Sunday, May 10, 2009
This is my first post with Meredith's 10 on the 10th and I struggled all week trying to figure out what I would post about. Well it came to me at church this morning. My post is about Moms.
So here is a list of 10 women who have impacted my life as a mom.
1. Rudene. God definitely knew what he was doing when he moved us to Alabama. Rudene and Charlie are members of the church we served in AL. They never had children of their own. I have figured out over the years that it isn't the number of children you birth or raise that makes you a mother. You become a mother when you chose to love and nurture any child in your life. Rudene is a mother many times over. God blessed me by putting this special friend in my life. As a believer it is so important to have people supporting you that you can be honest with but as a pastor's wife sometimes those people are hard to find. Rudene is that person to me. I know I can be honest with her and I know that she will encourage or chastise which ever is needed.
2. Liz is another one of God's gifts from Alabama. Liz has raised two sets of twin boys. She is a teacher in a tough all boys military school. Liz loves boys. She is the one that I could go to when I thought I was losing my mind and she would say it will be alright. She assured me that they will grow up one day. We have watched as Dick and Liz released their children to do God's work. There youngest twins were serving a missionaries in Kazakhstan when we moved to Alabama. They returned home after 3 years and Matt got married. Matt and Johnna then got pregnant and prepared to go back to Kazakhstan. You know it is hard to let your children go, but even harder to send your grandchildren overseas. What a blessing to watch as Liz struggled but even in that struggle said "I want them to be where God is calling." How awesome to watch her bless her children with that gift. Now Will the other twin is returning to Kazakhstan. Do you see those names Matt and Will? Our William Matthew has some great namesakes in his life because of Liz.
3. Angela. One fall day a red suburban pulled into our yard at our new house in Alabama and our life became so much richer for it. Angela walked into our lives and has been a blessing since. Angela and Greg lived about 3 miles from us. They didn't attend our church so we hadn't met them. Angela "dropped" in and we met her and her 5 children (now there are 6). It was nice to find out that another family was homeschooling in our neighborhood. Over the course of three years God richly blessed me with this friendship. It was nice to have a friend that I could stop by in the afternoon, our kids could play and we could chat. It was nice to have a friend who I could call at the drop of the hat to watch the boys. It is also nice to know I have a friend I can call and ask to pray and she is faithful to do it.
4. Renee J. When we moved to south Florida we had the pleasure of serving on staff at a church where Renee's husband was the pastor. Over the course of our three years at TC3 Renee deeply impacted my life. She was a great Bible teacher. But for me she encouraged me to be true to myself as a mother. She stayed at the hospital with me when we lost Josiah, but she was also at the birth of Graham. Renee was a nurse practitioner and she walked with us through the medical side of still birth and birth.
5. Anne Z. was in our church in St. Louis. I dearly love Mr. Louis and Mrs. Anne. They were wonderful examples of missionaries. Anne and Louis had served in Israel as missionaries until they retired. When they retired and moved back to the states they settled in St. Louis. There they eventually became a part of our church plant. I know they didn't always enjoy the music and the setting was probably not their cup of tea, but they didn't complain and moan. They pitched in to help set up and take down. They volunteered to greet and serve in the children's ministry. They have a heartfelt desire to see people come to meet Jesus. I pray that I will be like that for the rest of my life.
6. Dannielle is someone that I knew online long before I met her. We are both members of a natural parenting boardAmity Mama. Dannielle is a tremendous artist. Here is a link to her blog Princess Nimble Fingers and her Esty Shop. You can see some of the wonderful toys that she makes. She also homeschools and for many years she did both of these things while dealing with debilitating pain. Over a couple of years, Dannielle has embarked on a new way of life that includes losing weight and beginning to exercise. She has totally changed her life. I was so blessed to meet her and visit in her home and she is one of the people that I have missed since we left St. Louis. She is inspiring in so many ways.
7. Grace and Don were in our church in Florida and they were active in our ministry to young adults. Grace and Don became some of our closest friends. I was privileged to work for Don and Grace and they have blessed us in many ways but they were the beginning of our goal to become financial free. In 2004 Don and Grace began the process of adopting twin girls from China. Grace asked me at the time if I thought they were crazy for adopting twins at their age. I responded in all honesty that I thought they would be the best parents I knew. Grace's little girls are blessed to be raised by a mom who loves them and loves the Lord. If you want to read Don and Grace's story of adoption check out the twins link on their website Treasure Coast Financial.
8. Jan is my sister in law but I feel blessed to call her my friend. Now before I offend any of my other sil's out there. Let me say that the reason I list Jan here is because we lived with Jan and Perry for almost 6 months. So we have walked together in a unique and sometimes stressful situation. I know all the good about her and she knows the rest about me. Jan is incredible. Jan never yells at her children and I mean never. She doesn't yell at them to come in or to come from another room in the house or yell if she is mad. Another thing about her is that she rarely loses her cool about anything. She is calm and patient and I need to be more like her. She also has a heart for Jesus and she instills that heart in her family. I feel blessed that she and I married into the same family.
9. Stacy. I don't know Stacy IRL, I know her from Amity's. also. Over the years I have come to the place where when Stacy posts something about parenting I stop and take notice. She is wise. I know that we have different backgrounds and beliefs on some things, but Stacy has a wisdom about parenting that astounds me at times. If there is someone in my life that I believe truly parents in a manner consist with the teachings of Jesus (You know "suffer the little children" and "blessed are...") than I believe it is Stacy. Stacy's has encouraged me to "respond with love" to my children.
10. Ruth. No list would be complete without my mom. She is an incredible woman. She has been a pastor's wife for 46 years. She was also a pastor's daughter. She is a lady of tremendous and deep faith. I have watched her selflessness in numerous situations. I have watched her care for her parents and loved ones. I have seen her hold babies at church and I have seen her sit with elderly. When we were growing up she always had dessert ready in case people were invited over to our house after church. She worked full time when I was a child but she still had time to come to my school programs. She had plenty of time to cook dinner every Sunday. She had plenty of time to raise a garden and can mountains of food every summer. But the one memory that will be forever etched in my mind is the one of my mother who was awake at 5:30 every day. She would be sitting in the living room with a cup of coffee and her Bible. Since the year I was born she has tried to read the Bible through EVERY year. In case you were wondering she has read the Bible through about 38 times. She had plenty of time for everything in her life because she took time for the most important thing. She always took time with the Lord.
I know why the writer of the Hebrews "chapter of faith" said "and that doesn't include..." because there are so many other women out there that are incredible Mom's. My list doesn't include Karrie, Meeshi, Jeni, Jennifer, Heather, Gayla, Gina, Kristy, Deborah, Renee S., Marilyn, Shannon, Meredith, Susan, Amy, Lori, Nieta, Ann, Lydia, Brenda or the women in your life. I could go on for days. I just want to say to every woman out there whether you are a mother by birth, by adoption or by choice thank you and I hope you have a blessed day.