Because of you
Because of you, Mom and Dad, the world is a better place.
Because of your enduring love, there is hope for others who wonder if such a thing exists.
Because of the selfless example you have set, there are ten foster children I have nurtured in time of trial who have known love.
Because you showed me unconditional love, I have been blessed with the ability to show unconditional love to those who hurt me and to those that the world has deemed “unlovable”.
Because you showed me unconditional love, I was able to learn to love myself. When I weighed 450 pounds, you loved me. When I ran away from home, you loved me. When I hurt you, you loved me. When I turned away from you, you loved me. And when I finally turned toward home, you welcomed me with open arms no matter what I had done.
Because of the presence of the Lord in my childhood home, my faith in Him has given me a Rock to cling to when all seemed lost. When others poor choices blow my life apart, His strength and care has been ever-present. When the days seemed darkest, I have been able to point my children and others to Him and say “Look what God has done!”
Because of you, countless hungry in our County have been fed because of an old trailer you gave to me that has now transported several tons of food to food banks in our area.
Because of you, an old fifth wheel in my back yard has housed ten people who had nowhere else to go.
50 babies have been born into my hands. I have been told that the mother chose me to attend her because I have “strong confident hands” and a confident spirit even when I was scared out of my mind. You raised me to believe that I could do it…no matter what “it” was…as long as I worked hard and relied on God to guide my steps.
As an EMT, I have performed CPR dozens of times. Sometimes, it has been a success. Often, it was an exercise in futility. But in those times of seeming futility, God has used me to minister to the broken hearts left behind. I have held them and prayed with them. I have held terrified, broken, bleeding hands and stood by them in the worst moments of their lives. I have “mothered” them from the example you set of how a parent should be. And several have returned to tell me how much it meant to them that someone cared…not just “treated” them as a patient, but stood by them and hugged them and held them together when they felt like the world was falling apart. I have this ability – Because of you.
Because of you, people have come to Christ. The ripple effect from your example has gone far and wide. My voice as I sing praises of love for my King of kings has brought people to tears before Him – NOT of my own works but because of the passion you instilled in me as a child. Because of that summer at Youth Camp when I surrendered my heart to Him, I have led my children to Him….and they have led friends to Him. We have spread the good news of the Gospel to the homeless, to children at vacation bible school, to the elderly in our community and to strangers on the street.
Because of the selflessness of the way you raised us, I am able to raise my children to serve. Christmas traditions I so enjoyed as a child carry on to my children. Family dinners are such a dear, sweet memory that I strive to make ours just as precious. I cherish the memories of cedar boughs, red bows on a tree fresh from the mountain seated in a 5 gallon bucket and the reading of the Christmas Story from God’s Word as much as I honor you by delivering food boxes to the need, inviting lonely friends to our holiday table or purchasing a gift for a tag from a “giving tree”.
Because of you, I can sew a dress and cook a meal for 10 people as easily as I can catch a fish, milk a goat or shoot a 303 British. Just because I am a “girl” does not mean I am inferior. As a single parent, I have changed light fixtures, assembled train sets and bicycles and repaired broken plumbing because I was brought up to believe that “girls” can do that stuff, too. As a truck driver, police dispatcher, dinner cook, farmhand, midwife, EMT, firefighter, foster parent, school lunch lady and secretary in each season of my life, you have always loved me and supported me even when I fail.
You raised me to do what is right, no matter how tough it is.
Because of you, there are four grandchildren who love to learn. Nature walks with Just-Plain-Grandpa and baking cookies with Just-Plain-Grandma have given them a sense of family that so many others lack. The things you have taught me, I have been able to pass on to them. I am honored and blessed that you have entrusted me with the wisdom of how to gut a fish, how to bake a cake, how to sew a quilt and what sour grass looks like so that I can see the wonder in my children’s eyes when I say “I learned this from your grandparent! Now you know how to do it, too!”
Whenever I mention your names, people from all walks of life testify to how you have touched them. I am blessed beyond measure to be covered in your legacy of love. #1, #2, #3, #4 and I are so grateful that you are the foundation of our lives.
Thank you so much for hanging in through the years when you didn’t know where your next meal was coming from, through the years when you had to be separated in order to provide for us.
Thank you for wearing worn out clothes, resoling the same moccasins with Shoe-Goo for ten years in a row and taking in 6 people when our family already numbered six and there was only ONE bathroom.
Thank you for being my strength when my family was destroyed, when my best friend died, when my child was in the Neonatal ICU and when my dreams were crushed.
Thank you for being there for my children’s births, for the saltwater and diesel in my blood, for the pride I have in being your child and for the abiding love of Christ in my heart.
Because of you, the world is a better place.