“I’ll make a list of God’s gracious dealings,
all the things God has done that need praising,
All the generous bounties of God,
his great goodness to the family of Israel—
love extravagant.”~ Isaiah 63:7, The Message
In the Old Testament, God repeatedly, quietly and loudly, tells his children, “You have forgotten me!” (Jeremiah 3:32, Ezekiel 22:12, to name a few). It’s a heart cry from a father to a child who has forgotten all the love, all the saving, helping, little and big blessings – and it leaves me stunned when I realize our Father, the creator of the universe, who knows things I cannot begin to fathom, who authors storylines that leave me amazed, delights in all of us so much, He cries out, “Remember Me.”
While every day is a Remember God Day, I am inviting you to join me on Monday mornings to come by and remember what God has done for you, for your family. Maybe God sent a cardinal darting out in front of you, as if to tell you, “I’m here,” or broke a child’s fever after you laid it all down at His feet in a 2 a.m. bedside vigil. Maybe He stood with you in the wait of a prayer sent out, or brought someone you loved to Christ. Maybe He healed your broken heart, gave your courage, or you gave Him your dreams as a love offering only to have Him give them back in an unimaginable way. Maybe God helped you survive to bedtime after a crazy Monday, or forgive yourself for missing it with your kiddos –– Whatever it is, let’s Remember Him. . . in a “Remember Me Monday” love letter. If you’re a blogger, please put a link to your post in the comment section. If you don’t blog but want to join in, just write, cut and paste into the comments. Please be sure to read a few of your comment neighbor’s God Memories praising what He has done! Let’s make Monday so Rejoice, that the goodness of God spills into the rest of the week!
Through a Grandparent’s Hands of Faith, God Provided for Their Children’s Children
“I’ll let you in on the sweet old truths,
Stories we heard from our fathers,
counsel we learned at our mother’s knee.
We’re not keeping this to ourselves,
we’re passing it along to the next generation—
God’s fame and fortune,
the marvelous things he has done.” ~ Psalm 78: 2b-4
Over lunch and a warm cup of coffee, I asked my aunt, born in 1930, how often they had hamburgers during World War II.
“Hamburgers were a luxury,” she said – beef, pork? Not often. Soup Beans – All the time.
“We were so excited when Muddy had baby chicks,” she said. This coming-of-age-in-the-80s girl asked, “‘Cause they were so cute?”
“No, because it meant there’d be chicken on the table,” she said. On Sundays growing up they went out to the country to visit Muddy and Grandaddy, )my great grand parents), and returned with the food they couldn’t afford or maybe even procure in the city, including chickens when the baby chicks came. My great-grandparents helped in other ways, too. They helped pay for my aunts and uncles to go to Holy Spirit and then Sacred Heart Academy, and my uncle to go to Trinity High School, but I’d never fully understand the depth of their help, from The Depression Era through The Great War.
My aunts and uncles spent a lot of time out on the farm during the summers – and on holidays. That must have been a great help to my grandmother. You see, she and grandfather worked, too. Life didn’t just hum along. Life had its challenges. Their table needed provision – and God provided through Muddy and Granddaddy.
Muddy’s schedule was a bit different from ours. Breakfast was early, big dinner at noon – and left-overs for dinner. When I understood that, I understood how she had time after lunch to rest in bed and read her bible – a woman of faith who made time when there were no dish or clothes washers, who had to can and store what they ate. Salad dressing – if they used any, she had to make. Butter? Sausage? Chicken? Straight from the farm yard! Have you read the directions for making Whipped Cream or Meringue without a hand-mixer?
The little school house on the edge of the property Granddaddy built so there would be a school for the children who lived “out” in their area. The school teacher lived with them. The school house is gone now, too.
I’d love to know about the education in that little school house – I bet bible stories were an everyday event – and prayer!
Muddy and Granddaddy relied on God! They leaned in to Him in the daily — through their faithfulness, God not only provided for them, but their grown children and their children’s children. That generosity seeped into my generation – an inheritance passed down, that touched my life and touches my children’s life and their children’s children. The provided an example of how to live and give in easy times and challenging times. Muddy drew near to God in the daily, leaned in to Him, trusted Him – and He took care of his daughter, her children’s. He’s taking care of her people today, though some may not realize it her faithfulness that has sustained them. . . .
. . . and my children need to know what God need to know this, to know what He did for our family so long ago – not just history from the day of their birth on-ward. They need the history of God there. Not just that God provides but that He has been, is and will be. Even if its soup beans before the baby chicks are born and raised when food supplies are limited in a world crisis. Even when when of your children come down with polio. Even when hard things happen and life is uncomfortable. Even when your children make decisions that break your heart. God is there in the story – the sustaining grace, the saving grace, the faith and grace that comes from trusting day by day, meeting Him in the quiet of an afternoon respite, over a pile of mismatched socks, in a stack of dirty dishes, in the middle of a melt down. . .
I was going through the original Muddy’s Imitation of Christ, and found this quote lightly underlined – a message to me, to my family – to all of us in this upside down time:
“If we were all perfect, what should we have to suffer from others for God’s sake? But God has so ordained, that we may learn to bear with one another’s burdens, for there is no man without fault, no man without burdens, no man sufficient to himself nor wise enough. Hence, we must support one another, console one another, mutually help, counsel, and advise, for the measure of every man’s virtue is best revealed in time of adversity–adversity that does not weaken a man but rather shows what he is.” Thomas à Kempis, The Imitation of Christ, Book One: Chapter 1 6.
Muddy’s house isn’t there anymore. Neither is the school house. The milk barn roof is caving in. The silo, though, the place where provision was stored, it still stands. The two creeks still meet behind the Silo where my aunts and uncle cooled off in a hot summer. Not all the stories are remembered, but the one of how God blessed the work of their hands because of their faith – it remains – and God’s hand-print of when He held all of them is etched in us, handed down, and remembered. If we don’t tell the stories of what God did in their lives, they will disappear like their house, the school – and the good stuff will crumble away unused.
Today, I’m thanking God! Thanking God for what he’s done for my family, not just since I was born, or my boys were born, but for how He took care of our family before I was born. Thank you for the baby chicks, the faithful hands that provided what you grew, in the barnyard, in the field – and in the seeds planted and passed down, always available. Thank you for a great-grandmother who met with you daily – thank you for loving her and loving us!
“So the next generation would know,
and all the generations to come—
Know the truth and tell the stories
so their children can trust in God,
Never forget the works of God
but keep his commands to the letter.” Psalm 78: 5b-7