I happen to be obsessed with rules. I have a tendency to 'read' the implied rules in every church, community, culture, or relationship I find myself party to. Then I work hard to obey the rules (or at least, to fit in- so as to be invisible). Rules are exhausting.

As a perfectionist, I also manufacture my own rules. Then, to my chagrin, I proceed to break them. This rule-based living is a hard route to go, which is why I have become equally obsessed with grace. 

Grace (from a faith-based perspective) is defined as: "the unmerited or undeserving favor of God to those who are under condemnation" (Enns, 2008). Because I am always falling short at one rule or another, I am frequently desperate for God's approval apart from my efforts. And that is the glorious message found in no religion, but in the work and words of Jesus. I believe it is this grace (undeserved love and approval) that is at the heart of all wellbeing... physical, mental, spiritual.

Grace takes all the pressure off, and I hope to keep pulling back the layers of grace for the rest of my life.

Enns, Paul. (2008). Moody Handbook of Theology, Moody Publishers: Chicago, IL.

  - Professional

Psychology instructor at Klamath Community College, Oregon

MA in Human Services, Liberty University (specialty: Marriage and Family)

BS in Psychology, Liberty University

Author: The Gift of Social Anxiety: Finding Rest in God's Grace (winner of the 2016 Oregon Christian Writer's Cascade Award)

Here are a few extra details about me:

• I've been married to my college sweetheart for over 25 years

• I have two adult children that I like very, very much

• I have a large, extended family including parents, grandparents, in-laws, and lots of cousins

• I live on a wheat and potato seed farm in a rural community

• I love solitude, the ocean, witty jokes, art and craft projects, local history, shy people, abandoned houses, and rain

• I am super excited to be loved by God completely apart from my own performance - in Jesus