I've got THE best....so I feel sorry for all the rest.
I call her 'M&M' for she is as sweet as M&M's.
She is 'My Moyne' and her birthday is tomorrow.
Of course Jesus is my best friend, but I want to give my wife of 52 yrs. 'her dues'...
for her life and love!
Years ago I had written in our devotional book, 'Streams in the Desert' on this date:
"God is never late and He's always on time".
I reflected back to 1950 when I had just graduated from college and was teaching and coaching....life was good.
But the Korean War started in June 1950 The school where I was teaching tried to get the draft board to delay my induction into the Army until after the school year was over.
They were not able to do that however and I was sent to Ft. Carson, Colorado.
A year later, I met La Moyne at a city-wide choir rehearsal where young people from all the churches in Colorado Springs came together. About a block from the meeting, I had a flat so was late arriving. When I walked into the house, most of the young people were seated on the living room floor. The first person I saw seated to my right, was this beautiful brown-eyed girl with long brown hair......her name was La Moyne Harris.
As we talked that evening, we learned that we grew up 30 miles apart in southwest Oklahoma....she in Hobart and I near Altus.
Due to my being 5 years older, our paths never crossed.
I've told her many times that I wish we had met earlier, but she just laughs and says, "I'm sure that you being a college student wouldn't have given me a 2nd look, being that I was still in Jr. High!"
Her parents had moved from Hobart to Colorado at the end of her 9th grade.
When they left Oklahoma, her maternal Grandfather gave her some advice:
"When you get married, make sure that he's a Christian and preferably a farm boy from Oklahoma."
Well....I was both of those.
A note of humor here:
She said that when she went home that night, she told her parents that she met the nicest guy named 'Tracy'.
I meanwhile kept trying to remember HER name,
recalling that it sounded like 'Des Moines'.
So we've laughed many times about how we really made an impression on each other that night! (:o)
As was the custom, they would ask for all of the Presbyterians to stand, then the Methodists, Baptists and so on until each youth group was recognized. I learned then that she was Baptist, but I didn't know 'which' church she attended.
I knew that I had not seen her at First Baptist Church where I attended, so on Sunday morning I looked in the Yellow Pages under 'Baptist Churches'. There were over 20 listed, so I decided that I would begin at the top of the alphabet with Bethany Baptist.
When the choir came in, there she was! Wow! Isn't' God good?
(....and He's always 'on time')
After worship that morning, her parents (Jim and Mary Harris) invited me to their home for Sunday dinner.
La Moyne's family consisted of her brother (Joe who was 12 yrs. of age) and their little sister (La Marylis who was 1 yr.old).
Later that afternoon, I took La Moyne to the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo.
(Aren't I a romantic?)
During 1952, we were not together much as my unit was sent to Ft. Hood, Texas for
6 months, then later to Ft. Riley, Kansas for several months.
Also during that time, La Moyne was a freshman at Wayland Baptist University in Texas where she was on a voice scholarship.
I was discharged from the Army in Nov. 1952 and we were married a year later on Sept. 13, 1953 in La Moyne's home church in Colorado Springs.
I know that you may not find this subject (M&M) as interesting as I....
but thank you for allowing me to brag on her and her Godly characteristics!
She is a 'work in progress' especially when it comes to the computer.
This is the 87th website paper and she has handled every one of them like a 'pro'.
Thanks to her, over 500 people has access to these studies (and more that we may not be aware of).
However her main use of the computer has been to minister to family and friends and as a great 'Tutu' (Hawaiian word for Grandmother). I've never cared much for talking on the telephone, but La Moyne seems to never be too tired to 'listen'.
She has the tremendous gift of listening, sympathizing and counseling!
'My Moyne' keeps a record of the birthdates and anniversaries of MANY people and tries to send greeting cards to each one.
A pastor friend of our's said of her:
"La Moyne has never met a stranger....and she never lets go of a friend!"
Another friend said:
"La Moyne has the most incredible memory and interaction with so many people. She needs to teach courses at the Seminary for Pastors' wives on "Relationship Building".
A Hawaiian friend said:
"La Moyne is more 'Hawaiian' than many Hawaiians as she wanted to learn everything she could about our people and our culture.....then she embraced it in every way. She always wore her Tutu straw hat or a flower hakulei to match her muumus and loved to watch the Merrie Monarch Hula Festival. She loved our music and could name the Hawaiian artists."
Once when I joked with her saying, 'that's what you get for marrying a preacher',
she replied, "But I didn't marry a preacher...I married YOU!"
I was a teacher and coach at the time we married, but a year later, we found ourselves at Southwestern Seminary, preparing for the Pastoral Ministry.
Money was very scarce (G.I. bill plus my job at a laundry for 70 cents an hr.) so we ate LOTS of pork/beans and fixed ground beef every way possible....but she was as committed to our calling as I.
Our two oldest sons were born while we were in Seminary, so those were difficult days for her as a young mother far from her parents.
She was only 21 yrs. of age when Craig was born and 23 when Kevin was born!
One of the things that I appreciate about La Moyne is that she is not a complainer.....
then nor now.
After graduating from Seminary, we moved to Cheyenne, Wyoming to pastor.
Three years later, we moved to Seoul, Korea to enter language school and serve as missionaries.
Our 3rd son Kyle was born during our first year there, so La Moyne was only able to attend language school part-time, but continued her studies at home with a language teacher.
Though she did not know the language as well as the other missionaries who were able to attend full time, she loved the Korean women and related well to them and they came to love her as 'one of their own'.
Later when we moved to Taegu, Korea (where I worked with 25 churches in Southeast Korea) La Moyne provided a great home-base for me.
I'll not do a travelogue of our ministry after Korea, but the churches I've pastored have loved and appreciated her as their pastor's wife and 'friend deluxe'.
Each time that we would leave a pastorate, I would tell her:
"They may let ME leave, but they're not going to let YOU leave!"
As I view her life, here are some of her strengths that I admire:
1) FAITH IN GOD
She became a Christian when she was 10 yrs. of age at First Baptist Church in Hobart, Okla. Some of the people still remember her singing a solo there.....'The Love of God'.
When we met, she was using Scripture Memory cards.
The verse she was memorizing at the time was I Cor. 10:13 and the theme is:
'But God is faithful'.
La Moyne has a simple, child-like faith in God's faithfulness and truly God HAS been faithful. (Matt. 18:1-4)
2) FAMILY ORIENTED
Even when in 1976 we rec'd two teenagers to raise, La Moyne treated them like our own.
We had our 3 sons when our daughter, Kristin who was born in 1965.
Then Jane and Richard joined our family and have been blessings...due mainly to God and 'My Moyne'.
Family has always been #1 to her! Each of our children can testify to the fact that she never missed any of their events or ball games. Though hospitalized with a Lupus flare one time, she got permission to leave Mercy hospital in a wheelchair so that she could attend Kristin's basketball game nearby in Edmond. Ok.
I have to share one day in our lives. We decided that we would try to make it to all 4 of our kids' basketball games, so we began by going to see Kristin play at the grade school. Then we went to the Jr. High to watch Kyle play, then on to Choctaw High to watch Kevin play. From there we drove 30 miles south to Norman to watch Craig play at OU.
Needless to say, we never tried THAT again in one day's time!
Special occasions are also important to her like:
Whomever had an important ballgame that day, got to choose what they wanted her to fix for breakfast.
Just last week, she fixed a spaghetti dinner to celebrate our gr'son's high school graduation, then attended his graduation in a wheelchair.
Thanks to the help (persistence) from our daughter Kristin, La Moyne learned the computer (even at 'her advanced age' she would say)
When it comes to the telephone, each of our kids know to 'call Mom' as she has a great listening ear and a Christ-like heart.
3) FAITHFUL SUPPORT TO HUSBAND (Preacher, pastor, missionary)
She had good examples for marriage in her own parents. Her Dad's road construction work took them to MANY towns in Oklahoma.....wherever roads needed her Dad and his road grader.
When we married, I took her 500 miles away to Southwest Oklahoma where I was coaching. I moved her from her view of Pikes Peak each day, to a view of flat Oklahoma farm country.
She soon learned that though the scenery was different, there were lots of good people there!
She remained faithful and as always she did not allow anything to take away her joy of marriage.
The six churches that I pastored (plus the Interims) have all truly loved La Moyne.
I never had to worry about 'will they love my wife?'
Her love has always been Christ-like and genuine as:
friend to all.....
and especially as MY BEST FRIEND on Earth!
I'll bring this to a close, but as she turns 73 tomorrow, I hope and pray that God gives her many more years.
(Just for your information: I had written more about the qualities I admire in 'My Moyne', but as you can imagine, her humble spirit asked that I please shorten the 'list'....so I reluctantly did.
Our eldest son jokingly said: "How do you know that Mom isn't going to delete all that you wrote about her?")
On the wall of our bedroom is a painting of an elderly couple, arm in arm,
and the caption is: "And the best is yet to be".
September 13th we will celebrate 53 yrs. of marriage.
We've joked about how we would prefer to go to Heaven at the same time.
That probably won't happen as that is in God's Hands.... and we wouldn't want it to be any other way.
That is the way we have lived.....and the way we will die.
I'm sure thankful that 'My Moyne' was a big part of God's Hand and Plan for me!
One of our favorite poems is 'My Father's Way':
My Father's Way may twist and turn,
My heart may throb and ache.
But in my soul, I'm glad to know
He maketh no mistake.
My cherished plans may go astray,
My hope may fade away....
But still I trust the Lord to lead
For my Father knows the way.
There is much now I cannot see
My eye is still so dim....
But come what may, I still can trust
And leave it all to Him.
For by and by, the mist will lift
And darkness turn to day.
Then looking back.......
WE'LL PRAISE HIS NAME...WHO LED US ALL THE WAY!
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