October 27, 2020
I met my husband on my first day of college in 1984. Our eyes met as we stared at each others reflections in the two way mirror on the wall in Psychology 101 and it was love at first sight. I knew he was perfect for me after our first date, but when I went home to meet his family, that sealed the deal. That's when I really fell in love. His mom and dad became my other mother and father instantly. The first time we met they welcomed me into their family and home with such genuine love and affection and I was hooked. I knew that I wanted not just Dave, but his family in my life.
Dave is a Florida boy and his family lives in Fort Myers. We lived in Tampa at the time and I so looked forward to those trips home to visit his mom and dad. I loved every part of every moment I got to spend with them, the warm welcome hugs, the peaceful calm of their home, the way they lovingly joked with their kids, the constant questions about where I was from, what was my family like, what did I want to study. Where did I want to live? How did I feel about politics, religion, and Jesus? I loved the attention and love they so freely gave me, I still do.
Marge and Jim represent so many things to me, they truly do fill the role of mom and dad, mentors and friends. Don't get me wrong I love my parents so much, my mom and dad, they were amazing, but every kid could use a second set, am I right? At the time Marge and Jim provided the stability of loving parents in the rocky world of an uncertain 18 year old, while also providing sage wisdom and advice. They were, and still are people I can run too, a warm embrace, friends I can bounce ideas and dreams off of. I am truly blessed to have them in my life. They were and are a reflection of Jesus to me.
Last February when we were planning our trip to Haiti my other mother, Marge, called me to tell me about a dream that she had. God had spoken to her in the middle of the night and told her that she was supposed to plant gardens and provide food for starving people. My mother-in-law is in her 80s and not in particularly good health and she wasn't taking any mission trips anytime soon, so she pretty much knew that God was asking her to give financially towards these gardens, not physically. When she called my husband to tell him of her dreams, she had no way of knowing that just a few days prior we had changed our plans for our trip and we had decided to plant gardens in Haiti due to an extreme shortage of food. God is so good. A need arose and He was already providing the answer. As soon as she heard about our plan to plant gardens she knew that she was supposed to provide the funds. Within 2 days my other mom and dad wired the funds to cover both of our new gardens.
And what a blessing those gardens are. Those gardens are a constant reminder to me that God blesses obedience. My mother-in-law is just that kind of person, God speaks and she obeys, and her obedience blesses others. I grew up on a farm in Michigan and my parents were master gardeners. We were surrounded by little farms and farmers who were very proficient at growing food, but I have never in my life seen anything like the way these gardens in Haiti are growing. It's what I imagine the garden of Eden was like; trees so full of fruit that the branches hang low. Okra and beans falling off the vine. It has been just 8 months since we planted the gardens and trees in Montrouis, and even Makencia says that she has never seen such abundance. She has piles of yucca and pumpkin to use in soups and stews, tons of moringa and okra to add to her cooking. Today I received these pictures of the current crop of papayas and bananas.....more than 20 papayas to a tree.
Only God! Well, God and my other Mother. God has blessed me with knowing Marge and Jim for 36 years now, for 36 years they have filled my life with such love, such abundance, and this garden represents what they mean to me and God's love in my life. Even having a second set of parents to call my own shows me just how much God loves me. He loves me enough to give me another Mother.
If you don't have another Mother you should get one, I highly recommend it. Just wait until I tell you about my "Dad 2.0, who is always Number 1 in my heart. Love you so much, Marge and Jim!!!!!
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