*Today, I’m so excited to share a Faith Interview with Char of Trekking Thru. She is a passionate woman of God who has been through so much but still serves God well. You can check out our previous interviews with Michelle of Mid-Life Blogger and with Dionna of Beauty in the Storm.
Tell us a little about yourself and your family
Char: Hmmm, I am an empty nester living a less than boring life with my husband, Chris. We were so fortunate to come to know the Lord early in our marriage and raise our two sons and teach them about the Lord. Having a very strong homeschooling community around us when the boys were little, we homeschooled our sons through 9th and 11th grades.
This past spring God blessed us with our first girl – Our youngest son was married to a delightful young lady who far surpassed all our prayers. Isn’t it cool when you pray and pray for something and then God gives you more than you dreamed or imagined?!
Isn’t it cool when you pray and pray for something and then God gives you more than you dreamed or imagined?!
When did you come to know Christ as your Lord and Savior?
Char: To backtrack a bit – Chris and I got married 31 years ago and what a journey it has been!! We had a bit of a rocky start and met a lovely couple that escorted us into the Kingdom – teaching us about Christ, love, devotion, and life. We were just puppies!
It’s funny because when I tell my friend Sara that she is the one that led me to the Lord, she scoffs and denies it -because her “leading” me was such a natural part of who she was/is. Before work we would walk the two-mile trek around our neighborhood and Sara would talk. Oh, she can talk! She’d talk about life, and “the Lord this, and the Lord that…” I remember thinking, Can we just walk?! – It’d be so much quicker if she didn’t stop to pick up trash, chat with other walkers, and gawk at babies. But God was teaching me. He was teaching me what it was to have a personal relationship with Him, and how that overflows to loving others.
But God was teaching me. He was teaching me what it was to have a personal relationship with Him, and how that overflows to loving others.
As our family grew, Sara continued discipling me on our daily walks. Our years of walking started with just the two of us and eventually expanded to pushing two toddlers in a double stroller for the two-mile trek. Those times were priceless – and the building blocks for my love for discipling other women.
What is a defining moment in your walk with Christ?
Char: One of the most defining moments in my walk with Christ was this past summer when I went through breast cancer surgery. I was lying in bed listening to “Be Thou My Vision” as it played over and over again on my earphones– lulling me to sleep. My body was in agony and my spirit was soothed by the music and lyrics. As I listened to the one song that I had replayed so many times during the previous weeks, it occurred to me that my husband, who was lying right beside me, really had no idea what I was going through. Although he had walked through every step of my double mastectomy with me, he still could have no real understanding of the depth of my experience. Then came my “Aha moment.” The Lord opened the eyes of my heart to show me the following: Just as Chris had no idea what I was going through… I had no idea what he was going through. My understanding of this man lying beside me for 31 years was equally restricted. What were his feelings, his fears? What was it that made him Chris? and What are the events, thoughts, emotions, understandings, that make anyone who they are? I realized I couldn’t ever fully understand why someone acts the way they do, etc.
Just then, I had a deep sense of love and acceptance from the Lord, knowing that He cared about every one of my thoughts and concerns – like no one else could. Simultaneously, I had a release from judging my husband (or anyone else) as I realized there was no way I could know Chris (or anyone else) through and through. But God does.
Just then, I had a deep sense of love and acceptance from the Lord, knowing that He cared about every one of my thoughts and concerns – like no one else could.
What was your number one goal or dream when you were a kid?
Char: Oh my, I don’t think I had a distinct goal. As a child, I wanted to be an artist, an attorney and a writer – oh, and a mother.
Did you go on to fulfill that dream or have your dreams completely changed?
Char: Well, I practiced and practiced drawing and the only type of drawing that I can hack is cartoons – everything else is pretty distorted! Ha! The attorney dream – uh, no. And well, as far as pursuing writing – I am! I tried for so long to write creatively – but it’s just not my cup of tea. When my first son was born, I picked up the pad of paper in the hospital room and began writing more in line with my gifting… I wrote about my feelings, his growth, life lessons, etc. And at this point in my life, it seems, everything is a “lesson” to write about! I write essays in my head all day long! My blogs are definitely an outlet for that – and one day… I hope to write a book that others would love to read.
How do you balance all the hats that you wear on a daily/weekly basis?
Char: It seems in the last few years God has been stretching me. Especially since my cancer. In being stretched, I have to constantly seek the Lord to be sure what He has for me. I tend to want to be involved in everything. And seize every opportunity. The only way to truly balance the full plate that is before me each week is to seek the Lord on what He has for me.
Do you have any tips for our readers in regards to balance?
Char: My first tip is: Family first… It’s difficult to still have time for hubby when you’ve given all you have to the children. Nonetheless, it is the wisest investment – that will pay off for years.
Secondly, and most importantly, take your schedule/tasks/goals and set them before the Lord. Ask Him what is “good” and what is “God.” He is faithful. He will guide you.
take your schedule/tasks/goals and set them before the Lord. Ask Him what is “good” and what is “God.” He is faithful. He will guide you.
Apart from that, balance is impossible in this crazy world we live in.
Do you take time for self-care?
Char: Being very task oriented, I have to force myself.
If so, what do you do to care for yourself?
Char: I try to spend time with the Lord every day. My closest, most intimate times with Him happen when I sit with my Bible and my journal. I love to write and hear His responses and see what the Word says about who God is.
A couple more things that are imperative for me is to eat well, go to my kickboxing class and keep my home picked up. I recently wrote a post about non-negotiables that we all need daily to walk in peace. This concept helps me stay focused on getting back to that place of peace when I get stressed.
What is one thing that makes you unique?
Char: Today, I am keenly aware that my timeline is short. I may live to be 90, but there are still fewer years before me than are behind. And that gives me a sense of urgency. I want to use the gifts God has planted in me to help encourage others to live their purpose in life. Without purpose and meaning, what does life have to offer?
Without purpose and meaning, what does life have to offer?
Just occasional moments of happiness dispersed between responsibilities and daily duties. But using the gifts and talents God planted in us, having an eternal perspective, gives us such a deep sense of fulfillment and satisfaction – if I can help anyone else understand that’s where life gets satisfying, and spur them along – them I am ecstatic! And that’s why I started TrekkingThru – to encourage others in their calling.
Oh, one other thing – I love to design flower arrangements! I LOVE flowers! But I hate to watch them die – so I usually give them away and rarely have them in my home!! Crazy!
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