One of my favorite Christmas decorations is our permanent gingerbread ornaments with family names on them. This year, the Lord has graciously added to us three grandchildren and a son in law.
I love these ornaments because each one tells a story. I love to reflect on memories of the ones who have passed into their eternal home.
Great Grandma Rowley didn’t have any money. She didn’t give presents or Christmas cards. She never really spoke unless spoken to. I’ll never forget my conversations with her. She talked about Jesus like I’d never heard anyone talk.
The last time I saw her, she was in her late nineties and her mind and body were going. She stayed awake all night and slept in the day. It was hard on the family. I walked into her room this particular night and she appeared not to be in her right mind until I asked her to tell me about Jesus.
Her face lit up like a Christmas tree. Peace filled her countenance and a smile took over her confusion. Her slumped over body straightened right up. Tears filled her eyes and then it was like a fountain of living water came forth from her. “Jesus, Jesus, Jesus oh I love His name. He is wonderful, He’s my Counselor, my Mighty God, He’s my Everlasting Father, my Prince of Peace…”
She radiated almost like she was in Heaven and not on Earth in her spirit. She didn’t stop talking! She couldn’t! I eventually had to walk out of the room to take care of our children who were waiting to be put to bed. When I finished, I came back in the room and she was still recounting His glory and majesty!
I’ve never forgotten that night. She gave the best Christmas gift I could have ever received from her. What else do I know about her? Did she keep a clean house? I don’t know! Was she organized? I don’t know. It doesn’t matter. What did she do in her spare time? She read the Word.
None of us know if we will be here next Christmas…
A question that comes to my heart during this time of year, is “what story will be told of us?” If our family in the distant future were hanging our gingerbread person on the tree and our story was being told, what would be said?
When I’m ninety-eight years old and my great, great grandchildren walk in the room and ask me to tell them about Jesus- I want Him to flow out like a river. I want my love for Him to be a mighty rushing river flowing from that place within, that never grows old. His Presence and life abiding inside of us is the gift that keeps on giving!
The gifts we buy will soon be forgotten but the gift that gives into our future generations is a living testimony of a life lived in “laid down love” for Jesus.
As I add my new gingerbread family to the garland today, I pray for my children to live a life dedicated to the Lord and that their life stories would be powerful and told for generations to come.
“Blessed is the man…whose delight is in the law of the Lord, and in His law he meditates day and night. He shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that brings forth its fruit in its season, whose leaf never withers. . .” Ps 1
“Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, 2fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.…” Hebrews 12:1-2
Heather is the mother to three of our grand babies now!