Adapting to Change…

Mother & Dad Des Moines FMI’ve been writing kind of a series on my early life and the need to adapt to the changes in life as I’ve grown older. My family belonged to a very strict evangelical denomination, my dad was a pastor. Rules were so ingrained in me that life today seems very unstructured. I’m working through this life change by writing it all down. This picture is of my dad and mother as pastor and wife of an evangelical church in Des Moines, Iowa in the 50’s.

As I was growing up there were so many rules for us to obey as ‘Christian’ girls. Many more than just the ones I’ve written about specifically. In Des Moines, Iowa where my dad was pastor we especially had to toe the mark. I’ll name a few rules here.

Playing sports on Sunday was not allowed. We had a basketball rim in the back yard, I’d been given a basketball for Christmas one year. I could shoot baskets any time I wanted to, but not on Sunday! Attending sports, of any kind, on Sunday, was also taboo.

Reading the newspaper on Sunday was forbidden. Even to have the newspaper delivered to our house on Sunday was a very bad thing. I can remember one Sunday when the paper was accidentally  left on our front porch. My mom made this remark as she hurriedly went out to retrieve the paper, “Oh, what will the neighbor’s think?!” Comic books were also not to be read on Sunday!

Buying on Sunday was a big no-no. If we bought on Sunday it caused people to have to work on Sunday! Only in an emergency could we go to a store, to buy medicine, if someone got sick.

Eating out on Sunday was also a big no-no. Mother worked hard every Sunday morning to fix a big Sunday dinner and have it ready when we arrived home from church. We often had company over for dinner. It didn’t seem to matter that she had to work to get dinner ready, plus have the family ready for Sunday School, on time! This carried on into my own life as a wife and mother. We always had a big dinner, usually a nice pot roast. Everyone was dressed up and we were never late. I often walked into church exhausted and I’m sure my mother did too.

Bowling, playing pool, mixed swimming were all forbidden. I’ve already written about other activities we weren’t allowed to do. I know of a teenager who got a job in a bowling alley setting the pins up after each player threw the ball. He didn’t bowl, he only worked there. His family needed him to work because his dad was very sick with cancer. He was told by the church, that he couldn’t keep his job if he wanted to join the church! He never joined. He attended and raised his family in the church but never joined. It had left a bitter taste.

Doing yard work, working on a car or washing our car, cleaning the house, washing clothes and hanging them outside on the clothes line, were never done on Sunday. Sunday was a day of relaxation and rest.

Today all of these issues are gone. Sports are enjoyed and played on Sunday. If a game is scheduled during church hours the game seems to take precedence. I admit to having a problem with this today.

Buying on Sunday is no longer frowned upon. Shopping is often a Sunday family activity. Going out for dinner on Sunday is a favorite time to eat out!

Bowling, pool, swimming are all fun activities enjoyed by all ages.

What brought about the changes? Life and times change. But weren’t those rules important? Why did we have obey them as children and teenagers?

I feel a real freedom today. I’m no longer bound down by rules. I’ll be 75 this year! It’s taken a life time for me to get beyond the rigid rules I grew up with. I think we need to be sensitive of folks who haven’t experienced this freedom. The important thing for me is to keep in close communication with the Holy Spirit. He is my guide. Jesus is my personal Savior.


About allinadayofme

I can't believe I'm in old age! I'm now in my eighties! I'm a child of God, wife to one, mother to five, grandmother to 15 plus two granddaughters-in-law! I'm a great-grandma now! I'm a sister, aunt, cousin, friend and neighbor. I'm a housewife and former ESL tutor. I love reading and writing. I've just retired from writing and editing a newsletter, Prime Time News, for seniors. I love genealogy, traveling, birds and animals, blogging and taking pictures.
This entry was posted in Adapting, All in the day of me..., Basketball, Childhood, Church, Dad, Family, Friends, Iowa, Life, Me, Mother, Prejudice, Relationship with God, Rules, Shopping, Swimming and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

9 Responses to Adapting to Change…

  1. Iris Duff says:

    I grew up with many of the same rules. Society in general, I think, used to respect Sunday more than today. I also really have a problem with marathons, walks, etc., especially on Sunday morning. It’s like church is the least important activity on Sunday.


    • I wish I had known you when we were younger! Being (2nd) cousins is a nice label but there were just too many miles between us to know each other. Plus you’re younger than I am. So I’m appreciating getting to know you now through the internet.


  2. sydneyandkay says:

    I expecially like this blog because I totally agree with you, it doesn’t matter about what people do now days or what they used to do but if we always LOVE God and have him as our savior and going to church is important and sometimes I feel guilty because I miss it but it doesn’t mean we will not be a Christan we just need to always remember and LOVE God and I think that is important. Thanks for the wonderful blog Grandma and I love you and I loved the series .
    Syd ❤


  3. Cynthia Reed says:

    You do such a great job sharing your heart and wisdom! We, too, had activities that were not done on Sunday…mowing the lawn, cleaning house, etc. My mom was like yours and cooked up a storm on Sunday, and often we had the pastor over to eat. Those are wonderful memories…usually fried chicken or roast and lots of vegetables grown in our garden. I have never been able to pull this off, so it is often soup and sandwiches or out to eat for us. I admire that you did! I agree that we can be just like the Pharisees if we follow rules just for appearance sake (referred to as dead works), and that it is our motivation that matters most. God does call us to holiness and so we should want to learn obedience to His commands…but out of love for Him and a desire to please Him…and with the knowledge that it requires the Holy Spirit to give us the ability. You and Sydney are right…God wants our heart!


  4. Laura Cameron says:

    I really enjoyed reading this, I love learning about how you and Droogy grew up. I have too few memories with Great Grandmother and Grandfather Williamson, and the memories I Do have are when I was so young! I wish I would have known the things I know now, back then (hopefully that made sense). I would have appreciated our time together more. But I do remember when I interviewed Great Grandpa for a school report. Iv been thinking about that a lot lately but I dont think I ever kept the report 😦 He spoke about his upbringing and it really is a wonder how things have changed over time. He spoke about a telephone that only had three bottons–or was it three numbers? and now look at the type of technology we have today! Personally, I think technology will be the death of us. We dont need all this technology! Part of me wishes I had lived my life during the 20th century. Oh well though. I love learning about how life was back in the “olden days” so thanks for sharing with us 🙂 Pondering about time and how things change over the coarse of time brings up so many ideas and thoughts. But in the end, it’s all kind of sad. I guess all we can do is live for the moment and hold close to our hearts the things in life we Know may change over the coarse of time. again, thanks for the story about Time and Change! 🙂 I Love you Anita!


    • Thanks Laura. Droogy and I were writing a book! I was actually doing the writing and she was proofing and making suggestions and giving ideas and approving it all. We had several chapters done. Now with her gone I’ve not done any more with it. It was about our parents and our lives. I love you too, Laura! 🙂


      • Laura Cameron says:

        Some day you will feel the inspiration to start it up again 🙂 writing is like that. Sporadic. I would love to read it someday. Grandma Droogy would want you to finish it for the both of you I think. She always loved to idea of existing somewhere here even after she passed. And she will exist through your book. 🙂 Im reading the small book Great Grandpa wrote about the Williamson heritage right now for my paper in my writing class. History/heritage is all so interesting. it’s like an invisible treasure!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s