Sunday, August 17, 2014

Speaking of heroes...

I have written so many things about my dad during these blogging years, and all of them are true. He was the minister, and we all looked up to him. 

But SHE was the light in his eyes, and the sparkle in our home...

As I reflect now, so many years later, I can see clearly why God lead my dad and mother together.

He was deeply spiritual. So was she, but she was also down to earth, practical, realistic, and... so much fun! She always used to say that while he had one leg in heaven, she was pulling on the other one to bring him back to earth!

My dad traveled all over the world, preaching and teaching, equipping the saints. My mother stayed home and raised 3 little urchins, trying to make them into 'future saints'.

He went into his study and prayed, and pored over the scriptures, writing books and preparing sermons.

She read and prayed every day, in the midst of the reality of raising us, keeping a home, working as a nurse, and speaking to women's groups all over the country, lots of it while dad was in another country.

He was strong.

She was strong.

Dad always knew that she was handling the home front as he traveled. She was! It gave dad the freedom to study, write and go preach.

As I look back now, I think what a blessed necessity it was for my father to have my mother. She supported him in every way, and he knew it. She was never a little quiet person in the background either, her personality drew others to her, she was one of those 'special ones' that people love to be around. There was always lots of laughter wherever my mother was, especially in our home.

I wonder how often she crunched the numbers and tried to stretch the dollars while dad was preaching overseas. She never made us feel like her budget was slim, even though it always was. She cooked like a chef, made life fun every day, and her joy was full. 

It was always important to them that we have good home cooked food on the table every day, and... good shoes. The rest of it was always on a shoestring. That makes me smile now. We always had both the food and the shoes, and somehow if we were short on the rest of it, we never felt it.

My mother celebrated life, every day. 

Today I'm celebrating her life. So much of who I am is because of who she was. I learned from her when I didn't even know I was learning.

Her life gave deep meaning to the phrase "little is much when God is in it". 

I am so thankful to be one of the 'nuts' that fell from their tree...

(the above photo is my mom with our daughter some years ago.)


Debbie Petras said...

Oh Sonja, what a wonderful woman your mother was! And I'm sure you are just like her. As I was reading your post, I was reminded of Ruth and Billy Graham. I love when you write about your upbringing and the lessons you learned.

Love you,

Vee said...

What a beautiful tribute! You could write a book of specifics that would be very helpful to young wives and mothers and homemakers and helpmeets. I'm sure that she had some wonderful points to teach.

Debbie said...

I loved reading about your wonderful mother What a gift she was to your dad and to all of you. And it sounds like all the women she came around as well. I agree with Vee, you should write a book! Enjoy your week!

Sandy said...

Your mother was so lovely, like you. Seems her life was a great deal like Ruth Graham's. I always enjoy your stories about life with your sweet family.

Farm Girl said...

So lovely just like YOU!!! You are all of the things that you said about your Mom. I am so blessed to have got to meet you in this life. :) I love that photo.

Unknown said...


Love this: "Her life gave deep meaning to the phrase "little is much when God is in it"."

God always knows what He's doing. I like to say, when it's God, it's good! The relationship between your parents, I viewed within my Grandparents. While I did not see that modeled at home, I saw strong love for God and Christ-centered integrity and love for family when I was with Grandma and Grandpa. Their example shaped the marriage that Peter and I have 24 years and counting.

Bless you for sharing your Mother. I don't often slip in to visit but when I do, I am always blessed. Praying for you and thinking of you always at a close distance.

With love,

Sharon said...

How very lovely, Sonja. So lovely. Your mother and father sound so wonderful - I look forward to meeting them in Heaven someday!

I have been missing my dad lately, sometimes having trouble realizing that he's really gone (from this earth anyway). But, the great blessing is that I still have my mom, and her tremendous faith, as a constant companion and friend.

I'm grateful.


Felisol said...

Dear Sonja,
Your parents were both blessed to have each other, supporting, taking respnsability both for the family and for big fold of unsaved.
I have been allowed to know quite few ministers' famlies, and I'd say your father was generous for his time to let your mother thrive, work and blossom the way she did.
Too any ministers have wanted Marthas as wives, and that has been a-not-so-Christian-sight.
When two strong people fulfill their commitments, it's a true work of and for God. A wonderful experience.
Even if my parents were only ordinary people, thay did respect and support each other similarly to yours.
I am forever grateful for that, and I hope their excample somehow has rubbed over on us.
even if it is selfish to miss them, I do. I know my Dad longed to go home the last years of his life, but even so he stood by and never gave up, always wanting to protect my mother. Now they are united, not in the flesh, but in the spirit.I can feel their joy, and it makes all a bit easier.
It would have been worse if we did not miss them, wouldn't it?

Debbie said...

I'm glad I didn't miss this one. You look so much like your mother, and she was beautiful. What a gorgeous smile.

I loved how you wrote of her on the home front and how she was down to earth and grounded. Amazing the vast difference between "grounded" and "worldly", huh?

I have long believed that the most critical earthly choice for a man called of God is the help mate (or is it "help meet" in the Bible?) he chooses. Hers is one of the most difficult jobs on earth because her family is in the bullseye of the Enemy.

What a blessing to your dad that he chose wisely.

Felisol said...

Dear Sonja,
I have written about the Norwegian China missionary, very much influenced by American "Free Church" giants about a hundred years ago. Her name is Maria Monsen and I hope you'd like to learn to know her. She was my grandmother's guide. She died in 1934, but my Dad told it. She has been my inspiration fro more than 40 years.
Here's a link: said...

Thank you!! What a beautiful writing and so convicting.

Just a little something from Judy said...

You are one of those "special ones" too! I knew it from the first tine I visited your blog, and was convinced of it, with all the many visits I was blessed to make. Now, I know why. What a wonderful tribute to your mother! It spoke to me this morning, and it inspired me to keep pressing on, and to keep trusting in the One who makes it all possible. So happy that you blog!

Kathleen said...

She makes me think of another ministry wife & mother, Ruth Graham. I love the core of strength your mother had; and how hearth & home was so important to her. I see a lot of her in you, too. I'm thinking your own children will rise up and called you equally blessed, my friend.


elaine @ peace for the journey said...

Love your legacy, Sonja. It makes me think about the words I write/will write about my own parents. Honestly, are there enough words? It also makes me think about the words I'm writing into the lives of my children. I hope I'm as supportive of my husband's ministry as your mom was. He deserves the very best. Hope you are well. This is a busy season right now, and I don't get around the blog world as much as I would like. Just know that I keep you all close in my heart.