Bio-Notes . . . Tricia Salas had her first conversion experience at about the age of ten, during the time her grandparents were taking her to church with them. At about thirteen she kind of fell away from a relationship with God. She has been coming to the Easter service at Kelso High for the last four years, and she and George had been talking with Ann Hight for about two years about marriage and parenting their son, George.
Tricia made the decision to return to her faith in Jesus this past November, and George followed in December, surrendering his life to God for the first time.
Both George and Tricia grew up in California and finished high school there. They have made Longview/Kelso their home for the last six years. George works with Steve & Cheryl Mazzuca at Grocery Outlet, grateful for the kind of employers they are, and Tricia is the manager at the Kelso Safeway Starbucks. She enjoys interacting with people, so it’s a good fit for her. They have a delightful little boy we met for the first time during this interview, named George after his father.
They don’t seem to have a lot of free time, but they do enjoy "hanging" together, and are working on developing a time of reading the Bible together. They like watching movies, and George is busy with on-line marketing. They are also trying to establish a time of praying together, and for Tricia, the experience of "talking to God all day" is new, but great. She wants to get past the "don’t have time . . . I’ll do it later" aspect of Bible study and prayer with George, but they’re definitely "working on it"!
Tricia has started reading Five Love Languages, about learning a simple way to express feelings and bring joy back into marriage, and George has been reading bits of a book about Christian persecution and the hardships of being a Christian, during his lunch break at work.
The House: As we talked about, the February issue of The House is focused on Mentoring, and particularly, the relationships that grew out of knowing and talking with Tom Hight. I know you told me that wasn’t directly true for you, but that he did influence your spiritual journey. Can you tell us more about how that’s true for you?
Tricia: I only had brief conversations with Tom when I came into Celebration Services every weekend. He was always at the back of the church, always asked me about my week, always asked about George, even when he wasn’t with me. But . . . the counseling George and I have been doing with Ann is based on the relationship she and Tom shared, and the way they raised their children.
She talked to us always about how they loved one another, and how forgiving and loving Tom was. One example she used was what she called "the gas fairy" because she would go to bed knowing she needed gas in her car, and when she got to her car to go to the church, Tom would have taken her car and filled the tank for her.
One phrase Ann repeats often sticks in my mind: "Love is kind".
An example of Tom and Ann’s parenting style was splitting responsibilities. Ann would wait for Tom to take care of the part he was responsible for when he got home from work. They respected what the other brought to their parenting relationship.
One funny story is how, when they were newly married, Ann thought it would be funny to pour water on Tom. She told me he got so mad, and she had never seen him mad. She said she was afraid he was going to leave. She said he hadn’t ever gotten that mad again, but she never threw water on him again either!
How well they lived their life together has really impressed upon me how important it is. My dad died when I was fifteen. I never had the opportunity to experience what it would have been like to have parents like Tom and Ann, but I want to base all my relationships on their example.
The House: George, you have been chiming in to agree with Tricia all along the way tonight. Do you have something to add?
George: Just that there were so many people who would say, "I need to know what to do in this situation. I think I’ll go talk to Tom. He will know the best thing to do." I want to be like him.