Want to know why I am the man I am today? Here’s why.

Windmill Cookies croppedWhen I was in about first grade, my mom started going to church.  Mom grew up catholic and my grandparents attended a catholic church.  I however, had not really gone to church much before first grade.

It wasn’t a very big church but I remember it had lively music and some people in the congregation would play tambourines during the songs.  It also had old oak church pews with no cushioning at all.  I remember that we had a lady Pastor who carried a huge purse.  All the ladies carried these purses back then, you know, they had kind of a cinch sack top and you could carry a bowling ball in them if you wanted to.  I also remember a lot of the ladies used to wear their hair up.

It didn’t take me long to make a friend at church, his name was William South.  William was a little older than me and knew a few things.  For instance, William knew that if you could find a tambourine cymbal that may have come loose & rolled near you (they occasionally did), then find a lost bobby pin, which wasn’t that difficult because all the ladies wore their hair up, and if you happened to have brought a rubber band with you to church, you could fashion yourself a fine sling-shot that would send a tambourine cymbal flying far and noticeable!  I have often thought since then that William and I should have just packaged that idea and called it “Whippin’ in a can”.  Whether it was that, or some other scheme that I invented to keep from being bored in church, the results always seemed to be the same.  I got spanked when I got home. I have since joked with my mom that it’s a wonder that I’m a Christian today considering all of the times I was punished when I got home for being rowdy during service.

Not long after that, my dad also recommitted his heart to the Lord and began to go with us.  Together, they set out to show us that what they believed was worth believing.  It was worth instructing their family about.  My mom meant business when it came to God.  She was not fake about her Christian walk. Her and dad conveyed to us that we could have a relationship with God for ourselves and that He was worth having a relationship with.

“There never was a woman like her. She was gentle as a dove and brave as a lioness… The memory of my mother and her teachings were, after all, the only capital I had to start life with, and on that capital I have made my way.”
– Andrew Jackson

I am convinced that I am the godly man that I am today because of what my mom put into me.  She formed me in two distinct ways.

  1. The things that she taught me. I remember when I was in third grade my mom used to take me into her bedroom with her and pray with me.  This was her prayer time and she would pray for an hour.  She was teaching me to pray and also trying to build into me a habit of prayer.  I thought later that I should have hid army men in my parents’ bedroom so I could have something fun to do during this time.
  2. The way that she lives.  I also remember the elderly mother of a family friend came to live with us.  My sister and I called her “Grandma Davis”.  My mom took care of her for a while.  This was right after my little brother, also known as “the breaker of my toys” was born.  I remember because mom would order me to watch him while she would go help Grandma Davis.  Mom was not only willing but glad to help out this way.

“My mother never gave up one me. I messed up in school so much they were sending me home, but my mother sent me right back.”
– Denzel Washington

I am grateful for the faithfulness of my mom.  Through the hard years she stuck it out when no one else did and did her best.  All of her children are grown now but she’s still there to help when she can.  I am so grateful that she paid attention to the person I was becoming and disciplined me when I needed it.  I am living proof of Proverbs 22:6 “Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it”. 

I honor my mom with every breath and every heartbeat. I want to live my life so as to cause glory to fall on my mom and I thank God for her.

Mom, I love you and you really are my hero! Happy Mother’s Day!


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2 Responses to Want to know why I am the man I am today? Here’s why.

  1. Debi says:

    Thank you for sharing your heart, and being “man” enough to. You have gold shining through our earthly dross, my brother man. William!!! Loved that you shared about him and his hijinks. I always loved your friend and called him Willian. Been a long time since I’ve seen him.
    Regarding memories, I will never forget your dad at the wheel of your station wagon during the crazy car chase on the way to a crusade.

    • Art says:

      Thank you Debi. I am glad to hear from you. I hope that the blog is helpful and I would like for you to help me to make it even more helpful. Please feel free to suggest ideas & topics. I do remember the car chase. That was a long time ago.

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