One Saturday morning, several years ago, I headed to my hometown of Spartanburg to visit family, as well as Jayne, a woman who had advertised free liriope in Craig’s List.
As we put shovel to dirt, I learned that Jayne had attended the same church as my paternal grandparents for many years. She was also the church secretary for ten of those years. Her face lit up when I mentioned my grandmother’s name. That happened a lot.
While taking a break on Jayne’s front porch she excused herself and returned a few minutes later with a wide grin. In her hands were some things kept from her time at Fairforest Baptist Church. At one point, she carefully pulled out a manilla folder. She told me the folder held one of her greatest treasures. When the folder opened, I immediately recognized the handwriting. It was Ma-Ma’s.
Ma-Ma had written Jayne a small note, encouraging her teaching efforts when Jayne taught her class for several months. Attached to Ma-Ma’s note was a piece of notebook paper filled with handwritten names and phone numbers.
Shuping and Alberta Scott
With tears welling up in her eyes, Jayne shared how she
had mentioned in class one Sunday that the ladies needed to pray for one
another on a regular basis. On the following Sunday, Ma-Ma handed her
what is now tucked away in Jayne’s treasured file.
Ma-Ma was a prayer warrior up until she drew her last breath.
Jayne also shared how my grandfather, Pa-Pa,
would come to the church office and
give anonymously to different missions and needs. He never wanted to be
recognized or applauded for his giving.
It is a priceless gift to inherit such a spiritual heritage. May our grandchildren and great-grandchildren be able to say the same in the years to come.
I hope you enjoyed the above post, originally shared in 2009. Since then, Ma-Ma went home to be with the Lord. Thankfully, my spiritual heritage stemmed from both sides of my family. All four grandparents were godly, beautiful examples of Christ.
“Your story is the greatest legacy that you will leave to your
It’s the longest-lasting legacy you will leave to your heirs.”
I remember the day(s) I caught her eating crackers off the other children’s plates if they turned their head for a split second (and the adorable unrepentant grin she displayed when I caught her eye.)
I remember the night her #10 jersey was displayed on the Brashier gym walls in recognition of the 1308 points she scored during her b-ball years there. Yes, 1308 points! (I’m still convinced it was the glow-in-the-dark b-ball we gave her years ago that was the catalyst for such proficiency!)
I remember the invitation we received this past week for her high school graduation and the cookout that would follow.
family has been an integral part of our lives for over 20 years now. Her
mom, Teresa, and I co-taught a women’s Sunday School class and bible
studies for years and have remained best friend’s ever since. All of
Teresa’s children feel much like my own. Her four girls feel more like
daughters and I suppose they always will.
Rach, Christi, Kayla, Steph, and Andrew
As we sat around the table last night during the graduation celebration, I couldn’t help but think of my grandmother, aka Ma-Ma (my dad’s mother) and the many life-long friends she made during her 60+ years at Fairforest Baptist Church. Throughout my life I watched as she not only loved her friends, but their children as well. I think Ma-Ma especially gravitated towards the daughters, seeing how she had her hands full with four boys at home!
Today’s “church years” don’t seem mirror those of my grandmother’s, when people remained in one church their entire lives. Nowadays, prayer partners part and families follow.
Yet, nights like last Thursday remind me that we, as the Church, are one regardless of the walls we choose to sit within on Sunday mornings. Relationships can last far beyond the goodbyes. It requires a little intentionality and sacrifice but it’s worth every effort. Our lives are richer for knowing Kayla (Miss Graduate!), her parents, and siblings, as well as other friends we no longer attend church with but remained connected to.
I’m grateful that in some ways my friendships—and the friendships developed with their children—mirror those of my grandmother’s days.
How about you? Did God bring anyone in particular to mind while reading this post? If so, I encourage you to make the effort to touch base with them. It may just be God’s perfect timing at work!
The next best thing to being wise oneself
is to live in a circle of those who are. – C.S. Lewis
Twenty-three years ago, I was directed to a newly formed “New Beginnings” Sunday School class. My wounds, still fresh from a punt kick to the heart, made me wonder if I’d ever fit into a Southern Baptist Church.
I dropped the boys off at their classrooms and nervously proceeded to a little brick house perfectly situated on the church campus. I couldn’t help but wonder what or who awaited me behind the six-paneled door. Could there really be other young divorcees in this church who might relate to my circumstances?
I inhaled as much courage two lungs would allow, turned the knob, and slowly opened the door.
A quick survey of the room left me both stunned and delighted as I noticed the majority of the group were older men and women who had been widowed.
Immediately, a woman who’d agreed to co-lead the new class stepped up, wrapped her arms around me, and welcomed me with a warm smile that could melt any barrier guarding the heart. Her name was Lavana.
Over the next few months, I attended a masquerade for our group at Lavana’s home and hopped on the church bus for a local fish fry, among other things. This group of men and women embraced me despite my sinful past. Unconditional love defined.
This past Sunday, I drove back to that church in my hometown to attend Lavana’s visitation services.
As I made my way home, I couldn’t help but wonder how things might be different today had she not stepped up to help lead a new class so many years ago. What if she’d been too busy or too timid to step out on faith?
Lavana loved well. Served well. Prioritized well.
And as a result, many will be forever grateful. Who will say the same about us?
His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant. You have
been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the
joy of your master.’
A little girl attends Vacation Bible School at Fairforest Baptist Church in Fairforest, SC, her grandparent’s church. Years later, after a painful divorce, she was determined to give church another try, both for herself and especially for her two young sons, so she loaded up the boys one Sunday morning and returned to the only church she ever really knew, not sure of what to expect. It was a very traditional Baptist church that her grandparents had helped to build decades ago. Divorce was obviously frowned upon, especially in situations like hers.
Her grandmother had suggested she try the “New Beginnings” class. She assumed it would be a room full of people much like herself, in their 20’s, and perhaps still feeling the sting of divorce in their own lives.
When she walked through the doors, however, the group that greeted her looked nothing like her. They were much older, except for a a few. Most were senior citizens who’d been widowed. For a moment she wondered if she was in the wrong class—but God had her exactly where He wanted her. Over the months, they surrounded her with unconditional love, fellowship, and much laughter. They never condemned her for the poor choices she’d obviously made, but loved her due to the choice Christ had made so many years ago.
That woman was me and I will always look back with much gratitude, and especially love, for this group of men and women who didn’t just tell me about the love of Christ, but showed me.
We celebrated Alberta Scott, my paternal grandmother’s, life yesterday morning at her church, Fairforest Baptist. Years ago, she had chosen her music and Scripture verses. It was simple, yet very meaningful. I couldn’t have agreed with the pastor more when, at the end of the service, he said with every confidence that the first words she heard were “Well done, my good and faithful servant.”
Many lives were blessed as a result of hers.
I purposefully had not shared the funeral information with my different email groups because I didn’t want anyone to feel that I was expecting them to make the trip to Spartanburg for her funeral. So, imagine my surprise when I looked up and saw my friend Lesa, aka “Fruity” Frady, coming through the doors with another friend, Shay, from First Baptist. Shay had worked with my dad years ago and now she and Lesa (friend of almost 20 years!) are neighbors.
I had just recovered from that surprise when another friend, Sandra, walked through the doors. Sandra was in the Ladies’ Class at Temple Baptist and now she’s in our class at First Baptist. She’s a single woman who works for a not-so-nice law firm in Greenville. Because I was aware of her delicate work situation, I kept asking her how she had managed to take time off to drive over for the visitation/funeral. She finally shared, with a smile on her face, that she had worked overtime the night before, would work overtime that night, and again tonight, to make up for the time lost. I was overwhelmed by her sacrifice… and still am.
It was nice gathering with the entire family for lunch after the graveside service, but I left wondering why in the world families rarely gather like that anymore unless there’s a funeral. I’m hoping that will change.
Life truly does fly by but a life well-lived resonates throughout generations.
If one must have lab work, let it be somewhere that has an amazing cafe! Yogurt and a fresh blueberry scone (minus one bite) 😉 = score! 🙌 Thank you Prisma/Greer Hospital!! ...
Neighbors invited everyone on the street. Many of us had never met. I think that’s more common in the country but I’m thankful these neighbors brought us all together. Community is a beautiful thing, as is their view. Happy 4th! 🇺🇸
Neighbors invited everyone on the street. Many of us had never met. I think that’s more common in the country but I’m thankful these neighbors brought us all together. Community is a beautiful thing, as is their view. Happy 4th! 🇺🇸 ...
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