Get to Know Michelle Claybourn – HOPE’s Nursery Coordinator


The Claybourns


Michelle has a background in Elementary Education and Special Education. She taught in the field of Special Education for 8 years before choosing to stay home with her children after the birth of her first daughter. She continues to watch children at her home and enjoys teaching the little ones and watching them grow. She continues to be able to do this on Sundays in the church nursery as well. Michelle enjoys the blessing of playing with, comforting, teaching, and watching the children in the nursery grow.
She and her husband, Jarod were married in 2003, and have 4 young children. They live in Stratford and spend much of their time as a family at Sterling High School.

One thing I love about my role on staff …

… is being able to get to know and connect with the youngest members of HOPE Church. The children that come into the nursery are all so different, and to watch them interact, learn, and play is enjoyable to me. Some children are leaving their parents for the first time ever, and some are used to being more independent. I love to see the differences in the children and families, and to be able to provide comfort and help them take a big step in some of their little lives as they learn to leave their parents’ sides. We begin to teach the children about Jesus and watch them learn and talk about Jesus and his love for them. I also hope to be able to connect with the parents and help get them through a possibly difficult time of leaving their children for the first time, or just being able to connect parent to parent.

A time I saw God at work in my life …

Dealing with such small children all the time, I see God at work every day. Being able to stay home and watch every minute of my 4 children learning about the world is something I would never change. They find amazement in the world around them, and it is only by the grace of God that I have been blessed to have these children and to be able to see the world again through their eyes.

A book that rocked my world (in addition to the Bible) …

I recently enjoyed reading “Strong and Kind” by Korie Robertson. As I am learning and trying to do my best as a mom and childcare provider, this book helped to put life into perspective. It talks about how to raise your children with morals and values in a world where that is rare. It also uses humor (which every parent needs to find regularly in their daily life) to remind us to be honest with our children and ourselves. No child or family is perfect, and we, as parents don’t have to pretend to be. We should be real and teach our children to be real as well.

One reason I think people should check out HOPE Church …

It has a program or small group appropriate for anyone. The programs for children of all ages are fantastic. There are so many small groups for adults where you can connect and form “real” lifetime relationships with people fitting for wherever you are in life’s journey.

A hobby that you’d love to get into but probably never will …

I would love to be a personal trainer. I love coaching and love working out. I love trying to inspire people to push themselves to be the best they can be. With 4 very small children, time for all of those things is quite limited since they are the focus of my life. I enjoy working out with the kids though, so for right now, I will be a personal toddler trainer in my spare time!