Shining Stars: Tell us a little about yourself (name, age, where you live, family, interests, etc) …
Dawnita: I’m Dawnita Fogleman, fifth generation Oklahoma Panhandle Pioneer. I’ve been married to Paul for over 24 years and we have six children on earth and one tubal baby in heaven. I’m a creative person and love sewing, scrapbooking, and arts and crafts of all kinds.
Shining Stars: What is your testimony (how did you become born-again)?
Dawnita: I was born in 1972 to teen parents. My mother was a hippy and left us when I was still a baby. My dad was abusive and his new wife disliked me. My grandmother would send me to VBS occasionally and I clearly remember sitting on the front row when I was around five years old, and the pastor holding a valentine box, showing how Jesus will clean all the bad stuff out of your heart and put good stuff in, if you ask HIM in. That night, I asked HIM into my heart so that if I died I would know I would go to Heaven to be with HIM. Throughout my childhood, no matter where I lived, I tried to connect with a church and go as often as I was allowed. My parents have always supported my Faith, even though they’ve never chosen to live their lives for HIM. I was raised New Age to be a Native American Medicine Woman, which confused me a lot. At seventeen, I met a preacher’s son fifteen years older than me. My family all already knew him and loved the match. After dating only three months, we married just after my eighteenth birthday. His parents lovingly brought me closer to the Lord. After we started homeschooling, other homeschool moms began lovingly questioning my New Age paraphernalia. I cleaned our home of all those things and have become closer and closer to the Lord. Because I was so unfamiliar with the Bible, our homeschooling has been a learning experience for me and we base all of our reading and history on Bible study for most of the elementary years. I LOVE learning HIS word with my children!
Shining Stars: How did you meet your husband? Can you tell us some about the events that led up to your marriage?
Dawnita: Because of the things I had seen both of my parents go through in marriage, I had decided NEVER to get married. I was going to be a Nuclear Astro-physicist and have a dog, a cat and a horse. Paul and I met in the middle of a pasture thirty miles from any town. I was in the tractor, plowing the field for my grandfather and he was looking for my grandfather, to do electrical work on an irrigation system. At first, I thought he was one of my uncle’s hippy friends. So I took a big pipe wrench with me out of the tractor to talk to him, just in case I needed to protect myself. I looked up into his eyes from under my cowboy hat and knew there was something special about him. My grandfather invited him for lunch. Afterward, I remember asking my grandmother a ton of questions about him. I wondered if he had done drugs and drank like my uncles and all their friends. She assured me that Paul would never have done any such things. I asked around town and found that he was a man of impeccable integrity who had never had a drink in his life and had a stable business with his dad. We didn’t meet again for nine months. I let him know I was interested in getting to know him better because I knew the age difference was an issue. He asked my grandparents’ permission to take me out (unbeknownst to me). We dated three months before I turned eighteen and we married in the little church my grandparents were married at, with only the preacher and his wife, my cousin, grandparents, and his parents attending. That was July of 1990.
Shining Stars: Why are you a stay-at-home wife/mother?
Dawnita: Paul had fond memories of his mother always being home when he got home from school and I had fond memories of my grandmothers being home for me. Since he and his dad had a nice stable business, we decided I would just help them and be home for our children. We actually traveled with him most of the time until we had too many children to fit in the truck anymore. I am a Work At Home Mother, because I have always been Secretary and Receptionist for his business. I’ve also had little businesses of my own, selling homemade crafts and various multi-level marketing products. I also ran a licensed daycare from our home for about seven years. I love being home with my children and having them with me wherever I go, so does Paul. Sometimes we “fight” over who gets to have the children for the day (playfully of course). Because of the abuse of my childhood, I could never imagine leaving my children.
Shining Stars: What are three character traits that have been the most useful/necessary in married life?
Dawnita: Determination; marriage is a commitment to YHWH. Truthfulness; I even show Paul every item I bring home from shopping (unless it’s a gift for him). Accountability is soooo important in marriage. Responsibility and Resourcefulness in handling the provisions that Paul and the LORD bless us with. It’s important to be good stewards, taking care of the things we have and making things last as long as possible. Stretching resources, like food and clothing, help take some of the pressure off Paul in trying to provide for our needs. Being creative helps as well. I never make a purchase without thinking first how I can accomplish my goal in the best way with the least amount of money. I usually make shelves for our books. I make some of our clothes. I shop clearance sales, consignment shops, and garage sales and auctions. We live simply and debt free, which takes away a lot of stress.
Shining Stars: Are there any resources that have encouraged you in your daily life?
Dawnita: The Scriptures, of course. I’ve also been very encouraged by Corrie ten Boom’s books (all of them). It has helped me a lot to know the Biblical Character traits. Each year I have our family help me pick out a few that I need to work on and I make it my goal for the year to develop those traits in my life. I am also encouraged when I read stories about family life, like Charles Dickens’ and Louisa Mae Alcott’s books, and other books from the 17 and 1800’s. I love those OLD novels because everyday life for those families was influenced by a very Christian society. Authors like Jane Austen are great object lessons for building strong Character.
Shining Stars: Do you have a ministry? If so, please share about it.
Dawnita: We like to show hospitality in our home whenever the opportunity presents itself. I also like to be helpful. Other than that, my first and most important ministry is to my family and I love to see how YHWH overflows from our lives into the lives of those around us.
Shining Stars: Do you have a home business? If so, please share about it.
Dawnita: Yes, I have several. I have a blog to share our homeschool and homestead fun. I am a consultant for Lilla Rose and Young Living. I also have a Virtual Assistant business to help Christian authors promote their books through online blog reviews and social media, including organizing facebook and twitter launch parties. I also have been receptionist and secretary for my husband and his dad’s electrical business since we’ve been married. Needless to say, I stay fairly busy.
Shining Stars: What encouragement/advice/exhortation do you have to share?
Dawnita: Never make marriage a goal of your life. Serve the LORD from wherever HE has you. You never know whom you may be influencing. YHWH and other people see the heart of your actions, so if your attitude is wrong, they know. Work on your heart and getting it ever closer to HIM and let HIM worry about whom to match it up with in the future HE has planned for you.