The Baker Family is a tight-knit one. Courtesy: Randy and Becky Baker
ROUND ROCK, Texas — Theirs is a love story made in heaven. Randy and Becky Baker just celebrated fifty years of marriage this past August, and through the ups and downs, have always relied on their faith in God to see them through any challenges.
The couple moved from San Diego to Round Rock nine years ago after their oldest daughter, Celise, 40, and her husband, Robbie Ketch, moved to Round Rock from Dallas. He works as the general manager at Lasco Acoustics and Drywall, Inc. in Round Rock, while she is a substitute teacher for Fellowship Preschools at two locations, one in Round Rock and the other in Hutto. They are the parents of one child.
Becky and Randy Baker recently celebrated 50 years of marriage.
Courtesy: Becky and Randy Baker
Next, their son, Aaron, 43, and his wife, Angela, fell in love with the area, and they too relocated, but from Orange County, California. Angela was eight months pregnant at the time and has since had three children. He is an account executive at KXAN TV, while she is the assistant director at Fellowship Preschool in Hutto, and can stay connected with her sister-in-law there, as well.
Becky and Randy realized they were missing out on all of the family fun, so a few years later, after a three-day road trip from San Diego, they too landed in Round Rock, moving vans full. As grandparents, they knew they had to be close to the grandkids, and at the time, there were just three of them. The count has doubled since then, and they brag about six wonderful grandchildren these days.
But wait, there’s more. Daughter Briana, 32, next jumped on the bandwagon and followed the family, moving to Round Rock from southern California. She is working as a rental sales specialist at RDO Equipment Company in Pflugerville. Her three-year-old twin boys keep her busy, and there are a lot of cousins to teach them how things are done.
Next there’s Chris, 38, owner of Lionshare Partners, a financial planning firm. Adopted into the family when he was age 18 and a high school friend of Briana, he was the last of the clan to land in “The Rock” long after college, where he had earned a four-year, full-ride scholarship to UCLA. The rest of his family was living there, so why shouldn’t he?
The Bakers love every minute of being together, their five different homes a short distance apart from each other. Whether it’s babysitting for young ones, or just gathering for dinners, birthdays and holiday celebrations, they are close-knit. That is, until the COVID-19 pandemic hit the area.
“The separation from one another (was hard),” Becky said, describing the situation at the beginning of social distancing time, “even though we were physically within two miles of each other’s houses.” They slowly learned how to reconnect safely.
“We love backyard barbecues and swim parties, card games, an Express baseball game on the grass, and an occasional vacation all together. There is also so much to do in Round Rock – there’s always a new spot or restaurant or play area to discover and explore. We love Round Rock and are so grateful God led us hereThe Baker wedding announcement from 1970.
Courtesy: Randy and Becky Baker
Randy and Becky met while attending Biola University in California. That God brought them together from different parts of the globe illustrates their connected destinies. Randy was born in Bethesda, Maryland but grew up in southern California, the son of an aeronautical engineer at Vandenburg Air Force Base. Becky was born in Santa Barbara, but raised across the continent in Belize, Central America as the child of Baptist missionary parents.
“I was really upset when my folks brought my brother and me up from Belize and deposited us in college,” Becky said. “I picked a major I knew well – Spanish — to get out of college quickly. Well, God’s little joke. He used that major to give me a wondrous 45-year career teaching high school Spanish. Along the way I started professional motivational speaking and doing a comedy routine that spanned 30 years in both secular and Christian venues.” She retired a few years ago from teaching at Hendrickson High School in Pflugerville and also at Running Brushy Middle School in Leander.
“Randy got an early start as an entrepreneur, opening one of the very first private mailbox/package shipping businesses,” Becky continued. “He went from that to a 13-year run with three small loan stores in San Diego. He also helped found a video production company.”
The couple is bound together by their faith. It is rare in our culture to be married for 50 years, and they believe the most important thing that binds them together is their faith in Jesus Christ and their relationship “first and foremost with Him.” The entire family celebrated the momentous anniversary, even with social distancing rules in place, with a special dinner at Steiner Ranch Steakhouse.
“We went into marriage agreeing never to use the ‘divorce’ word – we would work out whatever differences we had. And believe me, there were plenty! We also had the essential mantra of ‘Be Kind,’ and lived by Ephesians 4:29 that says, ‘Say only what is good and kind and will build each other up according to their needs.’”
In addition to her motivational speaking program, Becky and a longtime friend, Katie Blackburn, developed years ago, “The Bessie and Beulah Show” combines comedy with truthful life lessons. Since 1989, the women have presented to corporate groups, school conventions, chief surgeons, Boeing engineers, and women’s groups, to name a few. They begin the show dressed as dowdy, outspoken old ladies, then take off the outer layers of clothing to reveal their true beauty beneath. The theme of the talk, Becky explained, is about “choosing joy and training yourself to see the humor in life, while learning to extinguish the four joy killers: fear, anger, stress and guilt.”
As a speaker, Becky dons a costume for a reason.
Courtesy: Becky Baker
As for the joy within the Baker family, it’s written all over their Christmas cards. For the past 43 years, they all get together to pose for a photo that is sent out to family and friends. They have been doing this since their first child, Aaron, was born.
“My birthday is a week before Christmas, and they know by now what my birthday request is!” Becky said. “We are a family grounded in faith in Jesus Christ. He makes all the difference in enabling us to give grace to one another as needed.”
One could say they lives are grounded on the one true Rock.
The family together celebrated the 50-year anniversary.
Courtesy: Randy and Becky Baker
Truths the Bakers have learned along the way of a 50-year marriage
- When God allows you to see someone else’s faults, it is for the purpose of intercession (prayer), not judgment. Have I prayed for this person instead of criticizing?
- Love mercy. In Micah 6:8 it says there are three things God requires of man: to act justly, love mercy, and walk humbly with thy God. The last part — your healthy relationship with God through Christ Jesus — is the most important. And it produces the other two: acting justly and showing the kind of mercy that Jesus portrayed in all His dealings with people on earth.
- Be unoffendable. Takes hard work. It is no fun to live with someone that you have to walk on eggshells around. Unconditional, faithful love is desperately craved by all.
- Laugh together. The Bible says “rejoice always.” “In” all things, not “for.” Even in failures. One definition is : Comedy = tragedy + time.
- Speaking of time: Go the distance. Don’t throw in the towel too early. Persevere. People mellow with time, and priorities straighten out.
- Marry a person with the same basic values, not necessarily hobbies or interests. Randy has never wanted to go to Jazzercise. I have never wanted to go fishing. But we love God, love family, value hospitality and friends, value individuality.
- Be kind. Always. Every single email I send out, both business and personal, has this quote by Mother Teresa: “Spread love everywhere you go: first of all in your own house. Give love to your children, to your wife or husband, to a next-door neighbor… Let no one ever come to you without leaving better and happier. Be the living expression of God’s kindness; kindness in your face, kindness in your eyes, kindness in your smile, kindness in your warm greeting.”
A 30-year study of married couples at the University of Washington came up with a formula whereby they could predict with 94 percent accuracy who was going to get divorced and who wasn’t. The formula was five positives to one negative. The found out it worked for all relationships: boss/employee, friend/friend, parent/child. To have a healthy, thriving relationship you have to give five positives for each negative. We tend to do the reverse, especially with children.
- Trust that God is always working! Even when He is silent. Randy and I had been married seven years, trying for the previous four years to get pregnant. We made the mistake of going to church on Mother’s Day in May 1977. After all the roses being handed out to every variety of mother imaginable (Who is the mother with the most kids? Who is the youngest mother? The oldest grandma?) I came away shaking my fists at God, crying, “Why don’t you answer me, God? Why don’t you care?!” That summer a friend of mine who was a counselor at the church bailed on our beach date. When I quizzed why, she said she had a client who decided at last minute to put her baby up for adoption, and she needed to find parents. Hellloooo!!! And you cannot imagine the sheer joy, gratitude, and humility I felt when our first child was placed in my arms at the age of one day old, three months after I was screaming at God. I didn’t even have to do the nine months!
He is working for you. Like the song says, “He never stops working”!