living on pb & j

Ordinary moms living on Prayer, the Bible, and Jesus!

a life encouraged… to encourage

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women of faith who have influenced our lives

November 2012

Deciding whom to write about today has been difficult. There have been many influential women of faith in my life, and I am so thankful to the Lord for that! He has truly given me a rich heritage, and I know I do not always appreciate or utilize it as I ought.

I would say that, outside of my mom, this lady influenced and inspired me in a more intimate way than only one other to want to be a wife and mother. She was a Godly example of both. When I first met her, she was my 1st grade teacher, and she was single. Then I was a part of her wedding when I was in 2nd grade.

Then our lives parted for a few years. This has happened a few times during the two and a half decades I have known her…

When their family began growing… I was almost a teenager. She and her family moved back to the city where my family lived. I became her “live-in nanny” πŸ™‚ -not really, but I often volunteered to come over and just spend time with the family. Her husband was military and gone a lot. I learned much about children in general during those years.

We became close, and she influenced much of what I thought about married life and raising children. Her name is Kelli Burke.

She showed me what it means to love and be loyal to your husband even when he is often gone or difficulties come. But she was not “walked-on” nor would anyone consider her a “doormat.”

Her personality was very outgoing, and she was always challenging me to think of WHY… for anything and everything I thought and believed.

She did not judge without β€œmore facts.” She always wanted to know the full story before forming an opinion.

She and her husband trained their children very consistently. She is the first mother I ever noticed discipline and train an infant- and with 4 totally different little personalities in her house! Love, gentle firmness, and consistency are key! Each of her children have become {from what I have gathered} very polite, respectful and helpful teenagers.

She rarely raised her voice. I wish I had learned that better! When she wanted the attention of her young children, she would sometimes call out to them but just as often would go to where they were and speak her request very quietly and calmly. She also had a “look”-if you are a mom, you probably understand that. πŸ™‚

She was quite organized and toys had specific homes. Crafts and activities had specific homes. She stored clothing for the younger children and rotated out by season. I have tried implementing this. πŸ™‚ Though I must admit that we do not have as much space as they did. But she inspired me to try! She also took very meticulous care of all their possessions.

While my mother is the one who introduced me to sewing, since she sewed many of my clothes-especially culottes and puffy dresses-when I was little, this lady continued my fascination with creating children’s clothing when I was a little older. She had 2 little girls {along with 2 little boys}, and she often made their clothes and was conscious of style and age-appropriateness as well as modesty.

the 2 on the right are hers… almost 10 years ago!!

She is also the one who introduced me to “t-shirt dresses” as well as always having something under their dresses [slips or shorts]. She is a big part of the reason I am planning on beginning a small business for these exact types of items.

Several years ago, she weathered and fought and won a battle against breast cancer. She is truly one of the strongest women I know, yet she would be the first to tell you that it is not her strength. I know of many struggles in her life that only drew her closer to God. I do not recall ever seeing her be bitter or lashing out because of these difficulties.

Our families moved apart for a few years while I was in college… and then they moved back just as I was getting married. Her girls were 2 of my flower girls in our wedding.

We have since been separated yet again… moving almost an entire continent apart from each other and, sadly, neither of us is great at writing letters. I do know from others that they are still serving God and those precious children are nearly all grown up.

But the memories of her and the friendship she had with and loyalty she had for her husband [not that there were not hard times… but they stuck together!] have stuck with me. They helped shape my views on staying together no matter what. She inspired me to train my children to do good. She encouraged me to dream big and accomplish goals one step at a time.

While sometimes I think of her and her family and am saddened that we are no longer as close as we were…

I am reminded that a few short years of knowing someone

can leave quite an impact on a life.

And there are so many watching each of us – even besides our precious children.

What is my life encouraging them to do when they are all grown up?




Author: tascha

I am a woman who has been saved by God's grace and strives to serve Him. I am married to my best friend and we have 4 blessings that we are attempting to train up in serving our Lord also. I am daily learning what grace is, what it looks like, and how to live it in every area of my life. Becoming the lady the Lord created me to be is my life's goal... and my daily one is to simply do better than I did yesterday. You can also find me at and

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