Tuesday, April 03, 2012

How To Live Even After You Die

photo credit

My husband's eighty-eight year old grandmother died last Friday. It has been a tough few days. But we have been blessed and even gratefully overwhelmed by the outpouring of love from so many people.

"Nanny" was a blessing. As I pondered her life and listened to multiple stories of her relationships with others, her life challenges me in many ways.

  • Share the love of Jesus. Though Nanny was not an outright evangelist, it was evident in the way she lived and loved, that she loved Jesus. And she started her days with Him, reading her devotional and praying. 
  • Love deeply and faithfully. She was married for 62 years, had four children, six grandchildren, and three great-grandchildren. And none of them ever doubted her love for them. (We that married into the family never doubted her love, either!)
  • Tell people you love them. Before she left you or hung up the phone, she would always tell you she loved you.
  • Appreciate others. At Christmastime, she made pies and cakes for all her doctors, her postal carrier, her Avon lady, and many special friends. 
  • Be hospitable. She was determined to have all twenty of us over to her house for Christmas Eve. Even as the family grew and the house seemed to shrink, she always wanted to host us in her home.
  • Remember names and birthdays even if you have to write them down. It amazed me that she remembered people and special occasions far better than this much younger mind. She was always the first to call on your birthday. Always. Even at 7 am. :)
  • Attend events that are important to those that are important to you. Honestly, with the exception of a few hot ballgames and some out-of-town events, she and Papa were always there. Even after her stroke several years ago, she went with cane in hand. 
  • Invest in the lives of others. Whether through a note, a card, a word, or her attendance, she showed that she really cared for others. She knew how much I love to speak and teach, and so she would always book me for her senior adult luncheon at her church. Every year. And even though I got paid with fried chicken and homemade pie, it was one of my favorite speaking engagements. I knew she believed in me.
  • Give your time and energy to serving the Lord and others. She served in many volunteer roles throughout the years. Even in the last few years as her health deteriorated, she served on the counting team and the senior adult leadership team at her church. In her late 80's! 
Nanny really lived a blessed life. But what is most remarkable to me is the way she continues to live even though she has died...because of her legacy. (And of course, she lives eternally because of her relationship with Jesus!) 
So the challenge for you and me: Live this life in such a way that even after you die, your life continues. Not because of any big accomplishment. But simply because you invested in the lives of others. 

So don’t lose a minute in building on what you’ve been given, complementing your basic faith with good character, spiritual understanding, alert discipline, passionate patience, reverent wonder, warm friendliness, and generous love, each dimension fitting into and developing the others. With these qualities active and growing in your lives, no grass will grow under your feet, no day will pass without its reward as you mature in your experience of our Master Jesus. 2 Peter 1: 5 - 9 (The Message)

This post was written in loving memory of Freddye Jones McQuaig, 1923 - 2012.

Won't you join me in living a life that matters? Would love to hear from you today. If you are reading this by email, click here to comment.

Living for ONE,


Linking with Jen at Finding Heaven Today...


ells said...

stopping by from jen's...oh what a beautiful testimony of a life...when all is said and done isn't that the inheritance we want to leave to our family. Sweet post..blessings~

Bekah Wommack said...

Even though it hurts to know that I won't get to see her again until I'm with Jesus myself, I will never ever forget her loving impact on my life. Or her amazing chocolate pie:)

Chris said...

What a tribute, thank you. I sure am gonna miss those chocolate pies!

Kim said...

We are so blessed to have such wonderful women in our lives.

I can see how dear she was to you and I have no doubt you will continue her legacy to invest in the life of others.

Sharita Knobloch said...

Kelli, I never had the chance to meet Nanny... But it is plain to see that she not only left a legacy, but lived it as well...

Wonder if she has met up with my Grandma Neva in heaven? Because if she has, you can bet that Baby Klove is eating Nanny's chocolate pie and Grandma Neva's fried okra as we speak.

Love you and I continue to pray!!!

AmyAlves said...

Hi Kelli,
You have a beautiful blog! Hopefully, we'll get to meet at She Speaks! -Blessings, Amy Alves from www.fullherlife.com

Christina Parker Brown said...

Wow! I want to be like her when i 'grow up'!!!!

Christina Parker Brown said...

Wow, i want to be like her when I 'grow up' !!!!