Our family is our first ministry

If you have children you will know what I mean. It is challenging, and more frustrating than one could ever have imagined. Yet the best thing that’s ever been said to me has been “you must be Leanne and Tim’s mom”. No words have brought more meaning to my life, nor probably ever will.

Proving what a mess we were; about six months into our marriage I said to Bill “Ya know, I really don’t know if I want children. So if you want to go and get a vasectomy that’ll be ok with me'”. How sad that that was the first time we spoke about having children. Well, about three months later I found myself pregnant. I will never say she was an accident, but a surprise. Soon we were having baby showers and I was sewing bumper pads with fabric from TG&Y, a local five and dime. When she was born my mother said she was so perfect looking that she looked like a Betsy Wetsy doll. And soon another surprise, his name was Tim. He wasn’t sweet and full looking like Leanne, he looked more like ET.

I love being a mother. Though I had no idea how to do it, being an only child I had no experience with children growing up. And my mother was NOW loving and spoke baby talk. (The irony). But I put my whole body and soul into these two little beings. Did I make mistakes…tons. But I was born with a tenacious spirit. If I feel that it’s something God wants of me I don’t know how to run away from it.

But when Leanne and Tim went to college, they ran away. They decided that our views of God separated us instead of strengthening us as a family unit. In tears I once told them how much I missed them. I tried to explain it was like having a full time job for twenty years and getting a pink slip one day, saying you are no longer qualified.

Yet, as many of you knowraising children is such an intense time in your life you can’t just stop. Those desires to love and nurture don’t just fade away. Would the most obvious thing be to volunteer at the premie unit at the local hospital and hold premature babies?, as some have suggested…Yes…yes it would. But that’s just not me.

Nor does with the passing of Tim remove my desire to be his mother. But am mature enough to realize I (obviously) don’t need to take care of him anymore, so I put those energies into our daughter.

So now my role as a mother has intensified in more ways that I can say. As like Job was given more of, I now sit in the front row of over a thousand souls that I don’t agree with, that my daughter runs seminars for. We travel across the country so we can be there not only for our daughter, but for her friends. Who have now become my friends.

Our daughter was given an award recently where she was interviewed. They asked her what her biggest accomplishment was. She answered “that my parents put their beliefs aside to come to my seminar”. She was wrong, as it is because of our beliefs we are there. We stand in the gap trying to show them God’s love, just by showing up. As a friend said, we should always be speaking the gospel, sometime we should use words.

I have learned to adapt and ask the Lord to show me where I need to go and what to heal from so I can have the best results possible with my daughter. Ahhhh…that tenacious spirit.

Someone once said to me that “our family should be our first minsitry”. I agree, I see being a mother more of a calling. And am so thankful to have been given that sweet little surprise, so many years ago.
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