One in Twelve is really One in a Million


These past few days I’ve had the absolute honor of having my mother, Elsie, staying with us.  One of my “thin places” has always been taking walks with my mother.  Lately it’s even more precious because she has a way of holding on to my arm and leaning into me that makes me feel so loved.  To have her trust me with that “lean” is about the most precious moment in my life!

The other thing I love about walks with Mom is that she always talks!   Walking just opens her heart and allows her to talk with a freedom that sitting just won’t allow.  It’s while walking that I can ask her deeper questions about family and try to piece together the moments in my past that are fuzzy or incomplete.   Yesterday, as we were walking, Mom started to share about one of her sisters, her favorite really, Margaret.  

To understand Margaret’s role in Mom’s life, you need to know that Mom was one of 12 children who grew up on a little farmhouse on the prairie.  There wasn’t much grace there.  Her first father committed suicide.  And her second father was committed to a mental institution.  So, Ida, Mom’s mother, was left out there on a little farm trying to get by and raise 12 children on her own. Life was all about survival, and “survival mode” doesn’t always leave much room for grace!   But grace did come in the form of Mom’s older sister, Margaret.   Margaret had somehow made it out into the world as a nurse—-largely due to the opportunities given to women because of WW 2.  

When Mom was in High School…the only one of the twelve who even went to high school… blue jeans hit the fashion scene!   Everyone was wearing them, and Mom thought they were the coolest thing ever.  She wanted a pair in the worst way, but she didn’t even dare approach her mom about such a luxury.  There was no way that blue jeans were going to happen.

But, on the week before her Junior year of high school, a package arrived at the farm addressed to Elsie Zantow!   In it was a brand-new pair of blue jeans.  Mom wore them her entire year of high school!

 Later Margaret would pay Mom’s way through college!  

 This week we begin a sermon series on grace. As we work through this sermon series, I encourage you to take some time to look back into your life and remember the people of grace in your life, and the God working through each and every one of them! One of my “grace people” is my mom!

 Your friend and pastor, learning to go back into the past and paint with grace, Brook

Tim Schaaf