3 Generations

Views from three different generations

When It Comes Down To It… — December 26, 2018

When It Comes Down To It…

Beginning at the End:

Funny how quickly this year has come and gone.  Sometimes I wonder if there is a joke in the time passing, or if it really is faster than it was when I was a child.  I saw every single year before I turned 13 as the slowest that time could ever crawl.  I would wait for the next New Year’s Day, the next Valentine’s Day, the next last day of school, the next first day of school, the next birthday, the next Thanksgiving, and finally the next Christmas.  They took forever to arrive and then when they were over, the complete anticipation of the event was somehow a bit of a let down.  Not disappointing in any way, just very highly built up and then over so quickly.  As I reached my teen years the time didn’t seem to move as slowly, but then I don’t think I was really paying as much attention to the small details that mattered before.  The big picture was becoming smaller and I was completely engulfed in MY visions of these specific days.  Definitely not as much like a child-like anticipation.  Finally I reached my twenties and the time became speedier and speedier and I found myself wondering how much quicker time could pass.  I am sad to say that I have been surprised to see that time can certainly go much faster as we age.  Children are born, time moves fast.  Children start growing up and time moves faster than that.  Grown children are starting their own lives and, without fail and predictably, the years go by even faster.  I had been told that time moves quickly as you age.  Mostly older people told me that.  They weren’t fooling.  This year has been one of many interesting changes.  Most not significant to anyone but our family, but our visions of the future have changed a bit, and while we still don’t know how things will eventually go, there is hope that we will be able to look back on 2018 as a learning year.  A year that we sought God and sought the love of our family and friends to bring us to the realization that no matter how fast time goes by, we have been blessed and we have not forgotten to notice that God’s hands were cradling us the entire time.  It is comforting to know that in uncertainty and stressful times, we have the knowledge that our lives have been orchestrated by the Lord and His blessings are available if we take the time to look and see them.

In the hurry of this Christmas season, it has been all too easy to forget the real issue and make plans that omit Christ altogether.  While at the in-laws for Christmas we actually sang a Christmas song and did a family reading of Luke 2.  It seemed to get a bit crazy at that moment and my mother-in-law set a different tone for us as she said that she hoped that when she is off this earth that her grand-children remember that she loved the Lord.  It made me think.  I wasn’t respecting the day or the issue or the purpose until I heard her say that.  It was a good reminder that the birth of Christ was only the beginning and that all of the stuff in between our lives is based on this one fact; Christ was born and died and rose and because of that, my life can matter only if I let others know how much he loved me and how much I am willing to love him back.  It is my job as a child of God to be a demonstration of his love.  It’s more serious than just opening presents and eating and playing games.  More important than just attending church for a Christmas program.  More than looking at lights and getting in the crowds to “do the shopping thing”.  It’s the beginning of the end of the year when we are called by God to celebrate that he loved us enough to let his son come down to earth.  It is our time to make the next year a clear evidence of God’s love, and that means to everyone who crosses our path.  I am beginning the end of this year with a new lease and stating that this year, I dedicate my heart to being used by God and allowing Him to shine through my life.  I encourage each of you to seek what the Lord is showing you and follow his plan.

Merry Christmas,

Dawn Clower

Dawn of a New Day by Carol Martin — October 28, 2018

Dawn of a New Day by Carol Martin

It was 1970.  College was finished.  My English degree allowed me to teach school for three years in different locations.  Monday through Thursday, I really loved it, but Fridays were always hard for some reason.  We named our daughter, our first-born, Dawn.  Little did I realize at the time that her very existence is what drove me into the arms of a loving Savior.  Through her, I saw my inadequacies, my fear of not being qualified to be a mom.  Her very life depended on me doing things right. 
As I stood at the back window of my Texas home, tearfully watching my mom who had been helping me for a couple of weeks, drive away, I felt the crushing burden of motherhood. I looked down in the bassinette at this small creature who was sleeping peacefully.  Little by little, I realized that maybe I could do this, just one small thing at a time.  However, my self-centered priorities had to turn upside down.  Dawn had to become my priority.  When Dawn woke up, I changed her diaper.  I could do that.  After that, I fed her.  I could do that, too.  When she cried, I held and rocked her.  I could do that.  Maybe I could handle this after all.
For two years, Bobby and I enjoyed her earliest days, coupling frustration and delight.  Then came the big move back to Arkansas.  We bought our first and only house.  All my life, I had been moving directly toward the American Dream:  Husband, home, child.   That dream was now mine.  Somehow it wasn’t enough, and it was a lot of trouble.  There had to be more…but what?  My mom had begun to attend Bible Study Fellowship in Russellville and recommended I go to the class in North Little Rock.  However, I had no car.  The first week came and went and I had no way to get there.  A young woman who lived very close to me agreed to take my daughter and me with her every week.  
This fragile beginning, opening the Bible and actually reading it, trying to find my way around that table of contents because I didn’t know where any of the books were, finding myself intrigued, I realized I was really hearing and absorbing truth for the first time in my life.  We were encouraged to study every day.  Lessons that should have taken 30 minutes took me 2.5 hours, but there was something taking root and I was drawn to it.
Being new to the city, I had no friends.  Always I’d had friends.  Looking back, however, I know today that the Lord wanted me free from distraction.  This whole year I studied and stayed home and became acquainted with the God of the Universe in a brand-new way.  This pruning left me with incredible new growth.
After hearing the gospel message inserted into the main study every week, I began to understand that I had to respond to what Jesus had done for me.  Somehow, I had to make it mine.  Using a BSF assurance guide, which contains scriptures leading through this process, I prayed to make Christ my Savior.  Done!  However, over the next several decades, I was leaning how to make Him my Lord…but that’s another story.
The birth of Dawn became for me the dawn of a new day, a different day, a day of hope.
Who, What, When, Where, Why? — October 27, 2018

Who, What, When, Where, Why?

As I have gotten older and watched my mother get older, all the while witnessing my is daughters and son getting older, I have wondered if I could go back, change some things, be better at things, would I? Would it have really changed? I grew up with a tremendous blessing of a mother. She was not only attentive, intuitive, and wise, she also made me desire to be like her when I was to have my own children. So 22 years ago I began that journey. A journey that spanned another dimension of living that I never could have fathomed.

The birth of the first child, a daughter named Leighton, was such a surreal event that I didn’t have any REAL idea how life would change. I’d heard but didn’t understand. She was beautiful, absolutely beautiful and I know that all parents think that of their babies, she truly was and with one touch of her tiny hands, I was completely out of my comfort zone. I was frightened to leave the hospital; afraid I wouldn’t do something right. She was teeny and breakable and all my and my husband’s responsibility. My mother stayed with us the first week and without her, I would have been useless. When someone is reliant on you to do everything for them, it is terrifying. A week after having some fun being the mommy, I had to finally sink into the fact that my own mother was going to leave. Terror came back. How would I do this? How can I be a good mother? Somehow, thank the Lord, instinct does jump in and I did it; Leighton lived.

My husband and I were complete pros at this parenting thing, so 2 1/2 years later, we had Mykala. Yes, super tiny, beautiful, but unlike Leighton, this one came with other baggage. She had been attempting to arrive three months early. When I was put on bed rest for two months, that was pretty tough, considering my 2-year-old still hung out at the house with me. When the doctors finally released me from bed rest, Mykala then decided to take her own sweet time coming! Of course! She ended up being born with the cord around her neck, unresponsive, and not breathing. It took time to bring her life, but oh when that first cry squealed out in the delivery room, that was the most welcomed sound I have ever heard. Several times in Mykala’s life, she has been dealt a hard hand, RSV as a baby, need to go on Human Growth Hormones to gain a whole foot of length, and asthma. She never let it debilitate her, she never let it define her. She has allowed who she is to be what people love the most about her, her sweet, sweet spirit enveloped in a beautiful package! She really is beautiful. As we spent the next 8 years being the most amazing parents (not really), we were amazed to find out that God had another plan.

Both girls had decided they wanted a baby brother. We told them it wasn’t going to happen. We were wrong! Along came Harrison. Yes, beautiful also. He was born after a super long day of labor but no hard events. I felt almost as if I were a new mother again. It had been so long since we had had something so tiny and reliant on us, and this was a boy. I knew girls. Not boys. He quickly became the most amazing little person in our lives. The girls were so proud and as parents, we couldn’t have been more excited to see what this child would turn into. It has been an amazing ride to say the least. When they say boys and girls are nothing alike, they (whoever THEY are), are completely right!

My initial idea for this blog was to be a dropping place for my thoughts and what my mother and daughters wanted to say. I have since the idea, changed a bit. We all have lived different generational stories and our upbringings were still very similar in that God was a strong point. A relationship with Christ was inbred into me by my mother, whose very own story is AMAZING and she will fill that portion in her own words. I have hoped to be a mom who has encouraged my own daughters to be in a solid Christ-relationship so that they will have a strong basis for living in this crazy, difficult, and tension-filled world. All of these generation differences have something to say and I open this blog as a place to see the different views from different ages and yet similar upbringings.

I am so excited for this journey with the most important women in my life. Please join our discussion. Subscribe to our blog and give us your input.

The Women Speak: Views from different generations — October 26, 2018

The Women Speak: Views from different generations

Carol Martin:

Matriarch, mother of two, wife of one, and beloved teacher to many.

Dawn Clower:

Daughter, mother of three real children and six dogs, wife of one pastor, author, employee, living by the Word.

Leighton Clower:

Daughter, dying-to-get-out-of-college student, sister, grand-daughter and make-up artist, and seeker of God’s wisdom.

Mykala Clower:

Daughter, poor college student with so many years to go, sister, grand-daughter, and lover of the Lord.


The Journey Begins —
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