On this, the first day of 2017, it seems an appropriate time to share my life sketch. Rather than looking forward to the new year, I am looking back over my life and analyzing it. There have been physical changes ~ for sure. And life is filled with emotional experiences bringing you happiness and sorrow that change you. Then ah, yes, our spiritual lives are sometimes left to be relegated to a mysticism or sheer energy; but truly, truly, our lives will be richer and fuller if we recognize that our self-worth is not in things or possessions or degrees or accolades but in our personal relationship with God ~ our Creator. So this is my personal life sketch. I hope you will take time to write yours and I would love to have you share it with me.
My birthday is July 18, 1953. I was born in Walnut Ridge, Arkansas. I am the youngest of five children. I have two older brothers, an older sister and a twin! Although my brothers and sisters and I live far from each other in distance, we enjoy using technology to keep in touch and we love being together.
My twin sister’s name is Kathy. We are very different. She is creative and spontaneous. I am cautious. We work together which means we talk every day even though she lives in Florida and I live in Oklahoma. Our business is KathyandKaren.com. My sisters and I also have an on-line community Call Me Sister where we write blog articles about daily life. We would love to have thousands of virtual sisters. We hope you will join us and call us “sister”.
My family moved to Oklahoma from Arkansas when I was in first grade. Bob, my husband, and I dated when we were in high school. Then while Bob was attending the University of Oklahoma, I moved to Oklahoma City at the age of 18 to work. During those years we fell in love and three years later we were married. When Bob graduated, we moved to Tulsa where Bob worked for an oil and gas company. I worked as a secretary until Sarah was born in 1980 and I became a “stay-at-home” mom. Taylor was born in 1984 so my life was filled with family, my church and volunteer activities. I also homeschooled our children for three years when they were in elementary grades.
God has used many circumstances to shape my life. No doubt the event that first jarred my most wonderful world and made me re-evaluate my life was in 1996 when I was diagnosed with cancer at the age of 43. From that point, nothing was the same. I changed my diet, my activities and even the way I thought! Well, I say I changed the way I thought. Actually it was God who changed my thinking, because I could not have changed my thinking without Him. He showed me that every day of my life is a gift from Him. He showed me how fragile my life is and how I really didn’t control it. He showed me how His love was showered on me each and every day of my life. He showed me that it was not my job to worry about changing other people, but only to pay attention to how I should live my own life.
Bob and I lived in Tulsa for 28 years and he continued to grow in his career in oil and gas. Unfortunately, after 9/11 Bob lost his job and was unemployed for a year and a half. However, because of this seemingly terrible situation, we moved to Florida so that Bob could teach math at a failing high school in the inner city of Miami. That is where we lived before we moved to Norman. We love Norman and we love meeting many students at OU from China.
Another life-changing event in my life was the birth of our two grandchildren – Cooper and Avery. After many disappointments and medical procedures, our daughter Sarah and her husband continued to hope and pray for a child. With great joy, we learned that Sarah was pregnant, then we learned that she was going to have twins! Her pregnancy was very difficult. She was hospitalized when she was only 22 weeks pregnant and was put on bed rest. The babies were born March 5, 2014 – at 30 weeks – two months premature. Cooper weighed only 3 pounds 7 ounces and Avery weighed only 3 pounds. The babies were so small and we prayed earnestly for them. We are so grateful that many others also prayed for them. Now Cooper and Avery continue to grow healthy and strong. We are so very grateful and thankful for this wonderful gift.
On November 8, 1964 at the age of 11, I made the most important decision in my life. I became a Christian by asking Jesus to be my personal Savior and the Lord of my life. This decision has given my life great purpose and meaning. From having cancer to surviving a very serious car accident several years ago to the birth of Cooper and Avery, I have become aware of how much in life I do not control. That has made me understand more about how to trust God to take unplanned and sometimes painful circumstances and give us hope, because He has given me life. I want my life to count for something. I want my life to count for God. Each morning, I awaken with expectations and I appreciate each day. The Bible is my guide. I love my husband. I love my children. I love our grandchildren. I love people. I know that this is only possible because God showed me His grace and He took my bad attitude and turned it into thanksgiving. He showed me that the most important things in life are those things that you cannot see, but they are very real. I am thankful that Jesus saved me from my sins and that as I have trusted him as my Savior and Lord, He has given joy and peace. He has not only given me a new life today and tomorrow, but forever.
My life had always been busy. I worked. I got married. I had children. I volunteered. I attended church and studied the Bible. My life is now more precious than I had previously realized. This life is like a vapor – a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. We must build our lives on the foundation of faith in Christ – understanding that apart from Him we are nothing. He loves you so. James 4:14 and John 15:5
Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever. Hebrews 13:8 The Holy Bible