From the beginning...
I was born into a Christian family. My earliest years were in a very small house close to my mother's parents. I remember very little, but remember the wallpaper in my bedroom (?)
My parents were married in a church down the street from my grandparent's house and that is the house I remember best.
When I was a year and a half old, my Grandpa Brown (my dad's dad) talked my parents into moving to the farm - where I grew up. We went to a church that my dad and grandpa helped to build. Our house was built on part of the family farm only a few hundred feet from my grandparent's house. I remember the farm animals, cats galore and always a dog or two.
I remember the best of my grandparents - Grandpa was quiet and content, Grandma was sad, but always took care of us. We were in a rural farming community in the Thumb of Michigan, which meant that we frequently lost power in the winter and we were the last to get plowed out. When the power went out, sometime we went to stay with Grandma and Grandpa (the gravity feed furnace didn't need electricity so they stayed warm) and I had my favorite place to sleep on the floor Eventually we figured out that "my spot" was right on top of the gravity feed furnace. Grandma had a chair next to the dining room table...we figured out that it was right next to the chimney, so she had the warmest chair in the house.
Upstairs at my grandma's house was "the porch" - built on a roof, unheated...there was even a space between the floor and the wall where you could see outdoors. But there were a couple of beds for summer sleepover and the walls were lined with bookcases. Lots of books, so I grew up reading. There were lost of cousins around, but no girls my age. My best friends were the Bobsey twins, Trixie Beldon, and Anne of Greene Gables.
My church memories are vague. I have glimpses of VBS, little memories of Wednesday evening prayer meetings. As a child, my dad prayed for me before an oral surgery to take a tumor off of my gum line. When we went to the hospital the next day, the tumor was gone. I sat next to him while he prayed for my mom when she was in the hospital.
My dad was a deacon in that small church for most of my years at home and it never grew beyond under 100 in number (not surprising in a very small town.) The pastors came and went, another came and went.
I never knew a time when my life wasn't grounded in family Christianity, but I don't think the faith was MINE until later on. My parents gave me the foundation, but it had to be the Holy Spirit who built it.
My pastor said this morning..."A church believes what it sings." And I grew up on "Amazing Grace,"