Build Memories Worth Remembering

mamaw papaw memoriesMy maternal grandmother, Juanita Nutt Clark, passed away Monday, January 25, 2016 at 2:45 p.m. She lived to be 91 years old. I have many memories of Mamaw. Today I want to share a few of those memories with you.

The last 5 ½ years of her life she lived with Alzheimers. But those are not the main memories I have of Mamaw.

Mamaw will always be strong and healthy in my mind as I reminisce over the days I knew her when I was a child. She loved to garden and had the most beautiful rose bushes. Those and Papaw’s whirly gigs were the first things that we saw as we arrived at their house for a visit.

The next thing I remember is Mamaw’s sign that said, “Back door guests are best.” As a kid I wondered about that sign since technically there was another door that was even more in the back than that door but I get the idea now.

We entered the house through the kitchen and after giving Mamaw and Papaw hugs, we would stop by her guest bedroom to see her latest quilt that she was working on. All her quilts were hand sewn and beautiful back then. She even won awards in quilting shows. Somewhere there is a picture of her standing beside one of her quilts on display.

mamawkids memoriesThen we would go to their living room and sit on their couch and listen to the adults talk. It wouldn’t be long before Papaw would bring out “the claw” and chase us around the room. When us kids got bored Mamaw would bring out her collection of wooden spools for us to play with on the enclosed back porch where Papaw’s workshop was located.

And on pretty days we would run play in their fenced in yard. I remember Mamaw and Papaw had a nice sized yard that gave us plenty of room to play chase and hide and seek. It was even more fun with cousins since we could have teams. Ah, but it was hard not to play with the clothes line.

Some of our visits we ate dinner with them and there were usually aunts, uncles, and cousins at the table as well. It became a family joke that Papaw always had to take a picture of us with a bite of food in our mouths.

We kids were usually prompted to wash our hands in the bathroom sink after playing outside. We liked to listen to the large shell that held their bathroom door open. We would put our ear to the opening and listen to the sound of the ocean. We would also weigh ourselves on their bathroom scale that said “hospital” on it. It was one Papaw had from one of the hospitals he worked at as an electrician.

Then right about the time we needed to leave, Mamaw would pull out her cookie jar of homemade cookies. Once we finished eating the cookies, we would give her and Papaw a hug before we left.

Mamaw Assisted Living MemoriesThose are just a few of the many memories I cherish of Mamaw. While there are other memories of special times, it’s those regular every time I saw her ones that makes the memories special.

It makes me reflect on my own life, what memories will my children and future grandchildren have of me?

Mamaw’s last days were with Alzheimers and not remembering her loved ones but as soon as she walked through those pearly gates of heaven her memory was made perfect. She has perfect recollection now.

The last time I saw her she didn’t remember me. But the next time I see her, she will greet me by name. I imagine I will find her quilting tapestries for the mansions Jesus has prepared for those who have trusted in Him.

Why not? If God gave us our talents to use for Him here on earth, why wouldn’t He let us continue to use them for His glory in Heaven?

And now for the big question, if you were to die right now would you go to Heaven? If you can’t answer that question with a sure yes then you need to do a heart check.

Was there ever a time in your life that you felt bad for the sins you have committed, told God you were sorry, and committed your life to Him?

If not, now is the accepted time. Today is the day of Salvation.

I wrote another post about my paternal grandparents entitled A History of Family Commitment: My Paternal Grandparents that you might like to read from my building commitment series

Do you have memories of a loved one that you would like to share? What memories would you like your loved ones to have of you? 

I would love it if you would share your memories with me in the comments

AGT_WHW_Linkup_ButtonIf you have any questions about whether you will see your loved ones in Heaven, you should check out this post by my husband entitled “Will I See My Loved Ones in Heaven?” that he wrote for Ask God Today Ministries.

Speaking of Ask God Today, I’m linking up with other bloggers for our Warm Hearted Wednesday Link-up this week’s topic is Examples of Love. I would love for you to join us there.

EmailShare

Would You Throw the LifeSaver?

A person is walking along the banks of a large lake. As he does he happens to see a man who looks as if he is swimming in the water. However upon closer inspection the man walking sees that something is not right about how the swimmer is behaving. He is splashing a lot. Every few seconds he sinks under the water for longer periods of time and splashes back up to the surface only long enough to take a quick breath and sputter.

The walker just happens to have a lifesaver in his hands. He starts to throw it to the swimmer but then he hesitates.

Should I throw this to him? What if he gets upset at me?

You know he might think I’m suggesting he doesn’t know how to swim.

Will it offend him for me to throw this lifesaver out to him?

I wouldn’t want him to feel bad for being a terrible swimmer.

You know I think I will play it safe and watch him a minute before I throw it just to be sure he needs help.

I’m not a lifeguard. Maybe I should call a lifeguard to come get him out. Hmmm… There doesn’t seem to be any around here.

“Hold on, Mister! I’m calling a lifeguard for you!”

Meanwhile the swimmer goes under and the opportunity to save him is lost.

Unsinkable

The above story probably sounds a bit absurd.

“Just throw the lifesaver already!” you’re probably saying.

And yet the above scene is what a lot of us do everyday.

We hear people complain about those who have thrown lifesavers out. They say things like, “Why doesn’t everyone just leave me alone?”

“I’m not interested in what you have to say.”

“Mind your own business. I don’t want to hear it.”

“You live life your way and I’ll live life my way.”

To us it sounds like they are saying, “Just keep that lifesaver to yourself. I enjoy splashing in this water of life.”

However if we see them struggling and yet don’t throw the lifesaver to them, we are to blame for their drowning.

On the other hand, if we throw the lifesaver to them despite the fear that they might reject it, we  give them that opportunity to grab on or not. We have done our part.

The rest is up to them. We are not responsible for their decision to hold on or let go.

Again the word of the LORD came to me, saying,

“Son of man, speak to the children of your people, and say to them: ‘When I bring the sword upon a land, and the people of the land take a man from their territory and make him their watchman,’

‘when he sees the sword coming upon the land, if he blows the trumpet and warns the people,  then whoever hears the sound of the trumpet and does not take warning, if the sword comes and takes him away, his blood shall be on his own head. He heard the sound of the trumpet, but did not take warning; his blood shall be upon himself. But he who takes warning will save his life.’

‘But if the watchman sees the sword coming and does not blow the trumpet, and the people are not warned, and the sword comes and takes any person from among them, he is taken away in his iniquity; but his blood I will require at the watchman’s hand.’

“So you, son of man: I have made you a watchman for the house of Israel; therefore you shall hear a word from My mouth and warn them for Me. When I say to the wicked, ‘O wicked man, you shall surely die!’ and you do not speak to warn the wicked from his way, that wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood I will require at your hand.

“Nevertheless if you warn the wicked to turn from his way, and he does not turn from his way, he shall die in his iniquity; but you have delivered your soul.”

~~Ezekiel 33:1-9 NKJV

Here I am throwing the LifeSaver to you.

I know what it is like splashing around trying to get out of the water. I couldn’t reach the shore alone either.

Someone threw me the LifeSaver. They didn’t wait to see whether or not I wanted it. They threw it out there for me. I chose to accept it.

Now I’m offering it to you.

God has the strength to pull you to the shore and change your life completely.

Will you let Him? 

If you have already accepted God’s LifeSaver and are wearing His Life Jacket please share your life changing story with us in the comments.

In my next post I will share with you the story of how I was saved from drowning. Literally and figuratively. Be sure to check back later this week for that. Until then…

Who will you throw the LifeSaver to today?

EmailShare

Never Alone: Facing Life Without Your Partner

Many things in life are unpredictable. Sometimes things happen beyond our control. We may not want to think about them happening. We hope and pray that it never happens to us. However there comes a time when we must face this question. Either before it occurs or after when we are shocked by the reality of it.

We do not live forever here on this earth, nor can we predict who will go first or when.

MemaSad

I have known many who have lost their lifelong partner. I have friends younger and older who have faced this difficult situation. Each one grieves in different ways.

Our mortality is a hard subject to discuss. However it is important.

What would I do if something were to happen to my husband? Where would I go? How would I support my family? What would my husband do if I were the one to go first? My heart aches to even consider those possibilities.

A friend of mine who lives in Sweden, Lotta Wanner, wrote a very thought provoking post called “Not Enough Time“. In it she shares a couple of incidents that made her realize how short life is. She also talks about ways to prepare for our families ahead of time if something should happen to us.

If we were to have something happen to us what would we want our family to know? I wrote about this last June in my blog post “If I Only Had One Day Left“. In that post I talk about what I would do if I had only one day left to live. In that one day I would write everything I would want my children and their future generations to know.

Maybe this post will be the jumping off point to help you and your spouse discuss what you will do if something were to happen to either of you.

Some questions you might consider discussing are:

  • How will you support the family?
  • Where will you live?
  • What decisions would be hard to make while mourning?
  • Do you both know where important documents are kept?
  • What about passwords to personal accounts like email and such?

Those are just a few questions you might consider.

Don’t get me wrong it is very good to plan for a long and healthy life. It is also good to prepare for your future and what you want to accomplish in your later years. Dream big dreams of happily-ever-after together.

God doesn’t want us to worry about losing the ones we love. If you think about it having this discussion and preparing beforehand actually frees us to not have to worry about it anymore. When those important matters are taken care of we are free to live and dream of a long and healthy future together without fear of what may come.

The day may come that you face life without your spouse. Whether you are prepared or not it will still be hard. Or perhaps you are already facing that moment.

Here are some words of comfort I want to give you today.

“Brothers and sisters, we do not want you to be uninformed about those who sleep in death, so that you do not grieve like the rest of mankind, who have no hope.
 
For we believe that Jesus died and rose again, and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him.
 
According to the Lord’s word, we tell you that we who are still alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will certainly not precede those who have fallen asleep.
 
For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first.
 
After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever.
 
Therefore encourage one another with these words.”
 

– 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 NIV

This is hope. Knowing that even though the loss hurts right now, a day will come when we will see our beloved ones again. Oh what a glorious day that will be!

Will you be having this discussion with your spouse? Are you prepared? Please share with us in the comments

This is Day 25 of 31 Days Building Commitment. This series is following my book Don’t Quit: Build a Legacy of Commitment which you can download for free here

My next post will be for the lonely. Thanks for following!

~~ Anastacia ~~

EmailShare