I Missed Grandparents Day…
Writing this as a kind of apology, Jesus revealing to me that I’ve been using my little kids too much. That even though we learn so very much from them, I have learned so many crucial life lessons from grown-ups too. Taking some space to share a bit of what I have learned from seasoned Christian women on this journey.
My grandmothers. On my father’s side, I have learned so much from my grandmother, Edna Grace Ludwig, posthumously. She was ill most of my formative years, so I did not have much time with her, but she certainly made up for it when I had to go through her estate after the passing of my dear Aunt Mary.
My greatest treasure is the notes she left from an exhaustive Bible Study she worked on during her later years. I have her handwritten answers to the wise instructor’s questions. No computer to write with and store her wisdom. Just pen and paper. “Spirit” duplicated worksheets, with corrections and additions from the wise hands of her discipler. My Grandma Ludwig sought God. She cherished His Word and I hope she sees that her faithfulness is a legacy that I am so extremely grateful for.
Psalm 1:1-2 “Blessed is the man (woman) who walks not in the counsel of the ungoldly, nor stands in the paths of sinners, nor sits in the seat of the scornful; But his (her) delight is in the law of the LORD, and in His law doth he (she) meditate day and night.” (God’s Words are for all of us.)
On my mother’s side, I have learned so much from my grandmother, Clara Mae McElfresh. This “grandma” influenced me much before she went to be with the Lord. She was a caregiver. She wanted so much to be a registered nurse, yet she was able to provide nursing care that more than made up for the fact that she did not have a “degree.” I saw how she made a difference to those who suffered and I wanted to be able to do the same thing. However, she first and foremost loved Jesus. He rescued her and she never stopped praising and serving Him in the new life He gave her after she was saved.
2 Corinthians 5:17: “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.”
These women had struggles.
Grandma Ludwig, lost a baby shortly after he was born. She raised a son with challenging health problems; polio and a seizure disorder. She operated a small general store where she extended credit to many families who were never able to pay. I am sure she talked with Jesus about all of these heartaches and more. Those are just the profound highlights of what had to be the darkest nights. Add those to the inconveniences of getting your water from the well and doing laundry on a wash board!
Grandma McElfresh had what I have understood to be a difficult upbringing. Yet Jesus found her and turned things around. One of my most poignant memories is watching her care for her dying husband, crying out to God to ease his suffering. I had the privilege of staying day and night with her during those first few days of grieving for her loss and they made an impact on my life that will always stay with me. Such a tear-filled gift. She also lost two sons from this earth before the Lord took her to Heaven. Again, just some highlights of her darkest nights for she also lived in a world without the many conveniences we have today.
And I could go on and on about the wonderful example my own mother, Donna Ludwig, has been of a grandma that goes above and beyond to make sure her grandchildren know they are loved and precious and that Jesus is her Lord. She is still going strong, even now that she is a great-great grandma!
Some of you may have your own stories of how much of a difference a grandmother, or older-wiser woman has had on your life. Remember them and think of how we can have an impact on those women who are coming after us.
I am finishing up a study focused on the directions God gives to older and younger women, based on Titus 2. We older women are to teach younger women to follow Jesus in all the many directions their lives take them. This is not the same world we inherited from our grandmothers. There are so many distractions from the true, holy life God requires to experience His blessings. Younger women need our guidance and better yet, our support and prayers. The example of our faithfulness will make a difference, even if that difference is realized many miles down the road.
I am going to a conference this weekend in Indianapolis, Revive ’17. Women will gather together from many places in this country and will be watching via livestream from all over the world. We will be praying and worshiping together and learning together the importance of “passing the baton” to those who will be coming after us. Please join us at this address, https://buff.ly/2y7gWhl , or go to reviveourhearts.com and see what this is all about.
Teach what accords with sound doctrine.
Older men are to be sober-minded, dignified, self-controlled, sound in faith, in love, and in steadfastness.
Older women likewise are to be reverent in behavior, not slanderers or slaves to much wine.
They are to teach what is good, and so train the young women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled, pure, working at home, kind, and submissive to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be reviled.
…so that in everything they may adorn the doctrine of God our Savior.
TITUS 2:1-5, 10