Mom, I can't tell you how many times throughout my days I realize how blessed I am to have been raised by such an amazing woman.
I hear your voice of wisdom as I do laundry (and don't get it out and hung while it's still warm), work on finances, spank bottoms, wash dishes, over-steam veggies, kill flowers, shop without coupons. Pretty sure I'll never understand quite how you did it all.
Thanks for teaching me that:
the "D" word is not an option,
prayer is powerful....(how many times have we stopped right where we are and prayed or gathered in the living room when we hear of a crisis or called each other on 3 speakerphones so we could join in prayer...and oh, the answers!!)
heat kills vitamins,
heat kills vitamins,
don't be fake, be real. Fakeness is yucky.
saving baggies is a good idea because…
the value of a nickel adds up faster than you can imagine,
compound interest is miraculous,
the happiest of homes have a little stash of chocolate somewhere. (Some things are caught, not taught. It's a Parsons thing.)
God isn't good because He always heals everyone and works bad things out the way we want them. He is just good. No matter what. That is our foundation.
pay off the card every month or cut it up,
if all else fails - read the instructions of the Maker,
Sitting around the table for family meals is priceless. Absolutely priceless.
you've got to win with the kids before they're three,
unforgiveness eats up your bones,
the most important part of raising kids is taking care of your marriage,
nutrition is pretty simple: eat it how God made it,
kids will live up to what you expect them to be,
making lifetime family memories is more important than buying fancy new stuff,
people are more important than windows (now I realize...you had US wash your windows! at least the ones that showed),
how to entertain comfortably with popcorn and iced tea or silver and crystal,
when ministry finances are tough - there is always phone book delivery (God often provides through WORK!),
don't buy a new car off the lot (wouldn't even if I could afford it),
formula for when you're exhausted and depressed:: sleep, nutrition, water, repeat (just like Elijah),
the coating off pans gets into your guts (saw it for myself!),
family needs to be together,
it's not about money - it's about changing lives,
let them play outside and get dirty and ruin clothes,
celebrate life (can't forget dancing in a circle in the 3rd floor bedroom after you finished your master's degree),
teach kids how to work,
serving God just makes sense,
and so much more... I knew if I got started it would be long. : )
I remember you talking about wanting too hook a hose up to Grandpa Parson's head and somehow be able to get all of the wisdom and knowledge he had gained over his years of living. And I understand that more and more as I get older. But actually, I am amazed at how you have been able to live a life that has consistently taught us and shown us so that we can enjoy the benefits of your learning as you're living it. Your wisdom touches every part of my days.
Thanks for choosing ministry, for choosing Dad (and making each other stay put), for giving me a God who makes sense (and is bigger than the fishbowl), for the happiest childhood and convictions that are practical, for a love for beauty, for expecting me to turn out good and spanking me when I didn't.
I'm 35, have 5 kids, and I still have a lot to live up to. Always will.
But in spite of all you've taught me - I'm sorry to say, your 3-year-old grandson just pood his pants again while I was writing. : ) Haven't I heard you say so many times, "you win some, you lose some?" I need to send him to your house for a week so you can work your magic.
Love you, Mom. Happy Birthday.
Pictures in this post are of Mom and Dad's beautiful house, gardens and yard. It's the kind of place that makes you want to stay awhile. Classy & elegant, but comfortable, just like my mom. Very "Sheila". My brother Garen says her yard is like a park. He's right.
And this? Oh...this is just the price I paid for writing this post and not checking on Corin enough. Guess he paid me back for not doing preschool and reading him his stories yet. Didn't have time to get a clear shot before he moved. I think he was trying to protect his behind. Believe it or not, there's still a little toilet paper left on the roll. It stretched clear into the living room. I'll probably have to delete this picture when David sees it because Corin isn't dressed. I'm hoping the tp covering will count. (picture of unclothed little boy covered in toilet paper has been censored : )