Day: May 6, 2018

BEING A MOTHER IS SPECIAL

VA Jason-Hannah

Jason Patrick, who is now 43, is pictured with his daughter, Hannah, when she was about 14. She is now 20. The photo was taken at the altar of the Menokin Baptist Church in Warsaw, Virginia, where he is pastor. Jason is the son of Nancy and Mike Patrick of Abilene. Photo submitted by Nancy Patrick.

By NANCY PATRICK

Everyone who has ever lived has had a mother. Different mothers have different philosophies of mothering, but one thing is for sure—only a mother knows the joys and frustrations that accompany her job.

NancyPatrick

Nancy Patrick

When I was a little girl, I thought mothers were old ladies who bossed kids around and didn’t let them eat between meals or play outside after dark. They wanted kids to say “Ma’am” and “please” and “thank you.” My own mother had her ways of mothering that she had acquired from my grandmother (her mother), and I knew I was in for trouble whenever she got mad.

Later, when I became a mother myself, my opinions of mothers dramatically changed. I decided that mothers really are nice people who are often provoked to anger by children who sneak cookies between meals, track mud on clean floors, and hide a month’s worth of laundry under the bed.

In order to accommodate all the incidentals that happen while rearing children, mothers have to be very versatile people. They are cooks, maids, chauffeurs, nurses, tailors, tennis partners, and best of all, friends and counselors.

My own mother taught me about the third stage of motherhood—grandmotherhood. To my amazement, she never got mad at my son for doing things I would have been in trouble for doing when I was her kid. I observed a degree of tolerance and patience in her as a grandmother that was definitely not there when she was my mother. I have often told my son that his grandmother is definitely not the woman who raised me.

Of course, now that I am a grandmother, I understand my mother’s paradoxical behavior toward my son. When my granddaughter was a little girl, I thought she was perfect. I know all the grandparents reading this will understand my assessment of my little Hannah. She could rummage through the drawers, play with my make-up, bake cookies in the middle of the day (and eat the cookie dough), or have my last, favorite piece of candy. I had time to watch videos with her, ride bikes, read books, or play in the park.

However, as we all know, our little ones grow up to become adults (if we are lucky), and then we learn about another phase of motherhood—that of understanding and accepting our children and grandchildren as real people rather than our idealized vision of them as perfect expressions of our own imperfect selves. They make mistakes and sometimes use poor judgment. They might make decisions with tragic consequences.

Whatever happens in their lives, our love connects us to both their achievements and their heartaches. We are, after all, their mothers and grandmothers in heart and soul.

I have decided that being a mother is really special—the pleasant with the unpleasant. After all, who but a mother gets to be a little girl, a woman, a mother, a grandmother, and even a great-grandmother? What could be better?

Nancy Patrick is a retired teacher who lives in Abilene and enjoys writing.

TINY HANDS AID TINY HEALING HOUSES

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Amber Bletscher, second from right in back, brought three children from Brownwood to Wylie UMC Sunday, May 6, to deliver bags of toys and snacks as part of a joint project between her daughter’s kindergarten class and Wylie UMC. The children represent 19 Brownwood kids taking part in the project to aid Houses for Healing in Abilene Photo by Loretta Fulton

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By LORETTA FULTON

Brian Massey’s tiny houses got some big gifts from a group of tiny kindergarteners, thanks to some people being moved by what Massey is doing to help those who are ailing and their families.

Massey, pastor of Sonrise Ministry in Abilene, is building a series of tiny houses on North Hickory Street called Houses for Healing. They are for people from the Big Country to live in, free of charge, while they or a family member undergo medical treatment in Abilene. He solicited the aid of local churches to sponsor the houses, providing utility payments and assistance to the people staying in them.

Sunday, May 6, it was Brownwood’s turn. Wylie United Methodist Church paid for construction of the tiny house for people from Brownwood and that area. On Sunday, Amber Bletscher brought three children to Wylie UMC, representing 19 children in a kindergarten class at Brownwood’s Woodland Heights Elementary School, taught by Kathy Blake.

They brought with them 10 tote bags filled with snacks, bouncy balls, paints, crafts, games, and a “Get Well” note. The items are for children who might be part of the affected family or visitors. It will give them something do to keep them occupied.

“They want it to be a family atmosphere,” said Carlene Crim, children’s minister at Wylie UMC.

Crim’s husband, Billy, is associate pastor at the church. The Crims and pastor Jeff Hatcher were part of the welcoming crew for the Brownwood folks on Sunday. Bletscher brought with her Kirra Shrum, Kinsley Bletscher, and Kaytli Castaneda. They all loaded up and headed to MaxAir Trampolines after delivering the bags.

Before they left, Billy Crim led a prayer, blessing the children and the bags. It will be the responsibility of Wylie UMC to get a bag to the next family staying in the home, if children are involved.

“When they come, we’ll take one of these bags to that person,” Carlene Crim said, “and we’ll pray for them.”

Amber Bletscher got involved with the project through the Kiwanis Club of Brownwood, which she serves as vice president. She missed the day that Massey presented a program, on his Houses for Healing, but when she heard about it, she contacted her daughter’s kindergarten teacher, Kathy Blake, who took on the responsibility as a class project. Bletscher then mentioned the project to an acquaintance at Thrivent Financial, which paid for the items the children put in the bags.

The entire sequence of events started the day that Massey drove to Brownwood to find someone to talk to about getting a tiny house built to serve residents of Brown County who might be undergoing treatment in Abilene. He normally contacts churches, but that day, he happened to see a pregnancy care center and thought they might be interested. Young women seeking medical and other resources in Abilene throughout a pregnancy might be in need of a free place to stay.

“I just felt like that was where I was supposed to go,” Massey said, and he was right.

Someone at the center overheard Massey’s comments and took fliers to her church. From there, Bletscher got involved and the project took off.

 

 

 

 

GOOD ADVICE IN JUST THREE WORDS

 (Editor’s Note: Glenn Dromgoole is graciously sharing a series of “Just Three Words” from his book, More Civility, Please. A new segment will be posted each week for 10 weeks. The entire book can be purchased at Texas Star Trading Company.)

Most good advice can be expressed in

Just Three Words

By Glenn Dromgoole

From More Civility, Please

 (Fifth in a series)

Keep looking ahead.

See the possibilities.

Focus your efforts.

Make your mark.

Embrace the future.

Seek good advice.

Save your money.

Give your money.

Money isn’t everything.

Stay at home.

Explore the world.

Learn from others.

GlennDromgoole

Glenn Dromgoole

 

 

LEARNING WISDOM THE HARD WAY

By DANNY MINTON

Have you ever done something stupid? I mean something you can look back on and say, “I can’t believe I did that, it was so dumb!” Be honest, look back in your past and relive that event as painful as it may have been. Painful is the word that describes one of the dumbest things I ever put to the test.

Danny Minton

Danny Minton

I was about 8 or 9 years old at the time. In our backyard, we had this old-style swing set. You may remember the ones from the ’50s. It had two swings and on one end was a seesaw. It was the old style with rods that went up the center into a bracket that was attached to the top support bar. My brother and sister were on the see-saw going back and forth, and I was on the crossbar watching it go left and right.

Okay, here is where stupidity steps into the picture. In fact, you may want to skip a couple of paragraphs and move on to the point of this lesson. Back to the swing set and seesaw. I’m standing on the side of the set watching the poles go back and forth in the channel at the top. Did I tell you I was only 8 or 9 and curious? As I’m watching the seesaw go slowly, moving one direction and the other, my attention goes to the bar going back and forth. My mind wonders. Don’t forget this was a long time ago when I was very young! My mind wonders what it would be like to stick my finger in the groove where the bar is moving back and forth.

I’m not sure why I thought of this or what made me want to attempt the experiment, but as the saying goes, “no guts, no glory!” So, I stuck my finger in the slot as the seesaw moved toward my sister. Fact: The law of nature says that if a seesaw goes right at some point, it will come back left. My reflexes were not fast enough as the seesaw following its course change proceeded back left with my finger in the slot. I am fortunate that my siblings were not going very fast and the doctor was able to save my finger.

We all have done “stupid” things in our lives. Have you ever wondered why we can always remember the dumb things we’ve done and often forget the good that we’ve accomplished in our lives? Our minds tend to keep track of those moments that we would like to forget. Those “stupid,” embarrassing,moments in life that we wish would go away seem to linger in the back of our minds.

I think Paul had one of those moments. He called it his “thorn in the flesh!” No one knows what it was that he carried around with him, but he wanted it gone for sure. Some think it was physical. I have an inkling that at least one thing he carried around was how he had persecuted the Christians before his conversion. Or maybe it was his conflict with Barnabas over John Mark. Whatever it was, it haunted him throughout his ministry, yet God would not take it away.

Maybe God doesn’t take those moments away from us because he uses them to help us grow. As another old cliché goes, “we learn from our mistakes!” You know, I never stuck my finger in the seesaw again. In fact, my entire life has been seesaw free! I add that to the list of other stupid things I’ve done that I have overcome from experience. Most of our mistakes now faded and forgotten by others, remain in our memories as lessons learned.

Up until now, I’m the only one who remembers the seesaw incident. Now you know. That’s okay though because I hope you learn from me never to put your finger where it may be cut off! I’m telling you from experience. If we pay attention, we can learn from other’s mistakes. We can be wiser in life by listening to those who have gone down paths we have not yet taken. We listen to people who’ve walked the path, not because people are smarter than we are but because they’ve been there before and know what lies ahead.

It’s like the old joke of three preachers from different religious groups who had gone out fishing. Two of them had been before and invited a younger one along. They take their boat a short was from shore. In a bit one of them says, “I’m cold, I think I’ll go get my coat.” He then steps out the boat and walks to the shore and returns. The younger preacher is wide-eyed while the two older men continue fishing. A little bit later the other older preacher speaks up, “I forgot the coffee, I’ll be right back.” He steps out of the boat walks to the shore and returns. Again, the younger preacher is wide-eyed. Not to be outdone he later says, “I’m hungry, I’ll be right back.” He steps out of the boat and immediately sinks and struggles to get back in the boat. “Sorry son, one of them said. We should have told you where to look for the rocks!” They’d been there before.

Wisdom comes from listening to those who have been down the road. It comes from those who know where the rocks are in life, the safe paths to follow and where the pitfalls may come. Sure, now and then we’ll do something stupid, but when we do, we can pass our wisdom on to the ones who follow. Oh, there are days when I feel like the wisest man alive, remembering all the stupid things I’ve done in the past. Things that I know I have the wisdom to pass on to anyone who finds themselves watching a seesaw, or ways not to use matches, or playing games with pocket knives, or, well you get the point!

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Is not wisdom found among the aged? Does not long life bring understanding?

Job 12:12

 Danny Minton is Pastoral Minister and Elder at Southern Hills Church of Christ