Today I am returning to the year 1985, and the date was September 24th, the day before my 35th birthday! Wow! My youngest son is now 35 years old...time sure flies when you are having so much fun in life...and I have been. Let's look in on my memories of that day and find out what was going on, okay?
We had recently moved to a new home and ministry in Georgia, and had finally settled in. I was beginning to relax and enjoy my new friends, church, and surroundings. I wrote in my journal that day:
"Our yard has many lovely trees and shrubs, and just now, as fall begins, we rejoice in the changing colors of the leaves. Today I went out and picked marigolds, purple mums, and a beautiful miniature Tropicana Rose, blooming just in time for my 35th birthday...which is tomorrow.
I concluded with this thought...
Tomato Curry Soup
I felt transported back to a more genteel age ~ where ladies enjoyed formal luncheons and "tea", and polite conversation. Mrs. Barksdale is very interesting...and truly enjoys talking and entertaining! Very spry for an octo-generian (I'm guessing).
This is Mrs. Barksdale's actual recipe book that she gave me after our luncheon together. I feel honored to have been given this, with all of her favorite recipes! As I said, she was a remarkable woman!
What an honor and privilege to be welcomed into the home of God's precious and interesting "characters". These special people don't come around very often...and are rapidly disappearing from our society. I am quite certain that Mrs. Barksdale has already gone on to meet her reward in heaven...but how marvelous that her memory lives on in the hearts and minds of those to whom she opened her home and heart. The recipe book that I pictured here she had created especially for her children and grandchildren, so that they would have those family recipes to share with their loved ones and friends for years to come. That was her legacy...her "claim to fame". Although I barely knew her, she included me in her legacy by sharing something that was important to her...not just her book of recipes, but her home, her hospitality, and a part of herself.
"I thank the Lord for allowing me to have such a wonderful experience."
I've been chatting with one of my other blogging friends this past week about how we need to leave a legacy to our children and grandchildren...and this blog is a part of that. Unfortunately, if we don't take the time to write it down or print it in a form that can be passed from one generation to another, it may be lost forever. I don't trust our current computer technology to still be available to future generations. We tend to think that handwritten journals and printed books are obsolete. But when all is said and done, the only real evidence of our writing will be what is on the printed page...something that can be held in our hands and cherished in our treasure chests. Cyberspace blogs and journals may disappear when the technology advances beyond this current age. If these writings are not saved to a permanent file that is easily transcribed to the next level...they will be what is termed obsolete.
I say all of this to suggest that we need to think seriously about the legacy we are leaving for our children. Many of us are sharing our faith, our hopes and dreams, our ideas and life experiences through this media of a blog. My prayer is that this will have some positive impact on those who take the time to read...and that God will use these messages to inspire and encourage and perhaps even bring some laughter and joy to your day.
However, if this blog is the only legacy I leave behind, I have missed the boat. I need to be involved in the lives of people around me every day...whether through hospitality, prayer, encouraging words, or whatever way God leads me. It may be by cooking for my family or for friends in need. It should be by using the talents and gifts that God has given me for His honor and glory, no matter how small or great they may seem to be in the eyes of the world. Helen Barksdale used her gift of hospitality and cooking to honor me when I was a new young pastor's wife in a strange community. I don't know if she even knew it was going to be my birthday on the next day, but she did something that she enjoyed doing to make me feel welcome, and I was truly blessed. That was how many years ago? Twenty-Seven years! And I still remember it! Why? Because I wrote it down...yes, that's partly why...and I'm sure I wouldn't have remembered so many details if I hadn't written it down...but also because she took the time to make me feel loved and special...a total stranger. I honestly don't believe I saw her too many times after that day...but that one day has been captured in time forever because she shared her legacy with me, and it made a difference in my life.
Why not make a difference in someone's life today? Use whatever talents and gifts God has given you to bless someone else...maybe someone who doesn't receive too many blessings in life...or someone who is lonely or new to the community or your church. Go out of your way to share your legacy as soon as you can. You'll be blessed in the process probably just as much if not more than the recipient! Try it and see!
|These are the original recipes written in Mrs. Barksdale's own handwriting!|
What a treasure!
Blessings to you, my friend!!!
"Dear Mrs. Steiner, This book cover was made by Sharron Stubbs last Christmas to put my favorite recipes in for my granddaughters. Just three people besides them have a copy. I want you to have this one. You have made me so happy talking to you this afternoon.
In Christian Love,
Now do you understand what I meant about the giver of the blessing being blessed in the process? I believe Mrs. Barksdale was probably lonely...and she did what she did to bless me, but also because perhaps she needed to be blessed as well. God works in mysterious ways. I'm so happy I have this memory in writing to share with you today. This is why we need to write journals and remember these precious people and pass their blessings along to others. Go and do likewise my friends!!