Wednesday, May 11, 2011
Parents of the YEAR
There is an award at PBU that honors parents for their involvement in the PBU community and their child's life. I have entered my parents every year since freshman year. They finally won this year! This is the letter of nomination that I wrote:
A long time ago when the only dorms were in Penndel, when guys could not have facial hair, and when there was no walkway from chapel to the cafeteria, there was a skinny white boy from New York and a pretty girl from Pennsylvania. They were both youth group leaders at Davisville church, where one night the girl gave the boy a ride home to PBU. The boy was a gentleman and offered to carry the girl’s laundry up to her room. The rest is history. Twenty-two years later their first born and only girl is about to graduate from their alma mater to follow in her mother’s footsteps as a teacher.
Cameron and Mary Garven have been married for almost twenty- four years, modeling the love of Christ through their marriage. They have put God first, their marriage second, and their children third. Their philosophy of parenting is to raise holy children, not happy children. Their four children, three boys and a girl, agree that as they got older the more independence they received. They were allowed to make choices and always knew that Mom and Dad were there to talk about the choices that did not go well. As they ventured through public school, becoming exposed to the sins of the world, their parents were right alongside of them to talk, encourage, and love each child. The eldest and only girl definitely had it the hardest being the guinea pig.
There were many different rules, but one thing that I really appreciated is that we were never forced to go to church. My dad was the youth pastor at Bible Fellowship Church for fifteen years, and I thought it was so cool to hangout with teenagers, so I loved going to church. My parents wanted us to discover that going to church, kids clubs, and youth group were enjoyable and beneficial. I made some great friends, mentors, and memories from being involved in our church. Another thing my parents promoted was serving together as a family. We have traveled all around the world on different missions trips to serve together as a family. It is an unforgettable experience when you can see your whole family put aside their selfish desires to come together for a week to serve others. The last rule that I was not so fond of in high school, but greatly appreciate now is no dating until college. As I look back I am so thankful that I did not give a piece of my heart away to some boy. All of these “rules” were very helpful in preparing me to become a student at PBU.
As I entered into PBU, I was presented with the first opportunity to live away from my parents and put into practice all they have taught me. I am so glad that my parents had encouraged me to get involved in youth group, sports, and school clubs during my teen years. It helped to prepare me as a leader. I was editor-in-chief of PBU’s yearbook, Milestone, for three years. I participated in soccer, softball, Alpha Chi Epsilon, tutoring, and teaching Sunday school. The independence that my parents allowed me to develop in my teen years was key in helping to developing me as a young adult at PBU. I had to learn how to manage my time, money, and friendships. Serving with my family helped me to appreciate all that God has blessed me with. It taught me to turn around and serve down in Philadelphia, to my friends, and in my student teaching placement in the Dominican Republic. I now feel even more prepared to graduate from PBU and enter into the real world.
I have had the privilege of living close to PBU. This has given my family the chance to get involved in the lives of many of my friends. My parents have graciously opened our home to students for dinner, provided a place to have birthday parties, and offered a place to stay during J-term or summer classes. A friend who stayed over last summer ended up eating dinner with just my parents one night and still talks about how much fun she had chatting with them. My parents have also gotten to know students who have attended or served at our church. I am glad that my house has become my friend’s home away from home.
Cam and Mary Garven have transitioned from my parents into my friends, who I can laugh with, talk to, and hangout with. I am so thankful that they diligently sought God’s help as they parented my brothers and I.
I am so thankful for your investment in my life as I prepare to go invest into my future student's life. I LOVE YOU MOM AND DAD!