People who can reach across generations are people who have the ability to bless others greatly.
Linda Rhine is one such person. In her life, she has made a difference in many young lives, but she has also touched and improved the lives of many adults.
Linda and her husband Jim learned about Canyon Lake in the early 1980s. They loved the unique homes, parks, lake and activities, and made it their home in 1984. Because Jim was working in San Luis Obispo at the time, he loved the fact that his wife and son James lived in a gated community.
During the first years that Linda lived in Canyon Lake, she worked for the POA as a receptionist and secretary of the ACC office. It was also during that time her son Daniel was born.
As a family, the Rhines participated in many Canyon Lake community events, such as fishing derbies, swim lessons, Fiesta Days activities, chili cook-offs and holiday activities. Her favorite time was and still is Canyon Lake’s Christmas activities.
Linda received her secondary teaching credential at Longwood University in 1973. But it was not until the late 1980s that Linda discovered her love of teaching. Interestingly, it was not the upper grades in which she had been trained, but in the lower grades.
She began teaching children’s church at Canyon Lake Community Church, and discovered the thrill of teaching 1st and 2nd grades. She loved their enthusiasm and curiosity.
Linda began teaching 1st grade at Riverside Christian School in 1993. She shares the following about her students: “I loved seeing the world through their eyes. They taught me that a positive word of encouragement could motivate them much more to keep trying than any negatives.”
While teaching at RCS, Linda proved to be a compassionate and caring teacher who always went beyond the school’s expectations. An administrator at RCS stated the following: “Linda was one of our finest teachers, with more parents requesting their child to be in her class than we had room. Her greatest gift was her care for the struggling student. She taught that student to have a positive regard for his/her own life and how to relate to others. Linda made a tremendous difference in the lives of our students and their families.”
In 2009, Linda’s husband Jim passed away from complications of diabetes. At this time, the RCS family was very supportive and loving in helping Linda with her teaching duties. However, a group that Linda joined just two years prior would be the rock onto which she would cling.
In 2007, Canyon Lake Community Church started Celebrate Recovery (CR), a 12-step Christ-centered program. The program is available to anyone who has a hurt, habit or hang-up. The goal of CR is to help people search within themselves to get to the real reasons why they are struggling.
It was in CR that Linda found a supportive family. Linda shares, “I came into recovery for co-dependency, which basically means that I will try to fix and control other people’s behavior so that I feel secure. I received my own identity by what others thought of me, and I struggled with low self-esteem.”
It was also in this program that Linda was able to successfully deal with many issues of her own life. What Linda didn’t expect was that she would become a key factor in helping other women struggling with their own problems such as substance abuse, over-eating, marriage issues and many others.
Linda continued to teach full-time while helping with CR during her free time. But in 2014, she retired from teaching and dedicated her time to help other adults through the CR process. As a CR leader, Linda facilitates small groups and step studies, teaches lessons and sponsors other ladies in the program.
Currently Linda has returned to her love of teaching children, as she has taken on leadership duties in Celebration Place, a program designed for elementary aged children of those seeking recovery at CR.
As the CR program at CLCC grows, so does Linda’s impact on the Canyon Lake community. As a volunteer, Lindahelps to lead people who have tremendous needs down a path of recovery. Although Linda’s demeanor is calm and loving, her influence is strong and lasting.
For Linda, it was only a short step between using her skill of helping struggling young children to making a difference in the lives of her peers.
For those children and adults whom she has encouraged and blessed, it was a huge act of leaping “across generations” with her care and concern, for which they will be forever grateful.