1Corinthians 13 Study, Challenge your love.

My niece has a great new series in the works, check her out at anewhopethroughchrist.wordpress.com and join in the fun!

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If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am  only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal.
1 Corinthians 13:1

For the next 15 weeks, starting tomorrow, I am going to be doing a “study” or “challenge” (Call it whatever) on 1 Corinthians 13. Basically what will happen is, I went through the chapter and anytime it said “love is/isn’t ___” I wrote it down. For example “Love is patient” There was 15 of them. So. For the first week I will be studying patience, and working on being patient. The second week I will study a work on being kind. (Love is kind.)

At the beginning of the week I will write some sort of blog post that has to do with the “Characteristic” I’m going to be working on. For example, the first week I will probably write about how…

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Dear Mrs. Elderly

You may not remember me, but I will never forget you.

I was visiting you at your temporary residence in a long term care facility, and you looked longingly out at the beautiful grounds on that late spring day.  The flowers were putting on a show, and you couldn’t afford to waste one more minute lest the rising temperatures would cause you to miss it altogether.

I guided your wheelchair slowly through the winding paths that meandered through carefully kept beds of annuals and perennials. You instructed me about each one, as you reminisced about your own garden at home.

Small talk and flower talk slowly turned to talking of family, and you, slowly and carefully turned the conversation away from yourself, and inquired of mine.  You were like me, you had a boy and three girls, and I spent a few minutes picking your brain for your advice and parenting tips and tricks.  We both agreed that there is a special dynamic with our youngest that we did not see with the others; a special, heart-wrenching, frustrating, worrisome angst that grips and squeezes, and threatens to suffocate even the most prepared, level-headed, practical Momma.  These youngest children (especially girls), we concluded, have a way of pushing our buttons, testing our limits, and trying our patience.  They are the ones that lead us straight to the throne room of heaven, crying out for mercy on behalf of our limitations and failures.

You looked at me, and though you had no way of knowing the battle that was raging at home with my girls, somehow, it seemed you did, and I felt understood.  You took my hand, looked me straight in the eye, and with the conviction of someone who has been there, you said “Don’t you worry about those girls, Lyn.  They will all three grow to be mighty women of God one day.”

Mrs. Elderly, do you know I have clung to those words for five years now?  Do you know, that in the deepest, darkest nights, when I thought God had turned his back on me and my girls, and the devil had won the victory, your words echoed in my mind?  I heard them when my oldest daughter, unmarried, took me out for coffee to tell me she was carrying my first grandchild.

Mighty women of God

I heard them in the midst of second daughter’s panic attacks.

Mighty women of God

I heard them when I drove our youngest daughter to counseling sessions.

don’t worry…one day

Again, when I found drugs in the bedroom and fresh cuts on my baby girls body, when I got a call from the school that she was being sent home, strung out and high from some bad weed that had been slipped to her.

Mighty women of God

Mrs. Elderly, some days, when I couldn’t see or hear God, I heard your words, and I held on a little longer, a little tighter to a promise that I know I heard once, in a garden, from the heart of God through the words of a gentle lady.

Thank you, Mrs. Elderly, for beautiful words spoken in due season.