Faith and Family

Thank you, MsDora, for handing me the baton. I feel honored to be considered worthy to join your ranks in writing about this important subject. In a previous article, I wrote that faith is an ongoing process. In this article, I will do something a bit different. The articles written thus far have blessed us greatly (see the links below) and I hope that I can add to that blessing.

To share my faith with you, I must share a part of myself. Each vignette in this hub was written as a result of a personal experience where I learned to exercise my faith in the context of my family. First published in my newspaper column, The Voice of Experience, between 1997 and 2001, these essays tell a small part of my story. In sharing it with you, I pass along the baton of faith. May you use it to encourage and strengthen all those you love on your journey in this life, for your emotional health!

© 2014 by Denise W. Anderson, all rights reserved.

Parents exercise their faith as they bring one of God's children into the world.
Parents exercise their faith as they bring one of God's children into the world.

Have you found that being a parent has brought you closer to God?

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A Mother's Feelings

How can a mother say how she feels on a sheet of paper in an envelope that’s sealed? How can she show what is in her heart when words alone are the work of art? How can she tell of the moment sublime when flesh and blood met in birthing rhyme and life came into being anew, a bit of heaven mixed with morning dew?

How can a mother say in a day that through a lifetime, come what may, she has gathered her child within her arms, and prayed that the Lord would protect from harms? For danger and evil are out in the world and she knows there’s a child with hair uncurled who’s hungry and cold and left to stay in the street from dawn until close of day.

How can a mother’s heart not ache when she knows that her child has made a mistake and must bear the brunt of the consequence because he stepped out of her well-built fence? How can she not cry tears of joy when she once again sees her little boy, now tall and strong with a smile stretched wide, whose ship just came in with the rising tide?

How can a mother not bend her knee and thank the Father and his powers that be when her children come with their little ones, their lovely daughters and stalwart sons, home to her arms and beckoning call to bind up the wounds they receive when they fall? Home to the voice that they heard as a child, when she held them close, whispering thoughts meek and mild.

Every day, we exercise our faith as we make choices that bring joy to others.
Every day, we exercise our faith as we make choices that bring joy to others.

Has experiencing tragedy lead you to seek for God's help?

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A New Beginning

I sensed the concern in my husband’s eyes. He had already called for help. My efforts to hush the other children brought more tears on their part and mine. We were all afraid. What would happen? We did not know. We only knew that we needed a power greater than our own. We knelt down. The children followed, each expressing their love and concern for their injured brother.

The doctor said to watch for signs. Only time would tell. The hours seemed like days, the waiting endless. If only I had been there! If only I had able to protect him….oh, how can I change the past? How can I forgive those who have caused this hurt?! How could anyone injure a life that is so precious?

Friends offered advice and condolences, yet their words would not take away the pain. I felt I could not bear it. Others depended on me for strength and support. I felt the reality of my own weakness. Often I found myself on my knees, pleading for some miracle that would bring my son back to me. I began to feel at peace, as if a power beyond my own were carrying me forward.

The men gathered around, commenting on the seriousness of the accident. Would he survive? Would there be lasting damage? Would medical attention be sufficient? Carefully they laid their hands on his head and united their faith in his behalf. All in the room felt the peace and comfort of renewed hope.

I held him in my arms. The memories flooded my parched soul. I kissed the tender lips, and stroked the cheeks that once smiled at me. I heard his voice saying my name softly. I felt his arms around me once again. I felt the pain drift away, slowly replaced by the dawn of a new beginning.

Children are innocent and incapable of sin. They are saved by God's unconditional love.
Children are innocent and incapable of sin. They are saved by God's unconditional love.

Have you been inspired by the simple faith of a child?

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Flower Girl

Who is this child beside me today, handing me flowers and smiling so gay? It hasn’t been long since she was a babe, so tiny and helpless, a soul to save. How could I know what was in her heart, what thoughts of the eternal home from which she did part?

Who is this child with her arms around me, looking longingly in my eyes to see, some deep pool of love from which she can drink, telling me secrets of what she does think? How can I teach her all she needs to know when even I don’t know which way to go?

Who is this child singing songs so sweet, always wanting to have me entreat, always wanting a world that is just, always extending her soul in trust? How can I protect her from the cruel world? Yet teach her to keep righteous flags unfurled?

Who is this child kneeling down to pray, pleading her cause at the close of the day? She remembers every neighbor and friend and even those who did offend. How can I raise her to spiritual heights when she already exceeds my own meager sights?

Who is this child, Lord, Thou hast given me? I want so much to help her see yet inside my mind there seems a veil while hers is parted, though she’s already set sail! How can I guide her back to Thee when she’s already living in eternity?

When we exercise our faith, we find good all around us. It gives us the strength to go forward, especially when life is difficult.
When we exercise our faith, we find good all around us. It gives us the strength to go forward, especially when life is difficult.

Do you feel that there is good all around?

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On the Lighter Side

On the lighter side, the brighter side, the sun shines in the dark. There's light in every window and a lamp in every park. Someone caring is at home when one arrives to stay, and hugs and kisses gently warm at the close of day. There is room in the house for everyone that we really love and new stars twinkle happily in the sky above.

On the lighter side, the finer side, there's good in all we meet. Smiles and firm handshakes come from everyone we greet. There are chairs for all to sit on and even some to spare, there's pillows and some blankets that we freely share. Food is on the table and in the cupboards too. There is a set of shoelaces in everybody’s shoe.

On the lighter side, the kinder side, the swing-sets all have swings. Someone's there to push the swing, giving a pair of wings. There is a slide for everyone and children will take turns, bumper cars to fit us all as everybody learns. A track is left to run on for all who wish to run and dry towels, they are waiting for all who have had fun.

On the lighter side, the higher side, there's room for all to climb. Someone with a helping hand will step out every time; people who will give a cheer, such a simple gift, or someone waiting patiently when we need a lift. Ropes and stakes are ready when the climbing gets too tough and a word of sweet encouragement when the trail is rough.

Life has many facets, we will all agree, and there is a better way, we can clearly see. That is on the lighter side, the side that brings great joy. The side that helps one sleep at night because they did employ the knowledge and the power to lift a heavy load; the side we wish others were on when we come down the road.

No matter what happens to us, there is someone who cares for us and loves us.
No matter what happens to us, there is someone who cares for us and loves us.

Do you believe that we are all part of God's family?

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Who are We?

Who are we? We are individual human beings. We go our separate ways and do our separate things. We are here in this world full of mischief and sorrow, a world with tomorrows that we do not know and cannot see. We only have today, the time that is here and now to make a difference. We only have each other.

Who are we? We are brothers and sisters, mothers and fathers. We are part of a chain that links our ancestors to our descendants. One slip and we could lose all we have. One joy and we could be together forever. We make the most of what we can do right now, each day, minute, hour, and second, for we do have each other.

Who are we? We are friends and neighbors in this community. Together, we defend our rights, our homes, and our lives. Only we know the fear that is within our own hearts. When the time comes, all we can do is pretend. Sometimes that is all there is. But then, we are friends, neighbors, and fellow citizens, and by pretending, we sustain each other.

Who are we? We are citizens in a country that is the greatest ever known. Freedom and opportunity are ours that others only dream of. We accept the responsibility of freedom, of being a fellow, a brother, and a comrade. For only then, will we remain with each other.

Who are we? We are human beings on a planet that is light years away from the nearest life form. Only by looking at the bigger picture of the universe can we understand the nature of creation, elevation, starvation, or any other –tion that may be. Only by looking at ourselves as nothing can we understand that we have everything. We have each other.

Just Around the Bend

Do you know what life is bringing, just around the bend? Is the time now quickly winging, just around the bend? Yes, there will be love around you; so much, it may yet astound you. Let the peacefulness surround you, just around the bend.

Will life be so different there, just around the bend? Will there be a steeper stair, just around the bend? You will feel so much stronger as you were when you were younger. Suffering will be no longer, just around the bend.

Will the time there be joyous, just around the bend? Will there be a heavenly chorus, just around the bend? Yes, the air is full of laughter, filling up that lofty rafter. It is like that ever after, just around the bend.

Will the scenery be enticing, just around the bend? Is the garden there inviting, just around the bend? Yes, there will be flowers growing and the grass is always showing. Even now, the sun is glowing, just around the bend.

Will friends and family be there waiting, just around the bend? Will emotions be elating, just around the bend? Hugs and kisses are the greeting; no one there is ever fleeting. Yes, look forward to the meeting, just around the bend.

Will there be signs at the coming, just around the bend? Will there be a voice summoning, just around the bend? The boat is moving smoothly on, the night is darkest near the dawn. Then the unknown will be gone, just around the bend.

Keep on going, then you will be just around the bend. It is not long and you will see just around the bend. Life cannot go any faster, time will only bring the answer, close your eyes, now, see the Master, just around the bend.

Passing the Baton of Faith

Thanks, billybuc, for accepting the faith baton. We look forward to hearing from you!

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Comments 29 comments

Doris Dancy profile image

Doris Dancy 2 years ago from Yorktown, Virginia

Denise, I see, through your voice, why the baton was passed to you. Each of your essays, while different in their own right, are so much the same in their powerful expression of faith. My favorite, I must say, is the idea of "just around the bend." I have just completed, not yet published, my newest hub that talks about God being the only One who can see around the corners of our lives. It is so awesome to discover daily what He has in store for us "just around the bend." Thank you for another awesome hub. I look forward to reading the next carrier of the baton.


billybuc profile image

billybuc 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

Sharing your personal experiences, as you did, is a powerful tool. It certainly was in this case. Beautiful work. I know you a bit better having read this. Thank you for choosing me. I have a tough act to follow.

Have a wonderful Labor Day my friend.


DDE profile image

DDE 2 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

When you believe you have faith to help get through the worst scenarios. You have created a beautiful hub on what one counts on in life.


denise.w.anderson profile image

denise.w.anderson 2 years ago from Bismarck, North Dakota Author

Thank you Doris, for the wonderful compliment. God does indeed, see around the corners of our lives, and thankfully, we can depend upon him to guide us through each one. The most difficult I have ever experienced is saying goodbye to someone that I have grown to love and cherish as they have rounded the bend to meet the Master, personally!


denise.w.anderson profile image

denise.w.anderson 2 years ago from Bismarck, North Dakota Author

Thanks, billy. I have hesitated in this venue, to share much of my personal life, but this seemed to be the time and place. I appreciate your expression of appreciation. I also want you to know that I have every confidence that you are up to the task of carrying the baton. You were the natural choice. You have a strong following of people that know and love you, and your faith has made a significant difference in each of their lives.


denise.w.anderson profile image

denise.w.anderson 2 years ago from Bismarck, North Dakota Author

Yes, DDE, faith is the action that caries our hope forward into the unknown. It gives us the ability to step out into the darkness of uncertainty, not knowing what the outcome will be. As we do so, we are buoyed up in ways that we never thought possible. Yes, miracles do happen, every day of our lives! Thanks for reading and commenting.


clivewilliams profile image

clivewilliams 2 years ago from Nibiru

Beautiful hub my friend


MsDora profile image

MsDora 2 years ago from The Caribbean

Denise, I'm glad that you accepted the baton and took the opportunity to share some of your family experiences.

Your faith shines through your sharing of the traumas in your life, and one of your many powerful expressions pulled at me: "Ropes and stakes are ready when the climbing gets too tough."

I'm also touched by your acceptance of your daughter's condition: "She’s already living in eternity."

This is another education lesson from you on how to live a life of faith. Thank you sincerely.


Ericdierker profile image

Ericdierker 2 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

Wonderfully done with a truly inspiring personal touch. What a peaceful hub in faith. My faith centers on the children and I am blessed by that.

I surely do have faith in what is around the bend and will treasure your beautiful words displaying that faith.


denise.w.anderson profile image

denise.w.anderson 2 years ago from Bismarck, North Dakota Author

Thanks for your kind words, clivewilliams.


denise.w.anderson profile image

denise.w.anderson 2 years ago from Bismarck, North Dakota Author

I appreciate the opportunity, MsDora. It gave me a chance to reflect on my own life and ask myself the question, "What does my faith really mean to me?" As I did so, I remembered these previous writings, and how they illustrated some of the things that I have learned through the trials of life, and how much they have affected my faith. I am glad that they were meaningful to you!


denise.w.anderson profile image

denise.w.anderson 2 years ago from Bismarck, North Dakota Author

Thanks Eric, for expressing what I hoped to accomplish in this hub. As it says in Phillipians 4:7, "And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus." The only way we have peace is through our faith.


Ericdierker profile image

Ericdierker 2 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

I am writing a piece on Peace and Love and was drawn back here about children. I am carried away.

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Faith Reaper profile image

Faith Reaper 2 years ago from southern USA

Oh, my! Hello dear Denise, you have brought me to tears this day reading your most beautiful hub here sharing of your wonderful personal life experiences! I truly believe this is the most effective way to share our faith, when we share our personal experiences in this life. It just does not get any better than this. I love billybuc, and I know he will do this "Faith Baton" justice.

MsDora chose wisely, as she is certainly a faith-filled, and wise person indeed!

God bless you, dear heart, for sharing in your faith in a most beautiful way to bless many ... well, all who read.

I am, of course, voting this up, ++++ tweeting, pinning, G+ and sharing so that all will hear of the beautiful testimony of faith.

God bless you always,

Theresa aka Faith Reaper


mothersofnations profile image

mothersofnations 2 years ago

Absolutely beautiful article! I found you through the faith articles shared by those who've written just before you. I hadn't immediately realized this was one of them, (I noticed the "share" through FaithReaper and when I saw those beautiful little baby feet, I had to open the link and I'm so grateful I did!)

So very beautiful. (It's easy to see that I love the Lord, love babies and children, and a fan of poetry, among many other things :) With that, I'm on a mission to read your works. God bless you!

Voted up and shared!


Faith Reaper profile image

Faith Reaper 2 years ago from southern USA

Hi Dear Denise,

I read your beautiful hub the other day and thought I left a long comment, but I am sorry it did not take! This is so beautiful that it brought tears to my eyes. MsDora certainly chose a perfect one to pass the baton of faith to indeed.

Your faith shines through your words here. Oh, yes, it is only when we place our full faith and trust in Him, that His sweet, sweet peace, the peace that passes all understanding will just rain down upon us. I felt such sweet peace when it was discovered I had breast cancer, and words cannot describe such peace, then He healed me. Praise Him, to God be the glory.

Voted up ++++ tweeting, pinning, G+ and sharing

God bless you always


denise.w.anderson profile image

denise.w.anderson 2 years ago from Bismarck, North Dakota Author

Eric, thanks for returning! Children are such a wonderful part of our lives, and their faith and love carry us, in many situations. Bless you!


denise.w.anderson profile image

denise.w.anderson 2 years ago from Bismarck, North Dakota Author

Faith Reaper, forgive me for not responding to your post in a timely way. We endured another test of our faith as our beloved daughter (aka Flower Girl) was in the hospital for surgery. She is now home and doing well. I appreciate your kind comments and sharing of my article. Faith is a large part of my life, and always will be! I love the Lord, and do everything I can to help others come to Him. Thanks for voting up and sharing, it is much appreciated!


denise.w.anderson profile image

denise.w.anderson 2 years ago from Bismarck, North Dakota Author

Thank you for the wonderful compliment, mothersofnations! Children will always have a special place in my heart! Both my husband and I come from large families, and we wanted one of our own. Our seven children bring us much joy, and now we are blessed with nine grandchildren! May you find much to enrich your life as you read other articles that I have written.


midget38 profile image

midget38 2 years ago from Singapore

A beautiful reflection of pain, hope and most poignantly, faith. Beautifully written, Denise!!


denise.w.anderson profile image

denise.w.anderson 2 years ago from Bismarck, North Dakota Author

Thanks, midget38. I appreciate your kind comments.


ChitrangadaSharan profile image

ChitrangadaSharan 2 years ago from New Delhi, India

Wonderfully expressed thoughts in this hub!

It is Faith that keeps us going. In other words Faith is God and belief in faith is belief in God himself.

Beautiful pictures and so well written!


denise.w.anderson profile image

denise.w.anderson 2 years ago from Bismarck, North Dakota Author

Thanks for your kind comments, ChitrangadaSharan! Faith is a powerful thing. It keeps us going when times are tough and gives us the joy that uplifts and strengthens when things go well in life. I appreciate you stopping by.


Thelma Alberts profile image

Thelma Alberts 2 years ago from Germany

What a beautiful well written hub about faith. So heartbreaking and thought provoking. Thanks for sharing your life experiences with us. Have a great day!


denise.w.anderson profile image

denise.w.anderson 2 years ago from Bismarck, North Dakota Author

Thanks, Thelma! I appreciate your words of kindness. Life has a way of taking us on a roller coaster ride sometimes, especially when we least expect it!


swilliams profile image

swilliams 22 months ago from Arizona

What a beautiful Article Denise! I am constantly amazed by the faith that young children have in others and in this world. It is sad that as we grow older that childlike faith seems to vanish. We can learn plenty from children.

Matthew 19:14 Jesus said, "Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these."

Beautiful Hub! Voted up and Tweeted out!


denise.w.anderson profile image

denise.w.anderson 22 months ago from Bismarck, North Dakota Author

Thanks, swilliams. Our little children are so pure, innocent, and trusting. They look to us in the same way that we look to God. To them, we are everything! Our greatest challenge is to help them connect to God in such a way that when we are gone, they will have a direct line of communication with him. I appreciate you stopping by!


MarleneB profile image

MarleneB 13 months ago from Northern California, USA

Life is learned through experiences. When people share their life experiences with others, it allows others to receive the knowledge gained through that experience. Thank you for sharing your stories. Through them, I see the validity of having the kind of faith that carries us through life's ups and downs.


denise.w.anderson profile image

denise.w.anderson 13 months ago from Bismarck, North Dakota Author

That is so true, Marlene. The experiences we have bring us closer to others, especially when we realize that we have many things in common. I'm glad that you enjoyed my stories, and have learned through them the importance of strong faith. At this point in my life, it is what carries me through! I appreciate you reading and commenting.

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