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On the Front Porch: Family ties

Columnist Wanda Smith reflects on her upbringing
tranquil family stock
Family (Shutterstock)

If I could use a longer title for the story this week, it would be “Ten Things My Parents Did Right.” Of course, there are many more than 10 points that I could list but that may have to be for another time.

I would say without a doubt, the number one thing my parents did was that they raised us in a home that pursued Jesus and lived it out daily. They were not closet Christians and lived out their convictions every minute of every day. They didn’t talk one way on Sunday and another way on Monday. They made every effort to have godly influences around us, spending their hard-earned money getting us to youth group and camp, as well as providing clean music, good books and entertainment. 

Secondly, one lesson I have taken into my adulthood is to be resourceful. I saw my parents live through the drought in the 80s that greatly affected their bank account. They walked through lean years with grace and dignity, using their talents and abilities to do what they had to do to put food on the table such as selling bread and milk.

To build on the resourcefulness of my parents, there was never a time I can remember them complaining. They didn’t complain about having it tough or about bad weather or their neighbors or the government and so on.  What a great legacy to live out for their children.

Another parenting win was doing work as a family on our mixed farm, which I like to incorporate in our own family. I enjoyed the times we spent gathering in the garden, harvesting crops or hauling bales. It was rewarding to work together.  

For the most part, our childhood was free from strife. This was mostly due to my mom’s gracious personality and quiet nature. We definitely had a scream-free environment; there was rarely, if ever, a voice raised. My dad was also very upbeat for the most part and he lived his life for adventure so there was rarely a dull or sad moment, even in the mundane part of daily living.

I would venture to say we didn’t have enough family vacations but to be fair to my parents, we lived in a lot of lean years. We could barely stay afloat let alone have any extra money for extravagant living; however, the one thing Dad and Mom did was take short vacations or day trips or even just drive the back roads home from somewhere. They made anything an adventure so rarely did we feel we were missing out. 

They majored on quality not quantity. We may not have had much, but we had the best they could do or buy at the time. One spring, I had only three shirts to wear but they were really nice shirts and my mom kept them washed up so I always looked presentable at school.

I saw my parents help the down and outer many times — pulling them out of the ditch or leaving food on their doorstep. I saw them welcome anyone into our home at anytime, always being hospitable no matter what was going on. I saw them sacrifice their needs for ours, always desiring to give us the best they could.

As I watch my Big Sweet Pea leave the nest and make a life for her own, I am mindful of the many choices my parents made to raise Sis and me to be the women we’ve become; affecting how we’ve parented the next generation.  

Read Proverbs 22:6


The views expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Moose Jaw Today, the Moose Jaw Express, its management, or its subsidiaries.

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