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Ordinary People. Ordinary Things. with Melissa Radke

Dec 4, 2019

This episode is one that I recorded a few months ago and wasn't going to air until 2020, but this episode has been weighing on my mind. I think that was because this episode needs to be played now. It's the holiday season, but your not going to hear any mention of the holidays, but what you will hear is a powerful story and a delightful interview. And for whatever reason, that I can't explain, somebody is supposed to hear this podcast now. 

Today’s guest is LeAnne Sheddan Pyzer who describes herself as a pastors wife, mom, grandmother (WHAT??!!), who just turned 40 years old and is learning to live beyond surviving. She was a missionary kid/pastor's kid who went rogue, then was redeemed, and is living life in a rural town in Northern California. We also discovered that we are related. My grandfather and LeAnne’s grandmother are siblings. 

I do remember my family receiving Christmas cards from the Sheddans. Which is LeAnne’s maiden name. They were from exotic locations overseas. LeAnne was from a missionary family and grew up in Portugal, Japan, and the Philippines. That’s not all of her story though. That’s just the beginning. I hope you find LeAnne as delightful as I do and her story just as inspiring. 

Show Notes:

  • [07:49] When LeAnne was four months old her family went to Portugal for four years. Then they would come back to the US for a year, before making another four year journey. She grew up in Portugal, Japan, and the Philippines. 
  • [08:17] The traveling was great until she turned about 12, then she just wanted to be normal. 
  • [09:29] LeAnne was adopted. In 1979, when she was born and adoptions were closed. 
  • [11:15] When she turned 18, she discovered that she was the product of sexual assault. 
  • [14:02] When coming back to the states, she enrolled in High School. She began making compromises to fit in and viewing her faith and her parents faith as a detriment to fit in. She went full prodigal. 
  • [15:56] She believed in God but didn't want to have anything to do with God and church. 
  • [16:13] She rebelled strongly and did a 180 with morals and values. 
  • [17:25] She ended up pregnant, which jarred her back to a journey towards a faith. 
  • [18:33] She got married super quickly and super young. LeAnne and her husband were two teenagers with a baby and another one on the way. 
  • [19:37] The marriage turned abusive, but LeAnne didn't want to add divorce to her list of mistakes.  
  • [21:29] LeAnne ended up divorced with three babies age two, three, and four. 
  • [22:17] She moved to Northern California to be close to her parents, and she started going to her dad's church. 
  • [24:30] LeAnne had resolved herself to being a single mom raising her three children. Then she met the youth pastor who had been single for a long time, but had a lot of women after him.
  • [25:12] He was nine years older than her. On the first date they went to Red Lobster. He said that he was interested in a relationship and asked her how she felt about being a pastor's wife and how she felt about being poor.
  • [26:29] They knew by the end of the night that they were going to be married.
  • [26:39] LeAnne and Zach now have another child.
  • [29:14] They were in a small town called Hidden Valley Lake in Northern California. It was fire season. The valley fire had been one of the most devastating wildfires up until that point. 
  • [30:25] They had about 15 minutes to evacuate before their home was burned to the ground. It devastated the whole community. 
  • [30:42] The fire hit with no warning, and they had to run for their lives. There were only two ways out, and one of those got blocked. 
  • [31:01] A couple days later they found out that their house and their church burned to the ground. They had the choice to fall apart or stay strong.
  • [32:21] The whole community was devastated, but they decided to stay and rebuild. 
  • [32:53] The past four years have been a journey persevering and never stopping. 
  • [34:00] It's daunting to rebuild your life. Even today, she'll reach for a kitchen tool that's not there, and it's a reminder of what she lost. 
  • [36:35] The fire changed LeAnne's perspective. She started looking at things as opportunities not punishments. 
  • [38:51] The heat on the road was intense driving through flames.
  • [40:37] Three months after the devastating fire, Zach was given a diagnosis of young-onset Parkinson's disease. He was 46.
  • [42:57] God is big enough to handle your questions, anger, and frustration. It's okay to be real with him about what you're feeling. It's okay to weep and wail and question. He is strong enough to handle that.
  • [43:33] God has shown up for LeAnne every single time. 
  • [46:48] LeAnne loves taco salads with no beans. 
  • [47:22] Friendship is being there for the good the bad and the ugly.
  • [48:24] Wynonna Judd would play her in a movie.

Thanks for joining us on Ordinary People Ordinary Things. Be sure to subscribe to our podcast on iTunes and leave a nice review. Just like your mother taught you.

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