and old hymns (played and sung well with energy, preferably with an organ!). I’ve been sitting down at my piano a lot lately and just playing through the Hymnal. I love it!

Favorite books: I cannot pick a favorite. Lately I’ve been really been enjoying biographies. In the last couple months, I’ve read Bonhoeffer (Metaxis), Twelve Years a Slave (Wilson), and Same Kind of Different as Me (Hall). I’m currently reading two great Christian Living books “Unstuck: Out of your Cave and into your Call” by Mark Jobe and “Unseduced and Unshaken: The Place of Dignity in a … Woman’s Choices” by Rosalie de Rosset. I’m enjoying both very much.

What my faith means in my life: It defines my life. How I spend my time, my money, my energy – they are all because of my faith in Christ.

I can’t live without my: Family.

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My day job: I’m Don’s wife and my kid’s mom. Being married to a pastor is a unique roll and I find great joy in walking with Don as his helper to shepherd and serve our church family. I volunteer a lot (church, school, food pantry). I work about 100 hours a year as a paid RN doing flu shots and health assessments but that’s a very insignificant part of my normal ‘day job’.

Things I’m currently working on: Organizing my daughters room – attempting to simplify and declutter all the ‘stuff’ in our house. And I have a couple speaking engagements lined up in the future that I’m studying for what I will teach on and share.

If I could have a free weekend and an unlimited budget, I’d: Go with Don and stand on the shore of the Sea of Galilee.

My health philosophy: Everything in moderation. God has given us so many good things to eat and activities to do to stay healthy! Too much of any one thing – even a good thing – is too much and too little or none of some things God gave us to eat and do is probably not ideal either.

My vice: Clearance sales.

My friends think I’m: Always busy. Everyone assumes I’m busy all the time, but the truth it, I’m really not! I did ask a couple friends and they mentioned that I’m reliable and I’m good at seeing needs and hooking up people to help meet those needs. (That also ties in to the StregnthFinder ‘relator’).

Favorite social activity: Visiting over coffee or a meal– good talks about real life.

Hobbies: Cooking/baking/preparing tasty, budget friendly, healthy food for my family. I also enjoy reading, being on the shores of Lake Michigan, and the following the Detroit Tigers.

The theme of my life: “In his heart a man plans his course, but the LORD determines his steps.” Proverbs 16:9. A current song says it well: “If there’s a road I should walk, help me find it. If I need to be still, give me peace for the moment.” God has been faithful to do this in the past and I trust he will be in the future as well.

I’m inspired by: Seeing women grow in the fruits of the spirit. Watching people grow in the knowledge of Christ and seeing them follow hard after Him – living the way God designed them to live. I love hearing and seeing this from friends and family close up and personally. I’m not always super inspired by reading about people I don’t know or hearing about someone I don’t see often. But when I get to see God working with my own eyes and hear with my own ears among the people I know, that inspires me!

You’d never know that I: Play a Disney Frozen game app on my iPhone every day. Sometimes twice a day. And lots of people know I play the piano but I also can play the organ, saxophone, and clarinet.

Favorite Bible verse: Right now it’s Psalm 46:10 in the ESV “Cease striving, and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!” God is working his plan. He WILL be exalted. And I get to participate in that by not striving and just knowing Him. Wow.

Leave an encouraging word for Linda in the comments if you feel led or get a chance!

Blessings,

Heidi

Comments

  1. Thank you for sharing Linda’s story. She is the real deal. I know her from the Portage church and recently have crossed paths with her. I love her heart for God. It was so cool to read her story.

  2. Kelly Keating says:

    Blessed to have known Linda since she was young and lived down the street.
    She babysat our kids for a time when she was a teen. We all attended the same
    Church for many years and I count her parents as dear friends. I am glad to keep
    Up with her on Facebook

  3. Knowing more about Linda makes me love her more! Love you, Linda!

  4. Linda F says:

    Thanks Heidi and all for your comments. It’s a privilege to share about how God’s made and blessed me. (BTW Photo credits to Lori Kahila!)

  5. Linda, It truly would be a blessing to sit and talk over coffee about mommyhood. ☺

  6. Dianne Huebner says:

    Thank you for sharing, Linda as it is a joy to get to know other Christian women!! I would love to sit down and have a cup of coffee and shatre some good times of talking and encourageent. I am going to see about reading some of the books that you recommended too.

  7. thanks, heidi. another great interview. linda, you have a beautiful family.