Sunday, January 29, 2006

Grandma Was a Hen Too

We just returned from a family reunion in Ohio, celebrating together the life of and death of my grandmother. She was an amazing woman: beautiful, godly, dignified, hard-working. She lived a life of service to her Lord, family, friends, church, the unsaved, and missionaries--usually with a little twinkle of humor in her eye. She was a woman who grew remarkably more beautiful of face and spirit as she aged.

I heard many stories this weekend about Grandma, but one stands out. Her third child, my aunt, told me that as a young mother of two girls, Grandma went to hear a speaker at a church service and came under the conviction that she was holding back from God by not trusting Him in the area of childbearing. After that, they didn’t use birth control—and had three more children, my aunt and two uncles. “And I’m certainly glad of it!” my aunt said.

Looking around the room at my extended family, I was glad of it too--and impressed with the legacy that Grandma had left. Five children, twelve grandchildren and 21 great-grandchildren (so far)—and all of them walking with the Lord. The wives of my brothers and cousins (my only other married girl cousin was unable to be there) are all such beautiful Christian women, helping to raise another crop of Christ-followers. It was a joy to celebrate Grandma’s life with the generations gathered around and underfoot and to hear the testimonies, at the funeral home, of spiritual children as well.

How fruitful she was: her children, her gardening, her canning and freezing, her sewing, her letter-writing to encourage friends and missionaries, her organ-playing and other service at church, and her evangelizing. Working at the pace of a hen--a few seeds, stitches, words or musical notes at a time--what a harvest was produced!

Her hands and her quiver were full when she was my age, even as mine are with six children. A friend always reminds me, “You can shoot those arrows farther and in more directions than you yourself can go.” Looking around at Grandma’s legacy, listening to the stories of how they are serving God in big and small ways all over the country, I was encouraged as a parent and as a believer. For myself and for all Christian parents, our days may be difficult, but there is such a future in what we do; such hope, such promise, such blessing, such reward.


Michelle said...

Thanks for the beautiful reminder of why we do what we do!! Your Grandmother sounds like she was an incredible woman!

owlhaven said...

Your post about your grandmother made me mist up remembering my grandmother. She also was the mother of 6, and such a Godly woman. She has blessed all the generations after her with her example.
Thanks for sharing about your grandmother-- and thanks for visiting me too!

Esther said...

What a beautiful story about grandmother. What a blessing to know that our lives influence many succeeding generations!

pianomum said...

I love all you said about mother...she did leave such a legacy of her large family who all love the Lord. I can add that she told her family doctor that God would take care of her in her third pregnancy too, in which she had pre-eclampsia. After that one, she was advised to not have any more pregnancies, but she felt that God's in his perfect plan would take care of her, and she got along fine with the two final ones. PTL!