I’ll be breaking up the “deep questions” posts with profiles of people that I know & love! My intent in doing these profiles is to inspire myself and others by celebrating beautiful human beings and what makes them so fabulous. To share why just KNOWING them will lead you to LOVE them.
Here’s my first profile: Georgine Schottler, my AH-mazing Mom!
Here’s 10 things I know about my mom that makes me love her dearly—
- She has a huge heart full of love. Imagine this—you’re 23 years old and already raising 6 children with another on the way! Only 2 of the kids were her own. She took in her 2 younger siblings in April 1962 for a year because her parents had fallen on hard times. Then in July 1962, she and my Dad were driving home from church reading the bulletin. She saw a note about two children, Doug & Johnny, that needed a foster home. She immediately told my Dad to turn the car around so they could go pick up those boys. They have remained a part of our family ever since. She went on to birth 9 more children (11 in total)!
- She has the ability to make anyone feel like the most interesting person in the room. Because she is genuinely interested in learning about people, where they come from, what they love to do, and so forth. She will strike up a conversation with anyone asking all kinds of questions—big & small. We share this love of big & small questions. 🙂
- She lives the value of perseverance. The best example? She’s stayed married for 57 years! I love my Dad dearly (he’ll likely be my next profile) and she does too. But he constantly pushed the limits of her sense of financial security to build the farm into the great thing it is today. The running joke is that my Dad never stepped foot in a casino because he gambled everyday as a farmer. But she persevered through it sticking by him to live out his dream of building his own farm from nothing. And they did it!
- She loves learning. When I was in middle school she decided to earn her college degree from UW-River Falls at the age of 57! I know she worried about being able to do that while finishing raising her youngest child (I was 11 at the time, 15 when she graduated) and balance the bookkeeping for the farm. But what she probably doesn’t realize is how many valuable lessons she taught me by prioritizing this for herself. She demonstrated bravery, tenacity, courage, and fearlessness by pursuing this dream. She also continues to support my own learning in all things—both of my parents do really. Most recently, a woodpecker made an appearance in the woods while Nate & I were visiting. She immediately said “Get the Encyclopedia! Let’s see if we can figure out what kind it is!”
- She stands up for what she believes in. I remember my mom writing letters to the Bishop, the Pope and potentially others expressing her opinion on certain matters close to her heart. When I asked my mom to confirm my memory that she’s done this in the past, she again relayed her passion for a particular issue (though she hasn’t written to them on this one…yet)—
It still confounds me when we are reciting the CREED that the printed word reads MEN (not men and women). I do not understand why that is not corrected, but I won’t let the language move me from my faith. Of high importance is allowing women to become priests. Priests marrying? No objection there either.
- She is incredibly faith filled. Prayer group, Friday children’s masses, starting the rosary every time we crossed over the old Stillwater bridge, stations of the cross on Friday, singing hymns for the folks at the nursing home. One of my favorites was how we’d say this prayer as we waited for the bus each morning—
We could say it REALLY fast if the bus was already waiting. 🙂 Whenever I’ve struggled with something to this day she asks “Did you pray about it?”
- She lives passionately and joyfully. I recently asked my Dad “What made you take an interest in mom?” His answer: “She was a wonderful person. Cheerful!” Her smile lights up a room. Anytime she talks about her flowers, her latest thrift store find, family history, the book or article she just finished and what it taught her, her children, her grandchildren, and now her great grandchildren–pure joy. At my last visit she spoke with a level of energy & enthusiasm describing in detail her grandson Eli’s drawing of a lion. Her passion is contagious and unparalleled!
- She believes in charitable giving. Even when cash was tight for my parents, she picked 25 charities each year to give to. She still does to this day. Literally! Today she sent me an email on this (at my request as I was fact checking a few things)–
It has become habit regarding WHO gets donations each year. I will refer to the previous year’s check register to see if I’m doing what was done in the past. What is the bottom line is to contribute a specific total amount each year and it is now over 25 charities. Today I sent off five donations; they were supposed to be mailed yesterday!
- She loves music. She nurtured that love in all of her children. Nearly every time I practiced piano she would be at the other end of the house clapping like crazy when I finished a song. She led the music at our church for years. Every Sunday we’d be up in the choir loft or down front leading the music. Even when times were tight she made sure that our piano lessons, voice, band, choir, etc. needs were always in the budget. When I recently asked her why she said—
Your Dad fully supported piano lessons; that supported my belief that music training was not only beneficial in every sense of the word, but also life giving. My being involved in the Baudette High School Band and the JOY of that is likely contributing towards my conviction: music was as essential to the soul as milk was to the body.
- She ALWAYS takes the in-laws side. When Nate & I were newly married I may have called her a time or two to vent about a frustrating conversation we had. She will immediately side with Nate. EVERY. TIME. My siblings and I are pretty sure she’s saved a lot of marriages because of this trait. When I asked her why she does this she said–
For the obvious reason. You never want to give ammunition to the division of a marriage.
For these reasons and so many more…this is why just to know my mom is to LOVE my mom! Love you, Momma!
QUESTION OF THE DAY: Do you know my Mom? Share a comment with something you love about her or a memory you have! Don’t know her? Tell me about a different person you KNOW & LOVE that has inspired you in some way.