Friday, January 23, 2009

Remembering Mom-Mom

My Mom-Mom passed away Janurary 17th, 2009.   Wednesday was her funeral.   Growing up in South America I never had the kind of relationship with my Mom-Mom that my cousins had who grew up living right by her.  My mom's relationship with her parents was often strained as well so there was also that dynamic added to our relationship.  That being said, you can not deny the legacy that has been left by my Mom-Mom and to be honest with you family legacy means a lot to me.  I care about what has come before that has made me and my life what it is, and I care deeply about what we leave behind to our kids.  Speaking of legacy I get THAT from my mother.  She has always mentioned how important it is to her what she be remembered for, and that she wants to be remembered.  
  I think that is why my Mom-Mom's funeral had such an impact on me.  I remember the last time I saw my Mom-Mom alive.  It was a couple of months ago, I went down with my mom and my sister and based on her health we knew then that there was a good possibility that it would be the last time we would see her.  She was soo happy to see us and she referred to me and my sister as the 'grand-babies'.  That took me off guard.  I have kids of my own now.  I have made my parents grand-parents and I can tell you that I had not thought of myself as being a 'grand baby' for a LONG time.  
  The funeral service was beautiful and so well done.  There was a time given for testimonies and there were plenty of people who came up to speak about the impact that Grace English had on their lives.  There were plenty more who would not speak because they knew that they could never get through it without breaking down in tears.  My Mom-Mom was feisty.  A week or so before the funeral my own mom for the first time heard the song " I hope you dance" By Lee Ann Womack.  She mentioned after the funeral that the song definitely applied to my grandmother.   She sometimes  had to fight in order to get out on the dance floor of life, sometimes the song she danced to was a sad song,  but let me tell you I don't think she ever looked at the choice to sit it our or dance and chose to sit it out.   She was truly a 'dancer'.   It's something she has instilled in my mother and my mother is doing her best to instill in  her own children.  I still haven't worked up the courage to go line dancing with  my mother, but I am fairly certain she's not done asking. ;-) 
  The service ended with a clear salvation message.  My Mom-Mom is in heaven, she would want everyone she knew to be able to join her there some day.  She'll still be dancing. 
   One of the songs we sang was especially poignant to me.  "Because He Lives".   It is obviously very fitting for a funeral service.   The final verse says  "And then one day I'll cross the river.  I'll fight lives final war with pain, and then as death gives way to victory I'll see the lights of glory and I'll know He lives".  
 Mom-Mom has fought her final war with pain, she HAS seen the light of glory.  What struck me was the verse we sing right before that "How sweet to hold a new born baby, to feel the joy and pride he gives, yet sweeter still the sweet assurance this child can face uncertain days because He lives".  
  It's almost like the author was dealing with my own 'circle of life' thoughts while he wrote the song.   Old ones die, new are born.  What is important doesn't change "Because He Lives".  
   What legacy are we leaving?  When our children and grandchildren sift through what we have left behind?  Will they want to follow in our footsteps? Will they long to 'dance'?  Will they 'find us faithful'?  Will their lives 'be worth the living just because He lives?".  
  My dad prayed at the funeral.  In his prayer he mentioned that we don't necessarily  think about Heaven as often as we do, but we do think about it at funerals.  That made me think about my daughter because she is obsessed with Heaven.  She is constantly asking questions about what it is going to be like there, always asking when we get to go there....always.   This is something that she is anxiously awaiting.  Thinking of Kaity  made me a little sad because sometimes you mourn as much for what you didn't as for what you did.   I don't know that she has ever met my Mom-Mom.  Also, I know how important my parents are in the lives of my children and it made me sad that I never had that with my grandparents and "now I never will" I thought to myself.   But you know what?  That's not true and that's the beauty of Heaven.  Some day Kaity and I both will cross the river and we will have the rest of eternity to continue our relationship with Mom-Mom.  Why?  Because He Lives. 


Wednesday, January 14, 2009

This is Tanzania

As some of you know, and some of you don't.  My husband and I are considering the possibility of going to Tanzania, Africa as missionaries. 

 God has been working in our hearts for a little over 6 months and at this point we are praying that God would show us open doors and closed doors and give us the grace to accept them for what they are.  We would have to sell our house, which is not nearly the easiest thing thing to do these days.  But we are fully confident that we are proceeding following God's call and He will work things out according to HIs perfect plan regardless of where that has us living a year from now. 
    It's kind of a cool story about how God brought me and Tim both to this place in our lives, some parts of our story are intertwined, in some cases we  were both on our path completely alone getting to this point, and yet here we both are ready to go to Africa and terrified and exhilarated at what comes next.  
Tim is in Mississippi right now on a  completely different missions trip and when he comes back we will be getting serious about planning a two week trip to Tanzania to get the lay of the land, sort of see what our role would be and kind of feel out if it is going to be a good fit. 
  With all this in the works I thought I would find some things out about Tanzania.  Can you believe how beautiful the pictures are??!?!?

I also found out the population is about 38 million.  They are 30% Christian, 35% muslim and 35% "indigenous beliefs".  Zanzibar which is next door is 99% muslim.   The age structure is 43.7% 0-14 yrs., 53.6% is 15-64 yrs., 6.2% 65+.  The life expectancy rate is 45.64 years so it makes sense that they are a fairly young society.   The HIV/AIDS rate is 1.6 million or 8.8% of the population.  
  They are also considered to be one of the most stable countries in Africa with very  little internal conflict or problems with it's neighbors which was encouraging to hear about the country I am considering raising my children in! 
   I hope you will come along with us on this journey.  We will need all the prayers that we can possibly gather not only if we go but even on this side as we make our decisions.  
  More to come......

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Thought for the day...

For every un-reached people group in the world there are 6 HUNDRED churches in this country.