As promised last Tuesday, the second installment of ‘Tuesdays with Sarah’ 🙂 Thanks again to Grace Ann Calfee for thinking of me.
1. Describe your past.
Your family – I was born October 20, 1976 to Les and Brenda Clements in Birmingham, AL. My dad was 20 and my mom was 19. So crazy for me to think about them being that young when they had me! My dad was a pretty wild guy, but once he became a father, God started tugging at his heart. When I was 4 years old, my dad gave his heart to the Lord. We started going to church at Huffman Assembly of God when I was 5 years old. Soon after we started attending, my mom gave her heart to the Lord. That church moved to a new location and changed the name to Cathedral of the Cross when I was around 8.
I have 2 sisters, Rebekah Clements Arora and Deborah Clements. I am 3 years older than Bekah and 10 years older than Deborah. We are very close. I’m actually more like a little momma to Deborah, since there is such a gap in our ages.
My dad actually became an ordained Assembly of God minister when I was a child. He plays the piano, guitar, and sings. He was a HUGE influence on me, especially in regards to my faith and my love of God’s Word and worship. I know this question was about my ‘family’, and I have written a lot about church. Church was such an integral part of my childhood; it’s very hard for me to separate out church from my family life 🙂
My parents did end up getting divorced 3 months after Scott and I got married. Although my parents were great ‘parents’, they were not the best spouses. So most of my childhood, they focused so much time and energy on raising me and my sisters, that once Bekah and I were out of the house, everything fell apart. I think they realized that they didn’t really like each other or even really know each other. That is why it is SO VERY important to marry someone that you actually LIKE – that you are friends with! I know that sounds so silly, but you need to marry someone that is your best friend, someone that you want to come home to every day and tell how your day went. My parents did not have that, and their marriage didn’t last.
Your school–The church also had a school, and I went there from kindergarten through 12th grade. It was called Cathedral Christian School. Needless to say, between church and school, I spent a LOT of time there between 1982 and 1995!
I was very involved in school, especially middle and high school. I cheered, played volleyball, and basketball. Basketball was my favorite sport. I also made good grades. I was valedictorian of my senior class. Yes, it was a class of only 36, but it still counts! 🙂 I graduated in May 1995.
Your college – In Fall of 1995, I started attending Judson College. It was an all-girl, Southern Baptist college in Marion, AL. I received an academic and athletic scholarship there. I played basketball for the Lady Eagles. It was founded in 1838 and steeped in old Southern tradition and beauty. I loved it there. I graduated magna cum laude with a B.S. degree in Mathematics and a minor in Physics in December 1998. Judson has a program where you can graduate in 3 years. Because I played basketball, it took me an extra semester, so I graduated in 3 ½ years.
Your career – 3 months after graduation, I got a job as a Business Systems Analyst at Protective Life Insurance Company in Birmingham, AL. It was in there Product Development department. I still work there to this day. I’ve been there for 15 years. I work with actuaries (mathematicians who study and assess risk – mortality and morbidity), marketers, programmers, and business processers, to implement new life insurance products into our different computer systems.
After Scott took a full time youth pastor position at Union City FUMC, my work let me become a telecommuter, which is where you can actually work from home. Thanks to modern technology and high speed internet, I can work anywhere! In the meantime, we have moved to Huntsville, AL, but our arrangement is still working. I’m VERY blessed to be able to work from home. Especially being married to an itinerant Methodist minister! You never know when or where those Methodists will move you!
2. What are some of your favorite quotes? Why are these your favorite? What do they mean to you?
Well, as you can imagine, several scriptures hold important meanings to me. Currently, one of my favorites is 1 Timothy 1:12 which says “I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who has given me strength, that He considered me faithful (or trustworthy), appointing me to His service”. I guess in light of the Honduras trip we just got back from, I’m so humbled that God continues to use me to do His work. It just overwhelms me that He not only loves me so much, but that He uses me – that He, who is absolutely faithful, finds me faithful (which of course I’m not, since I’m human), to be involved with Him to accomplish His plans here on earth. It just blows me away.
I have some other quotes that I love as well. I have 2 favorite C. S. Lewis quotes. They are listed below:
“I believe in Christianity as I believe that the sun has risen: not only because I see it, but because by it I see everything else.” – C. S. Lewis
“Pain insists upon being attended to. God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our consciences, but shouts in our pains. It is His megaphone to rouse a deaf world.” – C. S. Lewis
I love the first quote, because all that I am or do is based on Christ. I see the world through the filter of Christ. I can’t get away from it. It’s my identity. I love the second quote because it seems that in the toughest of times, that’s where I seem to hear God the loudest, feel Him the closest, and see Him the clearest. It helps me get through those tough times knowing how close He is.
See you next Tuesday for another set of questions and answers! Have a blessed week!