If you’ve read some of my Grandma blogs then you probably recall the modest means in which grandma found herself, especially early in her families life. Sometimes she just didn’t know how their next meal was going to be provided, but God always came through for them. In fact when it came to Christmas they just couldn’t afford to celebrate the holiday, but that’s when the love of family came to their rescue. One year they heard a car outside and a knock at the door and to her surprise her inlaws arrived with a huge box of navel oranges and bags of candy as gifts for all of them for Christmas. It would be a memory never forgotten and a tradition was established.
I recall Grandma’s Christmas trees and they were usually of the Charlie Brown variety, if you know what I mean. I’ll explain why from an entry in her diary in a minute. Her tree was usually adorned with popcorn strings, paper chains made of red and green links, candy canes, ancient Christmas balls you just don’t see anymore today and multi-colored Christmas lights which were candles that had bubbles floating inside of them. Her gifts were often things she could make with her own hands and the value of them was more than money could buy. Here’s one story about why her trees were usually pretty straggly.
Grandma’s trees weren’t of the trimmed or pruned type to achieve the perfect shape. For you see, down the road a short walk from her house was a military reservation and the Army had planted a parcel of the land with pine trees. Grandma figured it was an example of her tax dollars at work, so when Pop hadn’t provided a tree she took matters into her own hands and walked down to the tree lot carrying her trusty hand saw. While sizing up a tree she heard someone pull off the road and start into the tree lot as well. So she just ducked down behind a tree and stayed there until the gentleman had cut down his tree and was on his way. Out came Grandma with her saw and before you know it she was on the way home dragging a tree behind her!
This entry from her diary is an excellent example of Grandma’s servant heart which was filled with love for her neighbors and her seemingly endless supply of energy!
December 19, 1952 Went up to Ann and waxed her floors for $1.50. Came home at 12 noon. Addressed some Christmas cards for Ann. Cleaned my kitchen and rooms. Was rather tired but went to the mountain for a Christmas tree. Enjoyed the walk, got a Spruce tree. Made supper and then we went over to Amos and Emma to visit.
Here’s a lady whose day usually started at 7am at the latest taking care of her own family, but still found the time to scrub an elderly neighbor ladies floors and address her Christmas cards. Then do the same cleaning at her house, chop down a pine tree which was about a one mile round trip to the mountain and back, make supper for her family and then get spruced up for an evening visit to some good friends! Whew!
Grandma was a doer of the Word of God. The Bible says in the book of James “But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.” She put her faith into practice. James also says, “What does it profit, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but does not have works?But someone will say, “You have faith, and I have works.” Show me your faith without your works, and I will show you my faith by my works.
This back and forth might get a little confusing, but leave it to say we can’t get the cart before the horse. The horse is FAITH, the cart is WORKS. The Apostle Paul really cleared up the matter when he said in Ephesians 2:8-10. “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.”
Grandma’s faith was in Jesus and because of the great work He did in her heart and her love for Him, she spread His great love through her servant actions to family and friends and that’s how it’s supposed to work! Now, where’s my saw? I need a Christmas tree!!
Next story “Grandma Pays It Forward” below: