Linda Gott of Fairfax, VA

My mother and grandparents were immigrants from Spain, and it was from them that I not only learned to embrace my Spanish heritage, but also learned the Spanish language, which is now a significant part of my life (#0465 Fan). It was as a young child that learned about Jesus Christ. As a teenager, I began a journey of discovery of the Christian faith. As a young adult I was baptized and my life was transformed (#4938 Cross). Since then, I have volunteered in religious education for young children. After studying in Spain in college, I was blessed to meet a handsome young midshipman from the Naval Academy, married and became the wife of a submariner (#2342 Submarine). Although this lifestyle was challenging with long deployments, I am proud of husband’s military service and selfless dedication to the protection of our country.

Then, of course, came my next greatest blessing - to be a mother (#4424 Mom & Baby). My first-born was a daughter, who was always a deeply reflective and spiritual soul. One of my sweetest memories of her is finding, in her bedroom, a nativity display (#8159 Christmas Nativity) that she designed with her Barbie and Ken dolls as the Mary and Joseph, with trolls serving as shepherds. Then came my son, another “old soul,” a deeply spiritual and serious-minded boy. When he was 8-years old, he came to me with a question about the faith. My advice to him was to write to Mother Teresa, then living. He wrote a letter to her, addressed the envelope (#3482 Envelope) “Mother Teresa, Calcutta India and attached as many stamps as we had in the house, as he was unsure about postage. Imagine his surprise when, six months later, he received a personally written letter in response to his question, from Mother Teresa.

Our third child was an especially insightful and imaginative child. As a two-year-old she imagined that all the birds in the world were her pets – a bird feeder was outside the window over her high chair and she was convinced that they were coming to see her! As the Navy moved us all over the world, she believed that the birds followed her wherever we went. To this day, she has the nickname “Bird” (#3420 Bird Robin)!

Because of our transient lifestyle, I began home schooling my children (#3461 Teacher). This gave us the opportunity to maintain a very close family, and form my children not only academically, but also spiritually. When they later went on to high school, I began my career…teaching Spanish! Later this Spring I will finish my Master’s Degree in Spanish.

Two of our children were married last year (charm #8156 Bride & Groom), and now my husband and I are awaiting the birth of our first grandchild (#3209 Baby Carriage)! A new chapter in our story together is about to begin! Truly, the story of my life revolves around my children, whom God has given me to care for and nurture. Whether or not I receive a charm bracelet with these symbols, I am thankful today for this opportunity to reflect. Thank you for offering this lovely contest!

Linda Gott
Fairfax, VA

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