From My Mother’s Womb

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Hi! This is Charlene’s husband, Ray. With the help of our son, John, I have sneaked into Charlene’s blog unknown to her. In the past I have had birthday greetings posted on a store marquee and given her surprise parties, but this is the first time I have wished her a happy birthday on the Internet.

I wanted to let you know that the faith, wisdom, kindness, love, and joy of living that you read on Charlene’s blog is exactly the way she is in person. I am blessed and impressed by the quality and depth of what she shares here. Charlene has endeared herself to people of all ages wherever we have lived and wherever we go. I can’t tell you how many homeschooling moms have told us that a conversation they have had with Charlene at a convention or something she has shared in a class has meant a great deal to them. If you haven’t met her, I hope you’ll get to.

Charlene has blessed me more than I can say. She has been Jesus to me in many circumstances, primarily in her love, patience, and forgiveness. She has helped me see the heart of God over and over. She is a fantastic mother to our children–always has been and always will be. She has taken to the role of grandmother with a passion and is doing great at that, too. For a long time I have called her the most wonderful person in the whole wide world, and I have yet to be proven wrong. I owe her a debt of gratitude that I can never repay.

Happy Birthday, Charlene. I am so proud of you for extending your good influence through this blog. I hope you have a great birthday. I love you, darling.


Today is my birthday. It’s a big one. You know, one of those birthdays that has a zero as the second digit. My family has been sweet. While Ray and I were celebrating Thanksgiving with Bethany and Mary Evelyn and their families last weekend, they gave me a party. Mary Evelyn has invited Ray, Mother, and me to a birthday lunch today. Tonight we, along with a restaurant full of other people, get to celebrate Miss Joy’s 99th birthday party. I hear she is preparing new songs, and I can’t wait to see her tap dance! Tomorrow Ray, Mother, and I plan to head up to see John and his family for a few days. How could I have a happier birthday?

My life has had some challenges–very serious challenges. Some have been “How in the world does anyone get through this?” challenges. While I would not choose to live many of them over again, I am grateful for what I have learned.

I have had more blessings than I could possibly count. Since I’m turning some number with a zero at the end, I hope you don’t mind if I reminisce a little about those blessings.

When I was about twelve or thirteen years old, my parents gave me a birthday party. About ten o’clock that night, Daddy found me and tenderly told me that I was now ___ years old (I wish I remembered the exact age), because I had been born about that time at night.

As I grew up, I heard many sweet stories about my birth. I was born a month early. I weighed five pounds and ten ounces. My aunt Dot thought of my name Eva Charlene Boyd: Eva for my mother Evelyn and Charlene for my daddy Charles. My grandmother told me (with tongue in cheek, I think) that so many babies had been born at the hospital that they had lain me in a dresser drawer. The stories made me feel loved and that people were glad I was born.

I’m thankful for parents who taught me about God and took me to church every time the doors were open. This is the New Testament I received when I was very small, as a reward for being at Sunday School every Sunday for a whole year.

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Daddy wrote my name inside. When I learned to write, I did, too.

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I’m thankful for grandparents who loved God and His Word. This is the New Testament that Daddy’s mother took with her to assisted living. While I was helping clean out her room after she died, I looked inside. In red pencil she had written: “To Mama Sue From Charlene Xmas 1956.” Also inside were newspaper clippings, a crossed-off grocery list, and the address of one of her nephews. Most precious of all were the passages she had marked.

Mama Sue's New Testament 001

I’m thankful for what my parents and grandparents taught me about the importance of family. I’m thankful for the husband God sent me and the children, children-in-law, and grandchildren He has given us. I’m thankful that God has shown His love for me–and for you–every single day, so that together we can say:

By You I have been sustained from my birth;
You are He who took me from my mother’s womb;
My praise is continually of You.
Psalm 71:6, NASB

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  1. WHat a blessing to have your husband speak so lovingly about you. You are definitely a blessing to soooooo many people. I am grateful for the privilege of meeting you in person and not just on the blog. You are a blessing to me. Your family has been also. I pray you continue having a wonderful birthday with John and Audra and that precious grandson. I look forward to seeing you at the play. God bless and many more happy and blessed birthdays.

  2. Happy Birthday Charlene,

    I hope you have a wonderful day and a very special year. You are such a blessing to many people that you have never even met through this blog. Thank you.

  3. I love reading your blog! You are a blessed woman! And, I am honored to share your birthday. 🙂 Have a wonderful day!!

  4. Happy Birthday Charlene!! I have so enjoyed your blog posts, they are a bright spot in my day. I look forward to them everyday. Thanks for sharing your heart and life with us.

  5. Happy (late) Birthday!! I love your posts and would love to comment on each and every one of them but some days, I am on and off the computer in just a wink and don’t take the time but I so enjoy your words! Your husband’s testimony of you is so wonderful and it makes me wonder…what would mine say? I too have my grandmother’s Bible with all her scribblings in the margins and notes and deaths and births written in it. It IS a treasure to have a Godly (earthly) heritage! Thank you for being a homeschooling momma pioneer and your sharing of your wisdom.

  6. Happy belated birthday, Charlene! You are a blessed woman who has turned it inside out to bless so many people ~ from family, to friends, to homeschoolers you don’t even know. What a beautiful legacy you have nurtured! I pray God’s richest blessings on your life in this coming year. You are precious in His sight!

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