Sunday, March 29, 2009

My Grandpa

My Grandpa has always been one of those people who loves to joke around with you. I remember growing up when him and my Grandma would come and visit our home in Batavia, we would just be hanging out around the house and I would walk into a room and all of a sudden he would be there trying to scare us. The little sounds he would make to just get us to jump would of course scare us half to death and we would scream and he would just laugh and laugh, knowing he was successful in his plot. This would happen many times over whenever we would see him. He would even try and scare the animals. He would take his cane and bat it at them to get a rise out of our cat or dog and once again, when he was successful...just laugh and laugh. :) Another memory I have of my grandpa is that he was always apart of the clean plate club. I guess living in Africa for 30 years will do that to you and teach you to eat what's in front of you, but there were times that we would be sitting at the kitchen table finishing dinner and grandpa would literally be taking his fork and scraping every little last crumb off his plate and eating it. He was not wasteful and always I'm sure made my mom feel like she had made the greatest meal he had ever eaten. :)

When I think about my grandpa, I think of a servant. His soft sweet heart was always willing to give of himself to help others. Him and my Grandma would come and visit and Grandpa would always have to have a project to work on or something to help my family with. Just recently I remember my mom calling and telling me that he wasn't doing very well and she would keep me updated. So the next time I talked to my mom I asked her how Grandpa was doing and my mom laughed and said, "He's doing just fine....he was up at the table peeling carrots." :) That picture is what my Grandpa was about. He lived for Jesus and for others. That is so clearly seen by the way that he gave up the comforts of American living to live in Africa for 30 years to tell those people about God's love for them. He lived to give his life so that others may know Jesus in a better way...whether through his words or his actions.

Out of all of my memories of my Grandpa, I think the one that I will hold onto forever will be one that happened about 3 years ago. We were up in Michigan just all sitting around talking in the living room and it was my brother in law's first time meeting all the family. My Grandma was asking him a ton of questions and when my Grandpa got in a few words, all he could talk about was how loving and serving Jesus was the thing that was most important that we could ever do. He started to cry, and I remember watching him and thinking, "God make me that passionate for you. When I am 90 years old, I want to be as in love with you as my Grandpa is." My Grandpa loved Jesus and if you knew him, you knew that. His heart was for Jesus and I have never known anyone who was more ready to be welcomed into Heaven by the one that he had given his life to serving and loving.

I believe my Grandpa lived this long because God was answering a prayer I had prayed for many many years, without him even knowing it. I had been praying since I was a teenager that my Grandparents would be alive when the day came that I got married. I wanted them to be in the front row on the day that I walked the aisle to my husband. Maybe it was a selfish prayer, but I remember a few years ago when he would not be doing good, I would tell my mom that I knew he wasn't going to die because God was going to keep them around for my wedding. I fully believed that and it was a prayer that God answered. 6 1/2 months ago, I got married to the man God made for me and my Grandparents were both there, sitting in the front row, watching me walk down the aisle. Not only were they there, but our wedding day was September 20th, the same day 67 years ago that my Grandma walked down the aisle to my Grandpa. Pete and I share an anniversary with my Grandparents and there is no greater honor
that I would rather have. If we can leave a legacy to any amount that my Grandpa has led our family to, I know that God will be pleased. I love my Grandpa and him and my Grandma will always be my role models and my heroes. He has set the bar high and I fully intend to pursue after Jesus the way that he did.


Brooke said...

Gee thanks Jules, leave me teary eyed and give me chills. You are a Godly woman, and you have already begun to leave your legacy. God will answer your prayer for a legacy, just as he answered your prayer to have your grandparents in the front row on your wedding day. Love ya