Honor Thy Father and Mother

I have been thinking a lot lately…about the blessings of being brought up in a Christian home and in the family I was born into.  So I felt a tribute to my mom and dad would be appropriate and a way to honor them.

My Mom

I recently realized how thankful I was for many of the things my mom taught me.  As we have really tried hard to cut back on our spending as much as possible, one thing that has been a huge blessing has been shopping at the Salvation Army.  My kids love it!  I realize how thankful I am that my mom took us to yard sales, resale stores, and never made shopping a “hobby.”  I have never really been used to having lots of new clothing or jewelry, but never felt deprived.  We usually got two new outfits for the start of school and new shoes.   Even when my dad’s tool sale business did really well, they didn’t change anything about the way we were raised.  They said the only thing they did was to eat out some more.  My mom always had jobs for us to do in the summer.   Some jobs we would get paid for.  We built fence for the horses and would pick up rocks in our yard etc… We would also be able to work at the auctions to get paid.  She always taught us by example to tithe. 

My mom has always been very artistic and creative, making something out of things you wouldn’t even think of.  She can paint, do woodwork, landscape, sew, draw, and just make a house feel homey and warm with her loving touches and creativity.  I wish I would have inherited that!  She also is an amazing silhouette artist, just Google Joyce Redman silhouettes to see!   She also has an amazing green thumb and does beautiful flowers!   

Her mom worked outside the home and she decided she did not want to do that.  I remember getting to help feed my brother Jason, help do flowers, playing in the snow, and baking cookies.  She let my brothers have a Nerf hoop in her own bedroom, because it had a high ceiling.  We would make a gigantic mess decorating Christmas cookies.  She was so patient with me being her only girl and preferring a ball cap or cowboy hat most of the time!  I hated dresses and bows and loved sports and horses!    I remember coming home from school and yelling, “MOOOOM.”  I just needed to know she was there.  She may have been folding clothes or taking them down from the line.  I don’t think I realized how much stability that created for me.  I often found myself helping her fold clothes or clean so we could chat.  She did laundry on Mondays and Thursdays, groceries on Tuesdays, house cleaning on Fridays, and was basically my dad’s “right hand man”, secretary, and accountant for his Tool Sale business and when he had auctions.  She kept everything going smoothly so he could focus on the people part of things. 

My mom used to teach Bible school and Sunday school.  She always made sure our entire family went to church.  She learned to play the piano and would practice her hymns on it.  She served our family.  She made amazing meals, and still does!  I realize how much I took for granted the home-cooked meal every night coming home from a long day of school and sports practices. 

Most important I feel she filled the Biblical call for a wife to be her husband’s helpmate.  She supported him and was always there for him.  She has always looked beautiful and I have never seen  her be lazy!  She and my dad have been married for 45 years now and love and respect each other so much. 

I know I have taken for granted the daily love and care she gave me growing up.  I think it is the daily, repetitive gestures of love that children of today miss.  We think everything must be big and cost a lot.  My best memories are of simple things like shucking corn or hulling strawberries, or performing the gong show for my mom and dad right in the middle of 60 minutes.  But, I think being a mother now I start to appreciate it so much more.  I remember even my senior year still asking her “to tuck me in”, saying “Goodnight mom, I love you, see you in the morning, don’t let the bed bugs bite.”  Thank you mom for being who you are, I love you so much!


My Dad

In the most recent book Ron and I have been reading together, Follow Me, by David Platt,  he hits a lot on the topic of our adoption as sons into God’s family.  He talks of the relationship we have with our Heavenly Father.  Studies have shown our view of our heavenly father is often modeled after our relationship with our own fathers.  For some, this could be bad and hard if your relationship with your dad was not so good.  It is then necessary to pour into God’s word to understand His great love and unconditional love, his holding every tear your cry in His hands!  It is imperative that you recreate the pain you have experienced into a new picture of a Savior that loved you so much he died for you. 

I wish I could take credit for the amazing love I feel for Jesus.   I wish it meant I was some great spiritual warrior and an amazing woman of God.  Yet, it is just His amazing love transforming my yucky, sinful ,self.  I realize that much of my understanding of the love Christ has for me is because of my dad’s love for me.  Apparently, his and my relationship to begin with wasn’t so great, just in the sense that I was a mama’s girl in my toddler years.  I remember …feeding horses with him and relishing every moment.  Sometimes I wonder if I loved horses because he did and that meant I got to spend time with him, because my brothers didn’t like them.  I remember him walking beside me in the parade so I could ride my horse in it.  He said if I saved $100 he would pay the other “half” for a horse/pony.  I realized when I was older that he paid a good penny for the pony he bought to make sure she was real broke and safe.  All along, I thought I paid “half.”  I know I worked hard in sports to impress him.  I know I wanted him to be proud.  I remember one time waking up in the night with what were probably growing pains in my feet and I come out to tell him as he was a night person.  He just rubbed my feet for me.  I think he only did that once, but it sticks out in my mind so prominently.    I remember one day we were going somewhere, just the two of us, and he just said, “Michelle, don’t feel bad about not having dates, you are the kind of girl guys want to marry, not date.”  That really stuck with me…as I had committed to waiting until marriage.  His words were such a needed encouragement at that time in my life. 

Probably the hardest point in my relationship with him was when I struggled with an eating disorder; I will blog about that later.  I remember after a basketball game where he said if I didn’t get to 100 lbs. I would have to quit basketball.  I felt at the time it was harsh and painful.  But, I see now how he did it out of his love and worry for me, and he knew that I needed some sort of perspective on the seriousness of my condition.

I remember in college when I did a triathlon and he counted my swimming laps and was there at the finish line to give me a hug.  It was funny, because I don’t think he knows for me what a picture that was of when we see finish our earthly race and see Jesus and hope He says, “well done, thou good and faithful servant.” 

  My dad made a CD so we can hear his amazing singing voice whenever we want.  Ally often asks to hear “Grandpa’s songs.”  One song, entitled, He’s My friend, is dedicated to me.  It talks of Jesus being all the world to me.(lyrics below)  Isn’t ironic that the reason Jesus can feel that way to me, is because the very Dad that dedicated that song to me loved and cared for me the way he did.  My dad loves the Lord displayed that in his actions to me.  Thank you Dad, I love you so much!

As Ron and I take this step of obedience in both bringing this little girl into the world and adopting from Ethiopia….I realize what an awesome responsibility we have been given in the raising of the gifts of Luke, Abi, Kaiti, Joshua, Anna and Ally GraceImage …and yet it just feels like we are trusting the Lord…in the same way  as a little girl…I have trusted my mom and dad.  This trust transfers to our heavenly father.  If you are a parent, don’t ever underestimate  the value of your time, love and care for the children God has blessed you with.


469. Jesus Is All the World to Me

Text: Will L. Thompson, 1847-1909
Music: Will L. Thompson, 1847-1909
Tune: ELIZABETH, Meter: 86.86.844.3

1.      Jesus is all the world to me,

        my life, my joy, my all;

        he is my strength from day to day,

        without him I would fall.

        When I am sad, to him I go,

        no other one can cheer me so;

        when I am sad, he makes me glad,

        he’s my friend.


2.      Jesus is all the world to me,

        my friend in trials sore;

        I go to him for blessings, and

        he gives them o’er and o’er.

        He sends the sunshine and the rain,

        he sends the harvest’s golden grain;

        sunshine and rain, harvest of grain,

        he’s my friend.


3.      Jesus is all the world to me,

        and true to him I’ll be;

        O how could I this friend deny,

        when he’s so true to me?

        Following him I know I’m right,

        he watches o’er me day and night;

        following him by day and night,

        he’s my friend.


4.      Jesus is all the world to me,

        I want no better friend;

        I trust him now, I’ll trust him when

        life’s fleeting days shall end.

        Beautiful life with such a friend,

        beautiful life that has no end;

        eternal life, eternal joy,

        he’s my friend.



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