Gwen Hawkins + Carrot Cake
On March 31st, we enjoyed a light lunch around the table with Jessi's grandmother and finished with a heavenly slice of carrot cake. I know this was so special for Jessi and honestly, it was for me too. She gave me the sweetest hug and told me I could call her Maw Maw! What a privilege to sit with a woman who has lived so much of life already. All the things she's seen and been through -- it's amazing. We even realized that we work out at the same gym! How great is that?! I just loved her steadiness. She has deep and lasting joy at her very core and it's very obvious. What a testimony for the rest of us.
Question 1: What do you find relaxing?
"I love yoga, the stretching is so relaxing. I like to go to classes several times a week. When I go home I also enjoy watching a good movie before going to bed, especially the Hallmark channel. I'm not a big reader, I don't really like to read but when I do read it's the Bible."
Question 2: What piece of clothing have felt attached to?
"I still wear my wedding ring; even though they say you aren't supposed to when you're a Widow."
"I got married in a baby blue suit; it was gorgeous. I had a hat that had little sequins all over it, and blue gloves. We were high school sweethearts. Bill didn't even have a suit; he borrowed his best friends suit, and didn't even tell him he was borrowing it. (laughs) We were so poor, we both had to work that day and then we got married out in a little chapel, with just our parents and a few friends."
Question 3: What is one social issue you feel strongly about?
"I don't get involved in many politics, but I don't really like Social drinking. I don't think its good for the younger generation because there are so many alcoholics that have developed from it."
"I also think too many churches worry about entertaining the congregation instead of teaching the word of God. Which is sad, because if you don't know to read the word of God and hear from Him, it's such a loss."
"We get too busy doing things, everyone forgets to slow down and pray about the things in their life, seek God's will about it."
Question 4: What relationships have shaped you the most?
"My mom and dad, and my husband. A family that was together, even though they had some hard times. Their values, their influence. At the time I'm sure I thought I knew it all, you know how teenagers are. My dad passed away years before my mom; so I really got close to her. My mom was my best friend."
"My husband Bill and I grew up together. Watching the strength he had going through cancer was unbelievable. He was really strong. He never had a pity party or felt sorry for himself."
Question 5: What characteristics would you want your children to inherit from you?
"I would say my faith. I would love for them to have the faith that I have; it's so important to me. I have 3 children and they are all leaders..if you think that wasn't easy to live with (laughs). Very strong willed people. I don't know how I got so lucky (laughs). I would want them to be able to trust God, but really for them to love God. To have a strong faith, but for them to always follow the Holy spirit and to pray about everything before you make decisions."
"When I was a young Christian, all I knew to do was to pray and ask God for something and if I didn't get it then I would cry and cry. But thats not how it works, He might say No...but he always has a better plan. You have to learn how to wait on God and trust Him."
"When my husband passed away after getting sick, I really had believed that he was going to be healed. It was a big disappointment...I still don't know why it worked that way. But God was still good, He gave us 2 more years with him then we were supposed to have. It was still a big disappointment though, I got to a point where I couldn't even pray anymore. I had to ask "God, raise up someone else to pray for me because I can't anymore."
"I would go to church and I would see this husband have his arm around his wife, and I would think "Do I really have to sit here and watch this all day? It isn't fair."
"Shortly after my husband died, I wasn't really able to grieve for him because my mother got sick as well. She had to have her leg amputated and it just broke me. That was harder for me to see her going through that then when she died."
"I like to talk about the good times more than the bad times though, you get through them and it makes your faith stronger even though you didn't always get the answer you wanted."
"Time heals all wounds. It just takes time; some heal faster then others. I am not one to feel sorry for myself though. I really am blessed. I have 3 children, 10 grandchildren and 9 great grandchildren."
"I have had the most beautiful life."