Conflict is the most painful reality I have ever experienced.
I grew up in a battle-filled blended family that permanently shattered when my parents divorced. My husband and I would later endure two decades of long-standing struggles with his parents. As painful as family conflict is, it paled in comparison to the devastating pain of conflict within our church family that resulted in the loss of friends with whom we had shared our lives.
Surrendering to Christ in my late twenties, I tasted something that would shape the rest of my life—reconciliation. Being reconciled with God through the saving work of Jesus Christ and knowing the pain of destructive conflict make me passionate about peacemaking.
I spent most of my thirties raising two wonderful children while also studying at Covenant Theological Seminary. In 1996, I began serving hurting people by putting my counseling and theology degrees to use in a church-based counseling center, eventually earning my professional counseling license in Missouri in 1999.
I first encountered the idea of biblical peacemaking in 1997 when introduced to The Peacemaker by Ken Sande. Captivated, I entered a training program that, in 2001, earned me the designation Certified Christian Conciliator. Since then, I have logged more than 25,000 hours of reconciliation ministry in coaching, mediation, consulting, and education. I have enjoyed the privilege of educating future pastors and counselors in several seminaries and training over ten thousand individuals in the U.S. and abroad on how to apply biblical principles in the midst of painful and complicated conflict.
The gospel of Jesus Christ has remained my central focus over the years.
With Tara Barthel, I co-authored a book entitled Peacemaking Women. Writing is a ministry of love and one that does not come easily to someone who finds sitting in front of a computer screen anything but inspiring. With that being said, stay tuned for future updates about my newest writing project in which I am collaborating with some of the most experienced peacemakers in the world as we together develop a textbook for Christian conciliation.
In 2007, I founded a reconciliation ministry called Live at Peace Ministries. Creative Conciliation was born out of my years at Live at Peace, and shaped by my doctoral studies in adult education at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School. As I became increasingly aware of the need for high quality education and training resources to facilitate biblical peacemaking in marriage, family, church, and the workplace, Creative Conciliation was the next step. By focusing my time and energy, I hope to use my experience to help equip and encourage more and more peacemakers to effectively assist others in conflict—all while clinging tightly to the gospel of peace.