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)