Friday, April 18, 2008


I have been thinking a lot lately about family. Surely, that's no surprise to you since my whole life revolves around family. Once you become a parent, you really appreciate what your own parents did for you. Yes, sometimes it's hard to understand why they did what they did sometimes, but looking back, I can really say that decisions were made for my own good. What our parents instill in us is a matter how you look at it, for how we, ourselves, choose to parent. Irregardless of what kind of parents we have, the overarching aspect I see in my life is that every decision they made was for my benefit. Yes, I had parents that looked out for my best interests! I said it! It's out there for all to read! My parents truly cared about me.
Jeff and I are incredibly blessed to have the parents that we do. The people that they have aspired to be have in many ways shaped who Jeff and I desire to be. Were it not for their own personal walks with God, I don't think that I would even be writing this post. Their faith and trust in the Father, each and every day, is what I desire to emulate in my own life. They have let us see them succeed in their walk with God...they have shown us how to fail, and in the end, their successes and failures always show us a dependency on God.
For me, growing up the daughter of a pastor was adventurous - that's the word I'm going with because there are so many words I can think of, but that one sums most of them up! We were always with people, always on the move, always in church, always inundated with God's word. The thing is, none of that saved me. It was a family that led by example that ultimately led to me asking my Sunday School teacher how I could be saved. My parents diligently taught me that "God is Love" and really, what more do we need to know? Love says it all. I saw love, heard love, and received love growing up. The picture of God being love was the ultimate icing on the ultimate cake - which, if I'm choosing, would be Devil's Food with 7 minute white icing. I know, Devil's Food probably is an oxymoron when talking about God's love, but stay with me. It's just my very favorite cake in the world, OK?! Anyway, the view I have of God is one of love because, quite simply, I felt it! My dad taught me to shoot for the stars. I don't know that I always believed that I could do anything, but my daddy believed that for me. He knew I could do something great with my life. I think he's pretty proud of me...I married a Pastor! :) My Mama taught me to laugh and enjoy life. When there was no laughter in our home, someone would have had to be sick. We laugh about everything, but for as much as we laughed, we sure can cry, too. I cry everytime I share my testimony in front of people in because I love talking about what God has done in my life and it gets me everytime. One time I cried when mom and dad came to this church to hear me speak. I was so embarrassed that I cried, but when I sat down, Mama handed me a note that said, "Never be ashamed of your tears because they show your heart." I have that note in my Bible to this day. It is a reminder to me that it's ok to let what God's done in my life shake me up over and over! I love my mom and dad. They continue to teach me how to live this life....all because they have decided, themselves, to remain teachable and moldable in the palm of God's hand.
For Jeff, our lives may have been quite different growing up, but the way we would sum it all up is the same. I can't recall many Sundays that Jeff doesn't include a portrait of his childhood in his sermons. It shaped him to becoming the man that he is. I thank God that Jeff had a mother that was, and is, a servant. She demonstrated great love in how she took care of him and his four other siblings. She didn't even have to say a word, yet they knew they were loved by her example of serving them and others. Jeff's dad certainly instilled hard work in his life. There are no unfinished tasks, no half-hearted projects completed. He taught Jeff to look to success in everything you do. I see the man Jeff is and I am so grateful for his mom and dad. It's an honor to have them as my in-laws. Now, I get to benefit from their example, too, and, like my parents, they have continued a great example of love just by loving me. I love them, too!
Combine both parents and what do you get? Incredible grandparents!!! My girls don't whine and cry when we say we are going to Clarkesville or Green Pond. They jump up and down and have a bag packed before you can blink. I made the mistake of telling Avery several days before our trip to Vegas that they were staying with Meme and Papa (my parents) while Jeff and I were away. She came downstairs 30 minutes later with her clothes packed! Our girls love their grandparents dearly. They love them because they know they are loved, too! Speaking of how much they love to go see them, I think it's about time for the grandparents to take the girls for the weekend, right? :)
I'm glad you got to know more of us today by giving me the honor to write about our parents. Hey, were it not for them, there would be no Hickman Happenings to read about!


Greg said...

I am a New York Times bestselling author working on a new book about mother-daughter relationships and thought you might want to contribute. Please visit my page for details about submitting stories for Mom's Little Angel.

Gregory E. Lang
Author of “Daddy’s Little Girl,” “Why a Daughter Needs a Dad,” “Why a Daughter Needs a Mom” and more.

Kathy Cashion said...

Amy, I can't begin to tell you what a wonderful tribute that your Dad and I felt when we read your Blog. We are at a time of our life when we need this encouragement and you have certainly done that. Thank you for the precious words. It meant so much to us and I will never forget them.
In fact, I will probably go back and read and reread them. Thank you "first child". We love you, Missy and Katie. We love our wonderful 7 granddaughters and our two sons-in-law. Thank you for loving us, but most of all thank you for loving our Lord who means everything to us.

Sarah said...

Amy, I love the way you so beautifully expressed the blessing of your parents (I've been blessed by having them as my aunt and uncle.) Give them hugs and kisses from me next time you see them and if you end up contributing to that book- LET ME KNOW! You have a God-given gift for painting pictures with words.