A couple of weeks ago, I had the pleasure of helping and watching my mother as she joyfully and patiently taught three of her granddaughters and one of her great-granddaughters how to make blackberry jelly. She taught them how to prepare the jars, prepare the fruit and extract the juice, and then how to actually cook the juice and sugar to make the jelly. Everyone involved had a great time and many memories were made. Even the younger great-grandchildren who weren’t really interested in the cooking process enjoyed the day because they were served hot biscuits with warm jelly.
As I reflect back on the lesson we learned that day and all the other many lessons that Momma has taught her children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren, I realize just how blessed our family has been. I thank God daily for allowing Momma to still be a vital part of our family. Momma will turn 87 years old soon and she still loves spending time with us. She loves attending the great-grandchildren’s school and church programs. She will brave the cold weather to attend one of the grand’s sporting events. And believe me, the great-grandchildren notice that she is there and they love seeing her presence. She always gladly and proudly supports her family in their daily activities.
But more importantly than making jelly and attending social events, Momma has also taught us how to live our lives in such that manner that people watching us will know that we are Christians and that we love the Lord. And she has taught us these lessons by example instead of by lecture.
In Proverbs 31:10-30, it says, “Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies. The heart of her husband doth safely trust in her, so that he shall have no need of spoil. She will do him good and not evil all the days of her life. She seeketh wool, and flax, and worketh willingly with her hands. She is like the merchants’ ships; she bringeth her food from afar. She riseth also while it is yet night, and giveth meat to her household, and a portion to her maidens. She considereth a field, and buyeth it: with the fruit of her hands she planteth a vineyard. She girdeth her loins with strength, and strengtheneth her arms. She perceiveth that her merchandise is good: her candle goeth not out by night. She layeth her hands to the spindle, and her hands hold the distaff. She stretcheth out her hand to the poor; yea, she reacheth forth her hands to the needy. She is not afraid of the snow for her household: for all her household are clothed with scarlet. She maketh herself coverings of tapestry; her clothing is silk and purple. Her husband is known in the gates, when he sitteth among the elders of the land. She maketh fine linen, and selleth it; and delivereth girdles unto the merchant. Strength and honour are her clothing; and she shall rejoice in time to come. She openeth her mouth with wisdom; and in her tongue is the law of kindness. She looketh well to the ways of her household, and eateth not the bread of idleness. Her children arise up, and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praiseth her. Many daughters have done virtuously, but thou excellest them all. Favour is deceitful, and beauty is vain: but a woman that feareth the Lord, she shall be praised. Give her of the fruit of her hands; and let her own works praise her in the gates.
When I read this description of a virtuous woman, I immediately think of my mom. She stayed at home and took care of the house and the children while Daddy worked. Daddy never had to wonder or worry about running the household. Momma had it under control. She was not afraid of work. She arose early to prepare a lunch for Daddy and breakfast for us kids. In fact, she would fix each of us our own favorite breakfast if that’s what we wanted. She had a homemade snack for us every afternoon when the bus dropped us off. She had a hot supper on the table every evening when Daddy arrived home from work. She sewed clothes for us. She helped us with homework or school projects. She taught us to be kind to others. She taught us to be hard workers. She was never idle. Basically, although she was not perfect, she was just a great mom, a virtuous woman indeed.
Another scripture that describes Momma is found in Titus 2:3-5. “The aged woman likewise, that they be in behavior as becometh holiness, not false accusers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things. That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children, to be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed.”
Once again, the scripture gives a perfect description of my mom. Momma loved my dad and she loved her children. Momma taught us all many life lessons and she did this by her actions not her words. Mom still reads her bible every day and she spends time in prayer daily. In fact, every time I call her, she tells me that she has been praying for Bill and me. And I’m sure she prays for all of her children even though we are all grown. Each of her five children will still today refer to her as blessed.
I realize that times have changed and many women have to work outside of the home now just to help make ends meet. And that’s okay. I worked many years outside the home myself. But the Word hasn’t changed. We, as elder women, should still be living by these same standards. We should be teaching the younger women how to behave. We should be teaching them the importance of church. We should be teaching them the importance of prayer. We should be teaching them to be virtuous women. Are we doing this? I’m afraid not. If we live to be 87 years old, what will our children say about us?
This is Nana Nancy, Let Jesus be YOUR Guide as you enjoy YOUR ride!