learning from lois

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It was nearly two weeks ago that Henry James joined the family. He is settling into North Country life quite nicely. Every day he is a little bit more aware, eyes open and alert to his surroundings. Every night he sleeps a little bit longer — but never too long. His precious plump cheeks tell the story: hungry Henry! His mommy and daddy are adjusting beautifully; a bit weary but wearing well the new parent glow, head-over-heels in love with their babe. We, too.

Meanwhile, Oliver Lloyd passed his five months milestone. He is reaching and stretching and rolling — clearly getting ready to move! It is such fun to observe closely as his personality emerges. His sweet sunshiny spirit remains true, even as a determined little boy plays peek-a-boo, asserting himself in sometimes surprising ways. This child doesn’t want to miss a minute!

The grand-boys are still much too young to understand the significance of the other. That will come in good time. But I am overwhelmed with thankfulness for them and this community of family and faith. Such a richness of blessings!

Some months ago, when we learned that grand-parenting was imminent, a dear friend gifted me with the Grandmother’s Bible. It’s sprinkled with thoughtful devotionals, commentaries, and prayers for a grandmother’s heart. It is a wonderful resource for learning how to become my best GiGi self. If the past six months are any measure, this looks to be a sometimes difficult but immensely rewarding process.

Recently I’ve been reading some of Paul’s letters to believers in the early Church; this week, his letters to Timothy. I am warmed by Paul’s acknowledgment of Lois, Timothy’s Jewish grandmother. Then, as today, there were many ungodly influences and unhealthy distractions. Yet Timothy grew into a fine man of character. He was a stand-out, a trusted partner in ministry, even as a young man. He was of tremendous support to Paul, despite the dangers and severe hardship imposed. In leadership and service, Timothy relied upon a firm foundation in the faith laid by Grandma Lois.

I remember your genuine faith, for you share the faith that first filled your grandmother Lois and your mother, Eunice. And I know that same faith continues strong in you.

Paul loved Timothy like a son — his letters make that abundantly, even painfully, clear. Timothy’s father, a Greek gentile, was likely deceased. Paul often counseled Tim in a fatherly fashion. On the personal side, I must say I appreciate his advice on wine much more than women! But through Paul, it seems, God was filling a gap in Tim’s life. I know and appreciate this gap-filling. God demonstrates his great love and immeasurable grace in providing through those who show up.

I am writing to Timothy, my dear son. … Timothy, I thank God for you. … Night and day I constantly remember you in my prayers. I long to see you again, for I remember your tears as we parted. And I will be filled with joy when we are together again.

Timothy and Paul broke hard ground, overturning centuries of tradition in many gods and introducing Jesus as Messiah. Christianity was a disruption to the status quo that rocked this world. Both paid dearly for their commitment to the faith. It is no accident that Timothy was up for the challenge, taking up his cross alongside Paul, who faithfully picked up instruction where Grandma Lois left off.

But you must remain faithful to the things you have been taught. You know they are true, for you know you can trust those who taught you. You have been taught the holy Scriptures from childhood, and they have given you the wisdom to receive the salvation that comes by trusting in Christ Jesus … 2 Timothy

Oh, what I’d give to listen in on the stories Tim told of his Grandma Lois! I think she must have been the ultimate GiGi. Um, Bubbe.

~ René Morley

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