Part II: The Faithfulness of God and Our Children

(Continued from Part I)

I remember (much of this potpourri will begin with “I remember”)

I remember laying my hands on the children’s heads as they left for school and praying Numbers 6:24-16 over them. “The Lord bless you and keep you; The Lord make his face shine upon you, and be gracious to you; The Lord lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace. In the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.”

I also remember Pollyann, who wasn’t in school yet, coming to the door with a couple of little friends behind her saying, “You forgot to bless me when I went out to play.” And the little children looking on wide eyed as I proceeded to give her the blessing.

I remember- Eating together every evening. Seven of us around the table. That was just the normal thing to do and we didn’t think anything about it. Now I realize that today that isnt normal and if a family eats together several times a week it is a big deal. But it also makes me remember Psalms 128 in the Living Bible which I claimed when my children all were sitting around the table, and which has now come true in its fullness.

Blessings on all who reverence and trust the Lord—on all who obey him!Their reward shall be prosperity and happiness. Your wife shall be contented in your home. And look at all those children! There they sit around the dinner table as vigorous and healthy as young olive trees.That is God’s reward to those who reverence and trust him.May the Lord continually bless you with heaven’s blessings[a] as well as with human joys.* May you live to enjoy your grandchildren! And may God bless Israel!”

I remember “Family Devotions”

I feel these times of family devotions were key and were the base and groundwork of raising our children. Yet, none of our own children have really followed this pattern, nor in the 24 years of teaching young women, I don’t know of any who have faithfully followed having family devotions with their children every evening. What about you? Will you step out- and clear the way- for the biggest blessing in your life and the lives of your children?

We started when Becky was very small (between 2-3 years old). I remember her sitting in a high chair in these early times. But those first times we sat around the kitchen table with a kerosene lamp lit in the center for atmosphere. We read scripture and prayed. It was the beginning of a wonderful adventure. I felt the atmosphere very important. Later often having it in front of the fireplace and at the outdoor fire at Wollochet Bay in the summers . We would read a chapter of the Laura and Mary book to start out time and went through all of the books, a chapter at a time. Then we would read a chapter in a devotional book. Then we would sing songs and choruses and we each would pray. Ending with singing “Now the Day is Over”. Singing one verse and humming one verse.

I feel led to talk to you about tithing. I first remember our first thinking seriously about tithing was in the early years of our marriage, and a man named Lloyd Jellum came to visit us from our church, St. Mark’s Lutheran Church. We had been giving regularly to the church, but as Lloyd spoke to us about tithing a tenth of our income, this was new to us. We said, “Let’s try it!” And that was the beginning of “The Great Adventure”. I think tithing puts feet to saying, “Put your money where your mouth is”. You say you trust God. You say you believe what he says about tithing.

Malachi 3:10 says, “Bring the full tithes into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house; and thereby put me to the rest, says the Lord of hosts, if I will not open the windows of heaven for you and pour down for you and overflowing blessing”.

Phil. 4:19 “And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.”

Dick was getting started in his business in the early 50’s and was paying himself $80 per week. So we began tithing $8 per week. This doesn’t sound like much, but in the early 50’s wages were much different. When I was working for an attorney in Tacoma I was paid $150 per month, and for the FBI in San Francisco a whopping $250 per month. We began raising our tithe $1 each year “before” the Lord gave us the increase. He always met the increase and it was very exciting to us. Then as his business grew and he began making a profit we would tithe from that. Often allowing the children to be a part of those decisions as to where that extra should go. We had many opportunities to talk to the children about finances and about tithing. As they began working in the summers at 16, they also began to tithe their wages.

I remember meeting Rev. Bob Penton at a funeral of a mutual friend. He is dear pastor who works with the inner city. He told me at the time, that he always remembered Cindy with great fondness because during her summers working at the Pine Cone restaurant, she would send him $20 per month and he said that meant s great deal to his family at the time, and they looked forward to that check.

I want to share with you some very special verses that I clung to while raising my children.

James 1:5 “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives to all men generously and without reproaching, and it will be given him.”

Oh, my did I cling to that verse and the Lord was faithful in every instance. These two verses I think of as companion verses and I say they are my life verses for my family.

Romans 8:28 “We know in everything God works for good with those who love him, who are called according to his purpose.”

Thess. 5:18 “Give thanks in all circumstance; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”

We would pray these verses often “when the bad things happened”. Such as, losing an election, our dog dying, many little hurts. I think it prepared them for life and helped give them the ability to thank the Lord “for everything”. We would pray, “Thank you Lord for allowing this to happen and help me to see the blessing in it”.

I think the most important thing we can do as mamas and as wives and women, is to begin the day with the Lord. Claiming these verses in particular.

Proverbs 16:3 “Commit your work to the Lord and your plans will be established.”

Proverbs 16:9 “A mans mind plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps.”

Proverbs 3:5-6 “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not rely on your own insight.”

Now, I love this verse to tell of the morning adventure with the Lord. In fact, one line of the verse is running across my computer screen. Isaiah 50:4 “The Lord God has given me the tongue of those who are taught, that I may know how to sustain with a word him that is weary. MORNING BY MORNING HE WAKENS, HE WAKES MY EAR, to hear as those who are taught.”

Oh, we as mothers and grandmothers need to “hear as those who are taught”. I think this is all I will say with the first “Potpourri”. There will be more as I have 51 years of blessings to tell about.

Part I: The Faithfulness of God and Our Children

I have Dawn Jiminez to thank you for being able to give this lesson. For more than several years I have not felt the freedom to give lessons on “Children”. To be truthful, I have felt threatened by today’s young mamas. They seem to know so much regarding the raising of children and they have such strong opinions and go to so many classes, such as MOPS and Growing Kids God’s Way, etc. And many of the things that were important to me are now felt to be archaic or even bad. Such as using playpens, baby powder, and spanking children. So I had decided to avoid the subject, even though I claim to base my teachings on Titus 2:3-5 and it says the older women are to train the young women to love their husbands and “children”.

Then I went to a class Dawn was leading at the Women’s Retreat, and she made this statement that changed the direction of my ministry. “I cannot talk about parenting, but I can talk about the faithfulness of God”. Oh, my that struck me in the heart. I could do that. It really didn’t matter what “I” did or what “I” didn’t do, what was important was that God was faithful in helping me raise those 5 children and I could talk about that.

I was sharing this new breakthrough in my thinking with a friend who is a nurse in the delivery unit of a hospital. She said she sees young women coming in to have babies, having the same strong opinions and knowledge of how they are to have that baby. Then something changes and they need to have a “C” section, or they need an epidural and they are crushed and sad that it hadn’t gone as they had planned. She says, “I try to tell them the process isn’t the important thing, ,that dear baby you just had is the important thing.”

And I say that to you. The important thing is asking God for wisdom, and not the process. He may show you a different way to raise those children than he showed me. But the important thing is the results and I pray your results will be just like mine. Children raised, loving Jesus, marrying Christian men, raising their children for the Lord.

So now I shall proceed to tell you some things that were important to me while praising those 5 special gifts from the Lord. I shall call this part a “Potpourri of Lessons Learned”.

I want to start by showing some pictures of my family at different ages (not included) and reading you some poems that have been a blessings to me. The poems are by Ruth Bell Graham and from a book called “Sitting By My Laughing Fire”. She also had 5 children and I love this poem….

“Five I Have”

“Five I have:

Each separate,


A soul bound for eternity:

And I


leader of the blind

groping and fumbling,

casual and concerned, 

by turns….

undisciplined, I seek

by order and command

to discipline and shape;

(I who need 

Thy discipline 

To shape

My own disordered soul). 

O Thou

Who seest the heart’s

True, deep desire, 

Each shortcoming, 

Each sad mistake, 




Nor let our children be the victims of our own 

Unlikeness unto Thee.”

Now they are grown with children of their own and this poem is so true…

“Oh Time Be Slow”

Oh, time! Be slow!

It  was a dawn ago

I was a child

Dreaming of being grown;

A noon ago

I was 

With children of my own;

And now

It’s afternoon

–and late–

and they are grown

and gone. 

Time, wait!”

Oh, do enjoy those little ones you have. Until they are grown you often don’t realize how fast time goes. I love to tell mama’s of 7 year olds that I know how quickly that child became 7 and that it seems like only yesterday you brought him/ her home from the hospital. But then in 7 short years again that child will be 14, and seven more short years, 21, and you could be a mother-in-law or a grandmother and you wont feel any differently or any older than you do now.

I love the poem called “It Seems But Yesterday” and at the top of the page I have written “For Jane”. For at that time she was my only daughter with little boys. Now I have 3 more who have boys, Berta, Cindy, and Pollyann. But when I first read and loved this poem Jane’s boys were preschool age. Now those boys are 6 feet 3 inches or more and two in college and one a senior in high school. Oh, yes, time be slow.

“It Seems But Yesterday”

“It seems but yesterday

You lay

New in my arms. 

Into our lives you brought


And laughter- 


Showers, too, 

And song. 




Tender beyond believing, 

Simple in faith, 



Eager for life–

you left us 

Rich in memories, 

Little wife. 

And now today

I hear you say

Words wise beyond your years;

I watch you play

With your small sons

Tenderest of mothers. 

Years slip away–


We are mothers


Now I shall begin my “Potpourri” of thoughts on being a mother.

When I entered the world of motherhood I knew absolutely nothing about babies. I mean nothing. I was raised an only child, in what today would be called a dysfunctional home. My parents were separated when I was 2 until 6 1/2 years, at which time I lived with my mother, and was around mostly adults. I did not have the example of a happy family with brothers and sisters. I began working in a store in downtown Tacoma on my 13th birthday, again with adults, working on Saturdays and after school.

I married at 19 and had my first baby at 22. I was absolutely clueless as to what to do with this baby, who cried all the time, slept 45 minutes a day, was colic, had volatile vomiting, got her first tooth at 4 months, beginning a long session of teething. I remember crying out to the Lord, “What did I ever do to deserve this?”

Then as this beautiful child, Becky Ann, grew, the Lord began to amazingly mold her into “His” child. She became  my helper and little mother to the other 4 children. She was a positive example to them. She studied hard, got good marks at school, made good choices of friends, exhibiting kindness to them and others. Following Jesus, positively and strongly all through school. Going two years to bible college before higher education. Then I remember saying to the Lord, “What have I ever done to deserve this child!” May it be so with you.

I am going to share with you some highlights of things the Lord has showed me during these 51 years of marriage. I can remember there was a time when the children were small when “everything” seemed perfect. The children were healthy and happy as were Dick and I and the business was going well. Then suddenly I began to get paranoid, thinking that something bad was going to happen. This couldn’t last. Thoughts such as “Rose Kennedy’s children began dying after they were grown” or “Dick is going to die” or “One of the children is going to have an accident”.

Then the Lord showed me an aspect of Phil. 4:11-13 that I had missed. It says, “Not that I complain of want; for I have learned, in whatever state I am, to be content. I know how to be abased, and I know how to abound; in any and all circumstances I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and want. I can do all things in him who strengthens me.”

I had always taken the “in whatever state I am” to mean trying to be happy in adverse situations. Now the Lord was showing me that “In whatever state I am” also means when things are good to be happy. And not spoil that joy by worrying about what “could” happen. This is a wonderful lesson for me, and helped me to enjoy every moment with my children.

(Continued in Part II: The Faithfulness of God and Our Children)