The Palmers are such a special family to me! They now live elsewhere (as do I), but they were part of the group of people I met in Slidell and went to church with there. They are the reason I went to church in Slidell to begin with! Jason was in a class with two of the aforementioned WACOHs, Amanda and Cheryl. He invited them to his church and they invited me (I think that’s how it went at least). I don’t even know if we visited another church after our first time at Northshore, it instantly felt like home and the Palmers had a lot to do with that! Christie and Jason took the three of us under their wings and became our home away from home. They invited us over for Sunday lunch almost every Sunday, had us over often during the week, and trusted us with their kids. We also got to be in their small group! There were several couples in different stages of life and the three of us – me, Amanda, and Cheryl, single seminary girls. Because of my time in that small group, the things I valued about small groups was forever changed. Being part of an intergenerational/life stage small group was SO life giving. I think segregated small groups can for sure serve so many great purposes (you know I love my college girls!). But I think so much happens when we all just do life together regardless of age, marital status, number and ages of kids and/or grandkids.
Jason and Christie live for the gospel in such a beautiful way. God truly is the center of everything they do. They are amazing parents and I hope and pray if I ever have kids that watching them parent rubbed off on me a little. They are so giving, so caring, and so open to everything God has for them and everywhere He takes them. And they give their all in everything they do! They both served, and I’m sure continue to serve, the Church in SO many ways. From worship team, to women’s ministry, to kids ministry, to set up team and leadership team, to everything in between, they served! And they weren’t just committee member, Sunday and Wednesday Jesus followers, they really lived it out every day in every way and invited people into their lives and to be part of their family. They prayed for us endlessly! And they really cared about every little and big thing we concerned ourselves with and were never too busy to make time for us. One semester they even let Amanda and I live in their house for a month or so. And oh the things they taught me!
They are the most organized people I’ve ever met, and if you know me, that’s saying a lot! My organization is minuscule in comparison to theirs. Jason has (or at least had) a spreadsheet where he kept up with his workouts for YEARS! Jason sat us all down one night and taught us how to budget. He created a template for us and showed us how to use it. I’m pretty sure I’d be homeless right now if it wasn’t for Jason teaching me how to budget. With a little shame I admit that prior to this valuable life lesson with Jason, my bank account was accustomed to seeing red and overdraft fees. I can count the number of times on ONE hand that I’ve overdrafted since then (7+ years ago!). I’ve also gotten to share different versions of that budget template with more friends than I can count! And Christie is the reason I meal plan. Yes, that thing I’m obsessed with now that I try to convince everyone to do. It all started with Christie. As passionate as Jason was about instilling in us the value of a budget, Christie was equally as passionate about how valuable meal planning is. I wrote a post a while back that summed up many of her reasons, and now my reasons – you can read it here (and some here too). She planned for a month at a time and taught me all the ends and outs of meal planning and grocery shopping on a budget. She’s saved me, and many of the others I’ve convinced to meal plan, so much money.
I read this on She Reads Truth last year and was overwhelmed to tears for all the spiritual mothers I’ve been blessed to know, and instantly had to send it to Christie, one of my many spiritual mothers.
“Technically, it was a Bible study. But we didn’t just study God’s word. She taught us how to study God’s word. And not only did she serve us good food. She set aside time at the end of each study to teach basic feed-a-family kitchen skills: how to plan and plant a garden, and that lilacs in bloom are for clipping and sharing, even if it means wrapping the cut stems in wet paper towels and driving them into town for a friend.
Karen was my spiritual mother.
She knew what Paul told Titus about older women training the younger women (Titus 2:3-5). She had nothing to gain, but gave several hours a week to teach us with her words and actions how to keep home, love our husbands and children, and honor the Lord with our words and actions.
No shame. Just kindness.
We are afraid to reach out—afraid to be rejected. Asking for and offering help can feel super vulnerable. You never know how someone is going to respond.
But Sisters, godly women-training-women is absolutely a risk worth taking, whether it looks like roasted chickens and gardening, or coffee dates and spin class. Expect that blessings will follow!”
My life was blessed because of the way Jason and Christie poured in to me. They poured into me spiritually and with all kinds of life-bettering skills. I’m a better human being and WAY more responsible because of the ways they loved me. Christie is still at the top of the list of the people I go to when I am burdened to invite my village to pray with me (something I know I should do more), and I KNOW when I ask without a doubt that her and Jason really do pray. Pouring into a younger generation isn’t as scary to me as I imagine it would be if I hadn’t seen it modeled so beautifully with no complicated frills or titles, just life on life, by Christie and Jason and so many others. I will forever be thankful for the things they taught me, prayers they prayed (and continue to pray) over me, and for the ways they loved me and showed me how to love others and give myself away.
This is part of my 31 People(s) I Love series. I’ll be writing about 31 people/peoples that I adore! Click here if you would like a list of all the posts in this series.