My life story is an example of a life that shows that –
with God you can do much much more than you ever thought you could do…
My blog posts are going to be in consecutive order, starting from when I was fourteen. I am quickly laying the groundwork for my emerging relationship with Jesus and my marriage to Dan. From there I will be telling our God stories.
1-Nice Girl Gets Divine Leading
I was a nice girl in high school in the early sixties (1959-1963). Anyone would have told you that. In fact I remember the general feeling when I entered Oxnard High School as being wholesome. The times would be changing very quickly, the country was teetering on the brink of the sexual revolution. But at that time it was still cool to be a good girl.
Through my relationship with my best friend, Nancy, I had come out of painful shyness and timidity. She and I were in a core group of besties we had bonded with from junior high school days, but we also had friends in all of the social groups.
Nancy’s sister Carol was a senior when we were freshmen. Beginning the previous summer, she prodded us to jump right into all of the school activities, run for class office, decorate the homecoming float, join clubs, dress up for pioneer day, and go to all of the games. And she called us dorks if we showed any sign of wimpy-ness. Her goading was the best thing that could have happened to us because we had a really fun time in high school. Continue reading “1-Nice Girl Gets Divine Leading”→
I was pretty sure I had the grades to transfer to a state college, but would my wonderful parents be able to make the leap from my being a secretary in one of the businesses in our small town to my pursuing a teaching credential? We were solidly middle class, yet I didn’t know if my dad could afford to send me away to college. It took all of my courage to present my new idea.
My dad said he would pay for the first year of college and if I did well and wanted to keep going, I could apply for student loans for the next two years.
As a family we visited San Diego State College, a long drive down the coast. It was close to my beloved Pacific Ocean, but the campus was much too big and sophisticated for a girl from a small farming community. We went to Fresno State, and it was a fit. It was an agricultural school and had a very good teachers’ program.
It was 1965 and the Catholic Church was in the midst of adjusting to the new Vatican II decrees. After a lifetime of honoring the revered traditions of the church, the radical changes in Church procedures shook my faith to the core. Continue reading “2-Nice Girl Says Goodbye to God”→
During my three years at Fresno State College, I see that I was a small sloop, bobbing on a vast sea of challenges, rather than being a solid house on a rock able to weather the incessant storms that came against me—and everyone—in that era.
Liberal philosophies threatened my conservative political base. And I caved in to them. The new social movement embodied the antithesis of my religious morality. And in time I embraced it.
Time magazine’s cover in April, 1966, asked, Is God Dead? Theologians were debating God’s existence. Professors and students were questioning the meaning of life and many concluded that ‘anything goes.’
Up until the mid-fifties, average Americans read the evening paper and listened to the news on the radio. Occasionally they would go to the movie theater and see the visuals of uprisings in other countries and hurricane damage in Florida. With the proliferation of television, families were daily watching heart-wrenching civil rights demonstrations, assassination reports of beloved and revered personalities, violent university riots, and devastating warfare footage from Southeast Asia.
I was getting A’s on my tests in a sociology class and a guy asked if he could study with me because sociology was his major and he had to do well in the class. Rory was not bad looking, sort of cocky, and drove a Vespa scooter.
He was tall and his long legs dominated the vehicle. Owning a Vespa was pretty uncool, but I good-naturedly donned the extra helmet and found that I enjoyed riding on it. Rory seemed like he was in the straight-arrow nice-guy category, and I was immediately impressed that he conscientiously followed the speed limits and all of the driving rules, using hand signals and going the speed limit.
Rory and I studied sociology in the library several times and then he invited me out to his house for dinner. He lived several miles off campus with a good friend of his who was a great guy with a very neat girlfriend. Dick had a round face, a big boyish smile, and a rumbily contagious laugh. Since almost everything Jane said struck his funny bone because he was so in love with her, laughter filled the house. Continue reading “4 -Nice Girl Wobbles and Topples”→
Here is the background of the conflict that was at war inside me regarding sleeping with Rory.
I attended kindergarten and first grade at the Santa Clara Church elementary school. As a seven year old I began expressing an interest in being a nun so that I could emulate my beloved teachers, Sister Celine Marie and Sister Francis Eileen. My parents transferred me to our neighborhood public school for second grade.
My mom told me later that she wanted me to be able to make my own independent choices about my life and not be overly influenced in my early formative years about something so serious that I might become committed to the dream of being a nun and not able to budge from it later. Continue reading “5- Bound by a Childhood Vow”→
Rory and I began seriously dating and I took that Vespa ride to his house often. It wasn’t long before my old traditional morals which were stuffed down and embedded deeply, were conflicting with my progressive under-the-influence-of-marijuana-and-beer/make-love-not-war morals.
My life took a drastic shift. I was trying to juggle too much of the new me with the old me. I made an appointment at the campus infirmary where birth control pills were distributed freely. But I also asked for a prescription for tranquilizers for the high anxiety that was my constant companion. Continue reading “6-Rory and Me”→
My husband, Rory, had goals and plans. His first priority was to obtain a Master’s Degree in sociology. The University of Nevada accepted him and offered to pay him a stipend to help him achieve his goal.
We moved to Reno in the summer of 1969, after five months of marriage. I cried as we drove on the freeway leaving behind the miles and miles of forests thick with pines, firs, junipers and sequoias which crowded together in the Sierras.
Entering Nevada, I was temporarily consoled for many miles by the rushing Truckee River. I was distracted by the fishermen and the people rafting, but not comforted. I was going to be a frustrated California girl longing for my home turf. Continue reading “8-We Move to Reno”→
My job interview had taken place a few days before Christmas vacation. I continued to work at the insurance agency up until the last minute before school started so that we could pay the rent and do the grocery shopping. I was so excited to be going back to the classroom.
Glenn Duncan School was in a low-income neighborhood and my classroom and 3 others were part of the Follow Through program. FT was a federally-funded program that was a continuation of education, health checkups, and social services to the children who had been in the Head Start Program.
I found out later that because the school was located in a low-income neighborhood, my school loans got paid off at a greater percentage than if I was working in a middle class school. That was a definite perk. Continue reading “9-New Job!”→
We continued following our itinerary and in Switzerland we met a couple, Lance and Cher, from the Bay Area. They also had a VW bus and were our age. We got along very well and traveled together the final three weeks of our trip, sharing meals, exploring the countryside, sitting around the campfires in the campgrounds. This friendship was a godsend and helped compensate for the strain Rory and I were experiencing in our relationship.
A funny story: Whenever Cher and I looked at each other we felt like we were looking in a mirror! We looked so much alike, and the men agreed, that we laughed self-consciously every time our eyes met. I thought she was really cute and she felt the same about me! But neither of us liked our own looks particularly. Crazy.