There’s always one someone to begin the journey … to pave the way for those who follow.
And what a privilege to return home in the late of summer to celebrate her 90th birthday.
Her life has not been perfect; in fact it has been full of suffering…
An alcoholic father, an interrupted education, marrying young, and having lots of babies…
No running water, almost no money, baking from scratch, curing wild game, miscarriages and the loss of babies…
Grieving the loss of parents, contracting polio in her left arm and never being able to raise it after that, and learning to write with her right hand all over again…
Dealing with difficult in-laws, rebellious children, and a foster daughter’s betrayal…
Years of working hard and enduring a challenging and unaffirming marriage…
The death of her spouse, the death of her dogs, the betrayal of close friends, and living alone…
Diabetes, shingles, gout, and medications, a torn rotator cuff, limited right arm mobility and the loss of a driver’s license…
So much to endure and so much to grieve…
But her heart met a Savior all those years ago, and changed her journey through it all … and changed her children too.
Every Sunday she took them to Sunday school. And in the only way she knew how, she instilled in them a love for God, a love for music, and a love of His people. She taught them to work hard, to never be lazy, to reap what you sow and to sow generously.
I remember many Christmases at her house, gifts piled a mile high. How she loved to cook and loved to teach us how too. No one could make pies or biscuits like her and I’m privileged enough to have some of her recipes … recipes scratched out in her own left-handed-turned-right-handed handwriting, indicating a pinch of this and a bit of that, in a way only she could explain in person.
I remember the gospel music she loved and how her little dog would always jump up on her lap with a yip-yap bark that made everyone crazy but her.
I remember how she used to drive with a jerky start-stop, decelerating at the last possible moment and braking with her left foot while keeping her right over the accelerator, ready to go again.
And now at age 90, we meet on a warm August evening to surprise her and celebrate–her children, grand-children, and great-grandchildren all gathering to eat, to talk, to swim and to sing.
Her long life is a gift and together we give thanks, for her and the legacy she began for each of us.
Psalm 91:14-16 (ESV) Because he holds fast to me in love, I will deliver him; I will protect him, because he knows my name. When he calls to me, I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble; I will rescue him and honor him. With long life I will satisfy him and show him my salvation.
What are you giving thanks for today?
#1561 A job I love
#1562 Fluffy white clouds in the sky
#1563 The way he looks at me from across the room
#1564 Ministry opportunities to use my gifts
#1565 To read The Story as a church this school year
#1566 Hugs and kisses and tickles on the floor
#1567 Summer movies at the theatre
#1568 Chick-fil-A lunch with our co-op friends
#1569 Homeschool planning
#1570 A Pre-Kindergarten program full of fun
#1571 The San Joaquin valley in the summertime
#1572 A morning chat with my sweet aunt
#1573 A blonde lab and his friendly temperment
#1574 Running 8 miles with my sister
#1575 Time with family and friends