Sunday, March 23, 2014

To Begin the Day

I remember growing up and visiting my grandmother.   I often helped her in the kitchen, whether she was cooking meals, cleaning, or preparing to feed the animals.  Each time I would look out her kitchen window, I always noticed the wooden plaque sitting on her windowsill.  I remember reading it each time I stood there.  It was a memory that always came to mind when I thought back to those visits.  While the quote did not mean much to me as a child, although I liked it enough to read it often, it stuck in my mind through the years, and it fit my grandmother perfectly; she was a quiet, devout, kind person.

Years later, a few days after my grandmother's death, I was given a box of her things to look through, welcome to choose any of those items I wanted.  I gently dug through various possessions, gifts she had been given and things I did not remember.  As I neared the bottom of the box, one item caught my eye.  It was the wooden plaque that had stood so long on my grandmother's windowsill.  Although faded in color with worn edges, the golden letters stood bright.  All those visits rushed back to my memory, and I slowly read the words once again.  This time, though, they not only brought back memories of my grandmother, they also seemed to speak to me.

Since that day I have kept that worn wooden plaque on my kitchen windowsill, reminding me of my gentle grandmother who loved God so devoutly and encouraging me to imitate those qualities of hers I admired so much.  Now as a mother and wife whose days are filled from early morning to late night with near constant activity, whose to-do list never seems to shrink, and who seems to (gratefully) always have one more hug to give, ear to lend, or paper to grade, the words on my grandmother's plaque fit my days perfectly.  They give me strength as I push back the kitchen curtains, watching a new day dawn. They help me order my day from those first moments, reminding me to give the whole day to God, and they reassure me that, even though some days seem overwhelmingly busy, I can fulfill God's plan for me that day and every day because I am not caring for these blessings, my family, alone.  He, of course, is with me every step of the way.

"Lord, help me to remember that nothing is going to happen to me today that You and I together can't handle."

 --an old preacher's greeting to each new day.

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