Each month, we are going to take time to get to know some of our church members just a little bit better. We hope this short interview allows us to lean-in to help us know one another better and grow together as a body of believers.
Tell us a little bit about you and your family.
Joanne: Moving back to Tuscaloosa in 2009 was like coming back to my roots--literally! I was born here in 1957, spent most of my childhood in Decatur, AL, then attended UA where I met my husband, Robert. After our marriage in 1979 we moved to Sylacauga, AL. We were blessed with three children, all of whom graduated from Sylacauga High School and the University of Alabama. Robert worked in the fertilizer industry for nearly 20 years, and I spent the majority of my career as a School Psychometrist. We loved our home, our friends, our church family, and raising our family in Sylacauga. However, when our youngest child graduated from high school and enrolled at UA we (horror of horrors!) moved with him to Tuscaloosa. It felt as though a wonderful chapter of our life was ending, yet another was just beginning in our new/old home.
Carrie: My husband Rick and I are both graduates of The University of Alabama, and we were happy to claim Tuscaloosa as home after graduation. We have since added Caroline (5) and Richard (3) to our family. I am a full time Mom and part time nurse in the Emergency Department. Our family enjoys doing any outside activities, attending Alabama sporting events, and spending time with friends.
How long have you been at Trinity? And what drew you here?
Joanne: We began visiting Trinity during weekends when we were in town for athletic events or visiting our daughter at UA. We were immediately drawn to the Biblical teaching, warm welcomes we received from so many of the members, and the demonstrated desire of the church leadership to reach beyond the boundaries of Trinity into the surrounding community and world.
Carrie: We have been at Trinity for a little over 8 years. We were drawn to Trinity by the people. We were always made to feel so welcomed and loved. After visiting, it was the sound Biblical teaching we received that sealed the deal. We have since formed so many close relationships and found great community at Trinity.
How has your relationship as mother and daughter changed? Can you share anything you have learned from each other?
Joanne: My first child was a generally content, sit-on-your-lap kind of baby that frankly made me feel a little proud of our parenting skills. Then Carrie came along! She was a bundle of energy from the very beginning--constantly moving, perpetually talking/singing/ climbing/questioning/dancing, and always looking for the next thing to do. God, in His providence and sense of humor, gave us this adorable, curious, active little girl to help me realize that HE is the one who creates His children with their unique personalities. My parenting skills did not cause my first child to be an "easy" one, nor my second a little more challenging! Carrie was a dedicated student, loved her friends and family fiercely, played hard and long, and fortunately avoided much of the "girl drama" in her school as she got along with virtually everyone in her classes. When our third child was born, Carrie was 6 years old, but she felt and acted like the baby was hers! Her mothering skills were natural and began early, as she enjoyed taking care of her baby brother as well as several younger nieces and nephews. She literally began babysitting infants while she was in the 6th grade! I feel like our relationship has always been close, but seeing my little girl become a mother has to be one of the most rewarding experiences ever! I feel extremely fortunate to be able to share life with Carrie and her precious little family!
Carrie: Our relationship as mother and daughter has definitely changed through the years. It has shifted from an authoritarian figure to a friend as I have gotten older. I go to my Mom for all kinds of advice, particularly parenting advice these days. I truly enjoy spending time with her. I have learned countless things from my Mom but some things that stick out are her sacrificial love for others and her perseverance. My Mom goes out of her way to help not only her family but friends and strangers too, never asking for any thanks or praise in return. If she starts a job she will give 100% until completion without any grumbling or complaining. I am so thankful that the Lord blessed me with such a good example of what a mother, wife, and friend should be.
Carrie, what is one of your favorite childhood memories?
Playing outside with my brothers in our creek. We would make mudslides, make traps for catching fish, and explore for hours.
Joanne, what is one of your favorite memories from when your children were at home?
I was fortunate to be able to be a stay-at-home mom during my childrens' early years, and I figured that since I was at home, they would stay at home too. Our house in Sylacauga was in a neighborhood with very few children, so unless we "imported" friends in, their choices were to play alone or with each other. I loved watching them explore in the creek together in our front yard, ride their Little Tykes car down the hill in the yard, or play together in the basement. There were plenty of arguments between the three, but they were also best friends.
Carrie, how has your view of your mom changed after having children of your own?
I feel so much more thankful for my Mom! It has made me thankful for all of the ways she loved me, nurtured me, was patient with me, sacrificed for me, and even disciplined me.
Joanne, what has it been like to be a grandmother?
Absolutely amazing!! Carrie and Rick have two children - Caroline (age 5 1/2) and Richard (age 3). Since they live about a mile from our house, we get to see them often and are so very thankful that we are able to be a part of their lives. Our older son and his wife Margaret have one little girl - Murray (age 22 months). Since they live in Birmingham we don't get to see her as often, but I go up every 2 weeks or so to play with her and give my daughter-in-law a chance to run errands, etc. I had such a special relationship with my grandmother; she allowed me to explore her house, yard, and attic! We rarely went anywhere and didn't do anything special, but I just loved being around her. My greatest desire is to demonstrate to my grandchildren the unconditional love of Christ that my grandmother showed to me.
Carrie, what has surprised you most about motherhood?
The first thing that comes to mind is that I have realized I can do with a lot less sleep than I ever thought possible. On a more serious note, I have been surprised at how it has opened my eyes to the love that God has for me as his child. I always knew God loved and cared for me, but one night when I was rocking my newborn baby the intensity of his love just overwhelmed me. I knew that as much as I loved my child, he loves me even more. Wow, how amazing is that!
Joanne, can you offer any wisdom or advice for younger mothers?
Pray with and for them, teach them God's Word, and let them know that He is the ultimate authority above all. Realize that although you may think you're in control of your children's lives, it's just an illusion of control! Give your children clear limits that are enforced lovingly and consistently. Don't be afraid that your children won't like you if you don't give them what they want. Your goal is not to be their friend; you're their mother! Help your children learn that while you love them tremendously, life is not all about them, and their desires are not what should control the life of your entire family. Teach them how to deal with hearing "no," and not getting their way, because inevitably they will not always win or get their way when they're away from home. Let them know that it's ok to try and fail, and then help them learn from their failures. Emotional resiliency is crucial to their future well-being, but they can't obtain this important skill as long as they always get their way. The days are long, but the years are short, so cherish your precious gifts while you have them at home with you!
What’s your favorite piece of clothing you own / owned?
Joanne: PJ bottoms and a comfortable sweatshirt
Carrie: A pair of grey sweatpants that were originally my brothers high school tennis warm ups, handed down to my Mom that I permanetly borrowed. I live in them in the winter while at home! And my Mom still wants them back--ha!
What shows are you into?
Joanne: Call the Midwives, The Crown, Hallmark movies, most college sports
Carrie: Medical Dramas, Fixer Upper
WHAT'S ONE THING YOU STILL ENJOY DOING THE OLD-FASHIONED WAY?
Joanne: Balancing my checkbook
Carrie: Hand written thank you notes. I sent an email thank you one year after Christmas, and I felt guilty until the following year when I could hand write my thank you's.
What’s the farthest you’ve ever been from home?
Carrie: London, England
What movie can you watch over and over without ever getting tired of?
Joanne: National Lampoon's Vacation
Carrie: Pearl Harbor
Name three things you are loving.
Joanne: Spending time with my children and grandchildren, All the new friendships we've developed since moving to Tuscaloosa, and Working in my "shop" (i.e., my garage) and building
Carrie: Warmer weather with sunshine, American Idol, and Raspberries
What are you reading or have you recently read?
Joanne: Pachinko by Min Jin Lee, The Road from Coorain by Jill Ker Conway, Boys in the Boat by Daniel James Brown, Deep South by Paul Theroux. I must admit, nearly all the books I read now are selected by the Book Club I joined when I moved here. It has been a great motivator to read!
Carrie: Seamless by Angie Smith