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.

  • Sarah Stockstad

    These were some of the lessons and stories G Rosy shared with me and BT on the last morning I was privileged to spend time with her. I will never forget these thoughts – and now also say a prayer over my girls everyday at drop off in the car line.