Holly, I remember the day you were born. You were my only child who arrived late! Ten days late! We were waiting for your delivery to pack up the house so we could move back to the U.S. after 7 years in Jamaica. There was nothing about your birth that went according to my plans…except that you arrived safely and were healthy.
MY LITTLE WORLD PLANS
These were my plans:
- You were going to be a boy.
- You were going to be born in March when you were due and share your birth month with your father.
- You were going to be born in March so you and I would be well on our way to a “schedule” before our move back to the U.S.
- We would be headed to the U.S. for a great job in the pastorate that would be full of challenges and the need for our ministry skills.
I’m sure I had many other plans, but those are a few that I still remember.
GOD’S BIG KINGDOM PLANS
God’s plans for you, me and our family were dramatically different! His agenda had a lot more to do with teaching humility, patience, trust in Him and the way and timing He used were the very best way for His glory and His purposes!
Little did we know that instead of this being the beginning of a new adventure in our lives in the way we were hoping, this change (that seemed to have been forced on us by government policy changes) was the beginning of two years of no job for your dad! Two years of having our hopes up for a job, then having them dashed when we were turned down, frequently for opposite reasons!
LIFE GOES ON
Sadly, I had to return to work when you were 6 months old. I hated that. But it was the best way to provide for our family. There aren’t many temp jobs for pastors. RN temp jobs are everywhere! They were especially common back then.
Meanwhile, Daddy completed his D.Min. project (to make him more marketable for a job). You can imagine our frustration when even that prevented him from getting some jobs. (Sr. pastor doesn’t have D.Min. You can’t be more educated than he is!)
Despite our problems during your first two years of life, you and your sisters didn’t seem to be affected negatively by our sadness and frustration. Your lives continued on in a routine, not a rigid one, but a routine nonetheless. I was home in the daytime (worked 3-11) and your dad fixed your suppers and got you ready and into bed at night. You had plenty of friends to play with so your world was great!
Of all our daughters, you were the most quiet and timid. You seemed less extroverted as a child. (Of course, you followed a very extroverted sister, so it may have only been by comparison!)
YOUR VIEW OF YOURSELF VS. THE TRUTH
My concern was that you saw yourself as dumb even though you weren’t. You were 4/6 years younger than your older sisters so seemed to think that not performing on their level was a sign that you weren’t as intelligent.
Fortunately, you found a way to see for yourself that that wasn’t true when you went to a grad program in Physical Therapy. You never would tell me your rank in class because you didn’t want me to brag, but I’m sure it was pretty high up. It doesn’t make you a better/worse person if your rank is high. But it does show that you are certainly intelligent to have been able to get through the program…and do well in it:)
I remember how lonely you were when your last sister went to college. You had never been alone. There had always been at least one sister around. This was new territory for you and I know it was difficult. During part of that time, I was working full-time, since we had 2 in college…just what you didn’t need…a mother on auto-pilot, trying to survive!
DEVELOPING YOUR WRITING SKILLS
One area where you developed during those years was in your journaling. To this day, you express yourself well in writing. You are not only clear, you are clever and witty. I love to read the things you write!
BECOMING A BETTER MOTHER…
You are a wonderful mother! I see the tenderness, patience and love you pour out on your children and I am grateful for God’s grace in your life. I didn’t have that kind of tenderness and sweetness…especially with you. By the third child, I was tired and much of my idealism had waned. I am sad for that…and so sorry. (On my bad days, I am extremely regretful.)
BY GIVING OUT OF LOVE & GRACE, NOT REVENGE & REACTION
I am also grateful that God’s grace has worked in your life in a way that has caused you to give to your children out of love and grace and not out of revenge and reaction to past hurts from me. That is not only a gift you have given your children. It is a gift you have given yourself and your family.
Over the years of your life, I have seen you become a woman who loves God…no, not perfectly. He doesn’t want perfect. He wants us to need Him. He purposely brings circumstances and situations into our lives to show us just how much we do need Him.
As you live in your marriage to Brandon, I see a woman who loves him well and is willing, if necessary, to speak truth into his life. That is a good wife. Usually, husbands don’t appreciate that at the time. It often takes years for them to love that attribute. However, I think Brandon knows he is blessed in that regard.
KIND PHYSICAL THERAPIST
As you work as a physical therapist and help people who are often in pain, you have a very comforting and kind manner. In so doing, you show the love of Christ to your patients.
As I mentioned earlier, as a mother, you also show Christ to your children and others around you who see how you relate to them. I love watching you cook with Walker…seeing his brown chocolate mustache after helping you make brownies. Or with Mia as you help her grow in her 2 year-oldness! The trip the three of you made to see us at Thanksgiving was a gift to us as well. It was fun seeing some of our grandchildren together. Watching Mia and Walker help Granpa sweep the patio was such fun. They are great helpers…and hard workers like their parents!
MAY THE PEACE OF GOD REST UPON YOU…
My hope for you this year is that you will experience more of the love of God for you and your family…that you will learn and experience more of His grace for you in your daily life as you reach out to those around you in love.
I love you Holly!