I like that I was born in 1950, mid-way through the 20th century. That's an easy number to work with when I am trying to remember how old I am. When people ask me how old my kids are, I tell them I don't know, but I can tell you what year they were born in. However, those years end in odd numbers, and doing the subtraction just isn't as easy as 1950. Think what else came out of the 50's...."I Love Lucy", "Mighty Mouse", Annette and Frankie of the Mouseketeers, "Little Rascals", "Red Skelton". That was what was on our black and white console television. But you can be sure, the TV stayed off on Sundays!! That was the day to go to church and take afternoon naps, or stay in our rooms.
Yes, I was born into a conservative Christian home, with parents that believed in starting each day with praying together, and saying the Lord's Prayer at the close of our family prayer time. I am so glad Dad made that a priority for his family. I cherish the memories of hearing him pray, and I never doubted that was speaking directly to God Almighty. Dad wasn't raised in a Christian home, and he wanted his home to be different.
Dad was one of twelve children, six boys and six girls. He was raised on a farm, and none of his siblings, nor he, became farmers. At age 17 he found the Lord in a church revival, and after that he told the horses he wouldn't kick them any more, or be mean to them any longer. Most of his brothers and sisters also became Christians over time. His mother, my paternal grandmother, was a Christian, but she was so busy raising 12 kids and feeding thrashers, time didn't permit her to go to church. Grandpa wanted nothing to do with religion. But we would often go visit Grandpa and Grandma on Sunday afternoons before we headed to the evening church service. Seems like Dad usually had prayer with them before we left. And Grandpa always gave me and my brother a stick of gum from his overalls pocket. He walked with a cane, and he played a harmonica. He was always smiling when we were around.
My Mom was an only child of her parents, but she had two half-sisters and one half-brother. She was her mother's only child. I think that may be why Grandma always gave me special attention. The other Grandma had so many grandkids, I never felt like she even knew who I was, but my maternal Grandmother and I were very always very close. She also was a church-goer and a devote Christian, although her husband was not, and never attended church in all the years he lived, to my knowledge. We would often have Sunday dinner at their house, and the first words out of my mouth when the prayer was said, were "Please pass the mashed potatoes!" Grandma was quite a cook...homemade noodles to go with her beef, home canned fruits and vegetables (from their garden), homemade sugar cookies...huge soft ones. Grandpa and Grandma also had a strawberry farm, selling their berries to the local grocery store. We often had biscuits and strawberries for lunch (we would help pick the berries), and that would be the whole meal. Even today that is one of my husband's favorite meals...just biscuits and strawberries. Yum...
Mom and Dad were leaving her parents' house one Sunday after dinner, back in 1950, and Mom fell down the back steps to the garage. Dad took her to the hospital, and before too long, I was born. Until today I never thought to ask Mom if she had any injuries from that fall, other than hurrying up the labor process. I do know that Mom had a history of severe falls, and in fact, her final fall, from which she never recovered, was at the bowling alley after throwing her third strike in a row. She turned around too fast in her excitement, fell, and broke her hip. Within a few months all of her other complications took her life. However, God gave her to me for 47 years. Many times cancer was out to destroy her, and God would restore her and give us more years together. She was able to live long enough to be a loving Grandma to our two sons, her Buddy and her Punkin.
Well, this story is about me, but I had a beginning with two wonderful Godly parents. They set the tone of the home, and made serving the Lord their number one priority. There was never a time when I rebelled or turned my back on what they taught me to believe. I am so grateful for that foundation. I often say one of the greatest gifts God ever gave me was being born into a home with Christian parents. I wish you could hear their stories...they were unsung heroes ..giants in God's kingdom work. I miss them so very much, but I am so glad they are safe at home, reaping their rewards for their years of labor.
Oh...one thing Jesus and I have in common...our fathers were carpenters. I like that. I can identify with Jesus there!!