Mary Clemons

Name: Mary Clemons

Home congregation: St. Paul’s First, North Hollywood, Calif.

Family details: Sam, my husband of more than 40 years, is a semi-retired pastor. My son and wife, Ben and Karyn Clemons, along with their children Olive; Ramona; and Julius, reside in New Ulm, Minn. My daughters, Bettina and Meg, live in Los Angeles, Calif. Bettina and her husband, Kent Winfrey, have one son, Jet. Meg and her husband, Paul Smith, have two daughters, Azara and Mazelle. We enjoy visiting all three of the very different WELS churches they attend.

What portion of Scripture do you refer to most often as a parent? Philippians 4:13, “I can do everything through him who gives me strength.”

I have often needed quiet strength for guiding and teaching my children. Sometimes I have found myself in parenting dilemmas in which I have prayed this passage loudly and repeatedly. And lastly, and probably most importantly, I have asked for the strength to keep my mouth shut and just listen.

What’s the best piece of parenting advice you’ve ever received?  “The days are long, but the years are short.”  When you’re a parent in the thick of the daily grind, there’s a temptation to get caught up in the joys, frustrations, and sometimes boredom. The struggle is to keep the bigger picture in mind—seeing our children in heaven.

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