My blog has been quiet lately. My heart is not. A mighty woman went home to be with the Lord last week. My Grandmother Mary swiftly passed from this life to the next, arousing a multitude of people whose lives she touched. Her 8 children flew in to Williston, North Dakota from all corners of the country to say goodbye. She left behind 21 grandchildren, 14 great-grandchildren, whom she prayed for by name every night. I am grateful she met each of our children. Memories are precious. Often while creating them we don’t realize the fleeting nature of life…’the grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of our God stands forever’ (Isaiah 40:8).
I will remember my Grandmother’s laugh most of all. Like the peal of bells. I often wondered what life was like for her, raising 8 children, 5 of them boys. Reading between the lines in stories told at family reunions and family emails, I gather those boys got into more than their fair share of mischief. How did she get supper on the table, every night for all those children? And laundry? Somehow my Grandmother raised each of them to share godly values, a steadfast work ethic, and rich character. What was it like to be widowed with young children still at home?
‘She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come.’
I never heard my Grandmother speak a harsh word to anyone. Wait, I take that back. The only harsh word spoken was to the poor telemarketers who happened upon her number in the early Arkansas evening. Those poor unfortunate souls. Her humor and faith undoubtedly carried her through many storms and trials in life.
‘Her children arise and call her blessed.’
One can be successful in careers, investing, academics, notoriety, doing good for mankind, but unless you have your children’s hearts I would count everything else a loss. Paul takes it a step further. ‘What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things.’
Love for God and love for each other, two things that will not rust, fade, or be eaten away. Eternal value, eternal life. Which is why we celebrate the life of Mary.
photo of old farmhouse from: oilpatchnd.wordpress.com