When I met Mark, I loved that he had been raised in a Christian home. Interestingly, I had not purposed for that in other relationships that I had been in. (As my story will unfold, through my book, you will understand why...) His parents, Dr. Bruce and Auburn Romoser, had served in the mission field for nearly twenty years. They were assigned to Argentina. While they lived in Neoquen, the older kids went to an American boarding school in Buenos Aires. Mark is the oldest of five children.
When Mark and I married, I did not think that I would ever be close to his parents. I felt that they did not approve of me. I was a little "wild" for their taste. A legging-wearing, bright-lipstick-wearing, spoiled little girl, in their eyes. (Hmm. Godly maternal foreshadowing?) But, I can say, with great pride, that they have a deep, unwavering love for me. They have shown me such compassion and goodness. Auburn flew in from Maryland to stay with Mark and the kids, for one month, while I was gone. My mom needed the break. And, I am so very grateful for her help! My kids now say, "Yes, Ma'am", and "No, Sir"...as a result of her time here. We always instilled good manners in our kids, but she helped make this one, "stick"! Thank you! I am eternally grateful for her love for me. Her and Bruce! They have prayed fervently for me. For our family. Mark's dad served in the United States Navy. He also studied at Southwestern Theological Seminary and became a Pastor. His hearts calling was to the mission field. They were assigned to Argentina. I had the privilege of traveling on a mission trip there, with the family. It was awesome. Those people love him. Love them. Bruce and Auburn are a part of our lives now, more than ever before. Since they live in Maryland, we do not get to see each other as often. But, we talk and email more frequently. I miss them when they leave. I can call them, "mom" and "dad", and mean it. I thank them for the unconditional love that they have demonstrated to me. Showing Jesus to me. I am thankful that they raised Mark to be a godly man with great integrity. A beautiful gift!
Mark's brother Dave, is the pastor of Newsong Fellowship in Edwardsville, Illinois. He and his wife, Shelly have been very supportive and kind throughout our family's ordeal. Dave has his Master's degree from Southwestern Theological Seminary in Marriage and Family Counseling. It is probably best that they are six hours away, or we might have worn him out! They have three fabulous kids, Josiah, Caleb and Mikhaela. This family knows how to laugh. You do not understand how this gift of theirs, has been vital in our healing. Laughing from the gut of your soul has a cleansing power. A God-given gift. Unless, you have an opportunity to play any game with them, you cannot understand! :-) Through their passion for community, they have ministered to so many. Both here and in Africa. They are generous in their love for people. They have been a huge part of our entire family's healing. We can tell them anything and know that they will just love us! Shelly is so real. A genuine, one of a kind, you want-to-be-her-friend-kind-of-gal. I am so grateful to know, that Dave is my brother. And, Shelly is my sister. In the truest sense. Full of grace, forgiveness and tenderness. Things that only true believers can show. Know to show. While, at Brookhaven, my family found solace there at Easter. Lexi was just talking about it a few days ago. I cannot say enough about this family. I adore them.
Mark's brother, Arthur, is a jewel. He is a bachelor with a heart of gold. My kids LOVE him. He is silly, witty and always playful with all of the kids. He is also in Maryland. He is a very hard working, trustworthy man. Any woman would be lucky to have him. He is faithful to the Lord and his church. We wish that we could see him more. I am very proud to call him, "brother". I know that he has interceded on our behalves, as well. Thank you, Arturo!
My sweet, Joy, is my sister and friend. We have gotten to meet up with her and her family several times, in the last two years. They are in Houston, so Dallas is perfect! She has seen my "struggle". But, as a strong believer in Christ and His redemptive power, she has shown me nothing but love and grace. Those are huge gifts that most do not know how to give. Joy has been one of my biggest supporters and I treasure her love. She is the one that keeps us all connected. A great communicator! I have crazy love for her. She even has FB :fan page"! Yes, she is "all that"! It is interesting that she actually married a guy, that I went to high school and church with, in Houston! Such a small world! Brian Gossett is an amazing man of God. He is also a graduate of Southwestern Theological Seminary. A Minister at heart, but is providing for his family in Corporate America right now. He is very funny. A great husband. I love that they are best friends. What a gift! What a witness! They have three beautiful children, Tori, Landon and Cade. The poster-children of sweetness! These are some of the most precious people I know.
Mark's youngest brother, Matthew, got to hang out with us a bit in Shawnee. As did all of his siblings, he graduated from Oklahoma Baptist University. He is a very handsome young man. We are very proud of Matthew. He is a Captain in the United States Marines. He has served our country overseas three times since 9/11. He is a man after God's heart. That's who I want protecting me and my family! His wife, Florina, is beautiful. Her spirit is contagious! You would love her. I always leave her, wishing that we lived closer. She is one of the most creative and ingenious people that I have met. A writer and an artist! Their children are stunning. Kidron looks like her momma. While, Shiloh is a "mini-me" of his daddy! We love and treasure our times with them. They are currently stationed in North Carolina. So, we do not see them as often, as we would like! I know that they have prayed for our family. And, I am eternally grateful.
Rest in peace Ruth Corley Spencer.(Auburn's mom) You were a beautiful soul. You made me feel welcome every time. You are loved, treasured and missed. September 16, 1913-July 18, 2009.
Dear Heavenly Father, Thank you for this beautiful heritage that my sweet husband was born in to. Bless each one of these families. Protect them. Encourage them in all that they do. Wrap your arms around them right now. Show them how much they are loved and treasured! Amen.
Don't miss out! Tomorrow is a BIG thank-you to my church. It is the kind of church that loves on people. No matter how damaged, bruised or scarred....kind of like Christ would....