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Godly parents have the privilege of serving as regents, teachers, and key supporters in their children’s lives. Perhaps my respect for the role began in childhood, as I grew into quite the Daddy’s girl.

My father deplores being introduced as an American hero, but he absolutely deserves the title. On March 3, 1968, Daddy lost his left eye and arm to the blasts of enemy grenades. Of Daddy’s service to our country Mom always said, “Your daddy didn’t lose his left arm and eye. He gave them.”

Mom married Daddy only six months before he volunteered to go to Vietnam, but she never blinked in fulfilling the mission to nurse her husband back to health and independence when he returned home. Over the course of my forty-odd years of life, I have watched Mom selflessly cut Daddy’s steak, tie his shoes, and button his shirt—all without a complaint. My mother is a she-ro.

My parents laid down the law for my sister, Christa, and me, but they always did so with love. Mom and Daddy taught us the importance of carefully weighing decisions and choosing friends wisely. They insisted on hearing courtesies like, “Yes, ma’am. No, sir. Please. Thank you. What can I do to help?” They shared that sex is sacred and is meant for marriage. They showed us that God’s Word, the Bible, is unchanging truth that changes us; Scripture is meant to be obeyed. And they made certain that we knew our value in God’s eyes, drawing our attention to passages like 1 Corinthians 6:20: “For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s” (KJV). In short, Mom and Daddy instructed us to love God and family, to leave things better than we found them, and to care about others. Loving discipline always followed disobedience.

“Tara, if you’re going to work, work hard,” Daddy taught me. “If you’re going to play, play hard. If you’re going to pray, pray hard. Anything worth doing is worth doing well.” His mantra reflects an attitude I have carried throughout my life. But perhaps even more important are the words Daddy has repeated to me at every parting from my girlhood up through today: “I love you. Remember your raisin’!”

I am so thankful for a mother and father who intentionally gave me a raisin’ to remember, and I see this blog as both a tribute to them and to another hero—my husband, Lee, who encouraged me to pray about developing this site. He has been my greatest supporter since before he put the ring on my hand and asked, “Will you marry me?”

Today Lee and I share our parents’ emphasis on intentional parenting. From facing issues with infertility; to celebrating the birth of our twins, Caroline and Daniel, in 2001; to navigating the heartaches of our son’s leukemia diagnosis in 2007; to the 2013 joy of welcoming Harrison, our “bonus baby,” we have experienced fifteen years of a marriage filled with one opportunity after another to see God’s providential hand directing every detail of our lives.

This blog is meant as an encouragement to all who read it; however, I am hopeful that it will also serve as a journal of remembrances for our children. May they know how much they are loved by both their earthly parents and their heavenly Father. And in days to come when Caroline, Daniel, and Harrison read these posts by their mother, may they better remember their raisin’.