Friday, April 7, 2017

A Letter to My Future Grandchildren

In memory of my own grandparents that showed me life and love, I write a letter of sorts far into the future that might find my own yet-to-be born grandchildren some distant day, so that they too could know from whence they came. May my own little boys grow to be men and fathers that continue to carry onward these torches.   

My Dear Ones,

I write this letter to you in hopes to inspire courage and strength in your lives.  I cannot imagine the world in which you are living, but I can tell you of the world from which you came.  

I can tell you that there was a time when people thought more highly of others than they did of themselves.  There was an age where men were valiant, strong, and tender.  They knew how to treasure the people in their lives.  They were keenly aware of the task of leading and providing for a family.  They worked with dignity and honor.  They gave of their time selflessly, and sought to bring dignity to the world in which they lived.  They were movers, shakers, fixers, fighters, and farmers.  They wore their marriage ring proudly, they honored their parents, and they were willing to put themselves in the way of danger to protect the ones they loved.  They knew hard work.  They didn't back down from a challenge, and they didn't break a vow. They did not need the approval of any crowd.  They only looked for the twinkle in the eyes of the hearts they loved.  That was enough.  They were faithful men; faithful to their God and to their families.  They were loyal and could be trusted and counted upon to finish what they began.  These men were tender with their children, and they sought to instill the deep sense of value into their hearts.

There was a time when women were lovely from the inside out.  They were strong and mighty, but gentle in spirit.  Wisdom flowed from their hearts.  Their touch was healing, and their reach was wide.  They were the backbone of every strong family.  Their Bibles were worn, and their knees were calloused.  They poured their hearts into whatever their hands set forth to do.  Their loved flowed over in things like Sunday biscuits, intricate needlework, beautiful poetry, and bountiful harvests.  They had joy and beauty.  It was the kind of beauty that created soft wrinkles at the edges of their eyes and corners of their smiles.  They were treasured, honored, and respected.  They were beloved. They could roll up their sleeves and work harder than you can imagine.  Their calloused hands could cup a child's face and bind the wounds of a broken heart.   They were beautiful women of faith and they lived freely in their identity.  

You see, dear ones, these people were authentic.  They lived fully and heartily.  They worked, they loved, they worshiped, and they knew how to be a friend.  They were not perfect, but they were genuine.  I knew them by their first names.  I ate at their tables and heard their stories.  I watched them carve out a legacy.  I felt the weight on my shoulders to follow behind them in the paths they blazed for my life.  I bore their names with my own.  I had the shape of their lips, the curls of their hair, and the same love of growing things.   I knew them, I loved them, and I treasured them.

And...I have tried to pour their goodness all the way down to you. It hasn't been easy.  The world keeps pressing and fighting for souls.  The crowd calls for the allegiance of the masses and makes a soul feel stranded when it tries to withstand the current of trend.   But, it isn't stranded.  In the midst of a chaotic time, the steadfast love of God always shines.  

I tell you now Dear Ones that I have read to my sons, your fathers, and sang them many songs.  I have prayed over them and with them every night.  Your fathers, my beautiful boys, were made to seek patience and look for the good in the heart of others.  They were boys that were not allowed to be cruel.  They were kissed and hugged every day.  They ate at my table and read from my Bible.  Your grandfather walked them through woodlands, taught them of nature, and sang over them songs of faith.  We sat with them in church pews and shared countless milestones.  We taught them to treasure the people in their lives, work hard at whatever tasks they were given, seek humility, and always offer friendship. We failed some days to do our job well, but we never stopped trying.  

This, Dear Ones,  is from which you come.  This blood flows through your veins even now.  This courage and conviction is deeply rooted into your fibers, and this DNA is intertwined with your very own.  Do not be afraid to walk in the ways that were laid before you.  Do not fear the challenge of hard work, authentic relationships, and trusted character.  Trust in the way that God made you.  

Your world may scoff at your efforts, but your soul will grow in countless ways.  The words of your enemies might seem cruel and destructive, but it is at your doorstep where they will land in the time of trouble.  Your God will lead you.  You can trust Him.  You can count on my words to be true.  I have lived and loved, and now Dear Ones, into your hands I pass this torch. May you bravely carry it to the generations to come.

Your Loving Grandmother- Leah



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