Pretty, cute, sweet, happy, lovely: all comments from various ladies entering the beautifully decorated home of Norm and Peggy Zilinsky. New Life Lunch Bunch brought many ladies to enjoy potato, chicken noodle and vegetable beef soups, various salads and sides and cakes, cookies and brownies for dessert.
The tables sported a candy heart votive lamp, and unique, handmade utensil pockets created by hostess Peggy. Pinks and reds, hearts and flowers brightened the clothes and atmosphere. Each lady found at her place at the table a gift box full of chocolate treats all ladies love.
Director Jois Ross called us to the living room where Barb Schmidt awaited. She shared the story of God’s direction throughout her life, guiding her to become a nurse. As a young girl Barb was confident that she wanted to become a nurse and focused her efforts to do just that. After the experience of a baby’s birth she knew that obstetrical nursing was the specialty she would pursue.
Having been pressed to go when she first felt it was contrary to her religious commitment, she felt peace from God to make the trip to a lake on a Sunday. While there she felt in her spirit the voice of God instructing her to join the Air Force! Shocked, she thought about it and made the call to a recruiter. Shortly after Barb was accepted and began a fascinating career in the service doing what she loved.
Her first base was Sheppard Air Force Base where she met the love of her life, Ed. She hoped to receive orders to Utah where she could obtain a Master’s Degree in Nursing as well as a Certified Nurse Midwife. Instead she received orders to Alabama. Alabama in the 1970s showed Barb what discrimination and racism looked like in healthcare.
We heard inspiring stories of her work as a nurse and as a nursing instructor. At one point, thinking she would be teaching Obstetrical Nursing, she was ordered to teach “Psych. Nursing.” Having never taught or served as a psych. nurse, Barb shared how God brought people to her aid who had taught psych. nursing, and how she trusted Him to help her teach a subject she had never taught.
A letter Barb received from a former nursing student revealed the impact and the level of teaching excellence Barb had on her; how Barb’s mentoring skill and real-life example had touched her; and how that made her a better, more dedicated nurse. That shows the impact of Barb’s life on her students through the years.
Barb ended the talk reminding us that being retired does not mean that we have completed God’s plan. So be attuned to the Lord’s voice.