Sunday, August 14, 2011

A Grandmother's Legacy

"Grandchildren are the crowning glory." Psalm

Each summer we try to make a trip to Big Bear with Mike's parents, brother, his wife and 2 young children. Well, we just started making it an annual tradition last year! It's been so much fun both times, and lots of memories are being made. It's a one bedroom cabin with some extra space where we attempt to comfortably fit 6 adults and 4 children. Works for us just fine!

In the last 3 years, Mike's parents have really had their share of physical challenges. Mike's dad, Russ, had a stroke nearly three years ago and has been limited severely on his right side as well as in other ways. Mike's mom, Bev, has been doing much of the caretaking for Russ while dealing with a lifetime of arthritis and most recently losing her eyesight to macular degeneration. There has been so much change that it's become overwhelming at times for Bev.

While in Big Bear, I was watching and admiring this woman from afar. We spend a lot of time together regularly, but I realized while in Big Bear, Bev has always been the spiritual leader for her 3 sons and step-daughter which has been her legacy passed on to her grandchildren. She was the first born-again Christian in the family and marched her boys to church each week alone. It wasn't until decades later that Russ would come to church with her and get involved in Bible Studies himself. Each of Bev's boys have been heavily involved in their churches since their childhood. Each of her sons married Christian women, and now she has several grandchildren being raised in Bible-believing Christian homes. I marveled at this revelation watching her move about the cabin and was brought to tears when I saw my own daughters, niece, and nephew with her sitting on the couch. I am blessed to see her legacy living on in my children, her choice many years ago being lived out in her son, in my life, in my daughters' lives. Thank you, Bev. I love you.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

On the Heart

"Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as braided hair and the wearing of gold jewelry and fine clothes. Instead, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God's sight." 1 Peter 3:3-4

Yesterday I officially entered the 4-0 club. What a day for celebrating...and celebrate we did. I definitely have noticed in the last decade many physical changes...wrinkles, sags and bags (despite how many crunches or lunges or stairmaster steps I do). For the most part, I'm OK with it all. I mean, I do work out, I do eat moderately healthy, and I do try to take care of what I've got. I do love new clothes...and looking presentable on the outside. I definitely can't complain, and I'm not trying to kid myself when I know the next decade will bring many more signs of "the aging process."

About a month ago, Taylor and I were chatting about me turning 40. She can feel every lump, bump, wrinkle, crease, scrape, scab...basically EVERYTHING! She was asking about her many new "discoveries" upon my face, and she said, "I know I can't tell what you look like, but on the heart-you're beautiful." Thank you Taylor for the reminder of what is really important.