|Anna Whitehouse and her very handsome son|
|My stepdad and my mom, Bob and Barb Lucas|
First of all is my mother, Barbara Lucas. I love that woman!! My mom was only 19 years old when I was born, and she was 22 when she gave birth to my sisters and my brother who are triplets. I have such wonderful memories of growing up hearing my mom's beautiful laugh. I have joked that if I ever got lost in a store, all I had to do was listen for the sound of my mom's laughter to guide me back to her. My mom has always seemed to have had such an easy way with people. Words that would best describe my mother would be energetic, vivacious, delightful, and generous. My mom works for the World Bible League and develops relationships with folks who are willing to donate money so that Bibles can be given all over the world. She has many, many friends all over the United States whom she contacts every week and speaks to on the phone. Often these friends, whom she has never met face to face, share their heartaches and prayer requests with her, and while on the phone my mom prays with them. Whether or not they are able to donate money, they know that they have met someone who truly cares for them. People also love my mother because she is generous with her words. She uses her words to praise and encourage everyone she meets. My mom accepted Christ as her Saviour when I was about 8 or 9 years old. I was able to watch her develop a relationship with God through the years. I love my memories of seeing my mom reading her Bible before she went to sleep at night. To this day, she is involved in Bible studies. Often she and I will share something that has blessed us from God's Word. I have loved knowing that my mom loves the Lord and loves studying His word. My mom is a women who is strong in the Lord. 1988 was an unforgettable year. That was the year that my mom's husband, and my dad who had been a pastor, committed suicide. I don't care who the person is, how strong they seem to be spiritually and emotionally, when a loved one takes his own life, the surviving family is going to reel--and we did. I know that my mom has asked "why?" as often or more than I have of God, but through the years she has maintained a strong, joyful spirit. I have never known her to be bitter. I have never known her to want to give up on God. She has shed many tears, but I have never had to worry about her faith--it has only become stronger and stronger.
My mother-in-law, Anna Whitehouse, is another woman I have observed and learned from. I have stayed in her home several times through the years and I know that this lady loves her Bible. She reads and studies God's Word and is more of a Bible scholar than most folks are who graduate from Bible colleges! You can mention any Bible fact, and she will which tell you which book it is in and most likely which chapter. I have often watched her get comfortable with her cup of coffee and her Bible and spend time with God. She keeps a long list of prayer requests in her Bible. I love knowing that our family is on that list and that she prays for us daily by name. My mother-in-law has taught a Sunday school class for years and years. She has taught a class called the Sunbeams which are the children who are mentally slow. Even though she never (or at least rarely) receives a "thank you" from these children for her lesson preparation and the delicious homemade breakfasts that she often brings to them, she has been faithful to these very special children. Anna Whitehouse is also a soul winner. She goes visiting at area nursing homes once a week, and while there she encourages many people and gives them the Gospel of Christ. On a monthly basis she has several folks bow their heads with her and accept Christ as their Saviour. Anna is another woman in my life who has shown remarkable strength through very difficult times. Nine days before our daughter Jessica was born in 1993, my father-in-law, Bill Whitehouse, was shot and killed in a case of mistaken identity. Bill and Anna Whitehouse, by anyone's standards, had a deep, affectionate love for each other that most people would envy. He was crazy for her, and she was crazy for him. After Bill's death, Anna didn't quit. She didn't give up on God. She didn't get bitter at God for taking from her the love of her life. Anna just got busier for God. She filled her loneliness with teaching the Sunbeams Sunday school class; she filled her loneliness with visiting shut-ins; she filled her loneliness with winning more souls. She has used her talents and abilities for God. What an amazing testimony she is!
I am not exactly like my mother, Barbara Lucas, or my mother-in-law, Anna Whitehouse nor will I ever be, but I can learn from both of them and to the best of my ability and with God's guidance, I can incorporate their strengths into my personality. Can I do everything exactly like they do it? No, and I never will. God made me who I am and I am uniquely His, but as I observe my mom and my mother-in-law, I see where I can be more generous with my words; I can be joyful through the hard times; I can be personable with people and have a fun time with them; I can make reading and studying God's Word an enjoyable part of my every day life; I can adjust to what life brings my way with grace and growth. I am so thankful for these beautiful ladies that God has allowed me to have.