Welcome from the President...
I’ve three simple words and what those words mean to me: FAITH, FAMILY and FRIENDS.
FAMILY first. For me that is a big deal, literally as well as figuratively. I’ve 8 siblings, and two half-sisters since I'm adopted. Mom’s family is large, 12 siblings, all but 1 lived within 20 miles of my grandparents’ home. Dad’s family was small, only 4 siblings, they lived some distance away. My first friends were family. My husband’s family is a close-knit family, they have taken me in and treated me as one of their own. I do have some contact with my birth mother’s family. There are things that I learned coming from a big family. Good and bad. I’ve learned that you don’t always get your way, you must compromise even when you don’t want to, I always had a playmate and I learned to plan an event and cook for more than 20 people.
My husband’s radio job had us moving quite often when we first got married. It was difficult for me to make friends, I think because I had been so close to family. I didn’t know how to relate to people that didn’t share that common bond and it was hard for me to ask for help from people that weren’t family. To me friends are like family which brings me to my next subject, FRIENDS.
Through my journey I’ve made many friends. A high school friend that I talk to occasionally, several college friends that I see and talk to often. I keep in touch with several people I’ve worked with along the way, I’ve made friends though church, the kids school and their various extra-curricular activities and through LAPW. I’ve learned to lean on my friends and they have helped me through many tough times - finding my birth Mom and losing her and my brother to cancer, to questioning my faith and refinding it, how I raise my kids, getting my son and soon my daughter off to college and then an empty nest. My friends have been there.
FAITH. I am not just talking about religious faith, although that is important to me, but faith in others. Faith in your family and friends. I grew up in a rural church and there was never a question of going to church. I never questioned my faith and why I attended church. In college I did not have an opportunity to attend a LCMS Church as there were none. My church attendance and my faith slipped a bit during this time. We got married, moved to Iowa where we joined an LCMS church. It helped me to attend confirmation classes with John as he was converting. My faith continued to grow as we moved from place to place and only had each other. I needed something consistent, my faith was that. I also discovered I had to learn to also have faith in other people. I didn’t have my family there to help me. It was just us. I had to have faith that things would turn out OK, that the job would pay enough, that I would find a job, that we’d find a place to live, that I would make new friends, that I could raise a child on my own without my family nearby to help me. Faith. I simply had to embrace that.
You cannot make it through life without all of these things in some form, I hope in the upcoming year you can embrace all of those things here through LAPW.