February 1977. It was Friday night and I found myself at a friend’s house. That night, I affirmed my faith in Jesus, was overcome by the Holy Spirit in a whole new way, AND I met a wonderful woman of God who tucked me under her wing for 16 years. One day as I was following her around her house, she told me about something the Lord was teaching her. She chuckled and said “Linda, you’ll never be too old to learn or be corrected by the Lord.” (she was in her 80’s) A little over three years later, my husband met Jesus as his Savior and we’ve been serving Him ever since.
So I’ve had over sixty years of loving Jesus and knowing He loves me, through the very rough early years, then moving forward, reading, learning, studying, listening, serving in capacities too numerous to mention, working out my salvation by the grace of my God. That’s the spiritual side of my story. In the physical, I was very active. I loved bowling and skating and horseback riding and racquetball and tennis and skiing (mountain and water), swimming and bodysurfing and hiking and running, and dancing - in our earlier years, my husband and I would be the first ones on the dance floor and stay there until we were the last ones. We still love to dance but we’re much more careful now. We love playing with young ones but we’re more careful now.
We’ve been working with children of all ages in one way or another since our dating years back in the 60’s. In 1972, we moved to Canyon Country, and a son was born to us. As he grew older, we began to work with kids in the schools, in the church, in sports, and in the community. We wanted a large family, so we prayed diligently for more. That’s a story all by itself. We had foster kids that came and went and then we met a 15-year-old girl that needed a home. She lived with us for 3 years, and has been a part of our family ever since. Her two sons were the first to call me Grandma. At the time she was beginning her family, we were adding two more daughters. We have a multi-generational family, a child in each of the four different decades of life. Grandchildren? Why yes. The oldest is 29, #15 will arrive some time this summer. Not bad for a couple that was told they couldn’t have children. But God. That’s a phrase I use often because I’ve seen Him at work, in my life and others.
One of the things we do a lot now is travel. I pinch myself every time we go to see if it's real or not. A few years back, I was standing at the back of a ship watching the waters churn up in the path of the ship and I told the Lord, “I love and appreciate the traveling, seeing places I never dreamed of, but I want to travel with a purpose; I want to know I’m making a difference for Your Kingdom, Lord. I don’t know how that can happen at my age, but You do, Lord.”
As I grow older, the “I can’t do that anymore” list is growing more rapidly than I would prefer. So I try to keep focused on what I can do. I can still pray. I can listen. I can give godly counsel. I can lead a life group or teach a Bible Study or be part of a Growth Group. I can share God’s love with my children and grandchildren and anyone else who crosses my path. Join a Missions Team to Belize in 2016? I can do that! I’m never too old to learn or be corrected or go when He says go! I can do all things through Christ Who strengthens me (Philippians 4:13).