One of the things that has greatly influenced my life is reading. You may have discovered by now that reading another's life story or reading about the history of our world can direct the path of one's life. Other than the Bible, I enjoy books that help me in my Christian walk, biographies of famous people, books about our country, some of the great literary works and some for sheer pleasure like children's poems and the one I recently shared with you, "Papa's Wife."
There is nothing like holding a good book in your hand and turning the pages with great anticipation. I have Kindle on my ipad but it just doesn't hold the thrill for me that a regular book does. Here is a list of some books in my library that you might enjoy. They are not listed in any particular order. They are:
Books by Bess Streeter Aldrich such as:
A Lantern In Her Hand
Song of Years
White Bird Flying
Spring Came On Forever
Uncle Toms Cabin
The Diary of Anne Frank
The Hiding Place
Biographical novels by Irving Stone:
Love is Eternal
The Presidents Lady
For Those Who Love
Books by Elisabeth Elliot:
The Shaping Of A Christian Family
Keep a Quiet Heart
Gateway To Joy
Passion and Purity
Quest For Love
The Path of Loneliness
Discipline, The Glad Surrender
The Pursuit Of God by A. W. Tozer probably impacted my spiritual walk more than any other book besides the Bible.
Spiritual Authority by Watchman Née
Rivers of Living Water by Ruth Paxson
Hinds Feet on High Places by Hannah Hurnard
Bible study books by Elizabeth George, Beth Moore and others.
Missionary Biographies about Isobel Kuhn, David Livingstone, Jim Elliot, William Carey, Gladys Alyward, Hudson Taylor and many others.
At this time I am reading "Heaven" by Randy Alcorn.
Abby, you are welcomed to my library anytime. I look forward to your excitement when you read some of these books. May the Lord watch between you and me when we are absent one from the other. I love you very much.
Thursday, February 23, 2012
Wednesday, February 15, 2012
There is no way I can describe to you the joy of being a grandmother. I was privileged to attend the births of all seven of you and then spend the first week caring for mother and baby. The bible says that "Children's children are the crown of old men..." (Proverbs 17:6) Our grandchildren are an adornment to our lives. Think of getting all dressed up and then adding the jewelry to your outfit!
You are blessed to know both grandmothers, great-grandmothers, your grandfathers and one great-grandfather. Mamaw is eighty-nine and grandmother is eighty-five. We don't see them much anymore because they live in different states but I want to tell you some things about them. This is part of your family history and one day you can tell your children about them.
Mamaw was born in Kentucky and grew up in a place known as "the land between the lakes." She was a farm girl and loved the outdoors. She said she loved riding horses and being outside with her father. She graduated high school and went to Michigan to work. That is where she met and married Papaw. They lived in Michigan until retirement age and then came to Knoxville where Papaw was born. She was a full-time homemaker and a good cook. She worked very hard caring for her family and it's no wonder her three sons adore her.
Grandmother and Granddaddy were both born in North Carolina. She went into nursing school and worked most of her life in a hospital. Grandmother was not interested in cooking and allowed me in the kitchen at an early age. I loved to cook and please my dad with tasty foods.When I was young we had a housekeeper that cared for us while both parents worked long hours to provide for us. (They had five children.) Papaw worked in a steel mill in Michigan and Granddaddy worked in a paper mill in Savannah, Georgia where I grew up.
All four of these great-grands have given testimony of a relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ. Perfect? No way! But they were hard workers and good parents. One day we will all be reunited in Heaven.
Abby, growing old is a privilege. We are not guaranteed a long life. It is a gift from God. Having said that, I must also say that it has difficult challenges. Having cared for others for so many years, they now need to be cared for. Mamaw is beginning to forget people and other things. Grandmother lives alone and takes care of herself. She struggles with loneliness. What does God expect from us when it comes to them? We are to honor them as our parents no matter what their age. We are also to care for them as the needs come up.
I was able to help Mamaw for years before Papa got so sick. Now she is living with Uncle Steve and Aunt Kandi. I will gladly care for my mother when she needs it if that is what she wants. Whatever I do, it will never be enough to repay them for what they've done for me. Grandparents are a gift from God. Yours have never done anything famous or outstanding but they have all been hard workers and good parents. Pray for us and love us as we do you. Continue to include us in your life as much as possible for as long as God allows. May the Lord watch between you and me when we are absent one from the other. I love you very much.
Tuesday, February 7, 2012
Hospitality is a large part of your heritage. Papa and I were blessed to have parents that taught us by example to be hospitable. Most Sundays at our house there were extra people around the table. With five children in the family, three of us teens at the same time, we often hosted youth groups or individuals in our home. Our parents had many friends and relatives that came to visit. One summer a cousin lived with us because his parents were going through a difficult time.
There are different ways to show hospitality. There is a couple in our church that have opened their pool up for families in our church. What a blessing that has been to so many. Last week I was invited to an older woman's home for a cooking lesson. She taught me to make her famous meatballs and gravy. We had a wonderful time of fellowship. Another woman in our church has hosted a Christmas cookie decorating party. She is known for her amazing artful cookies.
When Papa and I got married we were always hosting someone. In college we served popcorn and koolaide to other young couples. Once we hosted 27 college kids for Thanksgiving in our tiny apartment. When your mother was growing up we had a variety of people in our home. We had missionaries, evangelist, other pastor's families, neighbors, relatives and a lot of friends. We also hosted church activities in our back yard.
A few years ago a young woman came to our church with her sister. I did not recognize her until she told me her name. She had been a friend of Amy's in school days and had been in our home on several occasions. She told me that she always loved coming to our house. She even recalled a meal she ate with us that included an apple cheese casserole that she liked very much. I cannot tell you how that impacted me. I have thought about it many times since then. We never know how our hospitality will impact another.
Your parents also are very hospitable. It comes out of a generous heart and a love for serving others. I always enjoy going to your home. We have spent the last few Christmases and Thanksgivings there and what a great time we have.
When you are grown remember to practice the spirit of hospitality. Share what you have even if it is popcorn and koolaide! You never know what kind of burdens another may be carrying and how your kindness may help lift their load. I assure you the blessings will be all yours. May the Lord watch between you and me when we are absent one from the other.
Friday, February 3, 2012
Even at your age life has its ups and downs. The only way to remain peaceful is to be of a "steadfast mind" (Isa. 26:3-4). When all the drama of being a teen girl is front and center you must practice steadfastness. It simply means that you are aware of being supported by someone bigger than any human prop.
You must be trusting the Lord to sustain you. In Psalm 18 He is called "OUR ROCK", "OUR REFUGE", "OUR STRONG DELIVERER", "OUR FORTRESS", and "OUR HIGH TOWER"..... you get the picture. I remember my teen years fondly. I also remember that I was struggling to form the right responses to life's difficulties. Now is the time to learn that God is the one who will not disappoint you. He understands when others do not.
I have observed many Christian women that have wavered up and down when dealing with difficulties. They are fretful and unstable. On the other hand, I have seen others remain calm and at rest because they are of a steadfast mind. They have learned to trust in the Lord and not human reasoning. They know that He is who He says He is and He will sustain them.
You can choose to be steadfast. Read God's word, meditate on it, and ask God to make it real in your life. It will change you if you allow it to. You will find that He is trustworthy. You will become a solid woman of faith having proved Him in difficult times.
I want to be known for my steadfastness. I pray that one day you will look back at these years and tell your granddaughter that you made the decision to trust God in all your ways and that He did not disappoint you. I am telling you, my granddaughter, that He is trustworthy. He has never failed me.
May the Lord watch between you and me when we are absent one from the other. I love you very much.