Continuing our interviews of the Jackson women, today we’ll spend time with SANDY JACKSON. She and her beautiful family live in California. As you read her replies, you’ll find her personality is as sunny as the state in which she lives!
Please share a little about yourself.
“Our story began when this Alabama girl shook hands with a tall, handsome, west coast gentleman at the social club mixer in front of Freed Hardeman’s Milan Sitka building 25 years ago. With a bit of persuasion to my dad, Jared and I were married in May 1990.
We have two quick-witted teenage boys (a gene passed down from their Pappaw Wayne and a few other close relatives). I am a full-time wife and mother. We have home-schooled Nicholas and Matthew since the day they entered the world. I work about ten hours each week at the Christian Courier office helping with mail-outs, church bulletins, and organizing recorded audio lessons.
Jared’s job is difficult to define. He works full-time for the Christian Courier, but his work encompasses so much. He manages the technical side of things, but he also writes a monthly Christian paper called “Fortify Your Faith” that emphasizes the practical application of biblical principles in the church and in the family. He has just finished teaching an extended class on the Bible and money that was interesting, and this only scratches the surface of what he does. In spite of his very busy work schedule, he has always been a full-time dad. His family is his most important work.”
How long have you lived in California, and what do you love about it?
“The day I received my college diploma we had the U-haul loaded to head to California, my new home for the next 22 years. Jared and I decided, even though we were married the summer before my senior year at Freed-Hardeman, we would stay in Henderson, Tennessee so I could graduate the following spring. I joke now that the finance degree helps me balance our checkbook each month. All humor aside, I gained more in those four years at Freed-Hardeman than just a degree; blessings I continually reap to this day. My husband’s family took me in as one of their own making being away from my own family a bit easier. It has been a blessing for our children to sit on the same church pew with their cousins and grandparents all of their life.
The weather here is gorgeous. I have only slightly felt one earthquake; something I don’t think as often about as others. California is deemed as “the liberal state….with fruits and nuts.” Yes, it has been hard in many respects raising a family here, but the sound teaching and warm family connections at East Main Street Church of Christ in Stockton have been the calming peace among the immoral hurdles around us. I do wish California wasn’t so far from our other friends and family across the country. A monthly cross-country trip would be nice, but the budget just has not allowed for that.”
We appreciate your efforts with the Christian Courier. Tell us about it, please.
“The Christian Courier started as a monthly journal of biblical studies in May of 1965 by Wayne Jackson, my father-inlaw. Over the years, the Christian Courier gained a reputation as a trusted and balanced source for preachers, teachers, and elders. In 1998, the Christian Courier entered the digital age by expanding to the internet. It really has become more than simply a paper. The Christian Courier now is a full-time mission work reaching more than 274,000 visitors in just the last thirty days and 2.76 million people to date this year alone. Every month people living in over 212 countries come to the Christian Courier seeking information on biblical topics. It has been amazing to see how the resources produced by the Christian Courier are being used. Once when traveling, we stopped to worship on a Wednesday night in Wyoming. In the ladies’ Bible class, the teacher pulled out an article from the Christian Courier during her lesson. People from around the world send in their questions and use the information to deal with difficult situations. It is truly a blessing to be a part of such an important and meaningful mission work like the Christian Courier.”
I know from personal experience that you’re all very hospitable. What’s your go-to company meal?
“I enjoy making chili. You can put it with cornbread, crackers, baked potatoes, corn chips, sour cream, and cheese and feed an army of people. It is comfort food for me. I also love my husband’s smoked ribs and brisket. Making sides for that meal means a good party is getting ready to take place at our house!”
Will you share one or two of your favorite recipes with us, please?
“We love chocolate chip cookies. Since Jared was diagnosed with diabetes a couple of years ago, I try not to bake them while he is home, because the smell is tortuous. We make them for potlucks, gifts, and just a small treat while watching a good ballgame. I shape them with a tiny scoop, after all it is less calories to eat 6 tiny cookies than 2 big ones, right? I have tried several recipes, but we have voted the best one is from Alton Brown’s Good Eats show and website. http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/alton-brown/the-chewy-recipe/index.html You can freeze the cookie balls and bake only the number you want/need to eat!”
Would you mind sharing something about yourself that others might never have guessed?
“I am a twin. I was born 2 minutes before my brother. My mom and dad did not know twins were in their future until an hour after my mom came out of cesarean surgery. She fed me then a few minutes later, my brother was brought to her for his feeding. She commented to the nurse, ‘There must be a mistake…’ I grew up hanging out in trees and doing boy things since my brother didn’t buy into the doll setup. I think God gave me boys to raise knowing I love anything to do with a ball, and I don’t know how to do hair.”
If you could give only one piece of marriage and/ or parenting advice, what would it be?
“Jared and I try to walk two to three times each week. We usually go for five to six miles at a time. We have found this time free of interruptions to visit, plan, troubleshoot and hopefully burn a few calories (in his case, lower his blood sugar levels). I truly believe a couple has to spend time together frequently to really enjoy each other. I’ve never bought into the idea, ‘Distance makes the heart grow fonder.’
Parenting advice? I’m still in the training process myself, but I would say cultivating a sense of belonging in the family is vital. Many enemies are attacking the home today and pulling our children away. The family is where God designed love, forgiveness, affection and discipline to be experienced and practiced to cause a child to say, ‘This is where I belong’ – as opposed to looking for these things elsewhere.”
What do you do to stay motivated and encouraged in your ministry work?
“Have people over to our house. We love company! We have a guest room ready at all times…come visit us!”