Friday, September 24, 2010

Congratulations to Vonilda (Vonildawrites) and Nancy Williams on winning Latayne's new book, The Hinge of Your History: the Phases of Faith, on Wednesday. Please send your address to for your copies! We have two more copies of this inspiring book to give away today, so add your comment for a chance to win!

On Wednesday, Katy shared about a photo of her great grandmother, a woman of faith who left behind a true legacy for her family. I have two similar photos of women of faith. One is my husband's grandmother and the other is mine. Both are standing in their tomato gardens; both are elderly. My grandmother-in-law is smiling in a sea of tomato plants, her hair tied in a scarf, the hem of her dress brushing her knees and her belt cinched high beneath an ample bosom. My grandmother stands in her jaunty hat, patterned shirtwaist dress and cradling heirloom tomatoes in the crook of her arm. I like to think of her family, present and future, cradled close to her heart. Her faith - their faith - in a loving God whom they served their entire lives was the soil for the seeds that produced vibrant spiritual fruit in the future. Our faith ripened on the sunny window sills of their love.

Neither of these women had easy lives, but they did not become outwardly bitter or jaded by what may have seemed to others as a God who tarried in his promises. I don't think it ever occurred to them to step away from their faith. Perhaps they were more concerned with doing their part than in whether or not God was doing His. This aspect reminded me of Latayne's portrayal of Sarah in her new book, The Hinge of Your History: the Phases of Faith. I can hear the chuckle from each woman at the news that one so old would bear a child. I can't blame them! Knowing myself, I would probably chuckle at the absurdity of it more than from disbelief.

It is humbling to know that the kernel of faith in others relies in part on our own faith. Can that make us stronger, less prone to doubt? It's like bearing a torch, that if dropped, may cause the light to go out for future generations.

How much depends on us? Leave a comment for a chance to win Latayne's insightful new book.


Megan Sayer said...

"It is humbling to know that the kernel of faith in others relies in part on our own faith. Can that make us stronger, less prone to doubt?"

This line really resounded with me. I don't as yet have that sense of faith through generations, but I do get it laterally - with those around me.

Yes, knowing that my faith is holding up my friend doesn't allow me the "luxury" of doubt. When my friend calls me up in tears because her wait for a husband has been so long and the road so horribly painful, and God so distant, I have to be the one to remind her of the promises God has given her specifically, and remind her of the nature and character of the God who doesn't lie and doesn't change His mind. If I can't do that for her then my kernel of faith is useless.

I've watched friendships wither and die because one person has fed doubt into the doubt of another, instead of cutting it off. I don't want to go there!

As it is, my faith waters and nourishes hers. And then it reciprocates. When I'm the one emailing her in fear and desperation, she uses her faith to uphold mine.

Latayne C Scott said...

"Perhaps they were more concerned with doing their part than in whether or not God was doing His."

--So insightful, Debbie. Thank you.

Wendy Paine Miller said...

You tickled some thoughts. This is a sit and thinker one for me.

Happy Friday, ladies!
~ Wendy

Debbie Fuller Thomas said...

Megan, I think that affirming others in times of doubt helps us reaffirm our own faith. I know personally that revisiting my history with God renews the wonder for me.
Latayne, thank you for writing your wonderful book. I never understood why Sarah did the things she did.
Wendy, Happy Friday back at ya!

Ellen Staley said...

I've often wondered where our country would be today if as a nation we would remember everything our God has done for us, if we would, as the Israelites did, recite the wonders God performed in creating and blessing our nation.

Many times while I wait on God's answer, I do exactly that, review how He has moved in my past. It rebuilds and freshens my faith, enabling me to continue waiting, but without doubt.

This year has been one of refreshing. I've been able to look beyond sorrowful events to see what God orchestrated over the past two years, provisions He made, that has allowed me to face the events praising Him all the way.

Faith. What a wonderful gift from a loving Father that allows us to live with joy, regardless.

Anonymous said...

Grandmothers seem to be a theme this week, so I want to share about mine. My mother's mother was a pastor for 50+ years. She pastored small churches and my grandfather worked to support the family. Together they were the most godly people I knew, and they had an enormous influence in my life. I spent the month of August with them when I was growing up, along with my sisters, cousins, sometimes my brothers (who lived with my dad). It was the highlight of my year. And without sitting me down and preaching to me -- and oh, how I needed the preaching -- she and Grandpa lived their lives of faith, planting seeds in the soil of my heart. We were blessed to have them with us until just a few years ago. Grandpa was 96 when he died, and he was sharp and healthy.

My stepdad's mother also was a great joy in my life. She was so much fun that when I was a teenager, my friends and I would often spend the night with HER. When I think of Ruth a picture of her comes to mind, of her in her muumuu -- which she always wore -- looking back over her shoulder at the camera, and laughing. She was the inspiration for Winny in Lying on Sunday.

Both of my grandmothers have made me want to be grandmothers like them. Well, we got a call from our 15 year old granddaughter Haleigh this morning. She and a girlfriend are coming to spend the weekend with us. I love it.

Henrietta Frankensee said...

God has no grandchildren.
Christianity is always one generation from extinction.
One hears these quotes often. To me they prove the Holy Spirit's responsibility and faithfulness in forever creating and fostering another age of personal, intimate first generation relationships. The fact that my greats passed on the faith to my grands who passed it to my parents who dutifully, lovingly taught me as I teach my children is testament to the spine-shivering intertwining of human and divine.
My Mum especially upholds the example of her great grandmother, dirt poor, husband an alcoholic, mother of 8, two of whom became nuns. She was truly married to her Saviour who sustained her as no one else could do. I am grateful for the simplicity of faith passed down. No room for doubt when the necessity is so dire and the provision so immediate.
I experienced some of this this weekend. Much work, little prospect of help and constant, unexpected calls to visit with long distant friends. (Why all in one weekend?!) I had to rely on God to provide for the work I had no time to do and HE did in such a creative way. In the end more faith journeys were nurtured and in a multitude of 'God-only' ways through my yielding than through my labour. Again, the curious intertwining....
Even Paul couldn't wait to get to heaven to meet all the people he never knew he touched with his ministry.
I'll stop rambling now.

Samantha Bennett said...

I've thought lots about legacies lately. How each decision we make could affect those after us. Great post!