Grit And Grace
Three things are true about my family: 1. We love each other; 2. We will find absolutely any reason to get together, and 3. When we get together, there will be A LOT of food and A LOT of laughter. I’m honestly not sure which we have more of.
This year, for my grandmother’s birthday, we threw her a surprise party. It was much more than I thought it would be! My heart was FULL at the end of the day.
Two things were evident to me this day: Grit and Grace.
Grit determines that life challenges will neither defeat us nor define us. It is the self-propelled gust of wind that gives you the unexpected push when you are standing still, not knowing what is next.
You see, my family is my backbone. They are my grit. They are the silent AND VERY VERY LOUD) prayer warriors that push me to be my best despite life’s challenges.
I was super busy on this day, making sure everything ran smoothly and PERFECTLY, but I enjoyed every moment of it. When I looked back at the pictures, life lessons were screaming at me.
Lesson 1: ANNIE BELL
My great-grandmother, Annie Bell Jackson, was their mother. She was my mother’s mother. She was my mother. When she passed, I expected a flood of emotions to come raging at me. I cried a lot. However, looking back, I handled it much better than I expected me to.
These pictures are why. While my great-grandmother is no longer physically here, she is not gone. The sound of her voice is still within my grandmother, her grace within my aunt Annie, her smile within my Aunt Dianne. I still see her joy within my Uncle Pep and her charm within my Uncle Bill. And yes, her smoothness is within my Uncle Doc. Her wisdom: within each of us.
Lesson 2: WISDOM
One of the most common examples I have of listening to those older than me is when I’m attempting to cook something, and my grandmother comes to tell me an easier way to do it.
I have no idea what conversations were taking place in the photo above, but I know the conversations I’ve had with each of these people. You know that wisdom I said my Granny left within each of us? It shows up most in these moments: the simple conversations where those older than us sneak it in piece by piece. Or if they’re anything like my grandmother and her sisters, say it plain and clear!
Job 12:12 - Is not wisdom found among the aged? Does not life bring understanding?
Lesson 3: TOGETHERNESS
These three photos were more-so reminders than lessons; reminders of how my family is always there. The thing I loved most about this day was that it included the Jacksons and the Graces ( grandmother’s and grandfather’s side). I love spending time with each side individually, but I don’t believe anything can top having everyone in the same room.
I can only think of the verse “before I formed you in the womb, I knew you.” You see, God knew what family to give me. He knew who should marry who in the Grace and Jackson lineage.
He knew that the party we threw for my grandmother wouldn’t have been what it was without Dina’s jokes or GT’s sweet table. He knew we needed my mom and Alexis to come from GA and for my sister and Uncle Terry to join us via FaceTime. He knew we needed my Uncle Bill to play his harmonica and that my grandmother would convince my Uncle Carl to sing. And He KNEW we would sing that cake song.
“So we, being many, are of one body in Christ, and every one member of one another.” Romans 12:5