Who Are We?
Paul tells me all the time that I am a really tall 4 year old, and he's not entirely wrong. I just love to play and explore and get messy. And I love how God made little kids to develop by engaging the world through play, investigation, and wonder. So, a few years after getting my B.S. in Biology from Grace College, I was thrilled to have the opportunity to be on staff at Mission Point Community Church for three and a half years in the children's ministry department. Getting to help design the early childhood classrooms and implement an excellent, play-based curriculum has been one of my favorite work experiences so far!
I love the intersection of early childhood development (how they see, process, and learn about their worlds) and the planting of faith in the heart of a child. While my educational background and work experience may make it look like my life has taken an odd route, I can look back and see how God had a plan all along. Understanding some basic neural biochemistry and basic human development processes has been invaluable as I've sought to work with young children in a faith-based education system. I'm not just passionate about seeing children become friends with Jesus early in their life - I have the education and work experience to break down for parents just how their kids are interacting with big, abstract concepts like miracles, salvation, and eternal life, and how they can begin to implement these lessons from infancy.
I am a hopeless romantic. I cry at the end Titanic. Actually, I cry at several points throughout Titanic. My favorite movie of all time is Crazy, Stupid, Love, and I somewhat secretly believe that the main problem with romance in the modern world is that there aren't enough people being Robert DeNiro at the end of Silver Linings Playbook. Also, I love movies, if that wasn't already obvious. I went to undergrad for a film degree, ended up with a theater degree, and then went to work for a publisher... because I had no idea what I wanted to do. But I know I've always loved stories. Even more than writing them, or watching them, I love helping other people write their own stories - which is what I think drew me to an education in counseling. Actually, I take that back - God drew me to an education in counseling, an education I had no interest in before I started it. But I think that's why I discovered that I loved it.
After graduating from Grace College with a master's degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling, I went to work at Warsaw's local homeless shelter. I designed their chronic homelessness rehabilitation and self-sufficiency program, and couldn't be more grateful for my time there. I launched out from there directly into this ministry.
My parents had what I call an "untraditionally" broken relationship when I was a kid, and for as long as I can remember I've had a passion to ensure that what my parents endured doesn't happen to anyone else. I guess I'm a sort of relationship Batman. I don't know if I can help every marriage in the world, but I'm going to start with my Gotham City and see how far I can get. Also, like Batman, I think my main strength in working with the couples we see at NEB is that I'm a relationship detective. Thanks to both my education in counseling and my natural bent, I'm able to take the information that I get and extrapolate unusual and abstract connections and relationships in the complex and evolving dynamic between two people. I have specifically and intentionally chosen to forego state licensure as a counselor in order to take advantage of the freedoms and flexibilities that the ministry approach offers. If you'd like to find out more about Carly and/or myself, click the middle button below. If you'd like to ask us a direct question, click "I Want to Talk."