I visited CWO Internet Cafe during my quiet time today. I read a piece called 'Written on My Heart" by Elise Hooper. Intrigued by her insights on leaving the signature of God as we go about our everyday life, I followed the link to her blog A Path Made Straight.
I spent time reading and getting to know her through her writing. I found myself with a huge lump in my throat as I read her description of the last day her daughter nursed. I remembered the day nearly 23 years ago as my own daughter, 8 months old, also turned her head away. Her need for independence from me lasted until her mid-teens. The suddenly she "needed" me again. I got to share in her joy when her own little one came 2 years ago. Whew! Those years from new mama to nana went by so fast!
The lump in my throat became tears as I read, with the feeling of looking through a window into a warm kitchen, Elise's description of cooking with her little Eliana. Read what she said about this experience: "The small skipped beats in my heart when I recognize a moment that has not been missed are like the clicks of a camera. I will never forget what you taught me tonight."
I didn't even intend to go to that link on Elise's page. I was trying to click on the section entitled A Time...to lead. Somehow my mouse skipped down to A Time...to love. I was well through Letters to Eliana, May 15, 2007 before I looked over at the list to see where I had clicked. My mistake or God's providence?
You see, I think God had a lesson for me to learn from this dear woman. Not about leading, but about loving. I think He wanted to reinforce in my heart and mind that one can not lead someone to Him without first demonstrating love. And to demonstrate His kind of unselfish love we must walk closely to His side to learn how to love, starting with those He places nearest to us.
I urge you to seek out those who show a life of devoted submission to Him. You will know them by their love. Even though Titus 2 tells the older women to teach the younger women to love their husbands and children, the gift of teaching is not reserved for the older ones. God gifts those who are spiritually mature to teach those of us who might not be quite so far along our path to Him. 1 Timothy 5:11 says ~ "Let no one look down on our youthfulness, but rather in speech, conduct, love, faith, and purity, show yourself an example of those who believe."
Even though I'm a 44 yr old mother of adult daughters and a teen son and nana of a 2 yr old grandson, I learned a valuable lesson in love and cherishing special moments from Elise. I even had an opportunity to put the lesson into action this afternoon when my great-niece (also 2 yrs old) visited for playtime with my grandson. Hunter is not used to sharing...his toys, his sippy cups, or his nana. It could have been a very trying time for us all, but I knew I had applied Elise's example well when Hallie curled up beside me and said, "I like you." She snuggled a bit closer and said, "I love you." This was a particularly precious moment because I haven't had a chance to take care of her in my home since she was 4 months old. Somehow, the 3 or 4 times I've seen her over two years and this afternoon's playtime have given her an inkling that I'm to be trusted with the best gift she can share with me, her affection.
Thanks, Elise! I look forward to more time visiting "A Path Made Straight." I highly recommend it to those in the midst of child-raising, for those of us about to get to the other side of it, and any of us needing see an example of the Proverbs 31 & Titus 2 woman in action.