Monday, July 16, 2012
What a special treat to introduce you to this week’s Monday’s with Mom. If I can use the old saying, “The proof is in the pudding,” then I can tell you she is a mother definitely worthy of recognition. She has raised up two children into successful, giving adults. Not to mention mothering the countless other children who darkened her door during their rearing years. I did my own fair share of running through her house as a teenager.
I asked Barbara the normal Monday questions, but she sent me such a great story, I had to toss the questions. I have a hunch this will bless you even more than the normal format. Here is Barbara’s story in her own words.
“We have one son, Frank David who is 43 years old and a daughter, Donna Rae, who is 40. I have absolutely dedicated my life to these children. I had a miscarriage when I was four months along with my first baby. I tried so hard to keep it. When I got to have my son, I was extremely happy. Oh gosh, I couldn’t stop looking at him.
He was a lot more fun than the puppies David’s coon hound had. My mom had told me whenever I had a baby, the puppies wouldn’t be so important and she was right. Three years later we were blessed with a daughter. She had dark hair and big brown eyes. Just like her brother, she was the best looking baby in the world.
When Donna Rae was 20 months old, she became very ill. I won’t go into details, but the specialist told me a mother’s instinct was the strongest thing there was in rearing children. I believe this is good information for today’s mother as well.
I have worked at a few different jobs in my life. I have been a waitress, a convenience store clerk, a secretary in a high school and an oil company, and a private secretary to a hospital administrator. I have also worked as a lab technician assistant and managed a catering service.
One of the first jobs I had was a grocery store clerk in a small town in Kansas. My boss was going to leave the store and said a lady was coming in to purchase a chicken fryer and I would have to cut it up. Oh, I was hoping she wouldn’t come in and I told my boss I had never cut up a fryer. He assured me there was nothing to it. Unfortunately, the lady came in. I tried to cut it the way I had watched my boss do and ended up butchering the poor chicken. The lady refused to buy it, so I had to.
For the last many years I have worked as a precinct official. I started working on the election board as a counter when we still counted ballots by “stringing” them. Presently, I am the inspector for our precinct. I have done volunteer jobs for forty years for my alumni association. Several of my friends, family and I have created a museum for our town’s history.
The December before my son was to leave for college, I had purchased a poster with an eagle soaring on it. The poster read, “Two lasting gifts you can give your children – one is roots and the other is wings.” This poster remained on the upper wall of my bedroom until my daughter left for college. If I ever find the box I packed it in, I will see the two torn places at the top sides where I yanked it off the wall the day she left. The empty nest syndrome set in hard.
Just about six weeks after Donna left for college, my dad passed away. My mom had already passed 6 years before and when he passed, I felt as though I had lost my best friend. God, family and church had been my whole life.
Earlier I mentioned Donna becoming very ill. At that time was when I began a closer walk with God. Over the next few years I learned God wants to fellowship and have a relationship with me. One of my favorite songs is In the Garden. This song speaks of God walking with me and talking with me and telling me I am His own. This relationship is still very strong in my spirit today.
Even though I had been in church all my life, I had never had a close relationship with God. Sure, I read the Bible and prayed. I had become a Christian at the age of sixteen. I am so thankful for all the scripture memorization during my younger life in Sunday school.
In 1973 during Donna’s illness, I realized a personal relationship God wants with each of His children. I understood what Jesus meant when He said, “I have to go away but I will send you a comforter who will not only be with you but in you. He will bring all things back to your remembrance whatsoever I have said unto you.”
When my kids were beginning their teen years, I found the scripture that says, “My children are wise and make my heart glad; they are taught of the Lord and great is the peace of my children.” I still pray this over them and now over all four of my grandchildren. I have taken my role as a mother very seriously. God is so gracious and merciful and I am so glad because I have made a lot of mistakes.
Each generation comes with new challenges for rearing children, I believe we must adapt without losing our faith and relationship with our Father God. I believe it is vital that we as individuals read the Holy Bible to see what God is saying to us today and pray. We must pray for understanding and the Holy Spirit will lead us into all truth. My faith is that He will never leave us or forsake us.
There are many denominations in this country. My sister Beverly and I were raised in the same church until we were adults. I left this wonderful church for doctrinal reasons. She and I agreed to love each other regardless of our beliefs. I would only hope the Church can do this today. Years ago I heard a speaker say something that has stayed in my memory. She said, “The church is killing off its own wounded.”
My sister Beverly went to heaven in 2001 after battling cancer. Immediately after her memorial service, my kids and David packed me and took me to Branson. I spent my time downstairs at Dave’s house mourning and crying as only you can imagine. Bev and I were so close, even in our thought pattern. When I returned to Wynona I opened my emails and read the condolences. Wow. I was just overcome with emotion.
At that moment, I began to pray for God to help me accept Beverly’s passing. I had made myself literally sick when my mom passed. Sitting in that moment with my head in my hands by the computer, I heard my sister’s voice say, “Barb, you’d just love it here”. A peace that surpasses all understanding enveloped me and I have been okay ever since. This is my relationship with my Father God. Even though I don’t know about tomorrow, I know Who holds my hand.”
Thank you, Barbara, for sharing your story and your wisdom with us. What a privilege for me to honor you today. You bring to mind Matthew 25:21, “…Well done, good and faithful servant!…”