Welcome back to “Getting to Know You,” in which we spend time chatting with the dear ladies of SGCC. Sometimes, if you know a little something about someone first, it makes it easier to initiate conversation on a Sunday morning and make a new friend. This week, we are visiting with our Michele V.
How are you doing, Michele?
I’m doing well. I’m in a season of transitions, changes and projects, which is unusual for me all at once. I usually plan a good amount of margin in my life – probably because I dislike being late, rushed or over-scheduled.
I am also relieved and excited to still be growing in the Lord at 48. I’m thankful He’s not done with me yet.
Tell us a little bit about your home life, family, and work.
My family consists of my son Trevor, (21) away at BIOLA and my daughter Faith, (17) a senior at Maranatha. Last month, our eight-year-old Teri-poo, Gigi, died of an enlarged heart. She was a beloved companion to me, and I still find myself looking for her everywhere.
I’ve been single for fourteen years. I have one older sister who lives with her husband and family in Pasadena. Together, we help take care of my dad who lives at the Oaks Retirement Community nearby since my mom died of lung cancer four years ago.
I work at a small family-owned oil investment company in town, and I have a seven minute commute for which I am so grateful. I work a reduced hour schedule, which enables me to pick up Faith from school, and that has been a huge blessing these past five years. Years ago, I was a litigation attorney specializing in construction defect defense. I walked around on many roofs in those days — sometimes in high heels.
When did you start attending SGCC, and how did you find out about it?
We started attending SGCC about twelve years ago. At the time, the Smiths (Nate and Heidi) and I were looking for a new church that exposited the Word on Sundays, and we had a pact that we would stay together if the Lord willed. I was at Curves with Pam R. (shocking, I know — the Curves part, not the Pam part), and I asked her where she went to church. She told me about SGCC, and we all visited soon after and started attending regularly.
What are you involved in at church?
I’ve enjoyed various endeavors over the years. Cooking and desserts for Core Week, Sunday greeter, leadership team for the Genesis class, deacon, Women’s Ministries Leadership Team, small group mentor for career women, Christmas sanctuary decorator, decor team for the sanctuary remodel (I think we were called “Steve’s Posse” or something like that). My most recent project was working with Steve and Conor on remodeling The Basement a year ago. That took about six or seven months, but it was very fun, and everyone seemed pleased with how it turned out. There is still about 6.3 percent left to be done down there and in the lobby, but one day, it will get finished!
What are things you like to do with your free time, if you have any?
This year, I was asked to served on the Board of Trustees at Maranatha High School. It has been an amazing time of watching God move, and I have been privileged to be a part of it. Since I am a policy dork, I do spend a lot of time researching and writing policy for the school. My job, the Trustee work, and squiring Faith to her activities takes up the majority of my time.
I am an Anglophile and love watching British TV and movies. I enjoy reading theological blogs and researching online — anything from llamas to Luther. I’m also a Gilmore Girls fan who likes to redecorate my house. Basically, I’m an indoors kind o’ gal.
My favorite music is the alternative/new wave music of the 1980’s and have been able to make it to a few concerts this year. I really love(d) to dance and did years of musical theater as a girl/teen. My dad was a drummer, and I have toyed with the idea of learning one day — maybe next year when I am an empty nester.
If you could have any job in the entire universe, what would it be?
I’m pretty practical, so that is hard for me. I guess I would create a company that would come in and finish the last ten percent of things in your life. Last ten pounds to lose, last ten percent of a decorating project etc. Then, I would hire my firm to finish several projects I got tired of and left undone at my house.
If you go to a coffee shop, what do you usually get to drink? If you’re not a coffee drinker, what do you like to drink?
I drink four things — water, milk, Diet Coke, and occasionally a Mocha Frappacino Light. I’m a pretty focused drinker. Keep it simple, make it snappy.
What is one piece of wisdom you’d like to give your ten-year-old self?
I wasn’t a Christian at ten years old, so the advice may have fallen on deaf ears. I recall never being that comfortable in my skin. I am by nature a glass half-empty person, and without Jesus, it makes for some sad-sack days, despite having had a loving, comfortable, and privileged upbringing. I would tell myself that God sent His only Son to die for my sins and that He loves me unconditionally, even when I felt alone and misunderstood. He got me, even if no one else did. I never felt that until God sought me out to be His. It changed my life, for eternity but also in the day-to-day in profound ways. Knowing that life is not about me but about God freed me to get outside myself.
Do you have a favorite Bible verse?
I find that in each season of life, a chapter or verse grabs me because it speaks to exactly what I need — conviction or encouragement. Right now, I cry out most for perseverance, so it’s Hebrews 10:39: “But we are not of those who shrink back and are destroyed, but of those who have faith and preserve their souls.” It speaks to remembering God’s faithfulness and standing firm until He returns.
Thank you, Michele!