“Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”

1Thessalonians 5:18

Inspiration for a blog post is sometimes hard to come by with a foggy brain due to lack of sleep.  Given that, I wanted to take a moment to show thanks to the two people who have done the most in influence me in this life: my parents.  Perhaps one of the most difficult and thankless jobs when you are in the trenches, I find it an honor to share with you some of the things my parents did to shape me into the person I am today.

I am the oldest of my parents’ four daughters.  I was born within a year of them graduating high school and getting married.  My father worked hard to support his growing family, and this allowed my mother the opportunity to stay at home to raise us, a huge factor in me choosing to do this with my own children.  Things were not always easy and money was sometimes tight, but through it all, we persevered.  I can remember from a young age my parents taking the time to read us the Bible and teaching us about God and the gospel.  We attended church and participated in various groups such as Awana and youth groups.  However, I think the biggest impact was how my parents raised us.  While I know this was hard (having three children of my own and a fourth on the way), my parents always expected us to do what was right.  There was always forgiveness and grace, but even in the midst of very difficult situations, my parents encouraged us to do as God would have us.  When we were bullied or felt like we did not fit in, my parents encouraged us to do the right thing, even when it was not the popular thing.  I know that over the years I did not always listen to this message, but it stuck with me.  Between the mistakes I made, the sadness it caused and the lesson in the back of my mind, I have grown from an extremely self-conscious young girl into a woman who knows who she is through Christ.

As time has gone by and my sisters and I are all adults, my parents have taken on the role of parents to adult children and perhaps the most important, grandparent.  They have continued to love and guide me.  They are a source of comfort when I am sad and one of my biggest fans as I pursue the life God gave me.  They have helped me to become a better parent to my children and aid me in the parenting process as fantastic grandparents. They model love to my children and they continue to be a model of a faithful marriage through hardships.  I know life is not easy, but they continue to fight to do what is right.  They take care of their family and continue to hear God’s Word spoken into their life.

I look forward to every moment I get to share with them on this earth and pray they know the immense effect they have had on myself and on so many others.  While I am sure they will see the mistakes they have made, as many of us do, I hope they know they did so many things right too.  I pray that while they continue to face the hardships of parenting and family, they feel the peace that only God gives and the joy of being faithful servants.

I love you both and I hope you know how much you have influenced me and my family.