— by Crystal (Bennett) Billington
Sitting here, staring at a blank screen wondering what on earth I could ever type to express the impact my parents, Calvin and Becky Bennett, have had on my life and the lives of so many others, I look over at my son. He is sitting on the desk next to me, eating crackers and trying to brush his hair with the wrong side of the brush. I think to myself, what kind of an example do I want to leave for him? It is an easy answer; I want him to have the kind of example to follow that my parents gave me.
My parents are two very different people. My mother would go around the block to find someone to talk to; my dad would go around the block to find peace and quiet; but for thirty-six years they have worked together to serve God to the best of their ability. My father with his gentle, wise spirit and calloused hands, building buildings and building better lives, my mother with her unfailingly cheerful and exuberant spirit, bringing joy with her piano playing and cookies.
I have been privileged to be the child of two people who have fully devoted their lives to serving God. I look back with a grateful heart on my childhood where I learned early the importance of putting God first, family second, and service to others third. My parents modeled this each and every day, laboring to help others with their problems, their struggles, but always ready to put my problems and struggles first if needed. I have spent many an hour discussing things with my dad, often while following him around a building site, toting nails and tools. I admire my dad’s ability to give advice, to gently correct wrongs and to diffuse anger. He is always patient, always ready to listen and always kind. These traits have not only made him an amazing father, they have made him a wonderful counselor, pastor, and friend to many over the years. He and my mother have found their place in God’s plan in serving others and like the Apostle Paul, can count many their “sons and daughters in the faith.”