Saturday, March 12, 2011

Remembering...

"Remember your leaders, those who spoke to you the word of God. Consider the outcome of their way of life, and imitate their faith." -Hebrews 13:7
One way Andy and I like to "make the most" of our calendar year is by remembering people who we loved and loved us that have died. On the anniversary of my brother's death, we pray for my family as soon as we wake up in the morning. On the anniversary of my Grandpa's death, I email my Dad after we pray to let him know someone else remembers. We have others as well (putting a wreath on my friends grave, calling a friend's Mom, etc.)

Today, we are starting a new tradition in our house. This morning at breakfast, we are taking a few minutes to remember our Gam. This is the first person Jimmy loved who has died and we want him to know how good it is to remember.
Sweet Gam- You are loved and missed
We're following the structure of Hebrews 13:7:
 Remember your leaders, those who spoke to you the word of God...
We're remembering Gam by:
-Looking at pictures
-Reminding Jimmy of Gam's phone calls where he'd talk to her (for a long time) weekly
- Tell stories (Like when Jimmy shared the gospel with Gam to be sure she loved Jesus and she thanked him. And how she always had a story about something "awful" her dogs had done. And that all Gam's letters always had "I love St. Jude" stickers on the envelopes)
- Give a brief history (Gam as wife, Mom, Andy's Gam, and then the rest of us)
-Tell the things about Gam that meant the most to Andy and I (How generously she gave, how she poured into the children of the church through Sunday School and VBS, her love to sing hymns and knowledge of the history of them, and, her encouraging letters, and how she always called me her Granddaughter, never Granddaughter-in-law)

Consider the outcome of their way of life...
We know some of the fruit of Gam's life: We felt loved and cared for. We were able to go on the mission field because of her generosity. Toot had a close friend to do daily life with. Two orphans (named Julie (our Mom) and Casey) gained a family. Many kids got to hear about Jesus because Gam taught them in class and Gam and Toot rode a bus to pick them up for VBS every year. Sick people were healed, missionaries shared the gospel, and so many other lives were impacted through her and Toot's generous giving.

And we're imagining what it must've been like on this day last year. As she heard Jesus say "Well done faithful servant... Enter into my rest." We're talking about how now we have family in heaven who will be there to greet us when we get to go be there. We're praising God that Gam now has no sickness and a new body with no frailty. We're imagining what it must've been like to see her family again, to hug her son Casey again after all these years knowing she'll never be separated from him again, to see her best friends that she must've missed when they left here before her, and to walk with JESUS! Wow.

We're praising God for the outcome of her life and praying that we will live for that eternal moment of beginning and not get to caught up here in worldly matters.

and imitate their faith.
We're looking at ways God taught us through Gam and asking what we can do to learn from her faith.
One thing I've learned is to be more vocal in my encouragement. Gam always told Andy and I how proud she was of us. And she followed with a reason why (because we stepped out to do this ministry, because we care for Jimmy so well, because we treat each other like we're glad to be married, etc...)
So I'm now making an effort to actually tell people when I see them do hard things, encouraging things, etc. I'm thanking them for what they do now because I learned that from our Gam.
Andy loved how Gam cared for orphans (and even adopted two into her home to be her son and daughter) and he wants us to keep praying and trusting God that we too can care for the orphan and even adopt some into our family. Jimmy loved how Gam gave and thinks we should give like that so others can be helped who are poor, sick, or haven't heard of Jesus.

We pray.
And we ended by praying for others we know who may be remembering too. We prayed for Toot, who we know misses his wife and best friend so much. And who is struggling in his own sickness and weakness now. And we prayed for Andy's parents, knowing they miss their Mom. And now they've given up their whole lives (though they haven't complained) to care for Toot now. We pray God will comfort them and give them His grace to endure and not grow weary in the good they are doing. We pray they'll know Him in new and deeper ways through this trial and grief.

It's so good to remember...
(Read here to see how we began talking to our kids about heaven)

1 comment:

Diana said...

What a wonderful memorial. Thanks for sharing.