Ask my mom what she had going for her during her teenage years and she will reply without hesitation and with supreme confidence: she had the best ponytail in Princeton High School. My paternal grandmother’s (aka Mamaw*) thick hair has given my dad a confidence that he will never go bald. My sister inherited this thick luxurious hair.
I got Papaw’s* hair. Thin and flat.
My mother had like seven hundred aunts and uncles, all of whom took on the Cherokee characteristics of their mother, with dark skin and tall lean bone structures. Her father was the one kid that took on the Irish characteristics – my sister got the olive skin and long legs. I got the white skin and the short legs.
My dad’s mom had long slender fingers, a trait my aunt and my cousin both inherited. Guess what? Yep. I got the stumpy fingers.
I never met my dad’s grandmother, (well, not counting the one photo of me screaming in her arms when I was six weeks old and she looked like a skeleton with a bun) but from what I hear of her she was a woman of prayer. My dad tells a story of being a child and perusing the refrigerator for a snack.”What are you doing?” she asked him. “I’m hungry but I don’t know what I want,” he responded. “When you’re hungry and you don’t know what you want, it means you need to pray,” she replied without missing a beat. My father, man of God that he is, paused and thought for a moment and then said quickly, “I think I want a banana.”
Janie Delp – she had a life of trials from what I know, but she was faithful and consistent.
I will never know the spiritual contributions my maternal grandmother made to our family, as she died when my mother was a child. But a few years ago my mom obtained her Bible – a treasure to be certain.
I am favored beyond reason to be a part of a family with a beautiful legacy of redemption, grace, and intercession.
Really, I could care less about the olive skin, the thick hair, or the long legs. (Okay, the long legs would be nice…)
I want Granny Janie’s determination**. I want my home to be a place where the presence of God resides. I want to pray fiercely and stubbornly.
I want Mamaw’s faithful heart. I want to be found, in the worst times, relying on the Word of God. When days away from death I want to be dreaming of what heaven will be like and singing hymns from my childhood.
I want my mother’s desire to seek the heart of God. I want to love people the way she loves people. I want to trust the way she trusts.
The women in my family who have come before me have carved out a path that is so deep, it is difficult to even stray from. It is a greater challenge to me to carve the path still deeper, that those behind me may find the road even clearer.
*Shut up, we’re from West Virginia.
**One of her sons was named Lois – she was convinced she was going to have a girl and decided on the name Lois. When it was a boy she refused to change her mind. That is so me.