Faith, Family and Friends
Lately, I have been overwhelmed with just how good God has been in my life. As I reflect back, I am so thankful for all that God has done. From birth, I have spent my entire life in God’s house and around the people of God. I was born and raised in a large family. We did not have a lot of things, in fact, sometimes I think we would have been considered “poor” by the world’s definition but we were “oh so rich.” Mom and Dad loved each other. They took time for their family and all eight of their children are still attending church faithfully today. In fact, I have three brothers that are all pastors. As far as I know, on the Swanson side of the family, every single person is saved. That, in itself, is a miracle. I have a rich heritage.
I have been privileged to serve alongside my husband for these 39 years in the Gospel ministry. We are privileged to serve the Lord here at North Valley Baptist Church. I love our people and I think God has given us the best church in the world.
I have a plaque hanging at home that simply reads: “Faith, Family, Friends.” I am sure that many of you have that same quote placed in your home or you see it on a regular basis. It is with that thought that I pen this article.
I am thankful for my faith. To know for sure that heaven is my eternal home and that I can go to God for every need in my life is simply amazing. Faith has brought me through the storms of life and has been my anchor when I was convinced that the “ship of life” would surely “capsize.” As I have strived to be the right wife, mother, nana, pastor’s wife, friend, sister, daughter and so much more, I am thankful that I have had the Bible as my textbook and guide on the road of life. God’s Word is my weapon. There have been situations in life that have tried to steal my joy and rob me of my peace but it is my strong faith in God that has sustained me. In every situation God has been my Stronghold, Rock, Deliverer, Hope, Joy, Healer, my Everlasting Father, Savior and Coming King. I am thankful for my FAITH!
I have already stated that I am thankful for my family, the Swanson family, but am also so thankful for the extended family that God has given me in the Trieber family. They have loved me and have always made me feel like one of them. I am thankful for my husband and for the three precious children that God has blessed us with. What started out as two has now turned into seventeen! What a joy! It has been said, “when everything else pulls apart, family pulls together.” I am so thankful that all of my children and their mates are serving the Lord and raising their children in the same old paths that Mom and Dad chose. I am well aware of the fact that I am very privileged to have all our children serving here at North Valley. I also know that my desire for my children to be in the center of God’s will does not limit them to serving here in Santa Clara. God is God and can do whatever He feels is best for my children. I would rather have my children in God’s will thousands of miles away than have them out of God’s will a mile down the road.
We have a great time as a family. I pray that the memories we put into our memory bank each time we are together will be cherished by our children, their mates and their children.
I am so thankful for the friends that God has placed in my life. The statement “friends can either make you or break you” has certainly proven true! Both pastor and I can look back and think of friends that God has placed in our lives that have kept us strong in the faith. We can also think of friends that have stayed true when others turned away. Recently, we had the privilege of entertaining several friends that have served the Lord faithfully for years. It has been such fun to be with them and to reminisce over what God has done in each of our lives and ministries. If you are reading this article, let me encourage you to “stay by the stuff!” As the years of your life wear on, you will see how important this is, not only for your life, but also for the lives of your children and grandchildren. Don’t quit on God. He will never fail you. Don’t leave the “old paths!” The Old King James Bible still works. Keep it close in your heart and pass it on to all you meet.
The songwriter penned these words:
I’ve seen the years go by, many days without a song, but I don’t regret a mile I’ve traveled for the Lord.
Yes, I am thankful for Faith, Family and Friends. I trust you are too.