11/24/05

Encouragement for Today

(Principle #3)

 

“Grandma’s Inheritance”

Sharon Jaynes, Vice President of Radio, Author, Proverbs 31 Speaker Team Member

 

Key Verse:

Proverbs 31:26, “She speaks with wisdom, and faithful instruction is on her tongue.“ (NIV)

 

Devotion:

Grandma Edwards didn't have many material possessions, but she had a sharp mind, a determined spirit, and buckets full of love.  She was a small framed woman who had raised a family of five children during the depression by running a tiny general store and harvesting produce from her garden.  As far as I can remember, Grandma was always… old.  She wore her tightly braided pony tail wound around her head like a Swedish crown.  I was always amazed when she took her hair pins out at night to see the gray rope unfold down her back and stop at her waist.

 

Another thing that always amazed me was Grandma's undergarments.  She wore knit baggy underwear that hung down to her knees and an equally attractive T-shirt to match.  I never saw these undergarments anywhere except on Grandma's clothes line, so I decided, at six years old, that there must be a special "old people’s store" that sold baggy underwear just for grandparents.           

 

Grandma never owned a car.  She never had a driver's license.  When she needed groceries, she simply "telephoned" the local store, read her list written on a scrap of brown paper bag, and a few hours later a young boy would magically appear with her goods in a cardboard box.  Grandma's house was filled with the aroma of strong coffee and fresh baked biscuits.  There was also the scent of suave which was the all time cure for any ailment, and of snuff, which she would sneak between her cheek and gum when she thought I wasn't looking.

 

Each summer I would spend a week at Grandma's house.  The highlight of our day was watching Perry Mason on her big black and white television.   We drank Coca-Cola from cold glass bottles and ate peanut butter crackers. Grandma had a standing date with Perry from 3:00-4:00 pm each day.  If someone "came-a-callin" during that time, they knew to pull up a chair, grab a coke, and wait until the verdict was in, before the conversation could begin.

 

During my weeks with her, there were no trips to fast food restaurants or amusement parks, no shopping sprees or excursions to the movies.  That's just not what Grandmas were for.  So what did I do for seven days?  I did what Grandma did – except dip snuff.  I made biscuits, shelled Lima beans, canned vegetables for the following winter, and learned how to sew.

 

When I was six years old, Grandma taught me how to turn a square piece of daisy covered cloth into a gathered apron with a big bow in the back.  At seven, I learned how to turn a hot pink rectangular piece of cotton into a jumper with big ball buttons on the straps.  At eight, we conquered the zipper.          

 

Grandma didn't leave me a big sum of money when she passed away.  But what she left me was much more valuable.   Her inheritance to me was the peace that comes from leading a simple life and the joy that comes from creating things with my hands.  If she could see me now, I'm not sure what she would think of my sewing machine with 72 stitches and computer memory.  But I'm sure she would smile as I'd say, "Look Grandma, I made all these curtains and pillows.  And look Grandma, how do you like my dress I whipped up.  See the zipper.  I didn't even have to rip it out and start over once this time."

 

Without realizing it, my grandmother was being a Titus 2 woman.  "Older women ... encourage the young women to love their husbands, to love their children, to be sensible, pure, workers at home ..."  And she was teaching me how to be a Proverbs 31 woman who, "works with her hands in delight, brings her food from afar, clothes her household with scarlet, makes covering for herself and belts for the tradesmen, and does not eat the bread of idleness."

 

Leaving an inheritance to our children is so much more than money in the bank, well-invested mutual funds, and heirlooms of silver and jewels.  It is leaving them memories of simple times together, instructing them in how to become a man or woman of God, and leaving a legacy which causes them to "rise up and call you blessed." 

 

My Prayer for Today:

Dear Lord, I pray that You will make me a woman who leaves a godly heritage to my child.  Help me to always remember what is important – not money in the bank, but God in the heart.  Help me to be the type of woman that we read about in Titus chapter two, who exemplifies what You desire.  In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

 

Application Steps:

Think of a woman who was a Titus 2 woman in your life and write her a letter of thanks.  Make a list of the godly traits you desire to pass along to your children.

Make a list of the godly traits that you gleaned from your own parents or grandparents.

 

Reflection Points:

What do you want your children to remember about you when you are gone?

 

What do you want your children to think is important in this life?

 

How does your life and lifestyle reflect what you have just written?

 

Power Verses:

Titus 2:3, “Likewise, teach the older women to be reverent in the way they live, not to be slanderers or addicted to much wine, but to teach what is good.” (NIV)

 

Titus 2:4-5,  “Then they can train the younger women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind, and to be subject to their husbands, so that no one will malign the word of God.“ (NIV)

 

Proverbs 31:26, “She speaks with wisdom, and faithful instruction is on her tongue.“ (NIV)

 

Additional Resources:

Being a Great Mom, Raising Great Kids, by Sharon Jaynes

http://proverbs31.gospelcom.net/newresources_greatMom.htm

 

Mining for Gold in the Heart of Your Child (audio tape or CD), by Renee Swope

http://proverbs31.gospelcom.net/newresources_miningGoldTape.htm

 

Wise Words for Moms, by Ginger Plowman

http://proverbs31.gospelcom.net/newresources_wiseWords.htm