As a teenager, all that separated my family’s house from my grandmas was a large neighborhood where I used to take runs and walks quite frequently. One warm, sunny summer afternoon, I remember walking to grandma’s house for a visit. I spent the afternoon with her, and when it came time for me to go, Grandma insisted on driving me home. She said, “It will just take me a minute. Let me take you home. I can get you back in a jiffy; and it’s no trouble.” With that, she jumped into the car – barefooted! My almost 90-year-old grandma was driving me home and doing it barefoot too. I grinned and jumped in next to her.
Yep, that’s my grandma. Spunky. Water slide at 80 (or maybe it was 81). Taking risks in games with a mischievous smirk on her face. Willing to be carried up three flights of stairs to see Andrew and my third story apartment. My grandma has an energy and joy for life.
My grandma is also one of the most loving people you could ever meet. If you met her for the first time today, you would genuinely feel loved and cared for in moments. She just knows how to do that. Ask anyone who knows her.
She also is able to pointedly speak truth into people’s lives. My theory is that the reason she is able to do this in such an impacting way is because of the love she gives away so freely first through her life and words. Even if it’s something you wouldn’t necessarily want to hear, from her, it hits your heart where you need it to, and you know she’s right. Few people have spoken words of truth into my life as my grandma has.
I’m telling you about my grandma, because in three days it’s her birthday (March 20th), and she turns 95! I am thankful for each year that we have with her, and this year, I want to let her know in a special way how much she means to me and the influence she has had in my life.
Influencing a Life ~
Beyond a shadow of a doubt, I know that who my grandma is today comes from her experiences as a Christian and her relationship with Jesus throughout the years. For some people you don’t know what their single, biggest driving passion is, but with grandma it is very evident. It flows out of her life every day. She would be the first to tell you that the beauty you see in her could only come from Jesus (though she would be embarrassed if you told her of her beauty). 🙂
I love hearing of how her relationship with Jesus began and how from that point she began to grow in Him. I see that over the years she has let Him shape her and mold her more into a woman after His heart. The woman she is today is a result of the woman she let Jesus make her yesterday.
And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns. ~Philippians 1:6
Many times over the last several years I have asked Jesus to make me more like my grandma; I tell Him how much I want to be like her by the time I have white hair – that I would have joy and spunk in life as an elderly woman through the aches, pains, and difficulties that comes with that season of life, that people would genuinely feel loved by me on a continual basis, that I would be bold to always hold on to truth and speak that lovingly into people’s lives in the right moments. However, I know that I can’t merely wish to be like Grandma. The only way I could ever become the woman I want to be is to draw closer to the heart of Jesus and let Him change me daily in the ways that will help me become more like Him. Because of my grandma’s influence in and impact on my life, I am reminded often to continue pursuing after Jesus with all my heart and not give up in those difficult moments of surrendering my life to Jesus work. It’s my grandma who gave me that. Thank you, Grandma, for giving me your example.