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Nell Hepker

Mom was a big encourager. She was always encouraging us to try new things. But as her youngest, there were times when she got a little nervous about the new things I tried. When I was in college, a friend decided to teach me to rock climb in order to help me conquer my fear of heights. I’d call Mom to tell her when we were going climbing, and eventually she said “How about if you tell me *after* you’ve gone climbing? I really don’t want to think about you dangling hundreds of feet in the air from a skinny little rope.”


Mom understood the power of discipline and perserverance. She walked 4 or 5 days a week for as long as I can remember. She’d meet a friend and walk for an hour before school, and she rarely missed. And this wasn’t the only place she applied her joy in discipline and perseverance. Whether it was a student in her class that needed some extra attention and connection, a strong willed offspring (ahem…ME) who needed a little creative parenting, a tough spot in her marriage that she prayed through, seeking God’s heart on a tough decision, or walking the scary road of brain cancer and its unknown future, Mom stayed the course.

She didn’t run from the hard things. She didn’t sit down on a rock and give up. She laced her shoes a little tighter, got a little more creative, and kept going.

Mom was faithful.

  • Faithful to follow Christ, to seek His heart, and hear His voice
  • Faithful to deeply love my dad
  • Faithful to love and sacrifice for her kids
  • Faithful to authentically share her struggles and challenges
  • Faithful to speak the truth
  • Faithful to give generously of her talents, gifts, and pantry
  • Faithful to love, serve, challenge and pray unceasingly for her friends, family, and community.

give-in-memory-nell-hepkerThe best way I know to honor my mom is to remember the strength of her character, the depth of her compassion, the force of her desire to serve the Lord, and to say with Paul, “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.”