And now, a word from my mother.

1670 1670_ () 1670 1670 Here is our third installment of Rachel’s Family Blogs. I’m thinking this might need to become a regular installment. You tell me! Thanks for writing this Mom. It is beautiful.

What an honor to be asked to write any random thought I want for Rachel’s blog! I have never really blogged and even comments I made were slipped in under some fake identity. My kids will be quick to tell you, I am not super savvy when it comes to modern technology. My idea of high tech is my phone flips open! And, I can use the predictive text.

In terms of neighbor persona… If Steve is Mr. Wilson, I am Gladys Kravitz, the overly observant neighbor in the 60’s sitcom. It comes in handy when a particular group of boys next door are practicing archery using the younger sibling as an apple holder. Or when guns, squirrels and BB’s are involved in any configuration. I have never called the police (yet) to report noise disturbance from the “band” or the heated basketball tournaments. I must confess I have eavesdropped on a conversation through the bushes. Two of the brothers were scheming against another for an upcoming water balloon fight. I closed the window after I heard the words “duck tape” and “blindfold”.

As I sit here at my computer, a gallery of faces stares down from the wall and seems to beckon to me. Teasing me with memories that are now flashes across my brain’s evening sky. How do you display a lifetime of memories on one wall? How did those framed faces grow, mature and leave, taking their bodies with them? It really seemed to happen in the blink of an eye.

Memories … it seems like a breath ago that it was our babies that had been up all night. It was our little one learning to ride the bicycle. Our kids were trying to Velcro each other to the wall and talking each other into feats of running across the roof without getting caught. Or falling. It was our visits to the Emergency Rooms and I was the mother rocking to soothe the wounds and heal the hurts.

Recently, when Henry was injured, I watched Paul and Rachel as we were all praying for their baby. They were steady, and calm. Later in the hospital I watched Rachel when she could no longer stand to hear her sweet boy calling to her and she scooped him up, Spica cast and all, and gently swayed back and forth with him. He stopped crying immediately. As I watched, my heart overflowed with love. My impulse was to pick up MY baby as she picked up HER baby. How can a Human heart hold so much love?

I just don’t think I thought of that when I was in the early stages of raising this patchwork quilt of human beings. I never really pondered how God was going to take my heart and continue to fill it with love. How He alone would see us through the joys, the heartaches, the fears and the undeniable triumph of His Holy Spirit in matters big and small, and then …make room for more!

God has taken our little (ok, not so little), family and expanded it with a selection of individuals hand picked for us. Our children’s spouses are some of the most genuine, generous, loving people I have ever had the pleasure to meet. I love each of them so deeply. Our grandchildren bring a smile to my lips by the mere thought of them. I sometimes think my heart will burst from just being full. But, in His Infinite Wisdom, God expands the human heart. I look forward to what more our Dear Lord has hidden away for us as time unfolds.

I write all this, not to go on and on about our family. I write this in the hope that it encourages someone wondering how they are ever going to make it through the season of their life they might be in right now. It might seem like it is taking forever to make it to the other side of whatever it is that is challenging. Take heart. In the blink of an eye, your challenge will be your memory.

I, like Steve, am blessed to see what God hath wrought in this corner of space and time. A place where our daughter loves and is loved. A place where the stories make me laugh out loud, or as I have come to understand the lingo…LOL. A place where I join in praying for the special needs of others and I rejoice with complete strangers over major and minor victories.

So, Testosterworld. Thank you for this opportunity to visit with you all. Please continue to pray for us and know that you are in our prayers also. Until we meet in Heaven we will continue to Hope for every good thing from God’s boundless Mercy. 1670″



  1. Christi says:

    What a lovely post!

  2. I have never had the opportunity to meet your daughter, but I love her family, and yours by extension! You and your husband have created and nurtured something wonderful that your lovely daughter is now sharing and spreading all over the world. What an amazing legacy.

  3. Ruth Anne Adams says:

    Looks to me like Grandmother’s heart is made of the same stuff as the New Wineskins.

    Lovely post.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Karen –

    So beautiful. I cried.

    – Kelly

  5. Mrs. Swenson, I just read both your post and your husband’s. And now I’m crying 🙂 They were both so beautifully written.

    What a wonderful family you have! Thank you for the encouragement and perspective. Makes me wish my parents lived nearby instead of a few states away.

  6. You have such a wonderful family! I really enjoyed this post.

  7. Ecce Quam Bonam says:

    Just wonderful, Karen. What a joy to read, but what an even greater joy to have watched some of it. I remember things you and Steve shared about your life as it was happening and then praying silently, “Lord please don’t just fill my cup; give me a bigger cup too!”

    What a blessing all you Swensons are, and what a great model.


  8. I really appreciate your comments. It really spoke to me when you talked about making it through to the other side of my “challenge”. Thank you for your words of encouragement.

    It’s hard to believe so many writers can come out of one family!

  9. Anonymous says:

    Dear Kit,YOU and YOURS are aprt of our full cup, and we are richer for it. Congrats on your miracle girl graduating!! Blessings to you all.

  10. Rachel, do you think your parents could perhaps start a blog of their own, just to constantly reassure us that we are not “messing up” in this parenthood thing? Those were beautiful posts and much appreciated!

  11. Grandma Elaine says:

    A Grandma’s thoughts well expressed.

  12. Dawn Croxton says:

    oh , I wish I lived closer to my momma! I wish she could hear the laughter thru the fence and have the choice to close the window if it got too scary! You are blessed and so am I for reading your parent’s posts! Thank you

  13. molly d says:

    Pass the tissues! So beautifully said. I vote to keep the family feature!

  14. All you Swensons bring me to tears.

  15. Amy Parris says:


    I have had the distinct privilege of knowing you for many years and your witness has always amazed me.

    I simply cannot tell you how grateful I am for the role you are now playing in my life with little Max. To have someone on the other side who not only knows me but loves me (and Max) is so reassuring.

    I thank you for your encouragement here and at home. If you ever doubt that you are doing the Lord’s will, just give me a call and I will assure you that you are right there on His front lines and I’m so glad that we’re on the same side!

  16. Michelle says:

    It is evident that the apple does not fall far from the tree! What a pleasure to get a glimpse into the world of Rachel’s family. God bless all of you.