A Tribute to My Ozzie and Harriett


I know not everyone had the upbringing that I did, and so for me to say that I had an Ozzie and Harriet childhood shouldn’t and is not taken for granted. It by no means was perfect, and our family most assuredly has its share of quirks. If you know me… enough said. But my quirks were generally products of my adulthood, not my childhood, I won’t lay those at my parents feet for blame. And the purpose in todays tribute to my Mother, is not so much to puff her up, for she is a humble lady, but it is to give hope to an up and coming generation to look to the old paths not the new for child rearing advice.

Scripture says as much in Jeremiah 6:16 KJV

Thus saith the Lord, Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls. But they said, We will not walk therein.

Note the Rebellion

“We will not walk therein.”

When I say I’m responsible for my own quirks, I’m serious. I was brought up in church. Every Sunday. My parents were traditional parents of their era who didn’t change with the times. They did not cuss or fuss, they didn’t yell or tear us down. They were builders and encouragers. They had work ethics and were shining examples. But when I left the nest, I thought the new paths were better and so that is the pathway I chose. Oh… to live life over. But alas we’re not given the opportunity. And so I suffered for those decisions and my children were brought up in a new era. One filled with mistakes. Until the day that I met Jesus, and I began to study the word of God and began applying verses like Jeremiah 6:16 to my life. When I turned from rebellion and back to my roots.

Near the Roots

Isaiah 11:1 KJV

[1] And there shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse, and a Branch shall grow out of his roots:

I didn’t realize in those Ozzie and Harriett years, how easily it was to drift away from the the roots of which I was planted. I was like a vine in the forest weaving through the brush to what ever was shiny. It wasn’t always the sun. Sometimes it was just sparkly stuff. The fluff of life. Nothing ever brought comfort. It was in those times of struggle that i would take out a bible that was dry rotted from lack of use and try to read and understand the word of God. I would remember my Dad in his recliner scribbling notes on the pages and studying the Word of God. It was important to him and I knew it. I would remember my mother doting on every second of her spare time. He was her life, and until he drew his last breath she never stopped doting on him.

For years and years I was a “new aged” wife. Not believing I owed my husband anything, we were separate entities. But those roots never left my mind. I knew I was wrong. It’s why this world is so messed up. Children of today do not witness what I did. They don’t see godliness played out in a home in such a way that it leaves deep marks in your soul. My mother is one such woman. And as I study the word of God and realize it more and more every day, and struggle to get back to my roots once more, and be the wife and mother I need to be for God.

Necessity of Faith

When Solomon described his mother in Proverbs 31, it’s hard for me to imagine that is the same Bathsheba.

22 She maketh herself coverings of tapestry; her clothing is silk and purple. 23 Her husband is known in the gates, when he sitteth among the elders of the land. 24 She maketh fine linen, and selleth it; and delivereth girdles unto the merchant. 25 Strength and honor are her clothing; and she shall rejoice in time to come. 26 She openeth her mouth with wisdom; and in her tongue is the law of kindness. 27 She looketh well to the ways of her household, and eateth not the bread of idleness. 28 Her children arise up, and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praiseth her.

She obviously did not always live the life she is portrayed to have as David’s affair.

Proverbs 31 truly, in all seriousness describes my mother. As a child I watched as she sewed hours and hours a day to give us and her clothing. She sewed hours and hours to provide money for our home, she taught us to always be kind and to this day at the age of 84, she is not idle. And we do call her blessed, and my Dad called her blessed. And none of it would have been possible were it not for the faith as a family they had in Jesus Christ. My Dad would stand and testify, while my mom was and is a quiet gentler spirit.

So this is my word for my children, and any one else. Keep to the old paths and the old ways. It it is there you will find peace! Oh Glory to God, thank You Heavenly Father for that peace, and for an Ozzie and Harriett world that I wish would return.

My parents, Gene and Violet Hardway

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Shari Johnson. (aka The Jesus Chick) has been encouraging women of faith and youth for a closer walk with Christ for over ten years. Having a burden for the leadership in American Churches, much of her writing is meant to spear on the servant of God to do more for the cause of Christ in these uncertain times. With humor, transparency and solid bible teaching Shari outlines messages that are easily understood, life applicable, and often with easily remembered points to ponder in hopes that they’ll be reflected on throughout the day and serve as encouragement on the go. Her servant’s heart is grounded in her own local church believing that it is there that the greatest impact can be made and unfortunately suffers the greatest neglect across America. Shari speaks at women’s gatherings in hopes of leaving a giggle in their soul and a burning desire to serve in their own local body of believers having it said of her “I laughed, I cried, and I was drawn to the foot of the cross…” Which is what it’s all about. For information on scheduling Shari, call her direct at (304)377-6036, message her via email at talk2shari@gmail.com or find her on Facebook!

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