Pastor Norma's Journal of Wisdom


Family, the core of our lives…

Family was God’s idea from the beginning. On the 6th day He created man and woman and gave them to each other and they were the first family.

Our family establishes our root system in the world. I believe that the disintegration of families has caused more confusion and pain than any other factor.

We have three basic needs as humans: the need to be loved, the need to belong and feel secure, and the need to be needed.

The family was intended to meet those needs. When the family falls apart we fall apart because of all the confusion it brings.

Our family roots give us our identity—our name, our looks, our personalities. It is the fundamental foundation of who we are and it is a powerful influence upon what we become.

The word “family” evokes many different thoughts and emotions, some good and some not so good. But we cannot deny our heritage.

Family is where we begin to establish our own value system and morals and standards. We may choose to divert from them but they will always be at the deep core of our being.

When our earthly family falls apart and fails in its ultimate purpose we have an alternative. God is our heavenly Father. Through Jesus Christ and by our accepting Him we become “sons of God” (John 1:12). God adopts us into His very own family (Galatians 4:4-7). We are the heirs of God and He, as our Father, meets our three basic needs as none other can. His unconditional love for us, the security of His care and concern for us, the place where we can go and feel safe, and know we belong, and also the place where we are needed by Him to build His family and kingdom in the earth.

Family: a unit composed not only of children, but of men, women, an occasional animal and the common cold.

— Ogden Nash

Family filled with joyful imperfections…

Our family is not our family by choice. We are just put there. It doesn’t take too long before we realize that even at best it is imperfect, because a family is made up of imperfect people learning to live together and work together. Family is the first unit in the world where we “learn how” before we embark into the other units of the world.

Church is another unit, school is still another, and then on to college, the armed forces, employment, etc.

Each unit is full of imperfect people. The sooner we learn to handle and deal with imperfection the better off we are. Whenever we place our hopes, dreams, and expectations in people we will se ourselves up for disappointment. We need to see and concentrate on the best in each person and not focus on the frailties and weaknesses of others.

If we can’t and/or don’t find acceptance from our family where will we find it? I think family is one of the biggest disappointments in life if we don’t learn how to live and work with each other; to respect each other’s uniqueness. Just because we’re born into the same family doesn’t mean we are all the same; as we well know. We learn early in life to shun and ridicule and reject imperfection; and that is good in some things, but not in people.

How can imperfections be joyful? Turn them into learning and growing experiences. Don’t miss the opportunity in dealing with them to develop finer character qualities in yourself. Intolerance of others because of their imperfections is not acceptable behavior. Always be more aware of your own imperfections than those of others. Look for the best in everyone and ignore the worst.

Heredity: An omnibus in which all our ancestors ride, and every now and then, one of them puts his head out and embarrasses us.

— Oliver Wendell Holmes

Families nurture the future…

My children and my grandchildren are the future. My life will live on in them. Each one of them (and you!) has inherited some part of me, and that part influences you in one way or another. Some of my character traits I wish you hadn’t inherited! (smile) But, you will be able to overcome them as you work on it. Others, like my gift of music or creativity, I love to see at work in you.

At any rate, I have contributed to who you are. What I have tried to teach you and demonstrate to you will, I hope, help you to “become”.

Grandpa and I want the Olsons to make the world a better place. You will do that by developing your skills and gifts to the best you can. Each one of you is unique and very special. Sometimes you resemble one another but you each have your distinct personality, gifts, and skills. All of you are very intelligent; most above average (and that’s not just a proud Grandma talking!) (smile)

Don’t waste any of it. I thank the Lord for what I see in you. You are all “go-getters”. There’s not a lazy one in the bunch. So be sure to set your goals high and you have what it takes to reach them.

Follow your heart. Become what you want to be… what you will be fulfilled in. Each one of you will take a different path… walk it well… go forward into the future on it. Sometime you will have to make a detour. That’s OK! Detours, for the most part, are only short and minor delays. Press on… the future holds a lot of promise. Live the now! That will prepare you for whatever the future holds.

Only mothers can think of the future, because they give birth to it in their children.

— Maxim Gorky

Even family ties require nurturing…

In a family it is so easy to take each other for granted. It is easy to let the things that do nurture slip. What are those things? The thank you, I’m sorry, please, love notes, and appreciation notes tucked in unexpected places. The factor that keeps nurturing alive is having a servant’s heart. Unfortunately, our home is most often the place where we neglect those things that “keep the home fires burning”. It is the place where the familiar becomes the mundane. Little irritations with one another grow and grow and can become wedges that separate us from one another.

Grandpa is the eldest of fourteen children and it saddens us that we are not close to any of them. We exchange Christmas cards with some of them and, sadly, the only time we see each other is at funerals. As we grow up and leave home and each one pursues his own dreams and goals and career, it is so easy to leave family in the dust.

God created the family to be a support system for one another. When the world walks out, if we have nurtured our family ties then we will always have someone to turn to for help and encouragement and support.

Don’t neglect nurturing those ties. When we stand beside the casket of a family member, may we have no regrets of: if only I had… I wish I had taken time to… I wish I had told him/her…

Do it now and keep it going!

Husbands are like fires; they go out when unattended.

— Zsa Zsa Gabor

Our family is a circle of strength and love.
With every birth and every union, the circle grows.
Every joy shared adds more love.
Every crisis faced together makes the circle stronger.


Death   |   Forgiveness