My grandmother died yesterday. She would have been 91 years old in March. As I thought about our years together, I thought of all of the very many gifts she gave me. Not material gifts, for she and my grandpa never had very much money. The gifts she gave me were the very best kind. They are gifts I use regularly and treasure in my heart.
Granny gave me the gift of being raised in a family that loved the Lord. God bless the person who invited her into church one Sunday morning as she stopped to rest with her baby stroller in front of that building. Those people studied the Bible with her and she soon became a Christian. The church family that invited her in would become my church family once the baby in that stroller grew up, married and had me.
Every congregation should have a “Miss” Bettye. If they gave out awards for uber-grandma’s, she would win. Miss Bettye loves the Lord and she will praise Him no matter the circumstances. In fact, she has been fighting cancer for several years now and I have never heard her do anything but praise the Lord.
Miss Bettye also loves everyone unconditionally. You may disappoint her, but you always see forgiveness in her eyes. You also know that she truly believes you can change for the better no matter what you have done.
The other day I had the chance to have a chat with her. We had just finished watching ten of her eleven great-grandchildren in our church’s children’s program. (Her eleventh was watching in the audience.) I know a number of people who have raised all of their children to be faithful Christians. Miss Bettye is one of the few people I have met who has all faithful children and grandchildren and is seeing her great-grandchildren raised in the same church.
I really want to have a long talk with Mary and Joseph. I have to think God chose the best possible earthly parents to raise His son. Not perfect, because only Jesus was, but probably better than most. I think I may be right, as at least some of their sons (Joseph was their birth father and the adoptive father of Jesus) were leaders in the early church. (The book of James is thought to have been written by their son James.)
Unfortunately, my conversation probably won’t happen very soon (and if it does, I won’t be writing about it!). My clues to the parenting advice Mary and Joseph might give have to be gleaned from what the scriptures tell us about their actions. I went back and re-read everything I could find that mentioned either one of them. They really do have quite a few lessons to teach us about godly parenting.
I will never shop at Walmart on Black Friday again. I know. You are never supposed to say never. I really mean it though. I. Will. Never. Ever. Shop. At Walmart. On Black Friday. Again!! Now, I wasn’t at the one with the pepper spray or arrests, but it was still a very, very unpleasant experience. I lost count of how many times I was rear ended with another cart and nearly decapitated by flying, leopard print, memory foam bath mats (evidently the hot item this Christmas). And those were the high points of the trip.
I was so pleasant and patient though. Quite proud of myself actually. My pleasantness continued through my hour long wait in cold temperatures for my midnight Target trip and then again a few hours later at several other retail outlets. And then it happened. The guy at the frozen yogurt place was giving me grief about honoring my coupon. Something about him not having my telephone number. I snapped. All my pent up frustration was ready! While I didn’t curse or throw things, my voice did raise a few decibels as I made it clear they would honor their coupon. Not my best moment. Maybe you can identify??
When our daughter was a toddler, she went through what we refer to as her “Trinna do” stage. She was beginning to learn she could actually do some things for herself and the idea was exciting. Suddenly, “Trinna” wanted to do everything. It was interesting to watch as she had some successes and found out in some areas she still needed a little adult help.
I don’t remember if this lasted for a few weeks or a few months, but suddenly our “Trinna do” girl reverted to a “Mommy pick me up” girl. Evidently, this is a pretty common pattern. While I am no expert in early childhood development, my guess is she experienced a bit of what even adults have learned. Always doing everything for yourself can get exhausting. Sometimes (especially as an adult!) you just want to revert back to the stage where someone else handled all of the problems and carried you home when you were tired.