Saturday, September 17, 2016

Unexpected gift that brings a sweet memory

On Wednesday at my small group, one of my dear friends brought this lovely plant for my birthday! She has been missing our group for a variety of reasons and we were all so delighted to have her back in our midst!  And then, she came bearing special gifts for all of us with birthdays in the last month.  She would have no way of knowing just how special this little African Violet plant was to me, and that made it all the more special.  Here's why.

Ever since my birthday I have been thinking about my mom.  She has come to mind so often and I have been really missing her.  I guess there is no one who shares your birthday with you MORE than your mom.  It is interesting that I feel this on my own children's birthdays.  As a mom you always stop and remember that special time right as your kids are born.  The very first flowers I ever remember were the African Violets that sat on our kitchen window sill.  My mom usually had at least one but usually there were more than one!  I remember that she had a real knack for starting new plants by taking a cutting and rooting it in water.  What a great little "reminder" of mom this plant was for me!  I am usually not very successful in keeping plants alive, so we will see if I do a better job with this one than all the others I have tried to raise.  Isn't it great how just when you need it, these little reminders show up.  For me, it is knowing that Jesus knows about me missing mom!

In all that thinking about my mom, I am feeling so blessed that Gwen is close enough that I get to see her all the time.  I love this picture of the three of us.... me, my mom and Gwen.
In the last week I have thinking about what an amazing woman Gwen has become.  She has a full and busy life that makes me wonder where her energy comes from!  Raising four young children, a part time job teaching 16 four year olds in a preschool, home schooling her oldest three, teaching and mentoring junior high and high school youth at her church, leading a women's Bible Study, AND training to run a half marathon in a couple of weeks!  This list does not even touch on the many more ways that she supports and blesses her many friends and family members.  I suppose that her life is not that much different from many young working moms.  But she manages this all while keeping her focus on what is really important.  For Gwen and Tim, their relationship to Jesus is central for their family.  And it shows in so many ways.  

My mom just loved to listen to Gwen fill her in on all that was happening in her life.  One of her greatest joys was listening to Gwen sing and/or play her flute.  I was thinking about this last week as I listened to Lia practicing piano!  And I just love it when my "girls" (Lia and Ellie) facetime with me and I get to hear all about what is happening in their world.  Yes, it is one of those times when I feel the "generational tree" shifting and I am suddenly on the very top.  But what a wonderful example my mom was for me.   And now I really "get it".  I am beginning to understand just how important this grandparenting job is.   I recently saw this video (click the link), made for Grandparent's day called -Grandparents are important.  It is a sweet video that highlights a lot of things that I and many of my friends are experiencing.  I am so thankful that passing on my Christian heritage is part of my role as Grandma Lyn.  I love that I get to sing some of my very favorite songs and hymns with them, I get to pray with them and listen to their Bible stories.  It is a very special thing and I am very blessed.  

I know that my mom would have loved to watch all of her great grandchildren growing up.  She loved on all of her grandchildren and relished all the time she had with them.  It is so bittersweet to realize that the seasons of our life pass oh so quickly.    I think that is one reason that grandparents really enter into times with their grandchildren.  The reality of a shortness of time is really clear the older that you get.   

But along with that is also the very clear Biblical directive that none of us know the number of our days.  We are all to live as if each day may be our last. That thought can really change what is important.  Suddenly, things don't matter much at all.  Spending time together, loving each other, sharing - that is what really counts.  It is a good reminder that the time I have with my children and my grandchildren is precious and important.  

Yes, I love that this sweet flower brought such good memories to my mind.  I can't think of another time when I have felt so blessed.  It is a good follow up reminder for me, from my blogs in the last few weeks.  Even if I am not sure exactly where my path should be leading or what goal I am supposed to pursue, I know that what I AM doing, the time I am spending with Lia, Ellie, Zeke and Anna, is meaningful.   That is a great and special gift.

Jesus, thank you for knowing our hearts and bringing exactly what we need to us.  Holy Spirit, keep us all mindful of the important things each day.  Keep our eyes on Jesus and remind us to see each day as a blessing.  Thank you for wonderful flowers and great videos that stir our hearts.  Amen

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