by Lisa McIntosh
For Barbara Schmidt being a mum and grandma has been a huge blessing full of times to treasure.
While she did receptionist and office work before she was married and finally realised a long-held dream of being a nurse for 17 years when her children were older, motherhood has been her most cherished role.
Marriage to a pastor – Kevin Schmidt – naturally meant multiple moves around Australia. Their four children were born during service in three different parishes, often away from extended family support.
As adults, Barbara and Kevin’s children Julie, Phil, David and Tim have also been scattered in different states, following their own vocations and families.
Despite these separations, Barbara has placed a high priority on being involved with her children and their children as much as possible, at times through interstate visits. In fact, she and Kevin have been an important presence for each of their seven grandchildren.
‘We just feel very blessed at having had that opportunity to spend time with them. I’ve just loved every minute of it’, she says of school pickups, sleepovers, bicycle rides and general babysitting with Kate, Sam, Ruby, Matilda, Oscar, Cooper and Miranda, who are now aged between 29 and six.
‘I’ve also seen people who’ve had very little input with their children or their grandchildren and I think they’re missing out on so much. Just having that love and that connection with each one is precious. Just to see your grandchildren following their chosen field is wonderful.’
Barbara says she and Kevin wanted their children to choose what they would do as adults. Two sons, David and Tim, have followed their father and studied to become pastors. David Schmidt serves as youth and family pastor at Prince of Peace Everton Hills, Queensland; while Tim Castle-Schmidt, a former teacher, is in his final year at Australian Lutheran College and is doing his vicarage at Faith Warradale, South Australia. Elder son Phil Fagan-Schmidt works for the South Australian government in housing, while daughter Julie Wiesner, a former teacher, works on her family’s farm at Walla Walla in New South Wales.
Barbara and Kevin Schmidt are members at Our Saviour Lutheran Church Aberfoyle Park, in Adelaide’s southern suburbs.