Interview with Valerie Elliot Shepard (daughter of Jim and Elisabeth Elliot)
|Walter & Valerie Shepard|
How does your family celebrate Thanksgiving and Christmas?
We had company often for Thanksgiving, and we always had a "Pilgrim reading" and saying what we each were thankful for around the table. For Christmas we were not often inviting people for dinner because our older children wanted "just family". We always opened stockings around 7-8 AM, had a Breakfast of baked apples, and either a sweet bread or their favorite "sugared cereals" (which I don't do any more- the cereals, that is!) Then , every one had to have beds made, be dressed, and kitchen and rooms cleaned up before we sat down to open the main presents under the tree. For Christmas Eve, we had leek-potato soup either before or after a Christmas eve service, then had the story of Jesus with candles, and a fire in the fireplace, opening one present before we all went to bed.
Do you keep in touch with any of the other missionary children who were killed with your Father?
I can't remember if I answered this one,but just have some correspondence with the 3 oldest- Steve and Kathy Saint, and Steve McCully.
Can you explain to us how your devotions have changed now that you know longer have small children?
They haven't changed much- I still get up early, and I try to meditate, and sit quietly more than I used to.
|Valerie w/granddaughter Valerie, this is Val's daughter's Elisabeth's child|
How did you have devotions when your children were younger?
Almost always before they got up, though sometimes during their quiet time, but i usually couldn't concentrate very well on them then. I learned after about 15 yrs. of "doing devotions" that God wanted my devotion to HIM more than He wanted me to "do my devotions" as if it were a "spiritual check-off" my list.
How did it change when they became teenagers and when they went off to college? What about once they became married and had children ?
It's still not much different now. For the children that are gone, I pray that God will bring them strong Christians who can influence them and that the "image of Christ"will be born in them.
I hear a lot of young mother’s say, “It’s selfish for them to want some “me” time,” what do say about that? (And they feel guilty).
I say that "my time" is when I spend in quiet with the Lord, because He refreshes me, and that is what I need most. Asking Him if He wants me to have more than that, I will trust Him to provide it for me. I don't think I should work hard at making sure I have that time, and making everyone miserable by my leaving and making it happen!
Can you please encourage the Mother’s with young children who home school and feel overwhelmed by all that has to be done?
Every day has to be given to the Lord, and if we are asking for wisdom to do the right things each day, He will show us. We have to also ask Him to help us keep our minds on the good and right and beautiful. "unite my heart to fear Your name!" I was always overwhelmed, and every day was begging Him to help me to do what He wanted me to do. My lists have always been much more than I could accomplish in a day, and sometimes I would show them to my husband and He would cross off things He didn't think I needed to do!
Will you please encourage the mother whose child has gone away to college?
Trust them into the Lord's hands!! Pray without ceasing, call or write them at least once a week.
Valerie will you please encourage the reader, of this interview, to continue in their quiet time with the Lord?
Keep seeking Him, that is how you learn of Him- the story of Mary who has chosen the better part--~ Ask Him to help you learn to pray without ceasing....Ask Him how to find and make the right and best time to spend alone!
What are Walter and you up to now?
Planting a church in Southport, NC
How can we pray for you?
We need wisdom on how and who to contact, we need a music and youth person- the Lord's choice, and the money to raise for the eventual building. We will meet in a hotel until we have a strong core group who are true servants, and when we have them tithing, by the Lord's conviction.
How do you have your quiet time?
Same as above.
Do you use other material or just your Bible?
Yes, some kind of meditation literature or older books, and sometimes a hymn book.
Do you stay in one book or move around?
Do you do it early morning or when you can? Do you come with pen and notebook in hand?
Yes, with a journal.
Do you see your father’s family often?
Not more than once every 2 years- mainly my father's sister, since she lives in Wheaton, where I've gone several times since my daughter Elisabeth lived there for 7 yrs. The others live in Mich. and Oregon, and we've only had 1 family reunion since I've been an adult.