Tears soaked the carefully typed pages as I read in silence. My Grandfather spent months writing his memoir. Moments and stories that were burned into his memory, were skillfully captured on paper. A priceless gift to his children and grandchildren. I was touched by the time he spent writing and recalling his years as a husband, father and pastor. My heart ached for him as I read his memories of growing up with an alcoholic father during the Great Depression. There was so much disappointment and fear that he felt as a result of his father’s uncontrollable weakness. I never knew that my Grandpa slept on a roll away cot in the living room or that he started working at 9 years old to help his parents make ends meet. Growing up, my Grandfather represented security and wisdom in my eyes. In my youth it never occurred to me that he was giving his family what he never had…A Generational Blessing.
What if my Grandfather would have chosen to become angry and bitter? Or what if he would have decided to follow in his father’s footsteps? It would have been easy to do…after all he grew up during a time where there wasn’t much room for big dreams and high hopes. Instead, my Grandpa chose a better life. Even at a very young age he chose to work hard. He made a deliberate decision to love, protect and answer the call of God on his life. In the midst of incredible heartache he chose to be a blessing. And with every right choice and every act of obedience he made my life better…even before he knew me.
I am challenged by his life and the wonderful gift he has given to me through his faith and love for God. I long to do the same for the generations that will follow after me. I don’t know them, but my decisions today may be impacting their lives tomorrow. Will they be thankful for my life, or reflect on it with respect? As a mother, I realize now more than ever that my life is not my own. We each have a choice as to what we will pass on to our children and grandchildren. Daily I must choose to live with integrity, so that I may leave a blessing for the generations that will follow in my footsteps.
This year my Grandparents will both celebrate their 80th birthdays as well as 60 years of marriage. Even still they live for so much more than just themselves. They live for us…the future generations. There is much to be said about a life that is lived to please the Lord. It not only blesses our Heavenly Father, it blesses every one else too. Thank you Grandpa and Grandma for living a life worthy of respect and honor. Your devotion to the Lord is a tremendous gift to all who know you and a blessing to the future of our family!
Psalm 112:1-2 (NIV)
1 Praise the LORD.
Blessed is the man who fears the LORD,
who finds great delight in his commands. 2 His children will be mighty in the land;
the generation of the upright will be blessed.