My youngest son was trying out for the school baseball team last year. Each day players were cut as the coaches tried to build their team. On Wednesday of the final week, Sam got into the car after practice and I could tell he was becoming pretty anxious. “Well, I made it one more day,” he informed me with a deep sigh.
On Thursday when I arrived to pick him up, he was already in the parking lot heading my way. I checked the time, but I wasn’t late. I looked over by the field. All the boys were there getting their things together. I was afraid that he was going to tell me he had been cut. I held my breath as he got into the car
“Well?” I asked.
“Not yet,” he said.
“His master replied, ‘Well done my good and faithful servant’. You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many. Come and share your master’s happiness.” –Matthew 25:21
In a study I did recently I was to write the names of those people who influenced and encouraged me in my faith. One of the persons I quickly wrote down was my step-grandmother who we called “Granny”. I have the best memories of going to her and Papa’s house in Georgia. My cousins and I did everything from climbing on giant rolls of hay, to taking dried tobacco leaves off the sticks from which we got 2 cent per stick! After our days work, Papa and Granny would take us to an old country store at which I would buy a Yoohoo chocolate milk and a moon pie with the money I earned. I remember “pulling candy” during a cane grinding at which a wonderful, thick cane syrup was made before our eyes. And I remember hunting for easter eggs behind the chicken houses on a place mom called “steep hill”. Steep hill was covered in violets and live oak trees. After the hunt we would ride in the back of my Papa’s truck and eat some of the eggs we found. My cousin always brought the salt shaker and we shared our eggs. She ate the whites and I ate the yolks. Oh my goodness, the sights and sounds in my memory are so rich from those days! Some of you may have memories just like these.
The memories of those days that shaped my life the most were not of syrup and moon pies though, they were of watching my Granny live out her faith. Every night she would come in the rooms my brother and I were sleeping in and pray over us in her loud yet loving voice. I’m ashamed to say I didn’t value it at the time. In the mornings, I remember waking up to her vibrating, heavy footsteps entering the bathroom and then having the headboard rattle when the door shut. A few moments later, Granny’s voice would begin reading scripture out loud. I could hear it clearly through the walls of that old farmhouse as it echoed around my bedroom. I remember thinking that reading scripture is nice but wouldn’t God be okay with it just as well a little later in the day… like when I was awake! The mind of a child through the generations has always been about “me, myself and I” hasn’t it!
The reason these memories are in the forefront of my mind today is because I just received a facebook notification from one of my cousins that Granny isn’t doing well. Hospice has been called in and the usual loud, loving voice has become quiet and weak. I haven’t seen her in a very long time and for that I have regrets. She influenced my walk with my heavenly father more than I had ever realized to this point. I wish she knew that. I wish I had visited more and told her how much her early morning readings meant to me during my childhood and now. Somehow I have to believe she knows that though and when she enters the pearly gates the Lord will greet her with the words “Well done my good and faithful servant”.
We may be having a lasting effect on someone listening to us right now … let’s make it count.
After the death of our spouses, God brought Tom and me together. We shared the most beautiful, God-filled marriage you could ever imagine. My heart is totally broken over his passing but I know that our love will live on in my heart forever. God was the master designer of our relationship and precious love for each other. I am so thankful that God loved us both so much. That's what made our life together so abundantly happy. Without a close relationship with our Lord and Savior, you will never experience the pure joy of love with your spouse. The deeper the grief, the closer The Lord. He holds my hand everyday.
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A wise friend once told me that the biggest adjustment a mom has to make in child rearing comes when she has more kids than she has hands. After that, it’s all over.
“Throw sanity out the window,” she told me.
She was right.
Two little ones were doable. It wasn’t always easy, but it was doable. Then came number three. “Have mercy, Lord,” was prayed under breath a lot in those days.
My wise friend also told me, “Once who have more than two, you might as well keep going because four is no harder than three.”
What kind of idiotic theory is that? But, much to my surprise, number four came, and I found that she was correct. In fact, it might even be easier because by that point, you are more seasoned and much wiser. Yeah, and truthfully, by that point you’re tired and just don’t really care anymore. You come to realize that God knows you are completely worn out and He assigns an angel to protect your children because goodness knows you aren’t capable anymore.
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