A Thursday for Your Thoughts

Guest Writer-Jennifer Horner

 Watch what you leave behind

Have you ever had one of those days where you work so hard to make your house look nice and tidy only to find it destroyed a mere minute after completion?   Well this just happens to be one of my biggest pet peeves. Oh yeah, mean momma comes out when my kids track in mud, grass burrs and throw clothes on the floor.  I love a sense of accomplishment and I have to be honest, house work does not do it for me!

So imagine my surprise when I was AMUSED the other day when I found these ashy footprints all over my hard wood floors.  Normally I would have been steaming, one for the mess my husband made by cleaning out the fireplace and two for the mischievous daughter who HAD to walk through it.

When I happened upon these little prints, it warmed my heart and I felt compelled to take pictures.  I wanted to remember these little feet for some reason.  I could see everywhere she had gone after stepping in the ashes, around the kitchen table, back into the ashes, then to her room.

This reminded me about the footprints we leave behind in life.  Everywhere we go, everything we do, we leave a part of ourselves behind for others to remember.

These prints can be as simple as remembering a face you have seen at Wal-Mart, or as significant as seeing a stranger give his life to save a child in the street.  They can be a positive reminder about how sweet life can be or a bitter memory that causes, hate, pain, and anger.

Some prints will blow away with the wind and be forgotten, while others will turn to stone, forever etched in our memory. 

One of my favorite poems is “Footprints in the Sand”.  It always gives me chills when the man asks Jesus why during the hard times of his life he only saw one set of footprints and Jesus’ reply was, “That is when I carried you!”

We cannot control how others will receive what we leave behind, like the man in the poem didn’t receive Jesus’ action for what it was, an act of love, but we can control whether our actions are positive or negative.

You see, we get to decide what our actions are going to be in life-

How we react to a grumpy bank clerk,

the quality time we spend with our kids,

 what we say we we’ve been hurt.

We have a choice to join in on the world’s sins

 or stand apart and stand for Christ.

 All our choices, all our actions will leave something behind.

What are you going to leave behind?


Jennifer Horner is my baby sister.  This is her second time to guest blog on God's Girlies.  (This could be the beginning of a beautiful relationship.)   If you feel lead to share a story or your thoughts for a future Thursday send me an email.  If you don't feel lead, let me know and I'll try and talk you into writing something anyway.  There's something about  being open and vulnerable that forges friendships.


Guest Post- Mikala DeVillier


Have you ever looked in your mirror one morning, and just seen nothing but what you think are flaws? Maybe your teeth aren’t straight, or your hair is too frizzy, or you just don’t like the way your body looks.

Chances are you have thought one of these thoughts at some point. You have probably even thought that you don’t look like the girls in the magazines, or on TV.

There are a million things in this world that tell us how we should look. Just open up a magazine, or turn on the TV, you will be bombarded with ideas of what the media calls “beauty.”

Girls everywhere feel pressured to conform to society’s unreasonable standards of beauty. They hate their body and abuse it because they don’t love themselves.  Society has made it almost impossible for us to love ourselves.  When you don't love yourself you begin to let society’s standards interfere with God’s standards.

 Society has also trained us to strive for perfection, and anything less is unacceptable. Society calls for girls to be tall with a slender body, straight white teeth, flawless hair, unblemished skin, and the best clothes. We as girls think that, if we have these things, then we will be beautiful and feel accepted in society’s standards.

Here is the thing though; God calls us to be beautiful in a different way. God calls us to be beautiful in the heart.

But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him. For the Lord sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.” 1 Samuel 16:7

God calls us to be beautiful in our own way. We are each unique. Some of us are tall, some are short. Some of us have red hair and, some of us have blonde hair. Some of us have blue eyes, and then some of us have green eyes. We are all different, and that’s how God made us.

When we begin to want to look like everyone else, we lose our identity that God gave each and every one of us. When we stop focusing on what society calls our flaw and what’s wrong with our bodies, and we begin to love ourselves, beautiful things happen. Our eyes are opened to a whole new perspective. We see what true beauty is, true beauty that comes from within.

You will also have a new self-confidence, and self-worth that comes totally from Christ! So girls everywhere, I challenge you to join me on an adventure. One that defies what the world calls beauty, and follows what Christ calls beauty. I challenge you to love yourself, and your body. I challenge you to stop being negative when you see yourself in the mirror, and be positive. I challenge you to focus on the beauty inside your heart, and let it shine for the world.
Whenever you are feeling bogged down in society’s crazy deception on what beauty is, check this song and video out.
More Beautiful You – Johnny Diaz

I have played the Clarinet in the band and twirled on the Goldenette's twirling line for Nederland High School. I have twirled for a little over ten years and it is one of my favorite things to do in my free time. I enjoy smiling, drinking tea, and being silly. I love reading outside and spending time with my family. I thoroughly enjoy doing mission projects. I have been involved in the churches Acteens group since I was in 7th grade; It has kept me grounded and has given me a heart for serving others

Have a Christmas story to share?  Something on your heart?  If you're breathing you're qualified to write a post for "A Thursday for Your Thoughts".  Just email a story, poem, your thoughts, a special Christmas picture, a Christmas or everyday recipe......just be creative.  Remember your mama taught you it's nice to share.   kristiburden@gmail.com

Have you ever been a Pinocchio? Pinocchio told lies. He disobeyed his father. Even after the fairy rescues him from the mean puppet master, does he go home? No. He goes with a bunch of wild boys to an island where he almost gets turned into a donkey.

The whole time, Jiminy Cricket is telling him in his ear, I don’t think this is a good idea. What you are doing is wrong. You should have gone to school.

Jiminy is that little voice that says, “You know better than that, don’t do it!” Jiminy is Pinocchio’s conscience. We have a conscience also but it is not in the form of a cricket. It is in the form of a small voice inside of us telling us when something is right or wrong. This conscience helps guide us. When we listen to our conscience, we feel good. When we are pushed to do the opposite of what our conscience tells us then we feel tense, upset, and mad. Just really unhappy!
Sometimes when we are with our friends, they will encourage us to do things that are wrong but we go ahead and do them because we don’t want to be different. Even when we do say no then they tend to push us or maybe even tell us that we can’t be a part of the group or be their friend. So it is really hard to do the right thing.

It is really hard to tell your friends no because all too often we are afraid that they won’t be our friend if we don’t go along with them. Or maybe, we just think we are going to miss out on some excitement.

 No matter what the circumstances, doing the right thing is not always the popular thing to do. Look at Daniel in the Lion’s den. Why was he put there because he refused to obey the King who said that he was not allowed to pray to God. Daniel knew this was not right so he prayed to God anyway and was thrown into the lions’ den but God shut the mouths of the hungry lions and Daniel was unharmed.

No matter how old you get there will always be circumstances that require a choice. A choice to do the right thing or to do what you know is wrong.
I’m sharing this with you because recently I had accepted a new job. I was very excited about it and looking forward to working. I was new and wanted to make friends with my co-workers and learn. It was an okay job but every day I came home wondering about how the people were doing things.

It just did not seem right but I put it off on me being new or not knowing as much as my co-workers. It just got worse every day. I just got madder and madder. Why was I mad because I was expected to do things that I knew were not right. It was insinuated for me to do certain things that I knew were wrong. I didn’t want to quit my job because jobs are hard to come by, I was getting hours that I needed, and I liked getting paid. The reality of it was even despite all that I was really miserable because I was not listening to my conscience.

Daniel 1:8-9

8 But Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself with the portion of the king's delicacies, nor with the wine which he drank; therefore he requested of the chief of the eunuchs that he might not defile himself. 9 Now God had brought Daniel into the favor and goodwill of the chief of the eunuchs.


Be prepared to listen to your conscience or what is in your heart to find favor with the Lord!

My name is Kristina DeVillier. I live in Nederland but was raised in the small town of Buna. I'm married to Craig DeVillier and have 3 children: Andy Stimits (20), Mikala DeVillier (17), and Sara DeVillier (11). I am a RN and also a Licensed Professional Counselor-Intern. I have many different names: daughter, sister, mom, wife, cousin, niece, friend, grand-daughter, counselor, and nurse. The most important ones are daughter and sister. They are the most important ones because I’m a child of God and your sister in Christ. My purpose in life is to make a difference through Jesus Christ in the lives of others




Written by Alison Howell


I move your golden tendrils out of your sleeping eyes,

And a whirlwind of emotion takes me by surprise.

I pause and kneel beside your bed and try to guess your dreams.

Your small frame curled tightly; your look peaceful and serene.


I inhale slowly, then exhale as though I feel the weight.

This little life depends on me and the choices that I make.

Then just as tears begin to well and my heart begins to race,

I close my eyes, bow my head and take my rightful place.


For every night, my precious one, I surrender my control

To one who loves you even more than we could ever know.

He knit your inmost being with a perfect plan in mind,

Lovingly creating you with a purposeful design.


So I ask for Him to lead me as I raise His little girl

And hold my hand as I hold yours to guide you through this world.

I pray that at a tender age, you learn to call Him “Lord”

And trust in Him, your Source of Strength, when life seems cold and hard.

I ask Him to reveal Himself in the choices that you make

As you hunger for His righteousness and always seek His face.

And on those days your way seems dark, I pray your soul is well

Because you hold to the assurance that His promises won’t fail.

I beg your days of serving Him are fruitful and are many,

That you fulfill your heart’s desires, and His blessing number plenty.


I begin to feel the peace He brings and know in you He finds delight.

I wrap my arms around you and kiss your head goodnight.

And as my weight is lifted by the One who holds the world,

I thank Him for giving me this chance to hold His little girl.


Alison Howell has been married to her best friend and high school sweetheart, Lance, for 11 years. They live in Nederland, TX. They have two children: a precious daughter, Mackenzie, who is 7, and a beautiful baby boy, Andrew. She is a stay-at-home mom who spends her spare time writing grants for meaningful non-profit agencies and volunteering at her church, Hillcrest Baptist. But she says what defines her the most is that she is promised to the King of Kings who has gone to prepare a place for her and is coming back to bring her there. And while she is waiting, she wants to make every moment count.


If you are interested in sharing your story, send your writing to kristiburden@gmail.com

You'll be glad you did.  I'll be glad you did too.

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I've highjacked "A Thursday for Your Thoughts".  I'm slowly getting back into my groove, forgive me.  But don't fret, two awesome women are lined up for the next two Thursdays.  Until then, bear with me.

I sent one off to school today without her homework.  I also sent her to school to face two little girls who have reminded her time and time again that she "can't play with them" and that "we already told you, we're not your friend".  To top it off, her eyes are still underlined with gray from being sick with the flu for six days.

I sent her to school fragile.


It's one of the worst things about being a mom; some of the best things being band- aids and warm chocolate chip cookies.  I love being able to give my kids things that bring them comfort and things that put a smile on their face.

I sent her off to school to face possible pain and rejection.  These words which are necessary to growth are like dirty words.  I would gladly shield my children from these experiences if it were in my power.

Rylie didn't have her homework sheet yesterday.  It must have been left on her desk.  I could explain to you why it's reasonable that her paper didn't get home, but reason doesn't change the fact that she's showing up today without her homework. She'll more than likely be sitting out for recess today and "changing her color" which will hurt her feelings terribly as she never gets her color changed.

As difficult as it is for her to pay a consequence without any malicious behavior, what if this experience teaches her that pain is a part of life.  There are sometimes consequences that come from forgetfulness and sometimes from no misdeed at all.

There is pain in this life. Pain seeks comfort and healing; as her mom I want to teach her who brings about true relief.

Rejection is inevitable too.  I can't ensure, though I've racked my brain trying, that Rylie won't ever be bullied on the playground.  I can't make sure that she doesn't swing alone.  Unlike Samantha on the show Bewitched, even if I were on the playground I couldn't button closed unkind mouths with a wiggle of my nose.

I can't always fix it. She will experience meanness and will sometimes be alone.  Sometimes she won't be chosen.

Fragile means being vulnerable and helpless,

but fragile is beautiful.

Fragile is encompassed by care.

My daughter, in her fragile state is cared for.  She's prayed for; and even if she wasn't she hasn't escaped God's attention.

Though Rylie won't escape pain, and I am helpless to fix it- God is all-powerful and ever-present. 

He will hold her hand.

He will teach her.

HE will grow her; not me.

Maybe I need reminding, that's how I'm getting to know God.  In my need.  From rejection.  In the realization of my imperfection.  By being fragile.


by Mandy Arceneaux

– Sitting in a lounge of a local school, I overheard a statement from a female student that just stuck with me.  She said, “Whoever invented food did it all wrong.” She was struggling with the decision to eat one of her friend’s nachos or not.  She wanted that nacho, but was also worried about fitting into her Halloween costume at the end of the month, resulting in a comment that ultimately hurts our God.

He is the inventor of food.  He is the inventor/creator of all things, in fact, and He never created anything to harm you.

 Genesis 1:31 says “God saw all that He had made, and it was very good.”


I could interpret her statement in a very different way and talk about the issue of self-worth in a demanding worldly society. But, for today, I simply want to remind you and myself that God is the creator of all things.

Like I mentioned earlier, the Bible tells us what God creates is good.  With that said, we also know that it is man that messes it up. Food was not created to be a bad thing.  God created food so that we may eat, and live!

Genesis 1:29 says “I gave you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it.  They will be yours for food.”

  We should be rejoicing with God and all that He has created!

    Go outside and smell a flower,

 let the breeze mess up your hair and be glad! 

Dance in the rain, lay in the grass even go eat with your friends.

Thank God for creating your friends, your family and most importantly for creating you.  May we also see the good in everything God has created, and thank Him for being so good to you, who is also one of Gods beautiful creations.


My name is Mandy Arceneaux and I am 23 years old. A year ago I took on a new responsibility as a Wife, and it has been my biggest blessing. Aron is my heaven on earth and I’m thankful to walk through life with him. I have the amazing opportunity to serve the Lord as a career. I work at the Baptist Student Ministry at Lamar University, discipling and sharing the good news of Christ on campus, all day, every day. I enjoy cooking, sleeping, exercising and playing with our sweet puppy, Nala. We reside in Nederland, TX. Go Bulldogs! (I married a PNG Indian, so that’s fun to say!)


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It's Not About Me     Written by Jennifer Horner

When my sweet big sister asked me to do a guest blog, my first thought was….. Who me?  What could I possibly have to offer anyone?    I don’t have a story; I have nothing, no major disasters, no overwhelming life changes, nothing.  I was saved when I was eight years old, I go to church, end of story.  Who wants to hear that?

So, I searched and wrote and trashed many blogs. I have come up with at least 30 titles, but no story.  <Sigh>….  My sister is crazy to think that I could have anything of significance to say that you haven’t already heard.

Alas……… I have been prompted by the Lord to share my walk.

He nudges and whispers “You need to share where you are most vulnerable.”

Major sighing now!  You see I hate being vulnerable. (Don’t we all?)   I don’t want others to know the real me.  The insecure me, the” I think everyone hates me”, me.   But that is who I have allowed myself to become.

It’s no secret to those who truly know me, that I have almost no self-esteem.  Seriously!  I may seem easy going and happy, but inside is a raging sea of emotions.

Everything I say and do, I question.  This same lack of self-esteem carries over into my Christian walk.  I have no doubt about God’s abilities to do anything.  I just have unfounded fears that He won’t because I am not good enough to deserve His blessings.

I hate to try new things in fear of failure.  I hate disappointing people.  I have spent my whole life believing only the lies and hurtful words others have said.  Never truly believing “I am fearfully and wonderfully made.”  (Psalms 139:14.)

I was so blessed to have the support of a loving family.  But I continued to believe only the negative about myself.

In fact I can’t even tell you how hard it was for me to write this blog.  My fear being that, what I had to say was stupid.  I could just imagine GG’s readers thinking what a pathetic sister Kristi had.  How prideful I am!


That’s right I said prideful.  Who am I to think of myself in that way?  I am a born again Christian, made after God’s own image.  I am no authority on myself.  God is!  He saw me as worthy enough to die for!!   I now know that this insane need to be liked, to BE somebody special, to be accepted by man is another form of pride.

Who cares if I say something stupid, or what I look like?  It doesn’t matter if no one likes my blog or my Facebook status, or me as individual.


I can fall on my face a million times and never achieve one single thing.  I could be hated by the whole world and myself; but it still wouldn’t change how GOD feels about me.  God doesn’t just use the ones who have overwhelming stories or the ones who have achieved so much in life.  He has use for us all.

We all have a story.  It’s God’s story.  A story about how a lowly carpenter who grew to be a man who would save mankind from the world….and ourselves.  In Colossians 3:23 it says this….”Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men,”  So it doesn’t matter how anyone thinks about you, we are not here to impress the world, we are here to work for the Lord.

It’s not about me or you, It’s about him!!!! 

A few weekends ago I went to Women of Faith and heard Amy, the lead singer for Selah, speak.  Her story touched me because it was my story.  Over weight and fighting low self-esteem!  Anyways after her testimony she sang this song.  “You raised me up to more than I can be.”  Don’t ask me why, but this song is talking about me.  God has and will raise us up to be more than the world or our self-esteem will allow us to be.  Our salvation in Christ has given us the power to overcome ourselves.

Our life doesn’t have to be a novel or a suspense story to share with others about Christ.  We don’t even have to be an interesting person!  We just need to share God’s love because at the end of the day, it’s all about Him! 

Jennifer Horner is my baby sister.  We begrudgingly shared clothes and a bedroom as children.  Now, though the miles separate us, we share laughter and life; stories over the wires.  Jennifer is more talented than she knows. She's a no-nonsense kind of girl; devout in her beliefs. She is passionate, fulfilling the verse she referenced "Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord....-Colossians 3:23". She, like most of us, is still working on the "not (working) for man" part. By the way, I chose that verse to describe her before I knew she was going to use it.  She's an awesome wife and mom of three.  She spends much of her time as maid and cook, but I know she enjoys a good book too.  She, like all the girls in our family, likes an opportunity to snap a good photo, like the pictures above she took of her precious kids.  She loves kids, and she especially enjoys her own.  I will long remember her caring for a boy with Down Syndrome.  She's a sweet mix of nurture and "we're doing this!".  I'm most honored to call her my sister.

Consider sharing your story on "A Thursday for Your Thoughts". It's certain that you and others will be blessed.  kristiburden@gmail.com




My Mission Trip to Belize

By Kristen Baker


My experience in Belize was great.  I had an awesome time.  The plane ride was really quick, but BORING.  When we landed I was super happy. We got outside and a DCI van was there to pick us up. We got to the DCI camp and they showed us to our room. We finished unpacking and went outside to the hut where we met two other teams. One was three people. The mom, Shari, the dad, Jeff, and the kid, Bryce. The other one was two people, Barbara and Susan. We went to eat dinner. Yum!

Then we got ready to go to the park. We took the van to the park and there were a lot of kids there. We did sports, balloons, and bracelets.

 Then we went back to the camp, wrote in the journal and went to bed. We woke up the next morning and went down to the hut and planned out the week. Then we took a DCI bus to go paint. We paint for a while and went to lunch. It was yummy. Then we went back to finish painting.

Next we went back to the camp and regrouped for early dinner so we could go to the park. There weren’t as many kids as there was yesterday. We gave out books and hats. Then we had to leave the park. We went back to camp and went to bed. We woke up and went to breakfast. We took showers and we took the van. It was me, my brother and Papa going on our excursion. We were going on the tubes in water. We got there and had to hike half a mile to get to the tubes. Then we “learned along the way.” We got back to the camp and had PB sandwiches. We had to wait a long time before everyone came back. We had dinner and went to bed. 

Next morning we went to hostel and Susan and Barbara left. We sang songs at the hostel and Pastor Mark preached after that. We toured the city. One family had 12 kids and the oldest daughter had 2 more kids. When we left the two-ish girl was blowing us kisses at the fence. We had dinner, went to bed, woke up. We were leaving. The other team was leaving with us. We prayed and went to the airport.

 I had a fun time in Belize, but I’m glad I left then or I’d be in a hurricane.

About Kristen: Kristen is 10. She is in 5th grade at Central Middle School. She has been dancing for seven years and loves it. She is an avid reader. This was her first mission trip out of the country and she hopes to do more (she really wants to go to Brazil).


Kristen is one of our God's Girlies and she's truly inspiring. If you enjoyed her story, please let her know in comments.  If you have a story you'd like to tell, send it to kristiburden@gmail.com


A quick note:

The God's Girlies family is growing.  Eight High school girls have joined us to serve our Middle School girls as mentors.  These eight youth were asked to answer some questions describing their desire to serve and their faith walk.  Their words were so touching and even impressive that with their permission I am presenting them to you.  Look each month for one of our God's Girlies' mentors.  As you read, pray for them.  And as you read be ready to be blessed.



My testimony:

I was brought up in the church.  One day I told my mom I wanted Jesus to live in my heart.  We said a prayer right there in the car.  I was about 6 or 7 at the time.  I was baptized in the 4th grade.


Why mentor?

I feel like this will be extremely rewarding for both me and the girls.  I love children and I feel that working with these girls will help me to view things in a different way.


What one Bible verse holds great meaning to me?


I can do all things

 through Christ who strengthens me. 

-Phillipians 4:13

What are some things I wish I  would have known when I was a pre-teen that I now know after growing in Christ and maturing in my faith?

My mom is my best friend and biggest cheerleader.  She only wants to se me succeed.


About Victoria:  I am in band and  swim for the high school.  I am on the track team; I enjoy working out.  I love cats (I know... that's really weird). I really, really love to swing on playgrounds.   My favorite holiday is Christmas (I started singing carols at the beginning of August.)  It makes me sad to see old people eating alone.  I love most things from different countries, England in particular.  I would love to travel the world some day.  This is why I've considered doing something like doctors without borders two weeks a year so that I can get into countries that most missionaries can't.


Consider sharing your story on "A Thursday for Your Thoughts".  If you're blessed by someone elses' story or thoughts-like Victoria's, let them know in comments.

Send your story or questions to kristiburden@gmail.com

Written by Gaye Fowler


                  This month I celebrate the birth of Ethel Nunley Parker who was born in 1903, in a small rural town in Texas.  Ethel was the eldest of four children.


Ethel was 8 years old, when her family moved to Bakersfield, California to work in the oil fields.   This is where Ethel received her first exposure to church.  Her grandmother, Lucy, was a foot-washing - Hard-Shell Baptist.  She took Ethel to Sunday School and church.



Times were hard in California and things were not going well with her parents.  In 1914, when Ethel was 11 years old, Ethel’s father decided to return to Texas.  Ethel’s mother refused to go with him.  They divorced.  It was decided that they would split the four children.  Ethel and her brother, J.T., came back to Texas with their dad.  Obie, and Tommy stayed in California with their mother.  Less than two months after Ethel left California, her brother Obie died.


Ethel’s father, Alpine, remarried in 1916. He married Allie Hall in Benjamin, Texas.  To this union, were added two sisters and a brother for Ethel.  They were a very close family.

Allie was a Christian woman. She taught children in Sunday School in the small Baptist Church where they lived.  She never made Ethel go to church, but through the way she lived, Ethel was greatly influenced. The rest of Ethel’s life she considered Allie to be her mother.

Ethel’s father was a very good and caring man, but was not a Christian. For years he would take Allie to church, but he would stay in the car.  One night while sitting in the car, the Holy Spirit touched his heart.  He immediately left his car and ran down the aisle of the church and gave his heart to Jesus.

Not long after Ethel’s father was saved, Ethel, an adult by now, gave her life to Jesus also.    

1922, Ethel married Omar Parker.  They had two children, Nadene and Joe.

Ethel had always wanted to play the piano. So she took in laundry in order to pay for piano lessons for Nadene.  It wasn’t long before Nadene was the church pianist and Ethel’s sister, Wanda was leading the singing.

Ethel and Omar moved to Brownwood and became members of the First Baptist Church in Early, Texas where Nadene and her husband were members.   Ethel continued to serve the Lord the rest of her life.  She taught children in Sunday School, Bible Drill, and even went with the youth on a ski trip.

Ethel used every opportunity to witness about her Savior.  She and Omar had a café.  She witnessed there.  She witnessed to nurses and doctors when she was in the hospital.  She witnessed to the sick and the needy as she cared for them.

 When Ethel was 90 years old and coming to the end of her life, she was still teaching adults how to read and write, using her Bible.

Before she died September 25, 1993, she asked her nephew, Mike, to do her service.  She told him not to talk about her life, but to preach a good sermon.  “There will be those there that never set foot in church”, she told him

.Ethel was never famous, but was well-known in her community and church where she lived and served her Lord and Savior.

This month, September 1993, I stop to remember her death and to celebrate her life.

On her death-bed she said “My mother didn’t choose me”. No one knew how much she had suffered for nearly 80 years believing she was unloved and unwanted by her mother.  After all she was the only daughter that her mother ever had.

“Why didn’t she choose me to stay?” she had asked herself many times.

She only saw her natural mother twice after the family was separated.  Both times were after Ethel’s daughter Nadene had children.  There had been no contact all those years.

Ethel may not have been chosen by her mother, but God chose her and made her a vessel for His service.


When my father and my mother forsake me,

 then the Lord will take me up.

Teach me thy way,

 O Lord, and lead me in a straight path. 

 Psalm 27: 10, 11a

God has chosen all of us.  If we will give him our life, he will use us as a vessel in His service.

I have chosen thee and not cast thee away. 

 Isaiah 41:9

Ethel’s admitted weakness was that she struggled in learning to lean on God.  She kept this poem on her refrigerator door that said:

"Good morning God!  You are ushering in another day, Untouched and freshly new.

Well here I come to ask you, God if You will re-new me too.

Forgive the many errors that I made yesterday,

And let me try again dear God, to walk close in thy way.

But Father, I am well aware; I can't make it on my own,

So take my hand and hold it tight for I cannot walk alone."

She had scribbled these words on the back of an old Sunday School poster.  The edges were ragged and worn, yellowed from age, and her writing had slowly faded through the years.  It was still on her refrigerator when she died.


Ethel’s sister, Wanda, best described her in this poem that she wrote about Ethel.

She's Mom – Mother- Meme, She's Grandmother and Sister too

Mother-in-law and Teacher, This list names just a few.


We've looked to her for courage,  For strength to carry on,

She's helped to guide us in the right, When everything seemed wrong.


There's never been a night too dark, Or the hour 'just too late',

Whenever she was needed, She did not hesitate.

We could continue on and on,  And never really say

All the extra special things,  She did day after day.


In flashing lights or headlines bold,  We may never see her name,

But in love it’s written on our hearts,  And she's famous, just the same.


Like little children taught to read, Old folks cared for, too.

She's diapered, cooked, cleaned and fed, And spanked quite a few.


On Sunday morn, year after year, With Bible open wide,

She taught about God's wondrous love, His Son and how He died.


There's so much more that we could say, But now let’s lift our voice and sing,

A tribute to this one we love, Let’s make the heavens ring.


There's no way to tell her, How much her love has meant.

I know God had a reason, For she was 'Heaven sent'.



She opened up her home, her heart, And everyone could see,

That "as she had done it unto the Least of these, She had done it unto me".


Ethel Nunley Parker was my grandmother


and Kristi’s great grandmother.



Five Generations

My mother (Nadene), me (Gaye), Grandmother (Ethel)

Her Grandmother Lucy, and her natural mother, Elizabeth


Gaye Fowler is a rising author, committed Christian and she's my mom!  She's an awesome "Ma" to thirteen grandkids.   She makes brownies like nobody's business.  A cancer survivor, she believes in the power of prayer. She enjoys genealogy and spending time with her grandkids.   Look for her first book coming soon, "Jardi's Journey".