Sis. Wanda Pitts
What better way to start off this blog series than with my adopted Grandmama, Sis. Wanda Pitts. She has been married to the love of her life, Eugene, for 58 years. They call Adairville, Kentucky, home. Their love story began at a hay ride that Eugene’s sister put on. They ran into each other in the hallway of his house and the rest was history. They have three kids: Gary, Gwen, and Greg, nine grandkids, and two great-grandkids. Together they pastored Hope Apostolic Church in Barren Plains, Tennessee, for 20 years which was first an old cabin in the back of their yard. They have been friends of our family for quite some time and have always treated me like I was their own. They are some of the kindest people on this earth.
What is a piece of advice that has affected your life?
My mother was really a peaceful kind of person, you’d think she wouldn’t be because she had ten children. She would say “It’s not worth fighting over” which is true. It is a piece that I carried with me into my marriage and motherhood. Actually, the first three years of my marriage we fought a little bit (you know a little pushing or pinching- probably because we made a pact before we got married that we would never say anything bad to each other because you can’t take it back.) But you can heal from a bruise. Even if you say sorry, it is still there hanging in the air. It’s like a feather. When you throw a bunch of feathers out of a feather pillow, you can’t put them back or catch them all. When I became pregnant with Gary, we quit the little fighting because we didn’t want to fight in front of the baby.
What is a great piece of advice you were given as a mother?
This piece of advice came from a friend’s mother. We were discussing babies and spoiling them: not with money or tangible things but with attention. When I first became a mother, the thing was to put the babies in the crib and let them cry it out. I had a problem with that, and I didn’t want to do it. Well this woman told me, “You’re not spoiling them; you are loving them.” You can’t love them too much.
Is there a boundary in your life that is non-negotiable?
My doctrinal truth. There’s no way I will negotiate that. That is it for me. I truly repented when I was 12 years old at a Baptist church. However, I didn’t come to the apostolic truth until I was 29 years old. My husband and I were on a search for the truth, and we would have people come and do Bible studies with us. When Gwen was six years old, we were going to a wedding. While we were eating lunch, she asked me, “Momma, why does a woman change her name when she gets married?” I said, “Well honey, if she loves him, she will take on his name.” You see, we had been having Bible studies so all of this was in my head. So, when I said that it just clicked, it’s Jesus Name Baptism. A little while after that, we settled in an apostolic church where my husband’s uncle was the pastor, and I was filled with the Holy Ghost about two weeks after I got baptized.
What scripture have you stood on in your life or has meant the most to you?
Matthew 11:28-30. This one really goes with the revelation I had about baptism at that wedding. I didn’t actually decide to be baptized that day. But a few nights later, I was up late at night reading the Bible because I knew the truth was in there and I was going to find it. I found a scripture that brought me to my knees in my kitchen floor, and that is really when I received the truth. It was Matthew 11:28-30. That scripture really spoke to me because I was weary and heavy burdened about baptism. I knew it was right, but do I do it? I was trying to find the courage to do it.
28 Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.
30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.
Where do you pray? What are your study habits?
I pray in my sewing room, that’s my room in the house. I don’t really have study habits. I am not big on devotionals. I read whatever I want to or whatever comes to my heart. One of my favorite ways to study is to do character studies. You learn a lot when you pick a character to study, and most of the time you are in for a journey.
What do you think makes a strong woman, and is there a woman who embodies that quality to you?
I’ve thought about this question, and I figured out my answer. Then I asked my husband who he thought I would say, and he knew exactly who I was thinking because we think the same. It’s my daughter, Gwen. She is a very patient and very tender-hearted woman, but she is tough. You wouldn’t know that by looking at her because she is short, quiet, and a happy little thing, but she is tough in spirit. She raised those four girls with Mike’s help, and they came out wonderful. She led them, guided them, and she was an example for them. She never wavered in her own faith. If she believed something, she lived it.
Do you make free time for yourself? If you have free time what do you do?
My whole life is my time for myself. I was a stay at home mom, and I’ve always done whatever I wanted to do. I have always been the boss of myself and I've done whatever I wanted to when I wanted. If I have free time, I love to quilt.
Besides Christianity and marriage, what was the best decision you ever made?
The best decision I’ve ever made was going to Hawaii. Anna took me, Gwen, and Kathy in May of 2019. I have always wanted to go to Hawaii, and I finally got to go. Even my son Gary, when he was a little boy, remembered saying to me, “Mom, when I grow up, I am taking you to Hawaii.” I’ve just always wanted to go. Well, Anna asked me to go in March of 2019, and I had to wait two whole months. I about went crazy.
Strong women are Dedicated.
Sis. Wanda, or Grandmama as I call her, is a one of a kind woman. I so enjoyed interviewing her and discussing the things that make her who she is. What incredible pieces of advice and experiences she shared with us. How many people can say that they went into marriage with a pact to never say anything bad to one another and actually kept the pact? What an example. She gave us the secret to marriage and life in general and that was to be intentional with your words. We know that the power of life and death is in the tongue, that’s scripture. While it is important to speak life, it is even more important to hold your tongue. You can’t take words back. She said it best when she compared our words to feathers in a pillow. As hard as we try to catch them and put them back, we won’t catch them all. They will still be in the air. My favorite thing we discussed was her experience at a wedding with Gwen. Sis. Wanda had been searching for the truth in the word of God and it filled her mind. So when Gwen asked her the question “Momma, why does a woman change her name when she gets married?” and she responded, “Well honey, if she loves him, she will take on his name.” of course her spirit was quickened. You know why? Because out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks. And what we put into the well, we must draw up. It goes to show that if we fill our mind with the word, God will speak to us and through us. This interview confirmed even more something I already knew, Sis. Wanda is a strong woman. I am a better person because of knowing her.