I have wanted to write my story for years. I want my children to have it. I want to recount God’s faithfulness – not just in one circumstance, but over my lifetime. I want this to be my ‘jar of manna’ (Exodus 16:33) ‘Moses told Aaron, “Take a container and put two quarts of manna in it. Then place it before the LORD to be preserved throughout your generations.”
This is my story of His faithfulness. I invite you to read along to glimpse into my life. Sometimes, there has been so much pain in life, it is hard to see the good. I hope that by me writing through the good and the bad that you will see God’s hand, and maybe realize how He has been faithful to you, too. I would encourage you to record His faithfulness in your life. Yes, there will be some painful parts. No, there will be no way to cover it all. But, I do believe we will be able to see Him when we are done. Let me know if you decide to take this on, but let me say, it is not for the faint.
This is my Manna In A Jar.
My Mom carried me a week past my due date.
I was born on a Monday morning in October (1981), and only because my mom drank castor oil the night before, which, sent her into labor. Well, that and it was God’s appointed time for me, but, He used the castor oil – amen?! However, I was breech, so I was delivered by cesarean. I was 9 pounds 11 ounces. I was fed formula and my mom did not think twice about it.
I was born to Paul and Debbie Miller. An amazing couple who built an incredibly successful business together. They had both retired from their jobs, moved into their dream home, and were traveling the world when they welcomed me.
I learned once I was a bit older that my mom had heart-brokenly miscarried a few months before she found out she was expecting me. I think it is fascinating and heavy and crazy to think if that baby had been born, I never would have been.
My mom and dad were both raised in different tiny towns in North Carolina. They had humble beginnings, and incredibly hard working parents. My dad came from a family of 6 (4 children), my mom from a family of 7 (5 children). I knew my dad’s side of the family while growing up, but wish I had gotten to *know* them more. But, I still have time!
I do know that my Grandfather, Hall, worked for Dupont. He was faithful and trust worthy. MeMaw, Mary (I was named after her), passed away when I was five. They had 4 children very close together. I just feel a kindred heart to her, knowing that she has walked this path before me.
My mom later told me she can remember visiting my grandparents when my mom and dad were just dating. She said my grandparents would be working out in the yard during the hot summer. Then, they would come inside and brew coffee and drink it together. That just makes me smile. I know where my love of coffee came from!
My dad has an older brother, Buster , older sister, Margaret, and a younger sister, Anne. I love that my dad still has friendships with each of his siblings. He and Buster get together several times through the year.
My aunt Margaret is a minister. She has also been fighting cancer like crazy (and kicking its tail) the past few years.
My aunt Anne (known as Annie Pie) is a lactation consultant and has been such a help to me as I have nursed my children over the years. I would love to know this heritage of mine even more.
So thankful that I was able to meet my great-grandmother, Mimi.
Since I was the first baby born on my mama’s side of the family, all of her brothers and sisters pretty much claimed me as their own.
I have wonderful memories of my uncles and aunts.
My Aunt Susan was and is the best story teller. She has some crazy life adventures (running onto an airplane runway to stop an airplane, crawling through tunnels at her college, swimming in the pond, etc). She is fascinating! I remember driving in her car- her dashboard covered in post-it notes, begging her to tell me a new story that I haven’t heard about her life. We were stuck in a snow storm in NC together when I was about 7 years old. She woke me up at 6 am one morning to go sledding. To this day, we still call each other when it snows and talk about that weekend!
Aunt Nean (Jean) kept me from the time I was itty bitty. She traveled with my parents and would be my babysitter when I was a baby. I actually went on dates with her and my uncle (Steve) when they first met and were dating. She had the coziest house – still does. Her bed is the most comfortable in the entire world- mix matched sheets, tons of squishy pillows, an old fan blowing on the bed- I am ready to go to sleep right now. And when we get together, we laugh until we cry usually within the first hour of being together. She always helps me paint or do some sort of craft when she comes to visit.
Both of my aunts were (and still are) so much fun. They would build these amazing Barbie house complexes out of encyclopedias and shoe boxes and then would sit and play with me for what felt like hours (even though it probably was only 5 minutes). I never felt that life was rushed when I was with them.
My uncles are identical twins and two of the funniest human beans (they would totally call themselves beans instead of beings) that I know. They were 22ish (?) when I was born. Laughter is the word I think of when I think of them.
My grandparents lived on a golf course, so my uncles would come in from playing golf smelling like sweat and beer. Today, that is still one of my favorite scents. They would play a game with me and all of my siblings and cousins that they named ‘travel along.’ We would ride on their backs, like they were horsies, and they would sing this ridiculous made-up song called ‘travel along’ while we rode all over the living room laughing our heads off.
And then there are my precious maternal grandparents. I have such sweet memories of them. Mama Dot was hilarious. She loved people and loved to make people laugh. She never liked for things to get too serious. And we all loved her for it. The best was when she sang the song,’ I lost my poor kitty…’ very loud and very off key. She lived the longest of all my grandparents, and passed away just a few months before I found out I was expecting Harper. I really miss her, and I know she would have been tickled to know she had triplet great-grandsons! I, too, feel connected to her knowing she went through multiple boys, too!
My sweet Papa (said PawPaw), was such an honorable man. He was a doctor, fought in World War II and he cared deeply about people and animals. He graduated from Wake Forest and Bowman Grey Medical School as Valedictorian. He could have gone anywhere in the country to be a doctor, yet chose a small town in North Carolina so he could truly take care of people and not be a big name. He loved the outdoors. He cut off all the ‘alligators’ on his Izod shirts so that he would not be separated by name brands from his patients. When he was younger, he had some cancer on his vocal cords, so as long as I knew him, his voice was raspy and he barely spoke above a whisper. And he wore plaid shirts, a watch with a stretchy band, and a pocket protector.
His mother, Bessie Boone, loved the Lord dearly. My mom has so many memories of her telling Bible stories and fervently praying. I am so thankful for this picture. I am the only great grandchild that she was able to meet. I know she prayed for me and for me to know Jesus one day. And I cannot wait to meet her again one day and thank her for her prayers!
Even though my parents traveled a lot, I always felt very, very loved. I knew I had many people that I could trust and many people that loved me. I am thankful that was never violated. And I do not want to take those gifts lightly. I wish that it could have always stayed this peaceful and loving with out heart break, pain, divorce, and death. But, even though those things entered along the way, God remained the same. He didn’t cause these things to happen. He wept with our family as we walked through life. He comforted and lead us, even in the very dim light.
Family is the beginning of my story.