Most months, I’m only able to answer one or two questions in the “Ask Mary Beth” blog series. However, this month, I’ve answered nine! I do hope you enjoy.
Question 1: Any tips on becoming a new grandma?
It’s so fun, but remember, you are not the parent. Bite your tongue, and don’t offer advice unless asked. It’s hard to do but also very freeing. It’s their turn!
Question 2: Describe the perfect meal: Where would you most want to have it and with who?
I love food which makes this question hard to answer. But the perfect meal would be a great steak at a really quiet restaurant with people who love us no matter what. All of my children at one time would be epic, though that is almost impossible to pull off these days. A date night with SCC is always cherished as well. However, if I had to pick a celebrity to have a meal with, I’ll list three—in no particular order: (1) Robert Downey Jr., (2) Mark Cuban (I love “Shark Tank”!), and (3) Coach Mike Krzyzewski (“Coach K”)!
Question 3: How do you not question God whenever awful things happen over and over again?
I’m not sure because I do question God—daily. Just this morning, I was clenching my fists and screaming out loud, “Why?” Sometimes everything seems broken beyond repair. Tears were streaming down my face, frustrated that this life has cost us so much—especially our daughter Maria’s life. But I figure, if God can’t handle my anger, then He isn’t who He says He is. I am assured by His still small voice that He is working it all together for good. While we have good days and bad days, I cannot deny the Lord in the land of the living. He has and is caring well for us. It just doesn’t always look the way we wished it would. It’s all part of the journey—the deepest, darkest places and the fruitfulness we encounter along the way. So to answer your question, yes I do question God … all of the time. But I do trust Him … all of the time too.
Question 4: How do you feel about your boys playing secular music?
I love that they play secular music. Secular music doesn’t mean it is anti-Christian. Caleb and Will Franklin are lovers of Jesus, and their faith bleeds through their art in a way that will reach people who may never hear a message of hope. Colony House has spoken truth in both records they’ve released, and their third record—in production now—is even more full of what they believe to be true. It’s filled with a great musical genius that a hurting audience can embrace and be impacted for the better. Ultimately, Caleb and Will create the kind of music that makes people think about something bigger than themselves, so I absolutely love that they are walking where they feel called.
Question 5: What did you study in school? What did you see yourself doing before marriage and children?
I attended Anderson University where I started as a nursing major but soon switched to business. I literally got to the “bedpan” chapter and changed my mind! When I met Steven, we quickly knew we wanted to get married, so I left school after one year. I took a few college classes while I was in high school, though, so I have about 37 hours of college under my belt. While I missed out on some of the college experience, I am grateful for the years I spent supporting SCC’s career and the start of our family—all of which I still do today. I would have loved graduating from college, and I probably would have pursued law. I have a strong sense of justice and defending the less fortunate, so my involvement with Show Hope has been a great outlet for that.
Question 6: Since Steven's music is actually the soundtrack of your life, do you have a favorite song?
I should probably say, “I Will Be Here,” since it was written for me and has been sung at thousands of weddings. And while I do love that song, I really love “Jesus Will Meet You There” followed by “Glorious Unfolding” as a close runner-up!
Question 7: Who's your favorite artist (besides your hubby of course)?
Colony House and Jillian Edwards … both have new music coming out soon! You must check them out—you will not be disappointed!
Question 8: Favorite Colony House Song?
“Moving Forward.” It is our family’s story and anthem of holding onto hope and not letting tragedy define us. It shows the world how a family can love through it all. My family are my people. We have one another’s back—always.
Question 9: How many grandchildren do you have, and do you still work with adoption?
We have an amazing “grandpile” of six! Eiley, 7, Della, 5, and Verity, 4, belong to my oldest daughter, Emily, and her husband, Tanner. They are an amazing trio of young ladies! Noble, 4, and Olive, 1, belong to my oldest son, Caleb, and his wife, Julia. They both are sweet and sassy—all in one. And then there is Willow Faye, almost 2, who I lovingly call WFC the Second! She belongs to my youngest son, Will Franklin, and his wife, Jillian. Willow Faye is the perfect blend of both her mama and dada.
To answer part two of your question, I have given my life to adoption since 1999 when we began the process of adopting Shaohannah Hope (Shaoey). We started our nonprofit, Show Hope, in 2003, and still today, I am heavily involved in all aspects of the work. Our amazing daughter Emily Chapman Richards is now the Executive Director of Show Hope and is doing a fantastic job! I will always be passionate about going deep into the work and seeing God change lives through the miracle of adoption.
If you have a question you’d like me to answer, please submit it to me via email at firstname.lastname@example.org