Someday I want to be like you…

 This is a collection of letters to my beloved Grandparents. I was pondering their roles in my life this Thanksgiving week, and finally put it to “paper” today. This is my tribute to them, because I am thankful that God blessed me so richly! This is also a “thank you” to God. He is the one who blesses us with all our gifts (James 1:17).


Dear Grandpa Overturf,
Someday I want to be like you. You are a wonderful man. You are caring and understanding, and always keep quiet when it’s unwise to say anything.
You are strong. You can chop wood, even at your age (80 something; no, I don’t keep track), and you carry wood inside in boxes.

      You give Grandma panic attacks with your daring adventures. (Sorry, just had to add that after last year with you going on the roof to clean the chimney!)
You are diligent in everything you do. I’ve watched you work on carpentry projects, stack firewood, read a book, and take a nap – and you do it all well! Nothing goes unfinished, and it is always a nice result.
You are generous. I have three pieces of furniture in my room that are made by you, and one that was redone by you, and they are all beautiful works of art – and I didn’t pay a penny for them. Thank you!
You are skilled. Those same pieces of furniture are crafted with such skill, beauty and quality. They will last longer than me, at least physically!
Best of all, you are my Grandpa! Years ago, you had a daughter, raised her, disciplined her, loved her, and gave her away to a godly young man whom she loved. That daughter did the same kinds of things for me, because you taught her how.

Thank you, Grandpa. I love you!

Dear Grandma Overturf,
Someday I want to be like you. You are amazing to me. Your childhood was so hard, and yet you pulled through in God’s strength and were able to accept Christ’s love and salvation. Your marriage has been long-lasting – over sixty years!
You are the best cook around. You can make the most mouth-watering delicacies to put the most well-known companies to shame, and you do it for everyday meals and desserts! I want to cook like that.
You speak the truth unashamedly. You are bold in your words in a way that I am ashamed to admit I lack sorely. I’m working on it, but it’s hard for me to speak the truth when I know it may hurt others. But sometimes that hurt is necessary to help them, like salt on an open wound that will heal the better for it.
You like to use your good dishes and make a grand presentation of your wonderful meals. I love your sense of style and beauty, and someday I hope to be that way in my own home.
But best of all, you are my Grandma! Years ago, you had a daughter, a blessed surprise of a daughter. You nourished her, taught her to cook like you, made her do hard things, taught her to love working hard, and shed tears as you saw her walk down the aisle on the arm of your husband. That daughter has done most of those things for me (not the part about getting married! :)), all because you made sure she could.

Thank you, Grandma. I love you.

Dear Grandma Blum-Schulte,
Someday I want to be like you. You are a woman of deep love and commitment, and of courageous love unknown to many.
You are one of the best dressed ladies around. You are coordinated, fashionable, and tidy, and I love to look at the jewelry you choose. You are beautiful.
You are generous. I think every gift you given me has been thoughtfully chosen, with your pocketbook opened with not a thought to the hard work you did to put it there.
You are fun to talk to. You always have something interesting to say, and I enjoy hearing the things you do.
You have a great business sense, and I’ve heard a lot about how good you are at bargaining!
But best of all, you are my Grandma! Years ago you had a son whom you cared for, provided for, disciplined, loved, taught, and enjoyed. One day you realized he was in love, and you let him drive long hours with the goal of seeing a young lady at the end of it, so that they could get to know each other. You watched them get married, and you may have shed some tears. Grandma, I’m so grateful that you raised my dad, and that you did all that for him. He’s a great provider, disciplinarian, and daddy because of you and the Lord.

Thank you. I love you!

Dear Grandpa Blum,
I never met you on earth, but I think about you a lot. I don’t know for sure if God does what I ask, but I hope someone tells you every so often that I said hi to you. I started that a long time ago and hope that somehow that’s okay to do.
I miss not knowing you and not seeing your beautiful blue eyes that Mom talks about and wishes one of us kids got. I got to see what they looked like at a reunion last year, as one of the relatives I met inherited them.
Thanks for your part in raising Dad. I’ve heard that you were quiet and strong. I am looking forward to seeing you someday in heaven, after I meet Jesus for a few hundred years, and see if I was ever like you. I hope I am.

I love you, Grandpa.
Love,
Naomi

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Simplicity

Don’t you like that word? I do.

Week of July 28 030

That is what my family has always aimed for – a simple, uncomplicated life.

I think that simplicity is really a mindset, and not necessarily that we are not busy. Trust me, I am busy all the time! But when I have the mindset of a specific goal, and how to go about reaching it, that goal becomes very simple.

For example, right now I am working on finishing school. (Forever! No more School! Okay, okay, not really. That’s just my unrealistic silliness.)

But I digress.

So to finish school, I need to concentrate on doing it, and enjoy learning the wonderful things that are in my schoolwork. And when other things come up, like garden work, or doing something for a family member who needs help, or even just reading a book to my little brother, I quickly run through the thought process of, “Okay, I’ve read half a chapter in The Genesis Record, Mom read a chapter in the book we’re studying together, and I painted for the day. Yup, I have time for that.” And I look up, smile, and say “Sure!” (Ummm, that’s in the world of perfect me, mind you. I don’t always smile and sound so enthusiastic! Something to work on.)

Now, in the bigger picture of life, I have a harder time maintaining a simple mindset. Life does get complicated. How do I balance getting school done this school year with the growing conviction and urgency of sharing the gospel with those who don’t know the Savior? How do I go about doing that in the country where I’m just a girl on a farm? I don’t have many friends (another area where I prize simplicity!) and the ones I have are believers, or know the truth already and are really good pretenders. So who can I share the gospel with who doesn’t know the truth of our amazing Savior?

I have a passion for lost souls, and it’s hard for me to see people without also seeing how lost they are. Just a simple drive down the highway causes my heart to cry out “How many of these vehicles are filled with people headed on their last drive before eternity? How many even know who Jesus is and what He did for them to reconcile their sinful souls with a holy and just God?”

But how does a simple, somewhat reserved farm girl go about sharing the truth with people? Honestly, I have very few ideas. One of them is right here, on this blog. But how many people read it, not to mention how much am I impacting them?

That’s where I need to realize God’s power through me. I am a weak vessel, but He is a strong God. I am an inexperienced young person, but He uses the foolish of the world to convict the wise and learned. Oh, my. How amazing He is!

God has the power to create such beauty! Can He not also use me?
God has the power to create such beauty! Can He not also use me?

This is where I need simplicity! I need to remember this one thing: God can use me, in all my weakness, because HE is STRONG. All else? Well, it doesn’t really matter. As long as I have a willing and a ready heart, He’ll use me. I will still look for ways and ideas to share, but I also need to just be open to His plan. When He says “Speak”, I need to just speak.

Wow. That is hard.

But with God’s power, my tongue will loosen, and I will glorify Him and obey.

Would you please pray for me? I need help from God to overcome my fears, and your prayers are so appreciated as I continue to strive for…

Simplicity – in Christ.