My Story

Everyone has a story.  I’m grateful to you for stopping by to find out a little bit more of my own.

Growing up in the 70’s and 80’s  on the South Side of Chicago, I learned to be street smart and how to handle bullies.  I also learned the benefits of having a huge imagination and a strong will. The only girl in a family of all boys, including a zillion boy cousins , led me on many adventures.  I wasn’t afraid of anything.  Racing train cars, climbing hills, crossing frozen rivers while eluding bad guys fueled my already adventurous spirit.

Growing up close to such a big city, I became a “Noticer” of all things beautiful. Stars, clouds, wildflowers, birds–anything wild that wasn’t made of cement drew my attention. I began writing stories, dreaming about mountains, and drawing pretty places. I was a Noticer, an artist.

I loved books. Narnia and Oz were places of refuge for me. Ramona made me laugh. Laura Ingalls made me brave.

All through my childhood, I heard God whispering to me…calling my name. His voice was familiar. Sometimes I said “No way” to God, but mostly, I said “Yes.” I’ve followed even when it’s hard, and sometimes it’s been really, really hard. But knowing Jesus and making Him known have been the greatest joys of my life.

I married  my high school sweetheart Rob  in 1993.  I was 19 and he was 21.  We live in Granger, Indiana with our three  princesses, Maddie, Whitney, and Isabelle. Rob has been a pastor at Granger Community Church for 21 years.  Every day is a new adventure, and adventure is what I was made for. In 2019 Rob and I, along with a team of amazing people started the KC Underground, a church made up of microchurches in the Kansas City area.  We have a microchurch in our neighborhood, and I think I can speak for Rob and I both when I say that we are happy, fulfilled and so grateful to be a part of this movement. 

I love to read and write.  I am a Noticer still. I am captivated by what I see through the lens of my camera every single day. I find God in the small things, His beauty and evidence are everywhere. Knowing God through art, photography and writing are what I feel most passion for.  My photo site is called Illuminate the Ordinary. It’s where I pour a lot of my passion and creativity into. I’d love to see you there too!

Thanks for stopping by! I’d love to get to know you a bit better too!  Leave a comment or send me an email at .  I’d love to hear from you~



9 thoughts on “My Story

  1. Hi!
    I came across your blog, because, with your “India” posts, it was a related link on the bottom of my blog! We’re a non-profit dedicated to working with women in Mumbai’s slums, empowering them through social action and through the sales of beautiful, handmade products they create. You can take a look here:

    And we’re located in Chicago! Maybe there is some way we could work together, knowing your passions. And here’s our blog:

  2. Janis Ooms Spencer says:

    I really love your blog – your writing is so beautiful and honest. You really write from the heart. Found my way to this blog via facebook, where I am a friend of your father’s – have heard so much about you through him. I have known your dad since we were small children – we lived next door to each other in Roseland. Know your Uncle Hank and also knew your grandfather and grandmother Lanting as well. Your grandmother Lanting and my mother were lifelong friends – they grew up in the same homes that your dad and I did. Also am friends with Ken and Marge Riley as well. Marge is my lifelong friend . Just wanted to let you know how much I enjoy reading your blog – I look forward to following it!!!

  3. Keith Stewart says:

    Hi Michelle,
    I came across you blog, by using YouVersion Bible reader and looking at what you had wrote. I then went to your website and have been reading your blog.
    Just wanted to let you know that I have been enjoying reading your website..

    God bless you and your family,

    Keith from the UK

  4. Ellen says:

    Hi Michelle – You and I corresponded some last fall after I wrote about chronic pain for Christianity Today. I told you I had written a longer article that I hoped to submit somewhere. Well, that never happened for many reasons. But just today I posted that longer article on my own blog. I thought you might find it interesting. I’d be interested in knowing what you think. Hope you are well.

    Ellen Dollar

    Here’s the link:

  5. Found your blog doing a search for blogs with similar direction as the one I just created. I am not yet a mommy, but pray to be blessed with that role. I was told I can not have babies, but I think God & I have a different agreement than the doctor’s. He he. Anyway, when I do have a child, I know that I will be coming back here for some parenting advice! Until then, I love your writing and ideas. Also, amazing photographs! Are you also a photographer?

  6. Jennifer Karasek says:

    I have not had the personal pleasure of meeting you. I have been bringing my two girls to GCC for about 5-6 years. I attended the 20th anniversary party for you and your husband. It was way awesome! And I just felt the urge to check out your blog. Maybe there might be a small part of you that could help me. I friended you on facebook. Would like to talk about my spiritual life and don’t know who else to turn to. I feel like you and your husband are down to earth and might be able to listen and help in some way. I hope you do. My cell number also is 574-607-7388. I work during the day and can best be reached in the evenings, if FB isn’t how you’d like to contact me. Thanx.

  7. Dad says:

    I love you very very much.

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