A Sermon in Shoes

by Jul 16, 2023Devotional

I’ve heard a few mother-in-law jokes, and frankly, I can’t identify.

I have a sanctified mother-in-law, and that is a rare treat!  She has shown me love and acceptance.  I tell people that I have the best in-laws in the world.

Once, I admitted to her, “I’ve been telling Todd what to do.”

“Good!” she said sweetly.  “He probably wouldn’t know what to do if you didn’t.” 😆

See what I mean?

If I say, “I’m going to go take a nap.”

She would probably answer, “I’m so glad!  You work hard, and you need it.”

When I first got together with Todd, there were some misunderstandings, and I had built walls toward this woman.  Then God got a hold of me and worked me over.  He came to me at campmeeting and so clearly showed me my heart.  I saw that the problems were all on my part.  It was ME standing in the need of prayer!  I wrote this saint (my mother-in-law) a letter.  I apologized for my attitude, and she completely forgave me.

During some of those years, it seemed like I was down in a pit, unable to get where I needed to be spiritually.  She climbed down in that pit with me and prayed for me, holding a rope of hope.  By the time I got out of the pit, she would be my mother.

I became her daughter.

Mom had always been a considerate, responsible person.  When she was around twelve years old, she took over her father’s bookkeeping for his business.  Then the next year, her father’s appendix burst, and his body filled with infection.  He died and was buried on his thirty-first  birthday.

Mom’s mother (Grandma Filsinger) was then a widow with two children and little money.  Within a few months, she had a nervous breakdown.  During the day, Mom (at thirteen) took over the cooking and tried to help the family. Then at night, she would cry noiselessly into her pillow.  She didn’t want to bring more worry to her mother.

For a couple of years, this little family moved several times…sometimes living with other family members and sometimes by themselves.  For every school change, God sent Mom a friend.  God proved that He was looking over her.

When Mom was fifteen, she went to a campmeeting in Oregon and was saved.  God immediately put a song in her heart!  She had carried sadness ever since the death of her father, and God gave her happiness.

Before her father had died, she had taken a few piano lessons and had gotten up to John Thompson’s first piano book.  Then they had run out of money, and she had to quit.

After she was saved, God began to help her and teach her to play the piano.  As a teenager, she would help in revivals and regular church services. 

Mom has always put others first and tried to pick up the pieces in the lives of those around her, putting herself last.  God has used her in hundreds (maybe thousands) of church services, campmeetings, and revivals down through the years.  It has been her life. 

She has modeled a life of holiness to me.  She has shown what it looks like to pray for the person who has mistreated you, how to forgive, and give back gentleness.  Todd and I have witnessed this over and over. 

She has a life of rock-solid integrity.

My brother-in-law once worked in a prison as a guard. Watching corruption in the prison as rules were broken had made him cynical. Guards would break the rules if there was enough in it for them. He told me, “EVERYONE has a price!”

Quickly I retorted, “Your mother doesn’t!”

He had nothing more to say because he also had watched the real.

There is genuine. There are people who have gotten in touch with the power of God!

Like me, he has witnessed a sermon in shoes.

Since this is not Mother’s Day, you may wonder why I write all these things now.

It has been our desire to record our family singing some songs, and it has finally happened!  The music has been recorded (hours of work), tuned (trust me we needed it!), edited (multiple, multiple hours), mixed, and mastered, thanks to my family Merilee Barnard, Bobby, and Morganne Pickett. This album is finally ready for duplication. I will let you know when I have the CDs in hand.

Todd and I have decided to dedicate this album to Mom. 

If you would like to hear a preview and read the dedication.  Go here.


  1. Janet Albertson

    Beautiful tribute! I loved the preview!

    • Elizabeth Hamilton

      Thank you so much! And thank the Lord!