Patricia Anderson, 41, walks the winding road of her farmland in the early evening along with her six children (L-R) James, 9, Callie, 11, Emmy, 15, Jess, 8 months, Jed, 4 and Maddie, 6 (L-R) after feeding and milking the cattle. Tompkinsville, Ky.

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The Good Shepherd and Her Sheep


    “I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me — just as the Father knows me and I know the Father—and I lay down my life for the sheep,” (John 10:11, New International Version)


    Patricia Anderson, 41, is a mother of seven, a wife and a daughter to her aging parents. She says her sole purpose in life is to devote her time and self to the well-being of her family and most importantly her children.


    What sets Anderson apart from other mother’s is the fact that her devotion does not come from the worldly norm. Instead, it comes from her desire to serve God, to love, nurture, appreciate and be thankful of the gift from God – 

her children.


    “I do not want a new car. I do not want a big fancy house. I want to be here with them. I do not want a babysitter to raise my children. I believe there are so many children who rather have their ‘momma’ than all the new-fangled toys and movies that money can buy,” Anderson said. 


****


    Things have changed a lot since I did this story on Patricia. 


    Although she continues to live her humble life, she is now a mother of a new born boy. 


    But, on the other hand, Patricia lost both her parents eight months apart.



Emmy Anderson, 15, makes her mother laugh by recalling a funny incident about when Anderson fell off an ATV. While driving home after selling a puppy for their Amish friend. “The only time mom every gets to sit down is when she is she nurses the baby or when she is driving or when she plays Candy Crush on the phone,” Emmy said.

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The Anderson children prepare the dining room for supper while Patricia requests Maddie not to finish the dessert before having supper with the family.

“I know I am strict with my children in a lot of ways. But, if they cannot obey me in little matters, then how will they obey the Lord when he asks something of them?” Anderson said.

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Jed Anderson,4, observes his mother eagerly when she milks the cow with baby Jess strapped to her back.

15 years’ ago the Anderson family lived a very regular mundane small town Tennessee life. The daughters modern western clothes and did not cover their heads. Anderson sent her children to school and believed in immunization and doctors. Gradually, after her husband Jeremy Anderson introduced her to some of his Amish friends, Anderson was thoroughly inspired by their simple and traditional lifestyle. Eventually, over the years the Anderson family adopted into the lifestyle. Today, they own a 146 acres of farm land with cows, chicken and hogs that they raise, sell and slaughter. “We wanted to get out of the rat-race, the rut of regular life and slow down,” Anderson said.“I have never exposed my children to the worldly things. Yes, they are children and sometimes they have their moments. But, the way I have raised them does make a difference in them not being greedy or throwing temper tantrums in the store wanting the new hottest toys."

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Jess shares a quiet moment of pee-paa with his mother before she gathers supply for supper. “One thing that I get really sad about is that because of my back surgery I cannot play with the kids as much as I would want to. Like jump on the trampoline, play basketball. I also feel that I do not have enough hours in the day to give each of my kids’ individual time,” she said.

Anderson had a back surgery in her mid-30's after a minor accident at a supply store. Since her surgery, rigorous activities have been difficult. 

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“That sticker is me. That is how I feel; half of my brain is missing because of these kids,” laughs Anderson as she packs the kids in the van to take them to NorthWest Church of Christ in Fort Worth, Tenn. for their Bible Bowl classes. 

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After their Bible Bowl classes Anderson and he children join hands during the closing service of the Sunday sermon. 

Religion is something around which the lives of each and every Anderson family revolve around. They live to serve the almighty and that is the kind of outlook that Anderson works hard each day to instill in them. 

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In preparation for the Bible Bowl that Callie, Emmy and James will be taking part in come November – Anderson  sits with her children making sure they understand the various passages in the Holy Bile. She later quizzes them over the material.

“I hope and pray that they continue to serve the Lord and go with that and stay with him. As far as if they want an electric stove over a wooden stove that is not going to matter to me. So many people are caught up in trying to have the materialistic stuff and that is not where happiness lies, and I hope the children understand that and see that in the way they were raised,” she said.

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“I think I am ready to go to bed. But doesn’t look like booger butt (Jess) is tired yet,” Anderson said.

Anderson wants to live a life knowing that she did what she could do in the time she had on Earth. “As far as free time. No, I do not have ‘me’ time. I do not even get to go to the bathroom by myself, there is usually somebody standing there with talking,” she said.  

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Patricia King met Jeremy Anderson while working at a mill in Clay county, Tenn. In 2000 Patricia got married to Jeremy and since have shared an incredible life together. Through the birth of her six children Jeremy has been her rock, her only system of support, she cannot imagine life without her husband.

Jeremy spends most of the time working at a construction based company at Livingston, Tenn. but makes sure he is there for his family when they need him. “We love each other. He is always there when you need him,” she said.

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“Even though Jess is the youngest, Jed is the baby of the family. He is just really attached to me,” Anderson said as Jed hugs her from behind.

Anderson recalls waking up after her back surgery rubbing the bed and patting. Asking the kids to be around her. "I feel totally lost if I have not got my children. I am perfectly happy where I am – being at home with my kids,” she said.

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Anderson’s whole life revolves around her children and teaching them how to become better servants to God and the rest of the human kind. Therefore, she makes it a point to read to all her children some Biblical stories before they all go to bed.

“In Psalm 127:4 it is said that you are supposed to raise your children like arrows in the hands of a warrior. If you raise them the best you can, if you raise them right they are going to go the straightway – like an arrow," she said. "I just hope that my children know that I have tried my best to raise them right."

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