Saturday, May 10, 2014

Her Children Rise Up...

“…do not forsake your mother’s teaching.” Proverbs 1:8b

Psalm 147
selected verses

“Praise the Lord.”

“How good it is to sing praises to our God, how pleasant and fitting to praise him!”

Time at my Granny’s house included good food, laughter and singing. She always made fudge just for me. It would be on a plate, with plastic wrap covering it on the bottom shelf of the fridge. Delightful!
My Granny Money suffered through strokes and their effects in the final years of her life. She lost the use of many things, including her recollection of words.
But she could always sing every word of her favorite song. I can still hear her voice and see her pat her left hand in time to the music.
The song was "Amazing Grace."
We sang it often together with her as a family.
We live it together still. 

“He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.”

My Mom has lived this verse. She spent her career in Child Protective Services, working long, arduous hours to right some wrongs for the brokenhearted. She served among heroes. She, herself, was a hero to many. She showed me where and how to follow Jesus. Among the suffering, with dedicated persistence.
My Mom also carries this verse in herself. My calling has become her sacrifice too, leaving her brokenhearted in tender places. She has journeyed far in our service here. I deeply appreciate her love for me in the midst of the surrender this work requires of us both.

“He determines the number of the stars and calls them each by name.”

One consistent memory Jeff recalls of his Mom is her singing over him as a young boy. 
“Can You Count the Stars of Evening”
Jeff grew up fully confident of God’s awareness of Him. Of God’s love. He knew that because he belonged to the One who numbers the stars, he could confidently shoot for them…with bold courage.
He does. Every day. And his mom’s song still sings over him and the children he is raising to live with courage too.
Every single time we sit outside and watch the African night sky, Jeff speaks of the song and of his Mom. Her faith and deep love for African missions (all missions really) is a vibrant part of where we serve and raise our family today.

“the Lord delights in those who fear him, who put their hope in his unfailing love.”

I spent more time with Mam-ma than any of my other grandparents. Her influence in my life remains deep and strong. She pursued God with passionate dedication. She obeyed and deeply respected His commands. Her Bible was always at her right hand. On the end table. The bookmark moved daily. She read His words as if her life depended on it. Her life did depend on it. I knew that full well. I delight in considering her entrance into her eternal home. What joy for her when she realized, face to face, the depth and breadth of Christ’s unfailing love for her. I can’t wait to be with them both.

“He covers the sky with clouds; he supplies the earth with rain and makes grass grow on the hills. He provides…”

Grandma Rose loved flowers. She always had a beautiful garden. One of the gifts we honor in our home is a picture of flowers that she painted. It reminds us of her and her knowledge of the blooms she adored.  She knew the names of them all. And she knew Who provided them for her enjoyment.
As Grandma Rose served alongside her husband, AJ, in ministry, money was pretty tight. She was well practiced at making the most of what she was given. Conversations with her always included stories of the ways God provided for her in her life. And time with her consistently yielded arms full of blessings and gifts that she loved to provide for us.
The beautiful wedding ring I treasure speaks daily to me of God’s provision to her and God’s provision to me. The testimony of Grandma Rose’s life echoes in our home every day.

“He strengthens the bars of your gates and blesses your people within you. He grants peace to your borders and satisfies you with the finest of wheat.”

Nona Cash is one woman I long to know! She went to be with Jesus before I joined her clan, but never have I heard a woman spoken of with such adoration and esteem as this one. She is very well remembered.
If I could sit with her over coffee today, I would celebrate with her the beautiful ways God has strengthened the gates of her Cash family, how He has stayed with us in the places where we come and go.  We could number the ways He has blessed us within those walls of belonging. We would rejoice over how large the family has grown—delighting in each new, beautiful life. We could look at our borders and see that even in our most vulnerable places God is kneading peace.
We could discuss long how faithfully He has remained among us, satisfying us with the finest of wheat—the Bread of Life where we need Him most.
I would thank her for her endurance and her witness of Christ’s love.
Her beautiful heritage is mine now too.

“One generation commends your works to another;
they tell of your mighty acts.
They speak of the glorious splendor of your majesty---
and I will meditate on your wonderful works.
They tell of the power of your awesome works---
and I will proclaim your great deeds.
They celebrate your abundant goodness
and joyfully sing of your righteousness.”
Psalm 145:4-7

On this Mother’s Day 2014, I will proclaim and joyfully sing of His goodness as I meditate on the heritage of faith in these beautiful, Godly women.

They commend God’s works to us, speaking and telling of His splendor and of His power and of His abundant goodness.

We rise up and call them, “Blessed!”

Praise the Lord!

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