By David Carlson

I always remember my Grandma Ida as an old woman. This is surprising when I think about it because while I was the youngest of six, by the time I was old enough to remember, my grandmother would be about the age I am now.

Grandma Ida surely lived a hard life. My first memories of visiting my grandparents was a time when their house in North Dakota had no electricity, no indoor plumbing save for one cold water faucet and sink in the kitchen, and no central heat. Electricity came I remember, but no indoor toilets, and only the stove that sat in the front room to provide heat for the house.

Most of what I know about my grandmother are from stories. My grandmother birthed four children—all boys—of which my father was the oldest.  My Grandpa Carl, I am told, preferred drinking and playing his fiddle to farming. My grandmother, I am told, ran the farm. The story I want to share here is my mother’s recollection of my grandmother.

Most of what I know about my grandmother are from stories.

My mother’s own mother died when my mother was still an infant. She was raised by my grandfather and a stepmother who, by my mother’s account, was less than warm with her stepchildren.

My mother was barely seventeen when she married my father and went to live with him and my Grandma Ida on the farm. It was from her mother-in-law that she learned to love Jesus.

I don’t know if my grandmother spoke to her about Jesus (my recollection is that my grandmother was a woman of few words) but she took her to the Lutheran church the Swedish immigrants had built at White Stone Hill. All I know for certain is that my mother never left the Lutheran church. I can testify that all her children were baptized and confirmed at her insistence.

It was from her mother-in-law that she learned to love Jesus.

So, as I reflect on it, my mother was the primary nurturer of my early faith walk; and my grandmother was the primary nurturer of hers. I have learned via my participation in FFPN (Family Friendly Partner Network) training that mothers more than anyone else are the primary nurturers of faith. So my story is typical in this regard.

So, as I reflect on it, my mother was the primary nurturer of my early faith walk; and my grandmother was the primary nurturer of hers.

What about you? What’s your story? Who nurtured your young faith, either in childhood or as an adult?

Thank God for the people in your life He used to bring you closer to Him. Then take a moment to ask, whose faith are you nurturing? Which of your relationship is God using to draw others closer to Him? Young or old, are their people in your life God is asking you to grow with?


Beginning the Sunday after Easter, April 27, The FFPN Parents Champion Team will provide an opportunity during the education hour to lead a discussion of how St. Luke Families can work with one another and with our pastors and staff to lead our children on their discipleship walk.  I hope you will join us.