Happy Mom's Day!

Happy Mother's Day, Mom!

This morning is the first full day back in the city she calls, 'home,' Janesville, Wisconsin.

It's where she moved with my Dad less than two years into their 50 years of marriage and where most of those years were lived.

It is nice to see her back home with many close friends who she has known a long time, and nice to be living close enough to get together easily.

Praise God for Moms like mine!  It was a blessing to grow up in a home where she was able to be a 'stay at home mom' (although we didn't call it that back then).  She drove me to school and picked me up (until we lived close enough I could walk or hop the fence).

She was a room mother a couple of times when I was in the lower grades at St. Paul Lutheran School. She even took on the role of Den Mother when I was ready to quit my first Cub Pack in third grade.

In addition to all the mom and house management tasks, she ran a seamstress business out of her home that kept her busy mending and fixing and creating clothes for many other families.

She also was a volunteer in a big way then, and continues to serve and reach out now.  There were many committees at Church and time spent with Sunday School, Vacation Bible School, LWML, Ladies Aid, and the Valpo Guild (a supporting organization for Valparaiso University).  Then there was regular volunteering for Mercy Hospital and the Red Cross.  More than 20 years of teaching others American Sign Language and using ASL to lead Sunday School classes mid-week for students in Delavan, Wisconsin in the church across from the State School for the Deaf.

There were many, many years she put together weekly flyers for a number of churches that raised thousands of dollars through the years for Bethesda Lutheran Home, Lutheran Children Friends Society, and American Bible Society.  There were also years of involvement as leaders of the local Aid Association for Lutheran branches, and time spent working at the State level as a volunteer.

That wasn't enough - she provided a loving home to seven young women I knew as my Foster Sisters.  There was another young mom later that she helped through her work with Wisconsin Right to Life and Lutherans for Life.

There's more that could be included in Mom's volunteer and work resume, but you get the idea.  By herself, and with Dad, they tirelessly worked and served others.

And about the time I was in seventh grade, along came my sister and time helping her through school that started around the time I left for college.

Mom works hard, doesn't like a lot of attention, is a willing and able to leader, and tough as nails.  I always thought that first and last part came with being a Schempp.

Mom grew up in the plains of northwestern Minnesota on a farm.  As young as nine, she was the chief cook for the family and the hired men who helped on the farm.  She could drive the team of horses into the field better than the men since the horses preferred her behind the reins.  It was a no-nonsense life during serious times when making a living off a farm required hard work everyday.

Last weekend, she saw her the first of her four grandchildren graduate from college and soon will have the two younger grand-kids in to visit her new home.

Mom has been a rock for me all of my life.  She is a quiet (and sometimes not so quiet) Christian witness to me and her generous heart an inspiration.

The first and greatest of the many blessings in my life started with my Mom and Dad, being born into their home.

Thank you, Mom.  Happy Mother's Day.