Wednesday, April 14, 2010

The Old Rugged Cross

My little lovey baby and I flew to Michigan to attend the funeral of my Grandmother. I went with the intention of being with my father...but while there had the incredible opportunity to whole heartedly celebrate my Grandmother. Her life. She was SO awesome. What a Christ-like woman. She loved Jesus. She was kind and loving. Born in 1919. Can you believe MY Grandmother was born in 1919? She would have been 91 this July. She was one of 10 children. 7 brothers and 2 sisters....and I think I'm busy. whew.

She had 3 children. My Dad is the oldest of the three. And, she had 6 Grandchildren. 2 boys, 4 girls. At the request of my Dad and Aunt, each of the Grandchildren read a passage of scripture that was in some way descriptive of her or similar to how she lived her life.

The verse I read from Proverbs:

She is clothed with strength and dignity, and she laughs with no fear of the future. When she speaks, her words are wise, and kindness is the rule when she gives instructions. She carefully watches all that goes on in her household and does not have to bear the consequences of laziness. Her children stand and bless her. Her husband praises her: "There are many virtuous and capable women in the world, but you surpass them all!" PROVERBS 31:25-29

My Grandmother WAS the Proverbs Woman.

I stood beside my Dad at the service Saturday morning. We were singing. The tears were falling. The song? The Old Rugged Cross.
I was raised in the church. Old school Presbyterian church. We opened a hymnal EVERY Sunday. No words on a wall. I love the words on the wall, Contemporary Christian music rocks. Nothing against words on the wall. Just also have incredible fondness of flipping those pages...standing shoulder to shoulder as a little girl with Mom or Dad. Me holding one corner of the book, Mom or Dad holding the other. Singing loud. Hearing my Mom's beautiful voice...smelling Dad's coffee breath.
So there we were Saturday. Seriously the first time I have stood beside my father holding the hymnal and singing in 10 or 15++ years. The Old Rugged Cross. Lots has changed since the last time we together shared a hymn book and one of them was the reason we were there in Michigan together. His mother was laying in a casket infront of us. And, in my arms lay my sleeping newborn baby. My fourth.
Losing your Mama must rank up there as one of the hardest things in life. I know how a Mother feels about her little gaggle of children. And the feeling is usually recipricated from the child. I know that STILL to this day, when I don't feel good, I call home. I want Mom to say, 'Oh Jennie, I'm sooo sorry your sick, that sounds awful.'
So the words of The Old Rugged Cross are powerful, to say the least. And the tears dripped as I sang about my savior. Nailed. To an old rugged cross. Laying down MY trophies, and exchanging them for a CROWN.
As my tears fell, I looked down. There they splashed, then lay still, on Vivian's little newborn face. My tears were of sadness for my Dad and his sister and brother. Tears of joy for the distinct priviledge of ever having known my Grandmother and for the new baby that God has given me. But, mostly for the FACT that she IS in heaven.

It reminds me of the passage in the Word...(beside this passage, in the margin, I have written our daughters name. Grace Katherine Edwards.)

There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven: a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot.
Ecclesiastees 3:1-2

On a hill far away stood an old rugged cross
The emblem of suff’ring and shame;
And I love that old cross where the dearest and best
For a world of lost sinners was slain.

Refrain:So I’ll cherish the old rugged cross,
Till my trophies at last I lay down;
I will cling to the old rugged cross,
And exchange it some day for a crown.

Oh, that old rugged cross, so despised by the world,
Has a wondrous attraction for me;
For the dear Lamb of God left His glory above
To bear it to dark Calvary.
In that old rugged cross, stained with blood so divine,

A wondrous beauty I see,
For ’twas on that old cross Jesus suffered and died,
To pardon and sanctify me.
To the old rugged cross I will ever be true;

Its shame and reproach gladly bear;
Then He’ll call me some day to my home far away,
Where His glory forever I’ll share.
~ ~ ~ ~
She's two. Two. Two.

Did I mention she's two? Something nuts-oid happens to little girls sometime while they are the age of two. If you have a two year-old girl, you know just what I'm talking about. Or you don't yet and it's coming...or you've forgotten...OR, I have incredibly, super-imperfect little ones and no one understands what I am talking about. Which perhaps is the deal. But the switch was flipped on Evelyn about 2 weeks ago. Boom. New stage.
I have to remember what my wise and wonderful friend Tami says...'Everything is a season'. Back to the verse in Ecclesiastes. There is a time for everything.
I don't usually add videos, but this stuff seriously couldn't be properly documented in pictures. Simply needed to see the video. You'll see...

I don't remember diddly squat. SO I blog. Here's just for me to read in 10 years and love.
Over dinner at the beach last she-must-be-color-blind-she'll-never-learn-her-colors-girl says,
1) 'Mommy, can I have somemore yellow beans please?' (green beans maybe?)
2) Not 3 minutes later she asks for more 'Little trees' (aka brocolli)
3) Lastly, this morning, she pointed at Vivian and serious as a heartattack said, 'She's not a Penguin Mommy! She's a GIRL.'

Evelyn is independent, disobedient, demanding,'ll see...

Case in point.
I have sinful little ones. I am Humbled. I need the cross. I am also a sinful little one.
The words found in the scripture are like treasures buried for me.
He will feed his flock like a shepherd. He will carry the lambs in his arms, holding them close to his heart. He will gently lead the mother sheep with their young. Isaiah 40:11
He gently leads ME! I fall into this category...because I am a mother to ones who are young.
I trust in Him.
Best of all, God's given us The Old Rugged Cross.
A friend asked if she was saying 'now' or 'no'.
Ummmm. It is MOST DEFINITELY the word 'NO'.
Give me a little shout out, if I'm not the only one with a two year old like this.


jord,ali,hal,kam and grae too! said...

but she looks so cute...and i love her little accent that us here in Illinois don't have.

gillian said...

Jennie, that was a beautiful me all teary're such a beautiful storyteller! Layla is not 2 yet, but she is already showing signs of being just like this! She already tells me no, ha!
Sorry I missed last night, but my little Layla was snuggling with me, which she NEVER does! She'll lay with her daddy and relax, but never with I was cherishing the time with her.

Emily Hicks said...

UMMM - You are definitely not alone!!!

Megan's Munchkins said...

then the sass starts at 3....what a sweet tribute about your grandmother.