Thursday, October 11, 2012


Heather Budwell

Friendships. I love them! I am one of the most relational people you may ever meet. I love meeting new people and learning about them, but I flourish from deep, meaningful relationships. I wear my heart on my sleeve so you can almost always know how my day is going just by my demeanor. I keep things real and don’t have time or patience for falsehoods. I usually show my cards at our first meeting and if you feel like you can stick around for some more then you have earned yourself a trustworthy, true sister in Christ.

Growing up in a family who moved every few years I have learned the deep rooted importance of a strong family unit and consider my mother to be one of my very best friends in the world. My dad is my biggest fan and I treasure his thumbprint on my life. I have tried to instill this same strong family value into my family today. My husband, Rich, and I are going on 13 years of marriage and have been blessed with three amazing kiddos. Life is full and exhausting and exhilarating and exasperating all in one day around our house! I consider myself to be a daily recipient of God’s mercy and grace and try to keep my sinful nature in line with these gifts. I have experienced some of the most amazing journeys around the world and have lived out some of the most painful seasons of suffering. I view my life’s journey thus far as a road map to a deeper and more intimate relationship with God, myself and those I pour my heart into.

I express my worship to God through music, singing, dreaming, laughing, hiking, teaching, relating, loving, running, dancing, art, writing, cooking, eating all kinds of good food, journaling, public speaking, creating, designing and crying. I live to love.

Sue Busler

Bible babe, wife, mother, retired Air Force Reserve Colonel, and desperate housewife, not necessarily in that order. She currently lives in Maryville, Illinois, where she is a Certified Lay Speaker for the United Methodist Church. Several years ago, Sue was afflicted with a serious case of volunteerism, a condition she continues to battle today, unsuccessfully. She has been a Bible Study teacher, Sunday School teacher, Cub Scout Den leader, Girl Scout leader, food pantry volunteer, Boy Scout committee person, church committee chairperson, youth sports coach, room mother, Ronald McDonald House volunteer, Officers’ Spouses’ Club officer, yada, yada, yada. Once upon a time, Sue was selected as the Reserve Officer of the Year for the entire Air Force, and she has won several other awards, too, including “Best Smile” in the third grade. She loves chocolate, which she did not give up for Lent, and reads everything from Pulitzer Prize winners to food package labels. She works out every day, almost. A wannabe writer, she is the author of a book of prayers and several Erma Bombeck-type articles which were published under her own by-line, “Go Ahead, Sue Me.” She has been married to Bruce for 31 passion-filled years, and is the mother of three very average children: Tom, Luke and Rebecca Joy, a student at Olivet Nazarene. She is also a grandmother to a nearly perfect granddaughter, Annabel Eve. A bad dog, Izzy, rounds out the family.

Jessica Dudley
I'm a 30-something wife and mother of two boys who literally and figuratively fill my plate too full.  I'm a self-proclaimed procrastinator, but I tend to work well under pressure.  I do my best thinking while in the shower.  I make jokes when I'm nervous and insecure. I'm a huge Neil Diamond fan.  I recently checked "Donate Hair To Locks of Love" off my bucket list.  Most importantly, I'm here because I'm a lifetime yo-yo dieter who just recently began a genuine journey towards God for the first time in my life.  It all started after He decided to buy me breakfast at McDonald's, and I want to share my honest, emotion-filled spiritual journey towards God, good health, balance of life, and eternal happiness with others.  

Deb Ellis

I’m proud to say that I am a 47-year-old wife, mom & Christian. I have been married 21 years. My husband is a retired Air Force pilot and we have lived in quite a few locations, but never overseas (bummer). My family “roots” brought us back to Illinois in 2000. Funny, I spent the first 18 years of my life trying to escape the boredom of Illinois, and I am the one who begged to come back. My childhood BFF always said “roots grow deep in the Midwest.” She also made me wear a seat belt before it was the law. I have two beautiful, teenage daughters who have made me a better person. Because of them, I came back to the church and one day found myself in a Women’s Bible Study group. I have been with these ladies for almost ten years, and they have molded and nurtured my soul. God called upon me five years ago to “take care of you” and since then I have been on a journey…to grow…in strength, faith, patience, friendships and confidence. He has taken me on many scary journeys (running ½ marathons, writing for Ruby, cycling for great causes, surfing, accepting a “real” job after many years staying home with my girls, etc.). I am on a faith walk with the Lord, and I am really enjoying the trip!

Julie Ford
I'm in the middle of 100, does that mean middle aged? I love Jesus Christ, his mercy, his grace and his word. I am married to the most wonderful man, yes he does dishes and makes me breakfast, a momma to (3) young adults who make me laugh my head off and sometimes just makes me shake my head....stepmom to my man's (5) loving kids. I love dogs, all kinds and we currently have (4) in our home,, love, love working with women's ministry, sending/receiving snail mail/packages, eating white wedding cake, drinking coffee, Hershey chocolate, reading books/blogs, baking, cooking and giving encouragement. Just recently had a epiphany about my life, I want to do things that I wouldn't have even thought about in my earlier years, guess a bucket list of sorts, and writing is one of them. Bring it on!

Elizabeth Grant

Elizabeth Grant is a professor of speech at Lewis and Clark Community College.  She resides in Edwardsville with her husband Steve and sons David (14) and Cam (11).  We are a baseball family...and we dislike Sunday (church day) tournaments but find ourselves on the field a lot during summer weekends.  She is involved at Troy UMC as pre-school storyteller (only because she likes to wear wigs each Sunday) and worship leader (that's my real hair...yep, THAT curly!)   My college's mission includes empowering people to accomplish great things and I enjoy being a part of that process by empowering my students with confidence to speak out for what they believe.

Sarah Kirkpatrick

Sarah Kirkpatrick works in Student Affairs at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville. Sarah received a bachelor’s degree in sociology/social work from Illinois College and her master of science in Student Personnel Administration from University of Central Missouri. She is a Glen Carbon resident, having moved back to the Metro-East area after living and working in Indiana and Northern Virginia. Sarah is a member of First Presbyterian Church Edwardsville where she sits on the Board of Elders, teaches Sunday School, and chairs the Evangelism and Church Promotions committee. She is mom to a 7-year old daughter, Grace. Sarah’s interests include reading, scrapbooking, Relay For Life, and taking Grace swimming and to the zoo.

LeAnn Kitchen
LeAnn Kitchen, age 31, has lived in Troy, IL since 2009 with her husband Kris, and three daughters, Kaylee, Megan, and Kendall. LeAnn is blessed with the opportunity to stay home with her girls. LeAnn enjoys cooking and baking from scratch, attempting to be crafty from time-to-time, and volunteering for positions such Girl Scout Troop Leader and Upward Cheerleading Coach. In addition, she is an active member of the Community of Christ Church in Shiloh, IL.

Beth Miramonti
I am a Jesus Girl, forgiven and anointed!  Empty-nested mama seeking God and wholeness in body, mind and soul. I love learning, research, and books. Some of my favorite hobbies include crocheting, reading, beading, gardening and most anything outdoors. My favorite time of year, fall, I crave campfires in the evening and hikes through piles of fallen leaves.  I love children for their simple pure honesty and passion for life.  I have recently found joy in fitness and have come to believe that one pure act of worship is caring for my physical body so as to provide a Holy Temple for my God to reside within me.  I am truly a work in progress and learning to give thanks for all these good gifts from above.

Carol Pigg, Biography Coming Soon

Lisa Powell

I live out in the country near Ogden, Illinois, a very small town northeast of the University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana.  My husband Josh and I have been married for 14+ years and have 3 beautiful girls ages 9, 5 and 2.  I am also a homeschool teacher.  I have been homeschooling for 5 years.  It is a blessing to be able to teach the girls daily about Jesus throughout all of their subjects and be able to challenge them at their individual levels as they need.  Being a teacher/mommy/wife takes up most of my time, but when I have free time I enjoy reading, scrapbooking, cardmaking, sewing, and crafting of all kinds!  I am usually involved in at least two Bible studies at once.  I want to know God more and more.  The more I learn about Him and His love for me, the more I want to know.  I long to live as close to Jesus as I can.

Tami Roderick

Tami is a mother of four children. Brad, age 24, Zack, age 18, Christian, age 16 and Tori age 11. She has been married to her husband David for 25 years. Even after 25 years, He is the love of her life. She feels very blessed to have Him and her four children. Tami owns her own accounting business and works from home. She is in a business partnership with God. She believes that If it was not for Him, she would not be where she is in her business. She has an employee that has also added to her many blessings. Tami is a minister's wife as her husband David is the Family Minister at TUMC. Tami teaches the 2s and 3s Tru Wonder class. She absolutely loves spending time with those little ones. Tami is a cancer survivor. She was diagnosed with Hodgkins Lymphoma in May of 2010. She is in remission. She has seen God's work in the people around her. She hopes that she can always give back as much love and support as her and her family received during their rough times. 

Pat Schwieder

Hi, my name is Pat Schwieder. I have been married to my amazing husband for 35 years. The Lord blessed me with two daughters who are as different from one another as their parents are. Emily is 34, a school teacher and the proud mother of our two grandchildren, Julia (4) and Joe (3). My younger daughter, Jami, is a social worker at a grade school and the proud mother of our two grandcats! They both are married to awesome men we adore.

My husband, Jerry, and I love to spend weekends at bed and breakfasts and explore the towns they are near. Even after 35 years, we still enjoy each other's company.

I have a passion for women's ministry and I have been blessed with many opportunities over the years to meet many wonderful God-loving women of all ages. I am so excited to have the pleasure of contributing to Ruby Magazine.

Your Name Here, Picture and Biography Coming Soon

Courtney Winkler
I am a forty-something believer, book woman, wife, momma, freelance writer/editor, volunteer, previous fish owner (may they R.I.P.), grandmother to a hamster, M.A.T., 4x 5Ker, 1x 39.3 mile Avon Walk for Breast Cancer Survivor, book club member, Daisy and Brownie leader, ballerina flunkee, recreational baker, lover of preschool crafts, extreme couponer wannabe, reading advocate, amateur photog, film addict, aspiring horticulturist, English teacher, breast cancer warrior, and Author Groupie.

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