Tonight we are introducing you to one of our breakout speakers for Overflow 2016. Ann and her family are members of the Bayou City Fellowship family and we are so thankful that she is sharing her wisdom with us this year at Overflow. We hope you enjoy getting to know her!
What is your favorite book or what are you reading right now?
Well, right now I'm reading some books on de-cluttering and organizing because this is a st-ru-ggle for me. Organizing my living space just does not come naturally to me, I have to work really hard at it.
What do you miss about living in Chicago? And what do you love about living in Houston?
I really miss Chicago's lakefront (in the summer!), the accessibility and walkability of the city, and the colorful fall leaves. I also miss the arboretum, especially the children's garden where my daughter and I spent lots of time. I miss our favorite parks, museums, coffee shops, restaurants, and breakfast spots. But, mostly, I miss my people up there -- dear friends, mentors, professors, and a beloved academic community at Wheaton. Also, and here's where my nerdy side comes out, I really miss having access to the psychological and theological academic resources at Wheaton's library.
As much as I miss things in Chicago, there are just as many or more that I love in Houston. We have an amazing community of friends here and a church that I dearly love. I am a big fan of Houston's weather and proximity to great outdoor places like beaches, lakes, rivers, and the hill country. My family and I really love the Houston Zoo. Before I moved to Houston, I did not even like Mexican food, but now I am hooked on Tex-Mex, especially queso. Houston has a great restaurant scene, though I don't get much time to explore it right now.
Tell us a little about your family.
My husband and I have been married for almost ten years. He is one of the most passionate, energetic, and hilarious people I know. In his regular job, he works as a financial system consultant (I couldn't tell you what that really means, it goes above my head). He also serves as the Men's Pastor at Bayou City Fellowship. We have a brave, sweet, adventurous, and funny four-year-old daughter. I tell her frequently that she's going to be a world-changer. We also have an 8-month-old son. He is a sweet, happy little cuddle-bug. He is at a really fun (& tiring) age where he is crawling everywhere and getting into anything he can get his hands on. One of my greatest joys right now is watching the sibling relationship develop between my daughter and son.
Congratulations on earning your Ph.D. last year! What's the next step professionally for you?
Thanks, it was a loooong road! Though I need to clarify (so I don't mis-represent myself) that I have a Psy.D. which is more practice-oriented rather than a Ph.D., which is more research-oriented. My next step is opening a private practice here in Houston, which will specialize in the integration of Christianity and psychological services with children and families. I'm almost finished getting the business side of it established, which has been so much more work than I anticipated! I hope to start seeing clients later this month. I am really excited about this huge next step! The Lord has been so good to me through every step.
You were a breakout session speaker at the first Overflow. Do you have a favorite memory of that day?
Yes, it was an incredible day. Since it was the first Overflow, none of us really knew what to expect. I was blown away by how this one day impacted so many women on such a deep level. One of my favorite memories was of this one mom who arrived that morning feeling completely hopeless about her situation. You could just see it all over her face and body language. As I saw her throughout the day, she seemed noticeably different. It was like all hope had been deflated from her due to life circumstances and Overflow helped to inflate her with hope again.
Why do you think that single mom's should come to Overflow? What do you hope for them and their children?
Mom's who are parenting on their own have very few outlets that are just for them and speak into their unique situation of parenting alone. Overflow is one of those rare opportunities. Single mom's should come if they just need a break, need someone to serve them for a change, need some practical help or some real hope, or just need to meet other women who can relate to what it is like to parent alone. As wonderful as the speakers and breakout sessions are, I think one of the greatest things that Overflow offers to single mom's is a supportive community of other single mom's. My hope is for the single mom's that attend Overflow and their children is for them to know that they are loved, valued, and wanted in the church because Jesus Himself loves, values, and wants them. My hope is that Overflow would reflect the Father's love for them and they leave with a deeper experience of that Divine love.
We want to thank Ann for her time and her commitment to Overflow. We know that the Lord is going to use her mightily in June. We can't wait for you to meet her. Check back early next week to meet more of our amazing breakout speakers! We are counting the days until we all can meet you!