Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Stories Worth Living

It is so fun to announce winners. And today I get to tell you: Marcia Laycock and Henrietta Frankensee have each won copies of Latayne’s new book, The Hinge of Your History. Such luck. It turns out Latayne's non-fiction reads like her fiction: atmospheric, surprising, intelligent, deeply moving.

If you are Marcia or Henrietta, would you please send your mailing address to latayne @ If you’re not Marcia or Henrietta, there is still a chance to win a copy of your own. We will choose another two names out of our commenters today, and announce the winners on Friday. And then on Friday, we'll do it one more time.

Now to give you something to comment upon, I'm going to quote a paragraph from Stephen M. Stewart's foreword in The Hinge of Your History:

Sarah and Abraham did not know that they were Biblical characters. Like us, they lived out their lives one day at a time, occasionally confused, sometimes making bad decisions, at times mistreating others and each other, and yet ultimately showing the true depth of their love for God and dependence on Him. Through their story, Latayne teaches us that it is how we respond while waiting for the contradictions to God's promises to be resolved that causes the door of God's unfolding story to turn on the hinge of our own faith.
I wonder if this rings as many bells for you as it does for me. I can't think of a better time than now to remember that even the most extraordinary lives are lived a moment at a time, and that most of those moments feel ... ordinary, or maybe even less than ordinary.

I never met my great grandmother, but she is nearly as familiar to me as my own mom, because she lived her Christian faith in such a loving, solid way that my mother and several others in my family tell me she actually glowed, as if she had a halo. I have a picture on my wall, a simple, plump woman in a cotton dress beside her grim-faced husband, and sure enough she does glow, though I can tell she doesn't realize this, that she's just finished cooking the family supper, that her back hurts and maybe she could use a foot rub, but... my great grandfather doesn't look like the type to give one.

And though I haven't yet finished Latayne's book and couldn't say for certain, I'd bet that this woman's response to the disappointments and difficulties in her life made possible the answers to - I'm sure - many prayers for her children, grandchildren and beyond.

Perhaps you have stories of your own, of people who little knew the significance of their lives, the power of their faith.

Please, do tell. There may be a book in it for you.


Latayne C Scott said...

Well, I may have written the book, but Katy, I learned something new from you and Steve-- the importance of living a life to be remembered. The image of your grandmother in that picture will stay with me forever.

And thank you all, sweet lovely friends, for all you've said about my book. I am honored and grateful.


Jan Cline said...

Funny you shoud ask this question. I woke up this morning thinking of someone from my high school years that impacted my life. He was my choir teacher and one of the kindest people I knew. He boldly led us to sing spiritual songs in every language and we won lots of competitions. But the most wonderful thing he did for me was to escort me to the school father/daughter banquet. My father had passed away a few years before and this man picked me up at my house, proudly escorted me through dinner and walked me to my door afterward. Never had I been treated like such a young lady and I cherished the evening. It may not have been the most spiritual of gestures, but it made lasting impressions on what it means to give of yourself to others.

Kathleen Popa said...

Jan, what a fantastic story. I can see how that man's life must have rippled out in the lives of his students, and certainly in your life. Such lives should be honored. Thank you for telling us.

Carol Harrison said...

I can think of a few people that would fit into this category in my life. Two of them were my grandmothers. One had a stroke as a young woman, only four days before her youngest daughter was born. I spent many happy hours and days with her and never realized her "handicapped side" made her different than other people. Looking back I realize the tremendous effort ordinary living would have been for her at times and yet she never complained. She led a life that pointed me to God and to kindness and love. My other grandmother, a relatively young widow spent her life showing love and care for others. Each person who knew her well felt special. What a legacy I have. Neither woman thought they were doing anything out of the ordinary, yet I know how many valuable life lessons I learned from them that helped make me who I am today.

Marcia said...

Kathleen, some of your grandmother must have come through to you, because when I've looked at your picture on here, I've thought since the first time I saw it that you glowed. And your words are as warm as you are.

Jan, that's an awesome story, the kind you'd see in Guideposts. Maybe you ought to think about writing it and selling it. Or maybe you already have.


(from the sticks of Texas)

Anonymous said...

A lady who sits in front of us in church doesn't know how her faith shines. She has the beginning stages of Alzheimer's (my best guess), but you should see how she just got bouncing on her toes, drawing her husband to her in her palpable excitement, one Sunday when we sang "Soon and very soon, We are going to see the Lord."

Her husband, too, shines. His faith. His humble, unshakeable love for her. His gentleness with her as he guides her through the church building to service. His knowledge of the Bible and total reliance on God. His warm smile and conversation to us as newbies in the church.

It's a blessing,


Kathleen Popa said...

Carol, I'm a new grandmother, and you make me want to be just like yours, and mine. It's stunning to realize how people can influence lives long after they are gone.

Marcia, what a wonderfully kind thing you said! I did have a really good photographer, but nonetheless, your words have blessed me. Thank you.

Kathleen Popa said...

Voni, thanks for that about the couple in your church. I love reading this stuff - the proverbial antidote to the stuff we get in the news every day. People just don't know, do they, what their lives mean.

Nancy Williams, LPC said...

This month, and this blog post, reminds me of the influence my sister had on the lives of so many children and adults. She was born in September and she went to meet Jesus face-to-face 36 years later on a quiet September afternoon, after a courageous battle with cancer.

Cindy spent her last 6 yrs fighting the disease that invaded her body, and yet she did so much more in those days. She prepared her young children for life after she was gone and she poured out her heart to her family and friends with words of love, of truth, of healing and of encouragement. Those were deliberate acts on her part.

And yet, her most powerful message reached the school children she worked with, the adults she worked along side, the church family she worshipped with and a community that came to know her. With a quiet, gentle spirit she showed them how to hold onto the firm foundation of your faith and trust in God. How to love and serve him - no matter what life brings. I don't think she realized how powerful her witness was but even these many years later, I continue to hear about lives that were impacted by hers and I am reminded of the wisdom she set before us all.
An ordinary life, an extraordinary message, an awesome God. Thanks for the open door to share.

Wendy Paine Miller said...

Wow, ladies. You can't understand how much I missed this blog.

What a powerful quote.

I think my mother was living out faith I hadn't even comprehended as faith (if that makes any sense at all). The way she is kind--to everyone. How she holds the door and thinks to ask specific questions about others, etc.

The woman rocks.

~ Wendy

Megan Sayer said...

I only met my Auntie Dorothy twice. She was from my Dad's family, and lived in another state, but she and her family were on a summer holiday down near us the summer I was 11, when my Dad went...psycho (for want of a better term). I didn't think about it at the time, but she was amazing. She looked after Mum and helped re-establish some kind of normalcy in our family. She took us into a big church in town, and after she got home again she sent me two Christian music cassette tapes. I was grateful, and I'm sure I was made to write her a nice thank you letter, but the tapes sat in the back of the cupboard for years.

Six years later I became a Christian, and those tapes became the only music I listened to, and the words in the songs became the foundations of my faith. It was only after she died a few years later that I found out that she'd been praying for me regularly for those six years, and beyond.

I can't begin to explain how grateful I am to a woman who barely knew me, yet who prayed me into the Kingdom! I'm looking forward to seeing her again up there one day.

Kathleen Popa said...

Megan, Wendy and Nancy, thank you for your beautiful stories. How well all of you who commented today have illustrated that our lives ripple into the lives of so many others, just as the lives of Abraham and Sarah's reverberate today. How interesting that each of these stories "hinged" on faith. I hope each of you gets your hands on Latayne's wonderful book.

Bonnie Grove said...

Marcia: Kathleen glows in real life, too. She lights a room with her presence.

Kathleen Popa said...

Maybe it's more blushing than glowing.

Steve G said...

Maybr it was that nuclear toast, Kathleen.

There were several men leading the Cristian Service Brigade program (Stockade and Battalion) in my formative years (not that I have stopped forming, though now it is mostly in the midsection where changes are happening). The time they spent and the conversations we had and the fun we had have all added immensely to who and where I am today.