I am thrilled to announce that my sweet, darling mother-in-law has started a blog! Now, I know you come to my blog to see pictures, but if you want to read what a real author has to say, click here!
Now, I am going to share with you something Mom (yes, she is my Mom now too!) has taught me through her words, yes, but mostly through her example. And here it is, exactly how she put it: write, write, write! When David and I were dating, every week he would savor the words from his mother, on a hand-written letter, always written on the same type of paper and always written on both sides to the very last line of the page. (And I always got a certain satisfaction out of checking his weekly letters to make sure she made it to the last line again! I guess I always loved that consistent preciseness.) At this time David was in college and his letters were very special to him because they were sent each week from the mission field of Mexico, where his parents served. And, oh, how he missed home! Mom has faithfully done this for each of her eight children, letting them know that, even though they were far away, she still made special time for each of them. Now that the internet has become such a popular household item, she now sends a weekly "Mom on Monday" e-mail to each of her children. Because of her busy schedule, she does not always get to write on Monday, but her letters come faithfully every week. And part of our entertainment of the week is to see the title that dons her e-mails: "Mom on Monday on Thursday," for example. The translation of that is: "Here is my 'Mom on Monday' letter that I did not get to send until Thursday." Oh, we have such fun anticipating which day we will receive our "Mom on Monday"!
Another thing Mom is faithful to in her writing is birthday cards. I have saved every birthday card she has ever sent to us. But her birthday cards have a span much farther than her own family. Many of you can attest to this. Another fun tradition I was able to get in on when I joined the Sloan clan was the "birthday card" morning ritual. When you have a list like Mom's, there is bound to be at least two or three birthday cards passed around the breakfast table for everyone to sign before she seals the envelope. I have signed hundreds of cards (birthday, anniversary, you name it) that really were from her. But since I am part of the family, I have somehow received a portion of the credit too.
Mom is also a true-blue author. To get a copy of her book Tom and Me, click here. This book is a down-to-earth and very honest look at her life with her medical doctor/missionary husband and their adventures on the mission field together. If you have not read this book yet, buy it for yourself for Christmas!
So, anyway, why should I write, write, write? I have thought about that many times through the last ten years or so, and I think I have come to understand. Mom's eight children have stacks of letters from their Mother that they will forever treasure. In our family, we will not be passing family heirlooms such as Victorian teacups or turn-of-the century sewing machines to our children. We will be passing letters. And what about those birthday cards? Well, my list sure is not as long as Mom's (and I purposefully try to keep it short since I have small children at home), but I have picked up on her birthday card-sending tradition. And, even though mine are not nearly as personal (usually mine are just a quick e-mail), I have learned from Mom to take a minute and remember others on their special days.
Which now brings me to the subject of blogging... I feel that missionary wives have a unique experience and something they can share with those who may never have the opportunity to leave American soil in their lifetimes. And though many of you attend churches where prayer letters hang prominently in your auditoriums or hallways, I understand that those prayer letters are the husband's "black and white version" of the mission field. When we ladies write, we get to share the "color version"! God is doing amazing things on our respective fields, but we want you to see the everyday experiences as well... the living without a bathroom for a month (I have not told you that part yet, have I?!), the centipedes under our mattresses, and the way we spend our holidays, just to name a few.
So, missionary wives... I want to challenge you too: write, write, write! Join us in this blogging world. But I want to caution each of you, just as my hubby cautioned me: Don't be negative! Be real, but do not be negative. Take your burdens to the Lord, but keep your letters back home uplifting. Our God takes care of us in miraculous ways and the world needs to see that. Some of my most difficult days have been here on the mission field, but I am not going to tell you about those days. The Lord already knows.
Be sure to subscribe to Mom's blog when you are there and enjoy reading from a missionary who has been serving on her beloved field for 49 years now. Talk about faithfulness!
Mom, you keep on writing, writing, writing and we will be reading, reading, reading!