• Paige Barker

Page 08: Double the Parents

If you know me then you know I have a large family, mainly for the fact that I have double the parents, and you also know that I love my family very much and talk about them often... especially my nieces and nephews.

However, most people can look and think: "How unfortunate and sad that she grew up with divorced parents." But what they don't know is that I wouldn't have it any other way. Out of an "unfortunate" circumstance came two of the greatest blessings I could have ever received: a bonus mom and a bonus dad. Have there been hard and confusing times along the way? Absolutely. But every bit of it has always been worth it because there is just something so special about someone who chooses you when they didn't have to.

All four of my parents have played a unique, significant role in helping me become the woman I am, and am still becoming, and I am forever grateful God has given me the gift of being their daughter. Here's just a few things they have taught me:

Dad & Debbie

Dad a.k.a. Michael: He's the one I'm most like out of all my parents... quiet and introverted. I got his mind and personality, and I love that. I didn't quite know how to connect with my dad when I was younger because I didn't know myself really well. The more I learn about myself, the more I learn about my dad and appreciate who he is. He's a business owner and has shown me what hard work and consistency look like. He's taught me that you'll get out of life what you put into it. He always tells me: "It's not what you know, but who you know." He's shown me what I want in a future husband, and that is a provider. I can say that I've always been able to rely on my dad to help me in times of need, just like our Heavenly Father.

Debbie: How I like to phrase it is this: She's my non-fairytale step-mother. Fairytales always tell the story of an evil step-mother, but when it comes to Debbie, she's the furthest thing from that narrative. She has loved me and embraced me like I was one of her own from the beginning... about sixteen years now. There's not a moment that goes by that I feel differently. She has taught me how to be generous with what I am given, and how to serve others who are not as fortunate. She never buys for herself; instead, she'll give away what she does have - whether it's to her children, grandchildren, friend, or a complete stranger.

Mom & Kenny

Mom a.k.a. Maridee: We're complete opposites in almost every way possible, but she helps me be better. She always loves and sees the best in people, and is a great hostess when having people over. When I was a kid, I always admired the parties she had and all the details she put into it. She has taught me how to be hospitable and not just when throwing a party, but with people. She has one of the biggest hearts for others and cares deeply for those closest to her. I definitely get my emotional side from her. When we feel something, we feel it deeply. But I'm thankful for my emotional side because I believe it helps me love people better.

Kenny: I've yet to meet someone who doesn't like Kenny Gammons or has anything negative to say about him. Just like Debbie, he has loved me and embraced as if I were his own for nine years. He's got a faithful servant's heart and a humble spirit. The mark of a great leader is someone who gives honor where honor is due, and Kenny does that WELL. He's always available to provide me with words of advice - whether that's reminding me to get an oil change or how to deal with a life issue. He champions me always to put God first and to remember my eternal purpose.

In many ways my parents are a physical representation of how God feels about me, His love for me and that He has chosen me when He didn't have to.

If you have bonus parents, what's something you love about them?

Praying for you today friends!