Jean Schwieder


I was reading a book recently about a man and wife and their experience managing a lighthouse. A lighthouse is a tower with a bright light at the top, located at an important or dangerous place regarding travel over the water. The two main purposes of a lighthouse are to serve as a navigational aid and to warn boats of dangerous areas. We have many of them in the United States and the world

A lighthouse can represent many things such as overcoming challenges and adversity or guidance. These lighthouses would not be seen or experienced by everyone and could be our own personal guide. A personal lighthouse could be a helper, a secure place like home, a destination, accomplishment of difficult tasks, and arrival after a long arduous journey.

I got thinking of lighthouses in our individual lives. We live in an area far from dangerous waters where a lighthouse is needed. There are dangers on dry land as well as on the water, and there are other lighthouses other than the tall towers near water?

What would be the lighthouses we could look for in our lives here in this area? I look back through my many years of living and can identify numerous lighthouses that have aided me through the years

· My parents, Derrald and Ann Crystal Ricks, were and are strong “lighthouses” all through my life and their influence is still felt though both have passed away. I remember the work ethic lighthouse they both emulated! Mother was a stay-at-home mother, but a busy one. Dad worked long hours to provide for us but also expected all of his children to be obedient and respectful and in turn to work hard. When I was old enough to date, they gave me guidelines and rules: home by 10 on school nights and 12 o’clock on Friday and Saturday nights. We had lights on our back and front doorsteps, and those lights were left on until we were home for the evening Those lights were there not only to guide me home but to remind me of what time I needed to be there. Also they were reminders of what my parents expected of me!

· Boyd’s, my husbands, parents, Phil and Bertha Patterson Schwieder were equally lighthouses in his growing up years. His dad was a farmer/rancher as Boyd is. Boyd started following his dad around when he first started walking. His dad was patient in teaching Boyd what to do with equipment, in handling animals, in working with people, in playing sports. His mom was a school teacher and she taught him the importance of reading, of studying, of respect, of responsibility. They were lighthouses of strength to guide Boyd. And their influence is still felt as we often talk about what they would do in the different situations.

· I remember the basketball game Boyd and I with friends, Dena and Rex Johnson. We sat down and were getting ready to enjoy a good game when the people around started calling the referees bad names, heckling the opposite team and coaches and fans. We decided to move as we were not comfortable there. As we left, someone shouted that we must be for the opposing team and couldn’t take the heckling. Dena turned around, faced the crowd and said something to the fact that we were supporting the same team they were but were embarrassed to be sitting with them and listening to their negative remarks. Later the coach of our team took the time to thank Dena for her remarks. What a tremendous lighthouse she was not only for me but for those who were ranting and raving and making fools of themselves.

Now, what type of a lighthouse am I? The older I get the more I am aware that I have failed in many of the areas where I could have influenced someone for good. I have not been the best lighthouse to my friends and family, but I’m sure there are those who I have influenced either for bad or for good. It is something that I want to consider and change in my life at this time.

What kind of a lighthouse are you for those you work with, go to school with, or even live with?

Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven. Matthew 5:16

Reach Jean Schwieder at 208-522-8098 or