Heirlooms

[reprinted from December 14, 2010]

I remember your genuine faith, for you share the faith that first filled your grandmother Lois and your mother, Eunice. And I know that same faith continues strong in you. 2 Timothy 1:5 (NLT)

This is a time of year that usually involves a fair amount of cooking. Smells of the season bring memories of childhood. I have a big oval pot that I always cook my chili in. I would not think of using any other! I had a huge yellow mixing bowl that my mother always made chocolate chip cookies in. My mother was a great cook. I am blessed that she took time to teach me. My children love my fried chicken, real mashed potatoes, and gravy. However, there were a few skillets of ‘wallpaper paste’ before I got the hang of gravy and was able to produce the savory, smooth gravy of today! I watched my mother a lot.

My mother also had a great faith. Unfortunately, she did not speak of her faith. She taught me prayers. She sent me to a parochial school. I saw her pray every day. I saw her go to church and a look would come over her face…I did not know what it was all about but as I got older, I wanted it. I just did not know what “it” was. The “religion” I was hearing in church was not personal and so did not seem real to me. The questions I had were not welcome or answered by the preachers and teachers I asked. But I still wanted a trusting faith like my mother had.

God sent many people to water and fertilize the faith roots that I had. My first Bible at age 24 was a Living Translation that, fortunately, read like a novel. That is probably why I actually read it all the way through. Teachers that shared their passion for God’s Word; the beauty of it; the depth of it. I began to see how Old Testament connected with New Testament and back again. I learned there were wonderful resources, writers of Biblical history and study guides, that would help me dig deep and think about why I believed and encouraged my roots to go deeper. Young people with their excitement and enthusiasm that taught me to seek God’s fresh bread and water and never ‘settle for’ the stale.

My children now have children of their own. The chili pot may still be around to pass along to them some day. The cookie bowl broke this year. I want my children to have something that won’t break. I want to continue to tell them about Jesus. They know Jesus now but there is always more to know so I do not want to stop sharing and encouraging them to learn more about their Jesus. Our faith should never grow dusty with no use or attention. Our faith is not something you bring out on holidays for ‘company’ but we use it every day – especially with family. Our belief in Jesus the Messiah and all that He is including Father and Spirit is the most valuable legacy that our family passes from generation to generation.

This is one of my favorite Christmas songs, Heirlooms by Amy Grant, Bob Farrell,  and Brown Bannister (1983).


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