Yup, I am a New Yorker by birth; but I always tell people I came south as soon as I could. My husband, Tom and I have lived in New York, Wisconsin, South Carolina and Paris, France. We are members at Fellowship Greenville in Greenville, SC and attended Trinity International Church while living in Paris.
When I was a child, my parents owned a fruit farm, just miles from Niagara Falls. At the age of 7, my dad sold the farm and moved the family to the suburbs of Upstate, NY. It was there that I finally accepted the invitation and asked Jesus into my heart. Then and there, I knew the Holy Spirit had taken up residence in my life.
I married Tom, my high school sweetheart 40 years ago this past May. We have 3 married children and 7 energetic and fun grand-kids. This picture was taken at our family beach week 40th-anniversary party. It is mighty hard to get everyone to smile at the same time!
I have a Master of Education from Converse College in Spartanburg, SC and a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology/Social Work from the College of Saint Rose in Albany, NY. My social work education provided me training in counseling and group leadership. God has allowed me to use that training to lead small groups and teach women how to lead effectively. My training in education has also been helpful as I teach Bible studies to women through my church and in-home studies. My experience in teaching not only includes women’s Bible studies but Special Education for the Learning Disabled in the public High School setting. Oh, how I loved those high schoolers! For a time before teaching, I worked as a counselor for a sheltered workshop and several years home-schooled my children.
My husband always says, “Anne didn’t retire from teaching; she just got really tired.” And boy was he right-I did get tired! After leaving the special education classroom in 2005, I found I had more time on my hands to pursue the study of Scripture and to teach women’s Bible studies. My love for Scripture has led me to the writing and teaching of a variety of studies. As I read Scripture, I am always thinking about how these ideas might become a lesson. I often find myself wondering how can this best be taught? I guess that is the teacher in me. Another of my favorite things to do is mentor women. I enjoy meeting with women of all ages and phases of life. So, on many mornings of the week, you can find me at Panera or another coffee shop talking about life and how God wants us to do it. My husband thinks I should be paying rent-shh-don’t tell Panera!
I have to tell you though that sometimes I could just pinch myself! I mean to think that I was fortunate enough to live in Paris-I mean really-me? Of all the places in the world I might have picked to live, Paris was NOT one of them. Not because I didn’t like Paris, I had never been there. But God…
Exactly how to pass my time while I was living in Paris was a big question for me. My husband would have his job, and my kids and grand-kids were all back in the States. So, what was I to do in Paris that would be meaningful, rewarding, fulfilling, and satisfying? What could take the place of family and teaching- both of which I loved? That dilemma would be a big ask. But just like God tends to do, He answered the question before I had had a chance to seriously ask. I can still remember the excitement I felt as I stood in the ever-so-charming french apartment. It was one that we were looking at to see what was available for rent. Out of the blue, I had this momentary nudge from the Holy Spirit. I could envision myself sitting in front of the window, typing away with a stream of sunlight pouring into the room.
So, I guess when you can’t do the thing you LOVE to do like teach Bible-because well-communicating in french is not your strongest suit. Then you do the next best thing, you write about everything you’re learning. And that is exactly what I have done.
Writing Pack Your Baggage, Honey, We’re Moving to Paris! was such a challenge and yet so much fun. I never thought it would get published. Believe me when I say I wrote it without giving its possible publication a second thought. But over time God helped me to step out in faith and let others in on what I was learning. My hope is that this book helps you to know God better, to trust him more, and to divest the baggage you are carrying.