This Saturday my oldest daughter Rachel graduates from Magna Cum Laude from the University of Tennessee at
Martin with a degree in Elementary Education. This blog is a celebration of her. This is a great milestone in her life and in ours. I am now unashamedly giving her the attention she deserves, even though I am her mama.
When Rachel graduated from high school, I wrote an article all about her. I am copy/pasting that below. Since graduating high school, she began her years in college first pursuing a career as a veterinarian. She soon discovered that he heart was not in it, but God was leading her to teach children. She has recently completed her student teaching which solidified her love for children. Children for years to come have no idea how lucky they will be to have Miss McBroom for a teacher. It feels so strange to call her Miss McBroom since I also am a teacher and Mrs. McBroom has always been me.
As soon as she went to school, she went in search of a church. It didn’t take her long to land at Central Baptist Church in Martin with Elliot and Denise Linhoss as the college leadership. They have blessed her and us more than they can know. They have guided her through her four years at UTM and helped her grow in her walk with God. She has assumed some leadership roles through her church, and I am grateful for their consistence teaching of God’s word to her. She and her roommate joined Zeta Tau Alpha, becoming my sorority sisters. I was able to witness her initiation and totally surprise her by being there.
While in her sorority, she led a bible study at her apartment for her sorority sisters. She tackled the tough issues, and one of her sisters became a Christian. She will never know the effects of the seeds she planted for the Kingdom.
Early on during her summers, she became involved in the the ministry at the Stables of Creekside Glen in Lynch, Kentucky. www.meridzo.com Leah Baldwin and her husband Drew operate this stable, and Leah conducted a chapel at Trinity Christian Academy one day. Our daughter Hannah immediately knew this was a ministry for Rachel, and it was. She has spent summers, weekends and weeks helping with camps that mix horseriding, kids, youth and adults and God’s word. This has become her ministry.
So this is for Rachel. Robert and I are extremely proud of her. We have always told our daughters that we didn’t care if they washed cars for a living as long as they did what God called them to do. Rachel has followed her heart, studied, learned to listen to God, and has become a strong woman of God.
We love you.
“Letting Go” Written August 21, 2011 (The year Rachel graduated high school)
Last Sunday was a very emotional Sunday for me. It was my daughter Rachel’s last Sunday at before she moved off to college. She is only an hour away, but we knew that things would never be the same.
It hit me like a tons of bricks. Out of nowhere the tears came. I suddenly remembered the Sundays of her squirming, and my trying to teach her how to sit in “big church”. Remember that I am a preacher’s wife, so whatever my kids did, all got to see. When Robert was youth minister at Halls First Baptist Church, he was in charge of the children’s sermon. He would gather them around down in front of the congregation, I distinctly remember one Sunday when Rachel was around four, she took her spot beside dad, sitting on the edge of the stage. I was in the choir and what Robert couldn’t see was her opening her purse and lining up her pound puppies and kittens on the “In Remembrance of Me”. (All Baptist churches have one of those.) He never even saw them.
I remember when she walked the aisle at only six years old. She knew exactly what she was doing and in Whom she believed. Shortly after that, Robert got to baptize her. I remember watching her perform in many children’s musicals and growing in her love for Jesus. Once, during one of the musicals at Thompson Station Church, she surprised me when she was Mary and came out holding a baby Jesus. At that time, she was close to what the real Mary’s age must have been. It was hard to imagine the mother of Jesus being so young and having such a tremendous job.
As we moved into the high school years, she began to work in the nursery, telling me that she knew that her ministry involved children. Watching my baby take care of babies was a moment I will never forget. Through years of loving on kids through Vacation Bible School and nursery, she has made an impact. We have three precious little girls in our life. As Rachel was getting ready to go to our car that last Sunday, the oldest, Angelique, told Rachel that she had asked Jesus into her heart. This answered more prayers than Angelique can imagine.
Now this Sunday, Rachel is gone. But there are no tears. Today I sit beside Hannah my youngest daughter with Angelique by her side. It’s the end of the service and here they go, down the aisle. Hannah goes with Angelique for “security”. I hang on to her little friend, situating her so she can see. Many tears are shed in the crowd, but not by me. My heart is just so full of joy.
Today I celebrate these moments in life that cannot be matched by anything else. I thank God for every Sunday School teacher, choir leader, Vacation Bible School teacher, children’s minister and youth minister who has invested time and poured Jesus into Rachel and Hannah. This is one example of how these dedicated workers touch more than just one generation.
I thank God that I have had Rachel for eighteen years. I look forward to seeing God’s plan for her unfold in years to come.
Wow, did the first four years after that go quickly.