My Family Tree-It Starts With Me!

My last post was on my latest adventure of researching my family tree.  If you missed it, you can click here to read that particular post.

I’m beginning with my father’s side of the family first because it intrigues me the most right now.  In my last post I said that I would begin with information that I have on my dad.  After thinking about it, I figured I should start with myself.  My brain thinks in an organized way, so I felt like if I’m working backwards, that I should begin with Moi.  (that’s french for me….I think)

If you have been a follower of my blog you may know much of my story as I tend to tie it into a lot of topics that I write about.  With my crazy life, I just can’t bury it and leave it alone as I feel like maybe it can help someone in the struggles of their life and most of all, I want to share the amazing grace of my Savior.  When I think of where I’ve been and what all I’ve seen, I get chills thinking that God set me on a path for something much greater.  I never take for granted my blessings.

One time after a talk that I gave for a group of ladies, I had someone come up to me and say that they can’t believe that I was raised the way I was by looking at my life now.  All that I can attribute that to is when I was 14 my life was changed the second I put all my trust in Christ.  He changed me and he changed the path that I was on.  For that I am truly thankful and He, Jesus Christ, gets all the praise, honor and glory!  Don’t get me wrong…..I do not in any way think I have it all figured out and am perfect.  I’m still a work in progress and still learning every single day!

Okay, let’s get started.

It all started 59 years ago…..

My mother and father had me exactly a year after they were married.  My father was the manager of the movie theater in Crane, Texas.  My mom said I was a cute baby and when she took me out and about people would stop and comment how cute I was.  Aww…isn’t that sweet!  What else would a mom tell you, right?

 

After several months in this tiny West Texas town, my father was showing some serious signs of addiction to alcohol and seeing other women.  I know, it’s not pretty.  My mom has shared many stories of finding my dad with other women.  The frame of mind my mom was in was, she was young and didn’t really have anyone to go to for help, for advice, for counsel or just someone to talk to.  She had no idea what to do.  My dad always repented, but, it would happen many times through out my childhood.  The reason I tell you this, is to explain why I lived in a million places as a child.

I’m going to list the places that I lived just so you can see what I mean.

Crane, Texas

Alamogordo, New Mexico

Dallas, Texas

Tucumcari, New Mexico (lived in three different houses)

Monahans, Texas (lived in two different houses)

Ft. Stockton, Texas (lived in two different houses)

Ozona, Texas

Del Rio, Texas (lived in two different houses)

Ft. Stockton, Texas (yes, we moved back)

Del Rio, Texas (moved back again)

Clinton, Oklahoma

Del Rio, Texas (yep…moved back again)

Elk City, Oklahoma

Del Rio, Texas (there we are again, my dad was working as a surveyor, so they moved him a lot)

Midland, Texas (lived in 4 different houses)

By the time we moved to Midland, Texas, I was in the third grade.

I was extremely shy.  School was hard for me as I didn’t want to talk to anyone.  Teachers were very impatient with me and I was ridiculed by a few teachers.  I don’t have any stories about how a teacher changed my life by being interested in me or caring anything about my life.  I always envy people when I hear their stories of how a teacher was the reason they made it in life.

Jr. High was probably the worst two years of my life!  My dad left for the final time the summer before my 7th grade year.  I silently took it very hard.  I loved my dad and I felt sorry for him.  I so wished he didn’t drink and I so wished he stayed home.  Many times he would be gone for days and we wouldn’t know when he would be back.  Many times we didn’t have food in the house.  My mom always would be able to find a decent job as a waitress, store clerk, telephone operator, eye glass store clerk, hotel desk clerk and at the newspaper office.  The money she made paid bills and food was usually very slim.  Our phone and utilities were turned off  many times.  Our refrigerator would be totally bare regularly.

My mom has a couple of stories where friends from far away would come to visit and stay with us while passing through town.  She would have to apologize for not having any food in the house.  One family bought a couple of boxes of cereal and a gallon of milk for their breakfast.  I think the other family went to eat before they spent the night and left early the next morning.

When I was about 13, my mom went to her car after work and someone had put a couple sacks of groceries in her car.  Around that same time, my mom got a job in the evening at the country club working the coat check desk.  They would call her in when they had parties.  That was when we learned what a tip was.   She worked for tips and would bring home a big bowl of money.  My brothers and I would count it for her and you would think we just won the lottery.  She also worked at the local baseball stadium at the concession stand.  My job was to watch my two younger brothers.  Many nights I sat out at the ball park watching baseball and my brothers.  Do I need to mention that I do not like baseball.

Okay, I guess you get the picture how life was for me, right?

I had two brothers that I loved and still love greatly to this day!  We’ve been through a lot together. I’m three years older than one of my brothers and eight years older than my youngest brother.  I was probably more of a mom than a sister.  I babysat a lot while my mom was working two and three jobs at once.

I was bullied in jr. high.  I thought I would never get out alive.  I was finally beat up one morning before school.  I was humiliated and in pain…..somehow I managed to make it through jr. high.  I still get cold chills when I pass by that school to this day.  It was a horrible time in my life.

The incredible part of my story is during my 9th grade year, I was introduced to Jesus Christ.  I was radically changed the moment I asked Christ into my life!  It was a whirlwind of a life change.  My mom had never heard about how Jesus had died on the cross for her and she was 34 years old.  You can only imagine how our home changed.  Life had meaning.  My life had a purpose.

My mom was asked to be the secretary to the pastor and his staff at the church that we joined.  She didn’t have to work a second job anymore.  Such a sweet time in our lives of meeting new people and getting involved in our new church.  So many special memories.

I have many sweet and fun memories from that time.  I still struggled a bit in school.  Okay, I say a bit….let’s just say, it’s a miracle I graduated when I did.  I would beg my mom to let me quit school and stay home and take care of my brothers and the house for her.  She struggled to not let me.  Thankfully, she was strong and made me go to school.  I was part of a program at my high school where I worked half a  day and went to school half a day my senior year.  I started at an insurance company as a file clerk and then switched to an oil company and worked in the drilling department. It helped me come out of my shell a little bit.  I was determined to win the shyness battle.  I don’t know if you have ever had a problem with your face turning red, but, my face would always give away my shyness.  I would be doing okay and then BAM……my face would be on fire!!!!  A dead giveaway!

I dated a few very nice guys and a couple of questionable ones.  Whew….all I can say is…..my Heavenly Father was watching out for me….that’s all I can say.  I have some pretty funny stories, but, I’ll save those for another time.

I didn’t go to college.  I had a dream since I was a little girl to work as an airline stewardess.  When I was 18, I got a call from Braniff Airlines to come interview.  I was so excited!  They sent me an airline ticket and I flew to Dallas for my interview.  The funny thing was, I had never flown before.  By the time I got to the interview, my ears were so stopped up I couldn’t hear a thing!  I didn’t know how to pop my ears evidently so I could hear.  It also hurt, but, I pretended it didn’t bother me.  As I was sitting in the waiting room waiting for them to call me in, I had the clearest and most peaceful feeling ever.  It was…”Beverly, this is not what I have in mind for you.”  Before I went in to the office to interview…I knew that is not what I was supposed to be doing with my life.  I remember being asked what I wanted to do with my life if I didn’t get picked and I said, “I would like to go to a Bible College and become a school teacher at a Christian School.”  Hello!  Where did that come from.  I had never thought that before….but, it just came out. Not to mention, I couldn’t afford to go off to college…..period!  I think they got the picture that I wasn’t cut out for what they had in mind.  As I sat there in my Mary Jane Shoes and my dress with ruffles and a sash tied in a bow…. (It was a Gunne Sax dress.  My favorite style in the 70’s. ) I don’t think I was airline stewardess material.  I also remember them weighing me…123 pounds and… I felt fat.  I couldn’t get out of there fast enough.  So much for my dream, but, how thankful I am to have had the opportunity to see what it was all about and to have such a clear answer that, “Beverly, this ain’t it!”

I had felt like God was calling me into full time service when I was about 16.  I thought I was supposed to be a missionary to a foreign country.  As time went on, I struggled with this thought as I am a very squeamish person and when I heard a missionary tell how you had to eat things like flies on a cake, etc…..I was having second thoughts.  I still felt like God was dealing with me about something.  I had a lady talk to me about how God could be calling me to be a pastors wife.  I thought that was it!  There you go.  (I had the thought I would be an airline stewardess and fly the world until I met my preacher!)

I worked for an Oil Operator’s Office for a couple of years and as a Kelly Girl filling in for different jobs as a secretary or receptionist.  My favorite job was as a sales clerk at a very nice department store.  That’s when I discovered I loved fashion.  I started thinking about becoming a fashion designer or possibly own my own boutique.  I realized that would not work when I learned the price of attending the fashion school I wanted to in Dallas.  I stayed busy working and taking care of my brothers.

Then I met my Jim.  He had just returned from the Navy and joined our church.  He was a strong Christian and oh, so cute!  Long story short….we fell in love.  I was worried as he wasn’t a preacher and I thought that was what I was supposed to do…marry a preacher.  But, I had peace about marrying him….so….long story short again….a couple of months after we were married, Jim told me that he felt God was dealing with him about being a preacher since he was 15.  I then told him that I felt the Lord had called me to be a pastor’s wife when I was 16. Now that’s funny, don’t you think!

We moved to Arlington for seminary and after serving almost 20 years in ministry, we then stepped  down and began our own business.  We had peace about this decision….it was tough, but, we did have peace.  Those 20 years in ministry were an education plus!  I do write about some of those experiences here and there…..I won’t go into detail on this post.  Aren’t you glad?

Here I am now……I’ve been happily married for 38 years and yes, when I married I didn’t have a clue…..I had to grow up quiet a bit.  I’m very thankful for a husband who had patience and still does as I think I can be a mess sometimes.  Okay, not think….I know I can be.  We have two of the most amazing kids and they are each married to precious people.  I consider them my kids as well.  Oh, I can’t forget our 5 grandchildren…..do I need to tell you how precious they are to me?

I love life and I am truly thankful for the life that God has blessed me with.  I don’t know what tomorrow holds, but, I do know that I can handle whatever it is, because I have a Heavenly Father who has walked me through the worst of times and the best of times.

Some of the things that keep me busy:

My Family

My home….we now have two homes and I love decorating them and keeping up with all the details

Writing….I’m working on a couple of books

Blogging…that’s what I’m doing now

Friends….I’ve been blessed with great friends

Whatever I can get into that keeps me out of trouble

Studying and learning all that I can about my amazing Savior and giving Him all the glory for all that I am and have in my life.

There you go…those are  the highlights of my life.  I know I left many things out, but…..we got other things to do, don’t we….hopefully, you get the main picture of my life.

Now we can move on to my father’s highlights in my next post on the genealogy topic!

“And we know that in all things, God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” –Romans 8:28

Because of Christ!

Who Was Before Me?

For the past several years, I have been very interested in genealogy.  I know that there are many people that aren’t as interested in finding out about family members from times past.  My husband is one of those.  He just smiles that little smile when I start telling him my latest finds from ancestors that I never met.  Thankfully, he is patient with me and endures my stories and even goes with me on hunts to far away places to track down the mystery of my interesting family.

I came to this conclusion in our differences in delving into the history of family.  My husband had the blessing of a family that pretty much lived in the same place his entire childhood.  His grandparents were across town and when I met them, they had pictures from relatives from long ago.

Me, I have an interesting childhood.  I lived in so many places as a child that it covers an entire sheet of paper.  I have a handful of pictures.  Nothing much of me as a child or my brothers.  My family did not own a camera.  Any pictures that we would have would be from a studio (which was very rare) or if someone took the picture and gave us a copy.  I don’t have any pictures of my mom as a young mother holding me or anything that resembles daily life.  Recently, someone gave me a picture that shows me as a baby with my mom and dad.  It is like gold to me!  I stared and studied that picture for a long time.

This week my husband and I went to Southwest Texas to visit three towns that I lived in and I took pictures of the houses that I remember living in and we even walked in a cemetery looking for my great grandmother.  I didn’t find her grave, but, I will eventually.

I’m working backwards in my family tree.  I’m starting with my dad as his family has some interesting stories and I have a sweet Aunt and Uncle that can help me with all the missing links.

That leads me to the reason for this post.  I will be making a regular post of my findings.  I hope it will entertain you with some of the crazy stories that I have stored away.  I’m telling you, my childhood wasn’t your average childhood.  But, it molded me into who I am today.  The quirks, the worries, the fears that I have, I can usually trace back to things I’ve been through.  Oh, and even my strengths!

I hope that my writings on my family tree don’t just entertain you, I hope they inspire you to keep up with your legacy that you are leaving your family.

Do you have all of your pictures organized in photo albums?

Do you have important papers and records filed in a place for your children to find?

Have you recorded your family tree?

Have you recorded family stories that need to be remembered and passed on?

What about your family movies.  Are they on a medium that can be viewed?  Are they organized?

I am in the process of taking care of all the questions I just listed.

Maybe you want to join with me and begin the journey into your family history.  If you are wanting to start a search on your family history, I will be sharing how I’m finding out details on my ancestors.

Have you ever watched the television program “Who Do You Think You Are?”  I LOVE watching that show.  I set my recorder and I’m always excited to see what transpires from someones family tree.  Of course, they only have television celebrities that they use as their guests.  Wouldn’t it be wonderful to have someone  sit you down and read all the details of your ancestors and then send you on a journey across the world to walk in the same footsteps as your great-great-great-great grandmother?  Instead, I’m walking through a dusty old cemetery looking for names on tombstones that are so old, I can’t even read them.  But, it’s an adventure, right?

I did join Ancestry.com and have found some amazing things.  I almost squeal when I find a name or a document of someone that is my family.

Since I’m working backwards, I will begin with my dad.  I’ll write about him tomorrow.  I always want to learn from the good, the bad and the ugly.  It’s who we are and it’s all we have, so why not learn and grow into a better person than what was handed to us?

I want to be better, not bitter.  I loved my father greatly and have shed many tears over him because of the the path that he chose for his life.  He was a good man and a very handsome man, but, he had some struggles that took over and affected my family and my life tremendously.  I wish it would have been different, but, it wasn’t.  So, in sharing a tiny bit of his life, I would hope it would help someone even in a small way.  Sorry, this isn’t about airing dirty laundry as they say, but, just little tidbits in my findings that are interesting to me and are enlightening to why things were they way they were.

See you tomorrow and thanks for following me on my blog.  I have a wide array of interest, everything from fashion, living for Christ, family, crafting and so much more and now……genealogy.  I’m all over the place, aren’t I?  Maybe I should say, well-rounded?

“For you created my inmost being;
    you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
  I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
    your works are wonderful,
  I know that full well.”   Psalm 139:13-14

How thankful I am to know that I was designed and created by an amazing living God!  I don’t take that for granted!