Sunday, May 11, 2014

These Three Call Me Mom...

When my husband and I married, I had two more years of undergrad school and he had at least three years of seminary to complete before we would add children to our family.  We agreed to wait five years before having our babies.  And so it was though I longed to be a mother and at times begged my husband to agree to a change in our plans.  He could not be convinced and I knew he was choosing wisely, but still I counted the months until we could have a baby.

John Groves Worden, June 12, 1971
I know that I am very blessed.  Not all women are able to conceive when they want but when the agreed upon time arrived, I became pregnant and our first son was born the day after I turned in my keys and completed my third year as a librarian in a middle school in Racine, WI.  I was thrilled.  He was perfect and the deep desire of my heart was being fulfilled.

James William Worden, September 4, 1973
Our first church was in Loomis, NE and that was where our second son arrived two years after his brother.
Again, I was thrilled.  He, too, was perfect and he was another answer for the deep desire of my heart.

Our second church was in Brooklyn, NY.  
Sarah Joy Worden, December 10, 1976
From a town of 320 people in rural NE to a borough of 3.2 million in NYC, we were adjusting to major culture shock and busy toddlers when we learned baby number 3 was on the way.  I was secretly hoping for a girl this time and again, the deep desire of my heart was fulfilled.  The church we served was bilingual - English and Norwegian.  My husband was the English speaking pastor and another man from Norway served the Norwegian congregation.  I have some Norwegian blood in my veins from both my father and mother so relished the opportunity to learn more about my heritage while we lived there.  Some kind ladies of the church loaned costumes to my daughter and me for an annual Syttende Mai (Seventeenth of May) Parade and we took advantage of those bunads for a portrait when Sarah was 18 months old.

We were now a very blessed and completed family of five. 

Though our lives have not constantly been easy, I have always been very grateful that God allowed me to become a wife and mother.  I am fulfilled in these roles and know that by husband and our children are a gift from the hand of God.

As our children grew, I tried to get a photo taken with them around Mother's Day each year.  I share some of those treasures here.
Early morning in Brooklyn, NY on Mother's Day, 1978.  Can you guess what's in the box?  hint:  I'll be prepared for rain.
Also 1978 in front of our church - First Evangelical Free Church - 66th Street Church, Brooklyn, NY.
We all had marched/walked in the Syttende Mai Parade down 5th avenue in Brooklyn. 
The Norwegian population in Brooklyn was still large at that time in the mid - late 70's.  There were about 5,000 Norwegian speaking people there.  Red, white and blue were required for the parade.
Also 1978
This photo has a couple stories hidden in it.  Baby girl is not happy - she usually wasn't when it was photo taking time.  For this reason the photographer nicknamed her Beverly Sills - that reveals how loudly Sarah protested and what favor she had gained with the opera loving photographer.  The boys in their Norwegian wool sweaters will be quick to point out that the only time they consented to wearing these scratchy, hot sweaters was when Mom prevailed "just for the photo, please!"  Aren't they all adorable?
Fall 1978 on our way to a few days at Cape Cod.  We have our Norwegian exchange student, Tina Gulling, with us.
March 1979 at the Bronz Zoo - one of my favorite photos.
June 1979
1980 - Soccer players in Hartland, WI

1981 at my parents home near LaCrosse, WI
1982 at Camp Timber-lee where we now lived and began our work in the camping world.
Fall of 1983 at Camp Timber-lee in WI
Christmas of 1983 at Camp Timber-lee in WI
May 1985 while visiting cousins in Austin, TX not far from our Kerrville, TX home
1986 - Kerrville, TX

1987 - Mother's Day - still using this same waffle iron
1991 Kerrville, TX
December 2004
January 2014
And from the busy, demanding years of parenting, I have now moved into another period in which God continues to fulfill the deep desire of my heart... Grand-parenting!
 Proverbs 17: 6a
Children's children are a crown to the aged,...
I conclude with another of God's rich blessings to me - a photo with our five grandchildren with whom we spent Christmas this past December 2013.   
Dec. 2013 Richmond, VA with Stephen, Lydia, Grandpa, Grandma, Constantine, Phillip & Joanna
Psalm 78 is a prayer and an assignment for me:
Psalm 78: 4b-7
"...we will tell the next generation the praiseworthy deeds of the Lord, his power, and the wonders he has done.  He decreed statutes for Jacob and established the law in Israel, which he commanded our forefathers to teach their children, so the next generation would know them, even the children yet to be born and they in turn would tell their children.  Then they would put their trust in God and would not forget his deeds but would keep his commands."

"Oh Lord, may all the descendents of my husband and me put their trust in you and not forget your deeds but keep your commands all the days of their lives.  May this be so for all generations that bear our name.  In Jesus name, Amen"

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