2008 at 10:49 am | by Nicole Whitacre
My grandma’s name was Elizabeth, but everyone - except my grandpa - called her Libby. The rest of us often called her "Little Grandma" - she was our family "measuring stick". At 5 feet tall (and just 100 lbs.), all the grandkids longed for the day that we would be taller than Grandma.
She lived on the farm next door to my family, and my brother and sister and I spent most of our summer days playing there on the farm. Grandma was always ready with lunch or a
snack when needed. My grandma never drove a car due to health reasons, so she was nearly always at home. There was little doubt that Grandma would be there, often whistling away as she worked. If she wasn’t busy working at something, we usually found her seated on the sofa in the kitchen (yes, the kitchen!), head bent…poring over her blue-leather Bible.
I had for so long looked forward to the day when I turned 16 and could get my driver’s license and I could drive Grandma wherever she needed to go. But that day never came as she suddenly became ill and died a few weeks before my sixteenth birthday.
After Grandma passed into glory, some of her possessions were distributed to family members who wanted them. No one had asked for her Bible, so I dared to ask my grandfather if I could have it. Of all her "things," that’s what meant the most to me…all of the passages she had underlined…all of the notes she had written in the margins. My grandpa willingly gave it to me, and I’m so glad that’s what I have to remember her by. It reminds me of those afternoons when we’d race into the kitchen and find her there faithfully reading and studying God’s Word, steadfast to the end.
2008 at 11:53 pm | by Nicole Whitacre
God gave us a special Nana,
Nana has cared for us since the day we were born,
My brothers, sisters, and I.
She loves to sing us songs that rhyme,
And kiss our cheeks when we cry.
She blesses us in many ways but just name a few,
She helps my Mom Home School my brother,
Now he can add the 2’s!
She watches us for Dad and Mom
So they can go to meetings,
She watches us a lot you see,
And always gives a cheerful greeting!
We love to spend time with her,
Doing special things,
Surprise! She takes us shopping
Or for yummy ice cream!
She took us to Disney World
And that was fun to see,
She even rode the roller coasters,
and screamed together did we!
She faithfully teaches about the Lord,
And corrects us with Christ’s love.
She helps us to become more like Him,
Encourages us when times are tough.
Nana’s heart is filled with love,
It would be right to honor,
She always gives her love and time,
In ways we will remember.
These treasured memories are purely gifts,
Which are given by her so freely,
It is God’s kindness and His love that,
Shines through her so clearly!
We thank you Nana
and hope you’re blessed,
As we honor you today,
We are so thankful for you,
Be blessed on this Mother’s Day!!!
2008 at 1:16 pm | by Nicole Whitacre
My Grandmother was what is often referred to as a "wartime bride." Her story is quite an unusual one. My grandmother, Margaret Miln, was born in Scotland. She grew up during World War Two, and eventually joined the Royal Air Force as a cook. Sometime during the war she took a train trip. Something so small as a train trip changed her life forever. You see, my grandfather, Milford Christian was in England, with the American Air Force. He was in a country much different from his own, and asked this young girl where the dining car was. My grandma laughed and informed him that we were in the middle of a war and there was no dining car. Not wanting to be rude, she offered to share her lunch with them. At the end of their trip they parted ways, and she told him to look her up if he was ever in Scotland. Sometime later when she was out, her brothers came running to get her, saying that some "Yank" was asking for her. The rest was history.
Their story was only beginning. After the war my grandma came to America with their new daughter, "wee Margaret." They were not immediately allowed into the country because of sickness, and spent some time at Ellis Island. Six years later, my next aunt was born, and then six years later my mum! My Grandma was the cutest little grandma ever. She was so petite, and was always saying the cutest things. She had a saying for every color, but the only one I can remember is pink. "Pink pink to make the boys wink!" I will always remember her daily pot of tea and her flavored kisses. "This one is chocolate, and this one is vanilla, and this one is strawberry…"
When I was eleven or twelve my grandmother began having a lot of health problems. Most of the family went to be with her during this time. I’ll never forget all the family being in her hospital room shortly before the doctors took her away to do tests. We were all praying, each one of us asking God to heal her, and give the doctors wisdom. My grandma, wiser than us all, looked at each one of us and simply prayed that God’s will be done. She had no will of her own, and was committing her life into His hands. A short time later we got the news that it was in fact cancer. She was scheduled to have surgery in a few weeks, and recovery would begin. Three weeks later a call came saying that my darling Grandma had died quite suddenly. I know that I when I get to Heaven, one of the first people I see will be my grandma. I’m sure she will hug me and kiss me and say "that one was vanilla."
I will never forget my dear Grandma. I didn’t say goodbye to her the last time I saw her. I thought that I would have many more chances to say goodbye. The two things I learned the most from my Grandma were gentleness and faithfulness. Grandma was as tender as they came. She was always so caring to her grandchildren, and attentive to everyone’s needs. My grandma was also so faithful. She loved her friends and family so much. She was married to my Pappa for over fifty years. They were one heart and one soul. She was a beautiful example of a Proverbs 31 woman who’s "price is far above rubies."
2008 at 10:25 am | by Nicole Whitacre
I should have done this years ago, but here I am, finally sitting
down to tell you why you mean so much to me. There is no way I can
write it all out, but I’ll try my best.
For most of my growing up years I’ve lived hundreds of miles away
from you, and yet you have always been such an important part of my
life. I have so many memories of going to your house…your radiant
smile and big hug as we walk in the door, and the delicious smell of
fresh banana bread. Your home has always been our ‘home away from
You are such a special person (I’m stealing your phrase!) and every
part of your life shines of your love for the Lord. You manifest His
love in so many ways. You show it in the way you…
Care. You have more friends than anyone I know, Granny! You reach
out to those in nursing homes who need attention, to the lonely
shut-ins, to those who need a listening ear. I remember going with you
when you were visiting someone in a nursing home. You knew everyone
there, and took the time to pat them on the arm, ask how they were, and
give them a smile. Everyone confides in you, knowing you’ll pray for
them. You have taken countless meals to families, made ‘sunshine
baskets’, and sent thoughtful cards. You are such a caring person.
Laugh. You make this unfriendly world a better place with your joy.
I love to hear you get tickled over something - your laughter is
contagious! You have achieved something few people have, and that’s the
ability to laugh over mistakes, to find humor in each day, and to keep
a cheerful spirit. What a sunny smile you have. I know you haven’t had
an easy life - you were widowed when your three sons were only young
adults, you had to support yourself, and care for relatives who at
times were very difficult people.
And yet you have always had such a
cheerful outlook on life! My favorite memories are of us girls and you
giggling together, usually when we aren’t supposed to be!
Love. I have never met anyone with such love and compassion as you,
Granny. For years you worked in a daycare, pouring out love to
children who needed it so badly. Children from broken homes who longed
for love, and you gave it to them. You told them Bible stories, held
them on your lap, gave hugs, read stories, not to mention the hundreds
of diapers you changed, and noses blown. You have touched countless
lives with your love.
It was always so much fun to have you spend two whole weeks at our
house. You spent time with us kids, doing ‘Granny egg hunts’, and
playing the piano while we gathered around and sang. The daily chores
suddenly became fun when you helped fold laundry, wash dishes, and set
Finally, you show God’s love in the way you live. You have given me
a shining example of what it means to truly follow God, trusting Him in
everything. Even now as you battle cancer, you are holding strong to
the Lord. Your complete trust in Him is so inspiring to me. You have
accepted your cancer without fear, and the pain without complaining.
You continue to be a joy to be around.
Thank you, Granny, for all you do and for all you are. I love you very much.
Love, your granddaughter,
2008 at 1:23 pm | by Nicole Whitacre
It is so encouraging to me to remember my grandma, and what an impact this quiet, gentle woman had on my life. I saw my grandmother for only a week each year during my childhood and adolescence, and yet she was the one God used to inspire me to want to be a wife, mother, and homemaker. Grandma was very shy and reserved - she never had deep conversations with me, or gave out profound wisdom. All she did was to live out the quiet and loving life of a faithful wife and mother. Most books written today about having an influence on others would make the assumption that a life like hers wouldn’t have much bearing on anyone, but I can tell you that my husband and eight children know differently.
I think that one of the secrets to Grandma’s blessing and inspiration on my life lies in her contentment. I have never met anyone so content. My grandma didn’t long to have new clothes, a new car, a nice house, better furniture, or any other earthly things. She raised four children on the small salary her husband brought home as a factory worker in an oil refinery. They had a tiny two-bedroom house, with one small bathroom, a very small living room, and a small kitchen. She never added on to the original house, never replaced so much as a lamp or a telephone (she kept her old metal black table top phone for about 50 years). I saw her in the same sweet "house-dresses" year after year. Grandma carried the same "pocketbook" as she called her purse, until it wore out, then replaced it with another large plain black bag. But I thought my grandma’s house was the most wonderful place to be, and I so wanted to be like her.
I remember Grandma using her kitchen table as a work surface to prepare our meals when we came to visit. There were no counter tops or other work areas in her tiny kitchen. Grandma would work quickly and cheerfully to make supper for all of us (her three adult unmarried children still lived with her, so that made ten of us for meals when we visited). She made her delicious meals from scratch, and one of my fondest memories is of watching her roll out and cut homemade noodles on the kitchen table. She made biscuits, mashed potatoes, roast and homemade gravy . . . you name it, she made it - all on that one little table. She would quickly clear the table as the food cooked, and my unmarried aunt would set the table and rinse some dishes in the shallow enamel sink. After we ate, the dishes were washed and rinsed in two big metal bowls set on that same table. The dishes were set around the perimeter of the table as they were dried, then carried to the cupboards in the lean-to. Most women today would consider that routine to be totally unacceptable, but my grandma never gave it a moment’s thought that I know of - except to tell her grown sons that she didn’t want a new kitchen, she liked her old one just the way it was.
Another favorite memory I have is of standing beside Grandma in the back yard, handing her clothespins as she hung out her laundry on lines held up by large metal poles. Grandma would smile at me as I handed her another pin, or took clothes from the basket for her. She didn’t talk to me much at all, yet that’s all it took for me to develop a life-long love of hanging wash on the line! Grandma used a wringer washer in her basement until she was in her eighties, when her sons finally prevailed upon her to accept an automatic washer and dryer. She used the dryer only in the winter, though, and still went up and down those steps (the old, dangerous type with no backs to them!) until she was in her nineties.
Grandma became a widow at 43. My mother had married six months before my grandfather’s death, but Grandma needed to support two children who were in high school as well as her youngest son, who was only seven years old. Everyone urged her to get a job at the nearby factory, but Grandma refused. "I was home with the rest, and I’m going to be home for Larry," she insisted. So Grandma took the hard road - she took in washing and ironing, just as she had seen her mother do before her, when her mother had been widowed at an early age with five children to support alone. Grandma also cleaned houses during the day when her children were in school, but she was home by the time school was out. On this meager living, she raised those three, and they never forgot the debt of love they owed her. And two of them ended up owing her a huge debt of love indeed. They became invalids as adults, and she cared for them, alone, until they died - both in their sixties, she almost 90.
The sweetest story about my grandmother is the unplanned tribute my husband overheard her youngest son give at her burial. My uncle didn’t know anyone was listening, but I cry every time I think of it. Grandma was almost 96 when she died, and those last few months she had been feeble. Uncle Larry was retired by then, and he had cared for her around the clock. When we were leaving the grave site, the funeral director offered each family member a crimson rose from the huge spray on her casket. Uncle Larry was the last to leave, and my husband waited for him at the edge of the tent. "Would you like a rose?" the kind director asked my uncle. Uncle Larry hesitated a moment, then shook his head.
"No," he smiled gently. "She was my rose."
—Contributed by a grateful granddaughter, Susie Castleberry
2008 at 11:58 am | by Nicole Whitacre
It is “Tribute Week” here at girl talk, and we are honoring grandmothers. Over the next five days we will honor sixteen women. We wish we could have posted all of the tributes we received, and we know these women represent countless more grandmothers and great-grandmothers deserving of honor.
Our modern culture would consider these women nostalgic figures of a by-gone era—women to remember fondly but not to aspire to imitate. They represent everything the feminist movement sought to leave behind: the priority of home and family.
Yet, it is that simple, steadfast love of home and family that made such a deep and lasting impression on their grandchildren. It was their peace and joy and faithfulness (and not their drive or intelligence or success) that marked their descendants for life. It sounds prosaic to our culture, but a delicious meal made with love, the fragrance of a clean and orderly home, a lesson in domestic duty, a hug, a smile, their strong abiding faith in Christ, their simply being there is what comforted, encouraged and ultimately inspired their grandchildren.
These stories, while simple, are striking lessons in biblical womanhood; each one a polished portrait of a life well spent. Their lives and experiences (with one or two notable exceptions) were quiet and ordinary. Read carefully though, and you will see the effect of a woman’s sacrifice extending from generation to generation. You will find a pattern to follow for your own life.
We hope these tributes will instruct and inspire all of us to pass on a legacy of biblical womanhood for the glory of Christ.
2008 at 10:49 pm | by Nicole Whitacre
Fun Stuff Friday Funnies
My husband sent me these pictures which he got from a friend. "Circle all the ones you’ve done and put a check next to the ones you’ve thought about doing…" his friend told him. No circles for Steve fortunately, but he admitted that maybe a check mark or two was in order….
Join us next week as we honor grandmothers for Mother’s Day.
Nicole for the girltalkers
2008 at 3:47 pm | by Janelle Bradshaw
Biblical Womanhood Fear
Fear can feel so overwhelming and impossible to overcome. Oh, but the Bible brings some wonderful news. The battle is not ours to fight alone. No, there is One who goes before us and He has already won. The power of sin has already been broken.
As Ed Welch writes in Running Scared: “God’s deliverance means he will be with us; we will be able to with stand temptation without giving in to sin; and we will be able to stand firm even when attacked by our fiercest adversary, Satan the Accuser.”
I love 2 Chronicles 20:15: “Thus says the Lord to you, ‘Do not be afraid and do not be dismayed at this great horde, for the battle is not yours but God’s.’” Read this verse again. Allow it to sink into your soul. Whatever fear you are facing today, you aren’t fighting it alone. The same Savior that died for your sin of unbelief, fights this battle with you. He will supply you with the strength you need to conquer.
2008 at 4:47 pm | by Kristin Chesemore
Biblical Womanhood Fear
“Sufficient for the day is its own trouble,” it says in Matthew 6:34. Granted, my troubles aren’t very big. Lately it’s been things like the unexpected bill, the disobedience of my four-year-old or snags in the house-buying process. Nothing like the troubles several of my friends have experienced recently.
Because of fear, however, my minor daily troubles can sometimes seem worse than they really are. John Flavel (whom Mom quoted yesterday) explains:
“The grief we suffer from evil felt would be light and easy, were it not incensed by fear….If the face of things to come be threatening and inauspicious, fear gains the ascendant over the mind; and unmanly [or in our case “unwomanly”] and unchristian faintness pervades it; and, among the many other mischiefs it inflicts, this is not the least, that it brings the evil of to-morrow upon to-day, and so makes the duties of to-day wholly unserviceable to the evils of to-morrow.”
My four-year-old’s disobedience is exacerbated by my fear for the state of his soul. The bill seems larger than it really is if I’m worried about our family’s financial future. The snags in the house-buying process appear ominous if I’m anxious over the current housing market.
By fearing the future, I’m bringing in unnecessary and imaginary trouble and piling it onto today’s trouble. No wonder today’s trouble seems worse than it really is! What’s more, by fearing the future, I make today’s duties “wholly unserviceable to the evils of tomorrow.” I can’t effectively prepare for tomorrow’s trouble if I’m not trusting God today.
Matthew 6:25-34 doesn’t simply tell me there will be trouble tomorrow. It also gives me reasons to trust in God. He is sovereign, caring, wise, and loving, and He has promised to provide everything that I need. I can face today’s troubles knowing that His grace will be there for me tomorrow.