Saturday, January 10, 2009

Sunday Afternoon Tea

It is cold in the Midwest of the USA and getting colder every hour. That means a two Pooh mug morning... coffee with cream and Splenda. Real half and half is one of my frugal luxuries (purchased on the cheap at Wal Mart, I don't want to know where it comes from). January is definitely the month to stay out of the cold winds with hot coffee or a Holiday tea.

My oldest grandchild turns seven next month. I sent her birthday package a couple days ago, enough time in transit to send it Parcel Post and save money. Stephanie has been sharing with me how E. loves to help in the kitchen, cook and bake, and read pretty decorating books.

Me, too... :)

Which has had me thinking how one generation affects the others to come. I'm not certain how much of what we are within us is written in our DNA and how much is a result of our surroundings... most likely an even mixture. I developed a love of cooking and "decorating" and Stephanie did, too. Could it be the hours spent watching Julia Child and other cooking shows with me or a natural talent passed down through generations?

My four grandchildren are being raised in a home where good doctrine is important and they have grandparents who at least attempt to provide a godly influence (they live close to their paternal grandparents whom we like very much). They will see in all four of us our failures as well as our successes in following Christ but that is a good thing... for they are not perfect, either.

I remember reading Elisabeth Elliot's book called The Shaping of a Christian Family and being jealous of her upbringing. She shares what it was like growing up in a family with a very godly lineage (it is a wonderful book about raising children and the subject of generations). I was just telling the guys this morning about the first time I remember drinking Jack Daniels (other than mixed with honey for my bronchitis as a preschooler).

It was quite early in my life... my experience was on the lines of a country music tears in my beer song rather than a sacred hymn.... but it ended with Amazing Grace. I always hungered to know God, even as a small child I knew He was there. It wasn't until Junior High when an acquaintance was told to find the least likely person in her school to become a Christian... and invite them to a revival meeting at her Wesleyan Church... that I was introduced to Him. Yes, of all the kids in that small town K-12 school... I was the least likely. :)

My grandchildren's paternal grandparents came to know Christ as adults and my husband was raised in a very liberal church but came to know Him personally first at college and more so on the beaches of Hong Kong... while on R&R from the front lines of Viet Nam. He knew a God of religion and tradition growing up and met the God who loved him personally as an adult.

Of course, I realized I should not be jealous of Elisabeth Elliot's upbringing as He placed me in the family and in the moment of Time and History where He wanted me to live. He knew when my husband would turn His life over to God and when my son-in-law's parents would come to know Him. None of us perfect but all of us on a journey that has deeply impacted the next generation.

We must never look back with regret at our past when we have asked Him for forgiveness. For doing so only takes the joy away from our present and our future. Each morning that He gives us a new day is a clean slate to learn more how to live a life that thanks Him for our salvation... one that affects our own journey and those children who follow us. For everything we do... each day of our life... affects those which follow... for good or for bad.

I am reminded of the Steve Green song called "Find Us Faithful"... here are the words:

Find Us Faithful

We're pilgrims on the journey
Of the narrow road
And those who've gone before us line the way
Cheering on the faithful, encouraging the weary
Their lives a stirring testament to God's sustaining grace

Surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses
Let us run the race not only for the prize
But as those who've gone before us
Let us leave to those behind us
The heritage of faithfulness passed on through godly lives

Oh may all who come behind us find us faithful
May the fire of our devotion light their way
May the footprints that we leave
Lead them to believe
And the lives we live inspire them to obey
Oh may all who come behind us find us faithful

After all our hopes and dreams have come and gone
And our children sift though all we've left behind
May the clues that they discover and the memories they uncover
Become the light that leads them to the road we each must find


Anonymous said...

your sunday words bring such encouragement to me
i enjoyed them and look forward to them

yes, God is faithful, and our slate is wiped clean - the devil continues to use his 3 deadly "d's" distraction, discouragement and doubt - from eve to today
God bless you and your family

Vee ~ A Haven for Vee said...

Thoughts to ponder this day...

I wonder about godly heritage, too. Guess it all boils down to this: God has no grandchildren. It is up to each person to come to faith in Him. Of my own four grandparents, none walked with the Lord until much later in life. I think it would've been easier to have had their fine example as believers when I was growing up. Oh well! The Lord knows best and we can trust Him to work it all out.

Stay snuggly. Oh, you made me laugh with your half and half from Wal*Mart...don'tcha love that rose-colored carton. I don't want to know where it comes from either!

Kathy Butryn said...

What a beautiful testimony...and encouragement for all of us. Indeed, God is faithful and has a plan and purpose for all of us...we can then live in His amazing grace!
God bless you today!

Sandy said...

That song is one of my favorites.

gail said...

Ah! What wisdom. Thanks for sharing. It seems many of us did not grow up with Our Lord's influence in our families. As you say, we are given a new day each morning and a new opportunity to live for our Father. We all have catching up to do and aren't we so fortunate that He has such patience with us.

Blessings Gail

Anonymous said...

Dee from Tennessee

What a wonderful post. I like your advice about not looking back.
And I agree with Anonymouse about the devil use of the "3 deadly d's"...he is on the prowl.

Thanks for your blog.

Brenna said...

The Shaping of a Christian Family is one of my all time favorite books. How wonderful that you mentioned it.