Hi I'm Judy
I was raised a Jesrey girl but a southern boy stole my heart and I have been south of the mason dixon line ever since. As a young girl, my dad owned a bar on 8th and Market in Philly where we would watch the Mummers parade on New Years Day. We spent the summers at the shore and longed for my grandmother's clam chowder. Now I've traded the shore for Blue-ridge mountain lakes and low country boils. We fish for bass instead of blues and say "y'all" instead of "you's guys". My husband and I have been happily married for 26 years. We have been blessed with three amazing children and equally amazing son and daughter-in-law. I love life, even with the many challenges we have faced and am always looking for ways to celebrate it. One of my passions is eliminating violence against women. For over 20 years I have volunteered with my local Battered Women's Shelter. I also love to cook breakfast but am not necessarily the best cook. When our children were young they wouldn't say the "B" word, "burnt" for fear of hurting my feelings. To this day, and in it's place, we all say, "Oh, it;'s lightly toasted" and smile! I have a great love for water whether it's the ocean, lake, waterfall, rainstorm or puddle...there is something magical about water that I gravitate to. I'm a cardigan and house slipper gal and love a good hug. For over 10 years I have also had the pleasure of working with elementary school children. They tell the best jokes, which I'm known for enjoying a bit too much!
Why I am a Mormon
Though I feel like I could list a million reasons why I am a Mormon, simply, I believe in my heart that I am closer to my Savior Jesus Christ because I am Mormon. I was raised half Agnostic half Mormon. . My dad is still Agnostic and I think I better understand why.. he simply doubts the financial motives of organized religion and he thinks all those "unanswered questions" just simply can not be answered. For me, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints does answer all the "unaswered questions" and motive is not generally questioned since our clergy do not get paid. We all chip in, from teaching Sunday School to leading the choir. The programs and practices of this church have provided me a blue print for life. For example: By living the prinicples of the Word of Wisdom, I have a better chance of living a life free of addiction. With the focus on family and programs like Family Home Evening, Date Night, and Family Prayers we have a road map to strengthen our family and better survive the trappings of the world. Our Provident Living program encourages emergency preparedness, living within our means, and saving for a rainy day. There is just so much about this church that I love. It makes sense to me that a young boy of 14 would be confused about which church to join, especially in his day. The four corners of his town contained 4 different churches with all the preachers on the street corner trying to convince folks to join their church. I am so grateful that he knelt in a Grove and asked our Heavenly Father which church to join. Because of the great apostacy after Jesus died there needed to be a restoration of Christs' church and that tiime had come. The translation of the golden plates, found hidden in a mountainside, by Joseph Smith known as The Book of Mormon is one of my most prized posseions. It has been an amazing guide for my life! In short, I believe I am the best me possible, living the most amazing life possible; and all because I am a Mormon.
In what ways have your prayers been answered?
Actually, it was a prayer that wasn't answered that best taught me about how prayers are answered... One evening several years ago, I sent an emphatic prayer to Heaven. A prayer so desperate that I dare to say it came out more like a command. I was on my way to a viewing for a friend who had just died. While driving, a young child ran out in front of my car. The impact changed my life forever and ended his. As the tragedy unfolded along that crowded street, I begged and pleaded with God to save his life. I thought to myself, "a mustard seed, a mustard seed, that's all it takes, the fatith of a mustard seed". I knew I had that kind of faith. I believed I had that kind of faith. As I continued my heart wrenching cries to heaven, it was becoming obvious that the situation was dire. The paramedics were updating me with reports of hope but their faces spoke despair. I prayed harder and begged faster. I was worthy of a miracle; wasn't I? I believed God would work a miracle for this little one. And then, as the lifeflight helicopter flew off and I looked to the heavens, I felt the words "submit" come to my mind. "No!", I thought! "No". I begged some more but knew in my heart that submitting to the will of God was what I needed to do. It never occured to me that praying to save his life was not going to be the will of the Lord. He died the next morning. I still pray with faith but I do it submitting to his will. I don't presume that I know what is best. I no longer give God a "to do" list. I pray knowing that I need to do the changing not Him. I once heard that, " prayers answered are faith promoting and prayers unanswered are faith perfecting". I believe that and feel sure I will continue to have many opportunities to exercise my faith. Many miracles did surface from that tragic event, just not the one I prayed for. I've come to learn that praying does release the blessings that are just waiting to be poured out upon me. I just need the eyes to see them!
Could you talk about your baptism?
I was 10 years old when I was baptized. I went to visit family in Wyoming where my Mom and Aunts wrapped me in a white sheet. They cut a whole in the middle for my head to fit through and then tied a rope around my waist to make a baptismal gown. As I stepped into the snow melt of Crow Creek I thought I would freeze to death. It was late in August but the water was of January. When I came up from being completely immersed, I was up to my knees in icy mud. My uncle quickly lifted me to the bank of the river where I was wrapped in a warm blanket and seated on a log. It is on that log that I came to an understanding of the Holy Ghost. I was taught that the Holy Ghost was a member of the God Head, the member known as The Comforter. As I sat there with this warm blanket around me, I felt what it would be like to be wrapped in the love of our Comforter. To me he was a Heavenly friend that would be with me for as long as I lived worthy of that gift. With that blanket around me, I began to feel the warmth that would come from being surrounded by the Holy Ghost. It would be like being wrapped in that blanket, feeling warm, safe, and at peace for the rest of my life. I know now, that many times in my life I have been comforted during my most chilling hours by that very comforter. I try to live my life worthy of His presence every day. The promptings of choosing the right, avoiding danger, softening a hard heart or easing a sad one have all been the blessings of that day in the chilly waters of Crow Creek!
How I live my faith
In my community for about 3 nights every week, I am on call as a volunteer for our local family violence program. I've been doing it for over 20 years and I am very passionate about those I serve. I drive to local hopsitals and help comfort victims and their family members from the tragedy of sexual assault. I started volunteering with the Domestic Violence program in 1990, when my husband wanted our New Years resolution to focus on service. I actually thought he was nuts. He was working 3 jobs so I could stay home with the kids. How would we possibly squeeze in service? He chose Habitat for Humanity and I thought, if I didn't want to be wearing a tool belt for the next 52 Saturday's, I better find something I am passionate about. So I sent a half-hearted prayer to Heaven asking to direct my service efforts. Wouldn't you know, even half-hearted prayers get answered. That very day I saw an article in our local paper seeking volunteers for our county's battered women's shelter. I knew immediately that I had found my cause. My grandmother was a survivor of domestic violence. In the 1940's after being shoved down a flight of stairs and loosing her unborn child, she divorced my grandfather, put herself through college, and rasied my father and my uncle on her own. My husband's grandmother was not so fortunate. She too was a victim of domestic violence. She, however, died at the hands of her husband. So now I devote my time and energy in their honor and in hope of freeing women from violence. The service I give comes back ten fold. I am a better person after I serve. I hug my husband tighter. I whine a bit less and I thank God for all my blessings on a more daily basis. During the day, I serve as the President of our congregations' Women's Organization. It is called Relief Society. Our motto is Charity Never Faileth. As an amazing and diverse group of women we combine our efforts to be of service to each other and our community.