Friday, July 27, 2007

Sunday Seven - 26th Edition

Happy Sunday, fellow bloggers! This week I am going to list seven influential people in my life. It just so happens that I am one of seven children; so that means that I have six siblings -- all living and compatible, Thank God. And I have one very important and loving parent still here on this Earth. So let me tell you a little about each of these seven important individuals whose lives I am celebrating this week.

1.... Mother - More than anyone else alive, my mother has influenced me to develop the best parts of my character and personality. She has always believed in me, encouraged me to be my best, gently called me to account when I have not given an honest effort, praised me for any and all accomplishments, and seen the goodness of my intentions when the execution of those intentions has been clumsy and/or ineffective. My mother is a constant, consistent Christian who genuinely loves all of God's creation. It is a family joke that she can find something positive to think and say about anybody. My DH says that if anyone were criticizing Satan himself, Mother would say, "Well, he IS persistent!" She authors the blog, Ruthlace.

Now the sibs, starting with the oldest and working down to Baby David.

2....Jan - My only "Big Sis", she was an exemplary big sister as we were growing up. More outgoing than I, she included me in her activities as if I were just another friend, not the pesky little sister. As adults, she married before I did and gladly and generously shared the little tips about homemaking and parenting that she learned before I did. She is a strong, loving Christian and moral compass for me. She has made a life study of what makes strong families and how people can build strong and supportive family relationships. You can read some of her thoughtful and helpful professional writing at Concerned Women for America, where she is a writer and speaker on topics such as human trafficking, sexual mores, parenting, and other topics related to family values.

3....Terrell - He was born after I had been the baby of the family for 5 years! He took my "babyhood" and made me play the role of jealous older sibling. We have a large number of interesting childhood stories based upon his stubborn nature! He was what has become known since then as "a stong-willed child." In adulthood, he is a singer of local acclaim and a frequent performer in community theatre. His gregarious nature and contagious and enthusiastic enjoyment of life is a joy and encouragement to me. He is a talented, much-requested, public school teacher, whose kids always love him. This is natural since he teaches like he lives - with joy and vigor. He whole-heartedly throws himself into the job and guides each child he teaches with a paternal desire for each one to realize his/her potential. He blogs at Alone on a Limb.

4....Carol - Carol is my oldest younger sister! As we were growing up, she and my younger sisters were closer in age to each other and shared bedrooms, friends, and activities. I shared bedrooms, friends and activities more with Jan because of the proximity of our ages. Carol is the sister who is most like me in personality (she and I share a reserved nature with our mother, whereas our other siblings are more inclined to the gregarious nature of our father.) In the last few years, I have come to really admire and respect the strength of character that she has shown when she has dealt with difficult life situations. She is also an outstanding public school teacher who works hard to give her students the best possible chance of success in school. She has written and published numerous magazine and newspaper articles and currently authors the blog The Median Sib.

5....Debi - This sister is probably the most out-going of my sisters. In addition she is the consummate maternal figure. Although she holds a masters degree in Early Childhood Education, she has spent her life so far raising her own five children and nurturing all the children with whom she comes into contact. In our church, children always run to her for hugs and affirmation when they see her; they know she loves them and listens to them. Indeed she talks about these children almost as if they were her own. She greets each child individually as they leave the adult worship service to go to children's church each week. Debi is a published author whose books have dealt mostly with parenting; but she has also co-authored biographies with her author husband. Check out Mother in the Middle for a starting point to research her writing.

6....Beth - Beth is my youngest sister, 12 years younger than I. I remember clearly going into the hospital when she was born and bragging to anybody looking at the babies in the nursery that "that pretty one right there is my baby sister!" As a teenager, Beth did a lot of entertaining as a singer. She had (has?) a beautiful contralto voice. I regret that she didn't keep up that interest and talent. Had American Idol been around then, she would have been a natural for a contestant. She is an adventurous spirit who is a combination of the extremes of our family personality types - gregarious, accomplished, responsible, but somewhat more reserved than some of the others. She has used her degree is social work in several different settings through the years and has been a strong advocate for children whose life circumstances have given them a difficult road to travel. She is currently in transition, waiting for her next great challenge, and devoting a lot of time and energy to her high-rated political and military blog, Blue Star Chronicles , partially in support of her son who is serving in the US Army in Iraq.

7....David - David is the baby in the family. I remember his birth rather vividly too. My mother stayed up almost all night a few days before he was born making me a prom dress! Being a typical highschooler, I was somewhat embarrassed to have a pregnant mother and did not help make the pregnancy easier. As a teenager, he taught himself to play the piano and guitar. As an adult, he learned all about computers on his own and has worked himself into very responsible and rewarding positions based upon his own drive, determination and intelligence. David has been an inspiration to me, as all my siblings have. He is an outstanding father; and he remains a constantly supporting and loving son, calling Mother at least once a week. You can find out something about his work at 3Datum Software .

My life is richer than it could ever have been otherwise because I was blest to be born into the same family as these seven blessings!


Lyn said...

What a wonderful post about wonderful people! said...

I think this is a wonderful post about your family! Your folks did a great job of raising you all.

It sounds like everyone turned out just fine!!! I know your Mother must be really proud of each of her children.

It sounds like when ever you get everyone in one place at the same time you have a really good time !

Lazy Daisy said...

Awww...this is very special Joan. You have indeed been blessed by your family. Makes me want to pick up the phone and call mine. Know that you are very much a blessing to them too.

Melli said...

You are SO verrrrry blessed to be close and on good terms with all your siblings! You have no idea! I am the youngest of 7 kids... well... I won't depress you! But YOU ARE BLESSED!!! And I am sO happy for you!

Concerned Mercerians said...

Thanks Joan! I actually began a Sunday Seven "Seven Siblings" post back in February, but never finished it. You've done a great job.

terrellshaw said...

That last comment is mine.

Oldqueen44 said...

Wow your sibling post is way more interesting than mine. I thought about writing about each sibling and it came down to me being too lazy. Which is not something to confuse with my level of adoration for my siblings. Hee Hee, just me being a slacker.

Jane said...

What a wonderful tribute to your mother and siblings. They are, indeed, wonderful people and I am so glad to be related to you all!

Susan said...

I think that is so neat. I love it that so many of them actually blog too. That's really neat. And, of course, I am a bit drawn to those who work in the Public School System. Have a great week.

:-) Susan

Carol said...

Thanks, Joan. I just now had a chance to get online and read your Sunday Seven! And we are each very fortunate to have you for a sister (or daughter, in Mother's case)

Andy McCullough said...

Joan, there are some great themes here... family, ability to teach, love for children, passion, generousity and love for the Lord. Thanks for commenting on my blog too. I tend to be slow on the comments but I read and enjoy all of your family's blogs without fail.