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Monday, April 18, 2011

A Woman Who Changed the World

The smell of bacon, eggs, toast, and Folgers, that's a memory I will carry for the rest of my life. It will always be a reminder of childhood and waking up in my grandparents house, running into the kitchen, and seeing them sitting together reading the Word of God and praying together at the breakfast table. At the time the importance did not sink into my childhood brain. It was just what they did. It was who they were. Little did I know there sat a man and woman in a small town changing the world.

Today Grandma Zola went home to be with Jesus and our Heavenly Father. She battled cancer for years, and the toll it took only increased after my grandfather died. I thought I was prepared. I had expected the phone call to come at any moment in the last few days, but when it did I still broke down in sobs. Grandma was a giant of the faith. When she put her faith in God, there was no turning back. She did what she said, and said what she meant. She was a stubborn lady, a streak that runs fairly deep in our family. I am grateful for that though. She loved like no other. Her home was open to everyone. The woman was a prayer warrior. I remember she prayed about everything. Oh how she loved family. Her desire was that every person she meet come to know the love of her Savior. She touched an entire town and people who have gone out into the world to share that message, all because she was faithful.

I love her so much. There were many a times her love for me came in the form of discipline. I could have quite the sassy mouth. I am grateful for her correction. She always had her eye on the end result which was good character and integrity. She was quick to back up the discipline with love and encouragement. Her inheritance was many faithful, children,grandchildren , and great grand children.

Today grandma stepped into eternity with her Savior. She has been reunited with so many loved ones. I cannot even imagine the joy she is feeling. She is in the place she prepared her life for, as she sought to prepare those around her. As Hebrews 13:14 says
For here we do not have a lasting city, but we are seeking the city which is to come.
I just get excited as I think about the reality and truth behind this. It is not some fairytale we conjure in our minds, but truth. Our time on earth is so short, but like grandma, everything we do should be with an eye on eternity. With that mindset we love more, we serve more, and we give more because it is not about this city made with man's hands, but the city we seek made by God.

I wanted to share some random memories I have. They are the precious gems I will carry with me for the rest of my journey.

  1. Biscuits and gravy. Grandma made the best and she always made sure to have them when we were around.
  2. Apricot preserves. The food list could get pretty long, but the apricot preserves were great on the biscuits.
  3. Naps. She was always trying to get the grand kids to take naps. She would get cots out, and play a record I think was called Airplane to Sleepy Town.
  4. Chicken foot. She and my grandpa loved playing a variation of dominoes called chicken foot. They would get so competitive, and then she would start laughing so hard by the end.
  5. Readers Digest. She had so many dating back to the 1970's. I always wondered what she did with all of those.
  6. Her backyard. Grandma was constantly trying to get us away from the TV and outside to play. She would give us old boxes from their plumbing business and tell us to be creative. Grandma was ahead of her time trying to beat the childhood obesity epidemic! :)
  7. Lunch. Whenever we were there visiting everyone would come in from work for lunch. I have some great memories sitting around her dining room table with everyone.
  8. Pow-wows. This is what grandma called pep talks she would give us before we went out to a restaurant. This is where she admonished us to behave and be Christ like examples while we were in public. Not sure if I always accomplished that one.
  9. Sunday School. Grandmas taught the ladies Sunday School class. She was a great teacher.
  10. Kisses. Whenever we walked in the door she would grab our face and plant the biggest kiss on the cheek.
There are so many memories, it is hard to condense them into one post. I will miss her more than anything, but today she is free. Knowing this it is hard to want anything less