I’m Trina, a Midwestern girl who has been called soft spoken, yet laughs crazy loud.

If we met over coffee (or tea—I make a mean English cuppa, for an American, that is), I’d ask you to tell me your story. I’m not great with small talk, but I’m versed in stories. I love to listen to others’ stories, read stories, and share my own.

My life was changed by stories from the Bible that I heard as a young girl, at church, at school, and in my home. As a teen I realized they were more than stories—they were LIFE, and I quickly decided I wanted spend my life sharing the freedom and belonging that I had found within the Living Word.

I met a boy from the South with blue eyes, a sweet Southern drawl, and a heart to share life, freedom, and belonging. We married young and soon found that life doesn’t always turn out the way you write it. (It’s OK because God writes far better stories than we do.)

After saying “I do,” we moved to the South to start a church, and a few years later returned to Chicago as youth pastors. Eventually we made our way back to my hometown, living in my childhood home and serving at our home church where we first met. Between here and there we had four beautiful children—Ella, Luke, Liam Brave, and Rocco Royal, who, coincidentally, go to the same school that I did.

Life felt a little a déjà vu-ish. It was a little strange, but mostly candy-coated sweet.

My life turned upside down when my parents divorced after almost forty years of marriage. I tried to distract myself from pain by looking for the lovely online. I spent my days chasing four active little ones, my nights blogging, and any in-between moments  wrestling to keep my head above water. Living in my childhood home I struggled through depression, grief, and anxiety—this is where Beauty Himself (Psalms 100:5 MSG) found me.

In the middle of my broken mess, Jesus awakened my soul to beauty. I began to behold—a winter’s sunset, the delicate pattern on the plate piled in the sink, the velvet touch of a flower petal, fallen, the familiar sound of my grandma’s voice across phone lines, the tress dressed in a gown of white glistening snow. Through noticing the grand and everyday gestures, I found an answer to my ache and begin to believe, again, that all could be redeemed, like it was in the stories I had so often read. It wasn’t just for them; it was for me. It wasn’t just for then; it was for now.

I’ve been on a journey of going back in order to go forward. Along the way I’ve held the tension of pain and beauty, hopelessness and healing, and discovered that with God endings are simply beginnings.

I found hope by awakening to Beauty, my identity as a beloved daughter of God, that the crumbled ruins of my brokenness is the very foundation that God uses to build anew (Isaiah 58) and that home is not a place; it is a person—Jesus. I’m passionate about helping others find hope and home too.

Just For Fun:

I’m an extroverted introvert. You’d probably not assume I’m an introvert if we met, but after a long day of talking, I need about two days with books, paper and pen, to refuel.

I’ve been called dramatic, soft-spoken, fancy, a spaz, strong, idealistic, overly sensitive, bossy, funny, too serious, high maintenance, down to earth. I guess, at varying times in my life, I’ve fit the descriptions. Aren’t we all a mix of contradictions?

I grew up in a newspaper family and claim the adage of having ink in my veins. Newsprint makes me feel nostalgic.

I think everyone is either chocolate or fruity candy. I’m team chocolate all the way.

I love a good TV series (Downton Abbey, I miss you) and have no problem going to see a movie by myself (stories, again!).

I could possibly live on toast and tea with an occasional cheeseburger and coke. (I do love salads and greens too.)

A book that changed my life was Abiding in Christ by Andrew Murray. (Did I mention, I love old books?) Other books I’ve recently read here.

I jumped out of an airplane, almost (you’ll have to get the book for the rest of this story).

Now that we’ve properly met, if you’d like to read my professional bio, you can do so here.