Today I was sitting in a teaching session and the speaker was talking on honouring our parents. Talking about the things that we inherit from our parents, both good and bad, and it got my brain to thinking what are the good things, the blessings that I have received from my parents? So right now I would like to introduce you all to my parents and tell everyone about what I have learned and the ways I have received love from them in my short life time.
Me with my parents
Let’s start with my dad. My dad’s name is Maurice but to me he was dad, daddy, or papa bear. Here are some of the ways he showed me and my siblings love and some things I learned from him…
…read books to us in the evenings after supper and before bed. He read mostly true books from what I can remember and a lot of missionary stories. Some of the books I can remember are Cry of the Northland, Where the Wind Blows Wild, Flying the North, Bruchko, Peace Child, Lords of the Earth, a book about Jim Elliott, and the Laura Ingalls Wilder series.
…we sing together a lot. He even had got a book and taught us some music basics. Now we sing and play instruments together as a family for other people. It’s a lot of fun!
…my dad always did his best to keep his promises to us. And he tried to not make a promise unless he was sure he could actually keep it.
…taking us out for breakfast on our birthdays. Just us and him, one on one. It still means a lot to me, and I’m almost 25.
…when we were little, he would play “Shark” in the pool with us. My brother would be the shark coming after me and I would quickly go to my dad and get him to protect me.
…we would go with him to the fire department where he volunteered and spent a lot of time there with him.
…when he worked at Gremco, we would go with him to work on Saturdays or sometimes evenings if he had to go to a customers house and work on a well or something.
…we went on road trips and made many memories that way. We drove to Minnesota, Ontario, Canada; Sonora, Mexico; and Pennsylvania with many adventures along the way.
…even tho my dad was not big into hunting, when we children began expressing our interest and desire to go hunting, he brought out his Winchester .30-30 lever action rifle, took us to Hunter’s safety courses, and took the time to take us out hunting. He was with me when I shot my first deer!
…he always provided for us. We may not have had the best or most of everything, but we had enough and were content. We always had clean clothes to wear, plenty of food to eat, a roof over our heads, and even fun extras. Even though it was with great shock that we learned when we were teenagers that according to national standards we had been raised far below the poverty level. 😂
…my dad also encouraged and welcomed our questions. Any and all questions were welcomed by him. I specifically remember one instance where we had gone as a family to the coast for one day and on the way home we had quite the discussion about the book to Revelation in the Bible. My dad did not shy away from our questions no matter how hard or ridiculous they were.
…it’s important to be involved in and serve the community where you find yourself living. My dad showed us this by example. He was a volunteer firefighter and EMT for 26 years or so. And when there was a community event such as a National Night Out or potluck or sing along, we were there.
…obedience to God is the most important thing in life. If we remembered nothing else from what he taught that is what he wanted us to remember.
…differences do not mean division. You can believe different, live different, look different, and it doesn’t matter. We can still get along.
…family is important and family is family no matter how distant the relation. You support and love family even if you don’t always agree.
…have the courage to pursue your dream Even if they don’t fit into the “normal” Mennonite box and it’s ok for a conservative Mennonite to go to college.
…think for yourself and have your own beliefs and be able to defend them if questioned or challenged.
Now some things about my mom.
My mom’s name is Jane but to me she was always mom or mama. Here are some ways she showed me love and some things I learned from her…
…how to be a homemaker with homemaking skills like cooking, baking, canning, freezing, butchering, gardening, and sewing.
…listen to other’s hearts when they speak and hear the things they aren’t saying.
…be a welcoming hostess and always have room for visitors or one more person.
…have practical every day faith that God will provide for our needs, especially when dad went back to school to get his nurse’s degree and wasn’t able to work.
…show interest and excitement in the passions and interests of others even if they don’t interest me.
…occasionally my mom would let out her crazy side with us children and we would all spend hours laughing and laughing so much. (My mom is hilarious!)
…my mom is not afraid to being Jesus into any conversation. Even conversations in town with random strangers. I have not yet gotten that courage, but I admire it greatly.
…always be willing and engaging when people want to ask about our headcovering or dresses.
I know I’ve learned a lot more than just these few things from my parents, but I wanted to just take time to bless them and thank them in this very public manner.
Thank you mom and dad for all that you’ve taught me and the many good memories that you’ve given me.
Love your oldest child, Elizabeth