Editor’s Note: To honor Mother’s Day, we asked Teresa and her oldest daughter, Kelsey, to share about themselves and their sweet mother/daughter relationship.
Share a little about yourself, your interests, and your stage of life.
To summarize me, I would say that I naturally have Martha’s hands and seek to have Mary’s heart. I keep very busy working full time as a Nurse Supervisor in Hematology at Mayo and enjoy the challenge and ministry opportunities of leading in cancer care. With what remains of my day I enjoy connecting with family over meals and co-conquering the home front to-do list. My weekly highlights include time in study and fellowship with Connect small group and co-leading high school girls’ small group at Calvary. As it relates to hobbies, I’m called the Heinz 57 girl as I love a little bit of everything! I find delight in being outside enjoying the beauty of sunshine, attending live events like concerts and theatre, watching football or other sports, exploring creative artistic and musical outlets, traveling, and anything related to the ocean!
What is a core memory you have about childhood?
Recalling my childhood, what easily comes to mind is the various shenanigans I got into outside. I was a pretty active kid and always felt like swinging, biking, roller blading, playing catch, etc. Probably the most memorable activity was playing in our old red Radio Flyer wagon. My younger brother, sister, and I would all squish ourselves in a single stacked line, legs dangling over the edge, helmets on our heads, and I at the helm in command of the steering. With whoever’s feet could touch the ground we would push out of our garage to speed down our sloped driveway. Maintaining our speed and gaining momentum we buzzed down the entire length of our downhill cul-de-sac, passing our neighbors houses as we giggled and shrieked. If we didn’t slow fast enough at the end prior to running into the street we would holler “bail!” and sharply turn for a quick diversion or a leap out of the wagon.
Who would be the first to apologize after an argument, you or your mom?
The apology is predicated on an argument and in truth I can’t recall a time that Mom and I have argued. We have not always agreed or seen eye-to-eye, but rather than argue we tend to both retreat. After time, internal processing, and sometimes stress cleaning we each emerge and talk together again.
What is an activity you enjoy doing together?
My mom and I have a special bond and that is most regularly experienced in the kitchen. We both love to express culinary curiosity and creativity while trying new recipes and serving others through cooking. Working side-by-side makes for an easy and comforting rhythm of kitchen work and opportunity to share life together in conversation.
Which of you is more competitive?
Me. Most definitely me. While we are both highly sensitive personalities, Mom is more peacekeeping and I am more passionate and determined. Every family game night demonstrates my highly competitive nature. There is no such thing as a casual game of Connect Four.
How are you similar? Different?
We both are not spotlight people; behind the scenes is our comfort space. We love planning and serving. While we both enjoy crafting, mine is through paper and color and hers is through sewing. She is an amazing seamstress and can do any handwork. I on the other hand have no such gift. My first attempt at crocheting was for a baby hat and it would have only fit a hedgehog. I resigned myself to a life of paid tailoring. I’m an outdoor girl always coming up with a reason to be outside and Mom is more content indoors. We both are highly verbal, deep thinking, external processors that results in some very dynamic conversations. While we both enjoy time with people, we find refreshment in calm space and meaning in small knit gatherings.
Share a quality or qualities you admire in your mom.
I honestly could write a dissertation on how my Mom is a role model woman of God. I learned truths of God by watching and listening to her, even when I didn’t look like I was paying attention or acting teachable. One of the most powerful qualities is that my Mom loves without boundaries. I have seen this evident throughout my entire life. My mom has told me over the years that she always thought she would have five children. As a mom of four, she recently shared with me that God helped her see that her fifth seat at our table was to be filled by those who needed it when they needed it. Over many years I have seen so many people fill that spot in our home and in my mom’s heart. She loves loyally, faithfully, patiently, and sacrificially. She nurtures young and old. So many people have experienced her tender care and even call her “Mom.” I have seen her steward her time and talents not to promote her own ambitions but to support and encourage the talents and goals of others. She raised me not to be more like her but to be more like Christ. We are two distinct people who share personality similarities, but ultimately serve and love the same Savior!
Share a little about yourself, your interests, and your stage of life.
I am the oldest of four with only brothers. I used to dream about having a sister, but every time my mom came home with a baby it was a boy! Years after I graduated and moved away a foster teen came to live with my parents and informally became a permanent part of the family and yes, it was another boy! My father’s career was initially military and after active duty he served in the National Guard so our family did its share of moving over the years.
After my graduation and vocational training as a hospital lab tech I was I blessed to be able to take time away from my regular hospital job to travel and use my vocation to do mission work in both Thailand (a short-term opportunity) and in Zimbabwe, Africa, in a bush hospital in Mashoko where I lived for just over two years. There I got to have a house full of sisters – women with whom I shared a house on the mission compound near the hospital where three of us worked. We did everything together including raising a couple of babies whose moms had died. These little ones needed a great deal of care to be able to thrive and ultimately return to their villages when they could eat table food. When my two-year assignment was complete I returned to the US intending to get nurse’s training and return to Mashoko. And then I met Tom…
Having grown up with the military I felt sure I would not choose to marry into it, but by the time I found out that Tom had committed to serve in the Navy I was certain the Lord had brought him to me and so I became a Navy wife 15 months later. Tom served four years as a dental officer and our first two children, a daughter and a son, were born in Virginia where he was stationed at Norfolk Naval Base. From there, we moved here to Rochester to enter private practice and two more daughters were added to our family.
So, here I am – wife to Tom for 34 years on May 20, mom to four grown kids (my youngest will be a senior in high school this fall), employee of our dental practice, and soon retiring from homeschooling after 22 years. I have many hobbies which I look forward to picking back up in my post-school life. I enjoy reading, Bible studies, puzzles, handwork of all sorts, sewing, cooking new recipes, scrapbooking, and spending time with kids.
What is a core memory you have about childhood/motherhood?
Even as a little girl I longed to be a wife and mom. I loved playing with dolls and imagined how delightful it would be to have children to love and take care of. My mom made it all look easy in spite of the seasons of single-parenting that military life can demand. Years later, when it was my turn to be the mom, far from family, with a newborn and a husband deployed half a world away, I learned there is nothing easy about it. I relied extensively on the Lord and my new local church family to help get through those 8 ½ months of Desert Shield/Storm. That season of life was a great introduction to learning to trust in the Lord’s provision of being enveloped in other families, rather than struggling alone.
Who would be the first to apologize after an argument, you or Kelsey?
I am a peacemaker at my core. Harmony is important to me so if there is friction I will not be able to hold out for long before I need resolution and peace to return. I can honestly say that I cannot remember a time when Kelsey and I argued. We think too much alike! If we have a disagreement we typically resolve it by first retreating to think things through, then engage in thoughtful dialog and careful listening. After much thinking about a time when a disagreement did occur, I remembered how much she did not want to stay in the dorm with a stranger during a college visit and how I had to insist that she do it anyway. I wanted to give in, but I knew this was the beginning of having to let go and sometimes having to push away.
What are some activities you enjoy doing together?
Kelsey and I enjoy traveling together, scrapbooking, watching movies, going to live theater and musical performances, working on shows together (she as the stage manager and me as a costumer), planning and executing parties with her sisters alongside, and cooking/baking/jam making.
Which of you is more competitive?
I would say Kelsey is more competitive. She is the athlete – I am the cheer section (and by that I mean, the fan, not the cheerleader.)
Do you have an example to go with that?
She plays to win and she is determined, even to the point of playing despite injuries. I loved watching her dance, skate, play years of baseball with RYBA, and then years of volleyball with the homeschool team as well as Southern Minnesota Volleyball.
How are you similar?
We feel things deeply and are fiercely protective of those we care about. We like to work…too much, perhaps. We set high standards for ourselves and push to reach or exceed them. We are loyal and safe for others. We don’t define family as necessarily being related so it is normal to us for “bonus family members” to be part of life in our home.
Kelsey is athletic and I have never been! I would be the last to be picked for any team and razzed that I was the other team’s best player! I used my skills to keep stats and the books for her volleyball years.
Share a quality or qualities you admire in your mom/your daughter.
There are many! Kelsey loves the Lord and has a servant’s heart. She is a great listener and cares deeply for others – particularly the young women in her small group, her unsaved college friends with whom she remains in contact, the patients she cares for at the hospital, and a host of other people who are blessed by knowing her. She is wise beyond her years and thoughtful which makes her a great friend and confidante. My life is richer for having her as not only my daughter but also my friend.