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           Oh no! Here it comes. I cannot stop myself. I know what I am doing; I just can’t help it. “Son, you are gonna eat all of that food even if you sit at the table all night. If you don’t eat it now it’s just going to get cold and taste worse than you already think it does. Now EAT!!”  Whew! I’m glad that’s out of my system. Now comes the raised eyebrow, eyes half rolled, I’m-not-happy look. It’s all coming so natural. When I was younger, I had to practice to look like this. What else can I throw in? Maybe a few finger taps by his plate. That feels better. I’m satisfied for the moment. I feel like I’m changing from myself into someone else. I know I have momentary lapses of “Faith-ness.” I just cannot seem to help it.

            Always full of energy, my mom has a reputation. She teaches a three to five year old Sunday School class. She’s just right for the job too. The more glitter, glue and paint the better. No mess means no fun! My six year old, has already moved out of her class, but there were times he left church with orange feet. Those orange footprints are still on the wall in her classroom and he knows he had to follow Granna just like he is supposed to follow Jesus. Now, my three year old is learning to follow Jesus in Granna’s class. If the lesson has to be taught from under the table, then that is where she holds class. When the lesson calls for sand, well there is a sandbox in the classroom. If Jesus is visiting the woman at the well, a thirty-gallon trashcan with water in it makes it into class. She’s known for rarely teaching straight from the book and using unconventional methods, but the children leave her class knowing two things: God loves them and so does she.

            Although my children are not old enough to be on their own in a store, I find myself clearing my throat as I walk down the aisles. That was my way of finding my mother when I went to the store with her. I would walk up and down aisles and listen for her subtle throat clearing noises. (It was much less embarrassing than being called over the PA system.) Even now when I hear a noise that sounds similar, I stop to see if it happens again in the next few seconds. Every now and then, my mom is standing somewhere in the next aisle. The saying says that imitation is the highest form of flattery.

            Of course there are differences between my mom and me, but the older I get I find myself picking up her ways; including her faith in God. She raised me to love God and follow Him anywhere. And to have a “sincere faith,” like the one Paul praised Timothy for having, in I Timothy 1, verse 5. Timothy learned his faith from his grandmother and mother. And I have too.

            At some time in our lives, most of us think that we won’t ever act like our parents, but inevitably - we do! And for me, that’s okay - as long as I don’t have to bring a sandbox into the house!

By: Stephanie Stephens
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