Influencing a Life | One Woman’s Impact on Mine

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.


I had a time on my wedding day to see my grandma and have her see me for the first time that day. Let’s just say, lots of tears. πŸ™‚ She had just been let out of recovery in time for my wedding after a fall she had taken. I was SO thankful she made it!

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). πŸ™‚

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.


Happy early birthday, Grandma!!!

…When I grow up, I want to be like you…


    1. Susanna Biddinger /Reply

      Thank you for stopping by! She is definitely a wonderful woman. I’m so blessed to have her as my grandma! πŸ™‚

  1. Tricia Stevens /Reply

    She also taught other young women how to pray. How to share joy. So thankful for her ministry in my life!

    1. Susanna Biddinger /Reply

      I love to hear how she has influenced others’ lives as well! She has touched many people with her life. Thank you for stopping by!

  2. Deborah Sembler /Reply

    I wish Mrs Pickering a very wonderful, Happy Birthday. She was my mentor when I was a teenage girl. I will always remember her as a woman with lots of smiles and full of grace. She has touched so many hearts. How can you not love that soft spoken woman of God. Thank you for sharing your grandma. You are blessed to have her.

    1. Susanna Biddinger /Reply

      I am. πŸ™‚ Thank you for reading! It’s awesome to hear that she was your mentor as well.

  3. Linda Sturgill /Reply

    Well said, Susanna! Your Grandma is the sweetest, most beautiful woman I have ever met! Her life overflows with Jesus! I am thankful for the impact she has had on my life as well! Happy birthday, Irma Pickering! I love you so much!

  4. Marilyn hallett /Reply

    I have nothing but loving thoughts of Irma. What a special lady of God she is. Jim and Irma were both very dedicated to God and it showed in their lives and their love for others.

  5. Karen Steiner /Reply

    Wow! What a beautiful tribute to a beautiful lady!! I am in complete agreement with all that you wrote. I have known Irma as a “Good News club” leader, a neighbor, and a Women’s Bible Study leader. She has been a spiritual mentor to me and many many others! What a blessing to call her Grandma! I wouldn’t be as close to Christ today if it had not been for the teaching a genuine Christian life of Irma! Thank you Irma. Have a special 95 birthday. I love you😘

    1. Susanna Biddinger /Reply

      That is beautiful to hear! I love to see the way Grandma’s life has impacted others. Thanks for sharing and for stopping by!

  6. Kay Streeter Baldwin /Reply

    Jim and Irma–they were just a “Special couple”!!! To know them was to love them both–so many memories of them. They both were beautiful inside and out. What a pleasure to know them both–Irma–Happy Birthday, have a special day!!! Love you

    1. Susanna Biddinger /Reply

      I agree! They certainly made an adorable couple too. I would love to hear how Grandpa would talk about how he fell in love with Grandma, and they still acted like newly-weds. πŸ™‚ I will pass on your comment to Grandma.

  7. Brenda Keasal /Reply

    What beautiful remaks about a beautiful godly woman! Please tell Momma Pickering hello for me! We loved momma and papa Pickering ….went to Berean Baptist Church with them. Loved them so much! And Happy Birthday!!! Love you momma, Brenda Streeter Keasal

  8. Jean Runde /Reply

    She truly radiates Christ and whenever I with her I just feel Christ love! I love her heart toward Christ in others!
    What a beautiful tribute!!!
    Thanks for sharing Susanna…it was beautiful and true!

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