The priority set by my Christian parents to worship our Heavenly Father every time the doors were open laid the foundation for my spiritual growth during my childhood. My grandmother’s faithfulness in serving God made a huge impact upon me in deciding to attend a Christian college and choosing a mate that loves God with all of his heart.
Our story began when this Alabama girl shook hands with a tall, handsome, west coast gentleman at the social club mixer in front of Freed Hardeman’s Milan Sitka building 25 years ago. The day I received my college diploma we had the U-haul loaded to head to California, my new home for the next 22 years. Jared and I decided, even though we were married the summer before my senior year, we would stay in Henderson, Tennessee so I could graduate the following spring. I joke now that the finance degree helps me balance our checkbook each month. Humor aside, I gained more in those four years at Freed Hardeman than just a diploma; blessings I continually reap to this day. My husband’s family took me in as one of their own making being away from my own family a bit easier.
We have two quick-witted teenage boys (a gene passed down from their Pappaw Wayne and a few other close relatives). Our children have been blessed to sit on the same church pew with their grandparents all of their lives.
After 42 weeks in the womb and 38 long hours of labor, Nicholas Hardeman made his debut. Sixteen years later, he now towers over his dad and continually brings joy to our family with his determination and tender heart. He joined our family’s goal of heaven in a more dedicated and obedient way being immersed in Christ last summer.
I am now the shortest member of our family as Matthew Phillip is ahead of the growth chart at thirteen years old. There is never a dull moment with our Matt in the house. He continually surprises us with his talents and willingness to serve the church and others. 2014 has already proven to be an amazing year, as Matthew submitted his life to our Lord in baptism on the 5th of January. Jared was able to be by my side in the surgical room during both of our boys’ births. Joy filled my heart as he was able to assist them both in their “second births.” God truly knew I was a good fit to be a mom of boys. I love anything to do with a ball and I don’t know a thing about doing hair!
We have home-schooled Nicholas and Matthew since the day they entered the world. Every time I teach a children’s Bible class, I am amazed at the eager and moldable minds God has created. I work about ten hours each week at the Christian Courier office. The Courier work truly is a family affair now with our children helping out with various tasks.
The golden state of California is often deemed “the liberal state of fruits and nuts.” Yes, it has been hard in many respects raising a family here, but the sound teaching and warm family connections at East Main Street Church of Christ in Stockton have been the calming peace among the immoraity around us.
Having guests into our home is one of our great pleasures in this life. We try to make it a welcoming experience, but as always our family is the one blessed from the visit. Come see us when you can!