Friday, July 29, 2016

Shower the people...

I was looking thru pictures the other day, and I came across some that I had taken for a friend and her business.  It was a bright, sun shining, beautiful day. Her and I spent the afternoon working on things for our upcoming festivals. Her wrapping soaps and me cutting out puppet parts while our gaggle of kids spent hours playing together on an amazingly hot PNW summer day. For me, seeing those pictures was a reminder of the last day I felt normal... the next day I would get a phone call that would change my world and change me forever...

I've always known that I wanted to speak at my Gram's funeral. I didn't know how I would ever be able to but I knew that God would hold me up and give me the words when I needed Him to. It's been a year today that we lost one of the greatest women I have ever known. It's been a year of feeling lost and empty at times, but it's also been a year of love and focus... 

If I learned anything from my Gram it was to LOVE in the little things and to LOVE in the big things... to focus on what's important like God, and family and friends... and to love unconditionally...

I've been asked a number of times to share the words that I spoke the day we buried her but I just haven't been able to push send. Those words were the last thing that were just mine for her. But she wouldn't want me to keep it to myself so I am sharing them now, for anyone that knew her to take a moment to remember her and for anyone that didn't get the priveledge of knowing her to at least have a moment to hear about how great she was and to somehow take a little bit of goodness from it and pass it on out into the world....

 Proverbs 31 verse 10-31 reads

[b]Who can find a virtuous and capable wife?
    She is more precious than rubies.
11 Her husband can trust her,
    and she will greatly enrich his life.
12 She brings him good, not harm,
    all the days of her life.
13 She finds wool and flax
    and busily spins it.
14 She is like a merchant’s ship,
    bringing her food from afar.
15 She gets up before dawn to prepare breakfast for her household
    and plan the day’s work for her servant girls.
16 She goes to inspect a field and buys it;
    with her earnings she plants a vineyard.
17 She is energetic and strong,
    a hard worker.
18 She makes sure her dealings are profitable;
    her lamp burns late into the night.
19 Her hands are busy spinning thread,
    her fingers twisting fiber.
20 She extends a helping hand to the poor
    and opens her arms to the needy.
21 She has no fear of winter for her household,
    for everyone has warm[c] clothes.
22 She makes her own bedspreads.
    She dresses in fine linen and purple gowns.
23 Her husband is well known at the city gates,
    where he sits with the other civic leaders.
24 She makes belted linen garments
    and sashes to sell to the merchants.
25 She is clothed with strength and dignity,
    and she laughs without fear of the future.
26 When she speaks, her words are wise,
    and she gives instructions with kindness.
27 She carefully watches everything in her household
    and suffers nothing from laziness.
28 Her children stand and bless her.
    Her husband praises her:
29 “There are many virtuous and capable women in the world,
    but you surpass them all!”
30 Charm is deceptive, and beauty does not last;
    but a woman who fears the Lord will be greatly praised.
31 Reward her for all she has done.
    Let her deeds publicly declare her praise.

As a Christian wife and mother, this scripture is acts as much of a blue print for the woman I am aiming to be. It defines the woman or wife of noble character. For a number of years now, I have been studying about this scripture and learning how to be a better wife and mother through the eyes of God. What I didn’t realize until recently was what an amazing example of this I have been living with and loving my entire life. It wasn’t until recently that I got a clearer image in my mind of what that kind of woman would look like and I realized that it was my Gram through and through.

My relationship with my gram hasn’t just been that of some elderly distant figure like most people I know. It’s been more like that of a second mom. When I was little and we lived with Grammy and Papa, I spent my early years at home with Gram while my mom was at work. I didn’t realize until I was older and starting a family of my own, just how important that time in my life was and how lucky I was to have spent it with her instead of in the care of strangers. I think back on how their home was really that house that built me… her and my papa (along with my mom of course) gave me the best foundation for life that I person could ask for…

One of my earliest memories in life, are of her in the kitchen, and really a lot of my memories focused around that room. She was always baking…. Baking bread and cookies and meals for my Papa to take to camp. I can remember her skilled hands rolling out pie dough and making them with such precision that you would have thought they were store bought ( only hers were better!)  She would cut off the excess crust and sprinkle it with cinnamon and sugar before rolling it into a circle and baking it for a special treat for me… it was in those everyday tasks, the tiny insignificant gestures that she showed me how to love, and to feel important. Looking back and being a mom it was probably just a way to get me out from under her feet but to me it made me feel so special.

Gram would get up every morning and make Papa’s lunches and then she would have the oven going with the door propped open and my school clothes draped over a chair so they would be warm in the morning when I came down to get ready for school…. Her love shone thru in the everyday simple details. She was showing me how to love, how to be a great mom and how to dedicate my life to my husband and God.

It is my belief that the greatest testimony to Christ is to live our lives loving each other... my Gram did that with every breath she ever took. The greatest thankyou we can ever give those we love here on earth is to take what they gave us, not in money but in love and pass that on to the next generation. I knew for my entire life that when I grew up, I wanted boy or girl to name my kids after Grammy and Papa. And today, I can look out into the faces of Janie and Rori and know that they are the greatest legacy I could ever leave for a woman that was everything to me.

I didn’t know if I would be able to stand up and speak, but my Papa asked me the other day if I really thought I’d be able to and I told him that I was just  trusting in God to give me a few minutes of calm. A friend of mine mentioned that his grandma was the pattern for his life too and I loved the thought of that…. My gram is that pattern of everything good that I am…. She was with me when my babies were little and I’d kiss  the bottom of their feet like she used to mine, and she is with me in every meal I make and serve on the dishes I now have that were hers…. She will continue to be with me every morning when I get up to make my husband coffee and lunch because she lead by example by being the kind of 31 wife I want to be…. And she will be with me with every dough I kneed or pie I roll out….or orange cookie that someday I will make for my grandchildren…

When most people want to celebrate a person they will gesture to raise a glass…. But I want celebrate by raising a cookie instead because last week heaven got a little bit sweeter….

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