Yesterday, nearly 30 women of our church had a baby shower for a young wife expecting twin boys. She, herself, is exemplary for loving her children and her husband so much; she is delighted to have these babies, though she is very uncomfortable and has a lot of apprehension about the upcoming delivery of her 3rd and 4th children. This is a couple who have weathered some great pressures on their relationship --he is of Muslim heritage and she of Christian background. Despite some difficulties (not about religion, but maybe because of the lack of it), they have nevertheless retained their love and commitment to one another. We wish them well. The shower was an outreach ministry for this couple, as they really are not active in any church at this time, though she and her siblings were raised in our church and her mother attends occasionally.
One woman, Inga, is the main subject of this tribute. She gave a devotional at this shower. Inga never was interested in going to college, she told me in the past, but she would've been a successful graduate with her intelligence and professionalism in all she does. In fact, she did taxes for awhile for H&R Block. She is instead earning a degree for excellence in the School of Life. She is a tall girl, a school secretary married to a very tall, former high school basketball star, who is in a family business now. They are a handsome couple and their children are beautiful with an endless stream of friends to bring to church.
Her mother was a German immigrant; her father, an excellent handyman, but so poor in youth, that he and his brother lived under a bridge for a time, before he joined the military--which is how he met his wife in Germany. Her parents accepted Christ when she was little and church became their second home. She was raised in a lovely mobile home park (I say this for the benefit of bloggers who said I wouldn't know any one who lived in a mobile home; this home and park were really nice) and her parents lavished all their attention on her, their only child.
My daughters loved to visit them, because they doted on the children --and one highlight of my memories as a mother, is when Inga's parents flew my girls in a plane over the house! I said, "YOU WHAT! YOU WENT UP IN A LITTLE PRIVATE PLANE TODAY! YIKES!" but what you don't know before the fact, won't hurt you, I guess! They also taught the girls to play cards --which my husband and I didn't believe in! So we've laughed at what our kids learned from our church friends!
Sadly, both of Inga's dear parents died young of illnesses, mother of multiple sclerosis and father of cancer --so they never had the joy of meeting her 5 children (which includes a set of twins.) Now she is a working mom and heads up our Christian Life Club on Wednesdays while her husband helps with the children and youth and the local Campus Life Club. She also has taught the teen Sunday School class in the past and been a good choir singer.
Inga's husband had no church background that I know of (maybe Catholic, but I don't think so) --but when he married her he turned out to be an active, sincere, articulate young Christian man --with great charisma for youth work, and a heart for the Katrina victims, whom he has helped several times on our mission trips there. He gave eloquent testimony of how God touched his heart on a recent trip. He is literally good as gold as a father and husband.
She wants things to be just so in our children's department. She wants to know that the children are learning Bible stories, verses and songs --that they are being grounded and she keeps after us to have a quality Christian Ed program for all ages. She and her friend Jenni always help with the children's choir because they want these performing experiences for their children, having enjoyed it when they were young. The children get costumes from the Amazing Sue, and sometimes even have some dancing or motions to do--two years ago the Jr. Church Singers had two conga lines for our Christmas program. This year some were graceful angels and all were in the Wise Men's caravan --and previously courtiers in a royal processional. This takes the help and supervision of mothers; Inga and Jenni and some older women are always willing to help.
Inga has a gift for public speaking and leading of young people. For yesterday's baby shower she pulled up many favorite scriptures that help her in her mothering task. There was evidence of the work of the Holy Spirit in her sharing, which is so natural and seems so easy for her. Yet, she said she didn't necessarily feel qualified to inspire, as she had had a hectic week herself. But the Lord inspired us as He inspired her.
She said most memorably that when we feel we are failing as mothers, to not despair if we love and care for our children --even if the results on any given day aren't always to our liking. We are not failing, she said, if we are loving.
Thank you, Inga, for being you --and maturing into the church leader that you are, today --and for finding such a great husband and bringing him into God's Kingdom --and into the ministry at HFM Church.
"God is not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance and have eternal life."--the Bible