Thursday, February 5, 2009

Esther describes her life for a college class

“....Faith, hope and love, and the greatest of these is love.” from 1 Corinthians 13 :13 is one of the most meaningful Bible verses of my life. Every day since I was first brought into this world my family has shown great faith in God our Father, hope in all that is good, and love for each other. My family is a large one, definitely one -of- a- kind, and is an important contributing factor in who I am today.

The Veggie Tales ' Veggies and The Stylistics became my favorite music groups from the time I was old enough to form memories. They remain my favorites to this day. I have had the privilege of being raised in a strong Christian family with extremely deep roots in our faith. Veggie Tales are movies that tell Bible stories in a way that young children can understand and apply to their lives. Starting or ending each day with a Veggie Tale cartoon Bible story helped me start off on the right foot when it came to my faith. The rich meanings and applications of the many Bible stories and verses I memorized when I was very young helped shape me into a strong young woman of faith. That early memorizing has also served me well in remembering details and facts now that I am in college. “Betcha By Golly Wow” is a song by the Motown group , the Stylistics, that I would listen to and sing along in the car with my mom every time we would go see one of her patients. My mom was a Midwife when we lived in Louisiana and I loved going with her to see each and every patient and little baby. This song still plays in my head when I go anywhere with my mom. She'd sing that song right to me: :"Betcha by golly wow, You're the one that I've been waiting for forever...." and it was so special and so fun! I believe singing those words to each other brought us close when I was little. Knowing we believe those words about each other keeps us close now. it . My mom is definitely one of my best friends and always will be.

“It’s better to be sweet than pretty ‘cause someone might slap the pretty off your face, than you're left with nothing,” was a warning I always heard my mom giving to my older sister Hannah when we were younger. Hannah was very conceited and vivacious. I was always the sweet, mild-mannered and friendly “go everywhere girl": my parents' nickname for me from the time I was about 2 years old. I did not need to be reminded that my sweetness was more important than my prettiness . Being the middle daughter for seven years combined with my natural-born personality I just seemed to easily develop into the laid back and gentle spirited person that I am. I was always the one who could go play by myself and have the time of my life but would still enjoy being around my family and friends. Then and now, I rarely ever get upset and when I do it does not last very long. My mom would say that I just let problems roll like water off a duck’s back. I know what I like and what I want in life; even when things don't work out exactly as I have envisioned them, I am still just as easy going as before. This laid back approach to life has greatly benefited me particularly when it comes to cooking. My entire family is great at cooking and baking, but somehow that "good cook gene" is missing from my DNA. I have messed up everything from spaghetti, chocolate chip cookies and I have even ruined an "Easy Bake Oven " cookie for my 6 year old sister.. Although I have goofed up all these different foods, I still enjoy trying to cook, with parental supervision of course. I try to stick to the outdoor chores and activities instead. My cooking errors have given our family lots of laughs at my expense, but have not caused me to compromise my sweetness or my prettiness, I have to humbly mention!

Riding horses with my daddy is definitely my very favorite pastime. I received my first horse Sugar, when I was eleven years old from my dad. I thought I was in heaven! Dad and I would go out a couple evenings a week and ride for hours. Talking, laughing, and just being together on our horses was what made life real to me and worth living. The time spent riding seemed to chase thoughts of school or anything else not related to riding horses, into a faraway dream world. Owning my own horse taught me more than any class or text book possibly could have.. Responsibility and respect: one horse showed me these extremely valuable values. Having to feed, water, and exercise another creature every day is no easy task, but I learned to thoroughly enjoy it. My horse's life depends on my not being lazy or selfish with my time each day. Sugar also reinforced the value of respect which my parents planted in my head as I was growing up. One has to respect the horse for it to give respect back. Some people that think anyone can just jump on a horse and ride off. My brother Gideon can attest to the fact that this is the farthest thing from the truth and he learned this the "hard way." Not everyone will respect another person just because they are told to, and it is the same with animals, particularly with horses. Showing pigs has reinforced much of what being a horse owner had already taught me and yet I have learned so much from my years of raising and showing pigs, too . All of these lessons stay with me and I want to keep them as a part of who I am and always will be. I may not always have pigs in my life but Sugar is one of my best friends and will be "forever" long as I show her the respect she deserves and she does the same with me.

Thinking of learning and being shaped by a best friend, immediately reminds me of my great friend Matt. Matt and I went to school together for years and we were both very involved in our FFA chapter. He always made me smile and laugh. Matt encouraged me to have fun with life. Never was there a dull moment in our five- year friendship. He always wanted to let everyone know how much God loved them no matter what was going on or who was around. Matt passed away on December 23, 2007, in a house fire. All of our friends and I were devastated. It took me several months to realize the finality of Mat's death. I think it finally , truly hit me, hit me like a sack of bricks at graduation in May of 2008 as Matt’s mom walked across the stage to receive his diploma. Oh how I missed him at that moment! Matt was the sweetest, most friendly person I have ever known, but right then when all four hundred and fifty eight graduates stood to their feet and clapped as his mom walked I realized just how loved Matt was. That scene impressed upon me that life is too precious , too short, and too uncertain to waste in making enemies or holding grudges against anyone . I am learning that I need to choose to love everyone, even when I don’t really want to. I'm learning that I should not to put off experiencing anything that I think is important for some other day. Tomorrow is simply not promised to anyone. These lessons were reinforced to me again a month after Graduation when we received word that my dad’s close friend Major Hagerty was killed in Iraq by a car bomb. We never know when God is going to call us Home to Himself and we have no real way of preparing ourselves or others for that. We can, however live our lives to their fullest. We can show God’s love through every facet of life every single day. That is how I want to live my life and how I want to be known.

Different people are influenced and shaped in different ways. I for one have been influenced by the lifestyles and the values my parents have instilled in me. Staying close to both of my parents throughout my life has helped me want to develop into a strong Christian woman who loves her family .I look forward to sharing and teaching the same values and Godly standards to my own children that my family has blessed me with


Ranee said...

I barely got through this because I started to cry as soon as I hit the first paragraph. To say I've stopped and thought about you and the way you parent and live your life while I'm muddling through mine is an understatement!!! That shows through your homegrown kids, adopted kids, and those of you that you adopted on the internet as well!!!

whenpigsfly said...

Thanks Ranee!!!
Ithink about you and Sydney and what all you've come through and I think you are JUST FINE!!!!!!
Thanks for leaving your comment. I am so very proud of Esther and SO thankful to our Heavenly Father for HIS hand upon her and all of our other children. It goes back to my signature verse at the top of my blog.................."all your children shall be taught of the Lord and great will be the peace of your children"

Laurel said...


LOVED reading it!!!