Sunday, May 9, 2010

Happy Mother's Day, Grandma!

By the time you get this email, I will have been through two services at Living Water, singing the special music: "Perfect People" by Natalie Grant.  The lyrics go something like this: 


There's no such thing as perfect people
There's no such thing as a perfect life
So come as you are, broken and scarred
Lift up your heart and be amazed
and be changed by a perfect God


The sermon is about the virtuous woman in Proverbs 31, which sometimes makes me feel guilty about the Mom/Wife/Woman I'm NOT.  Sometimes it challenges me to be a better person, but it always makes me grateful that God's grace is sufficient for me.


The sermon also will have a speaking part for one of my best friends, who is going to talk about how she is working to change her family history and be a better mom than her mom was to her.  Her mother is an alcoholic, and just a couple of months ago, I went to babysit while she and her husband drove to pick up her mom who was too drunk to drive home. I spent that evening thinking about you, Grandma, and how grateful I am that you raised such a powerful woman of God, my mom.  I know you faced adversity in your own home life as a child, and watched imperfect people make a life together and struggle through.  You, yourself, took a broken background and changed my family history.  You raised a daughter who loves the Lord more than anything in her life and strives to follow him wherever he leads.  You raised a daughter who puts her husband second, teaming up with him in ministry and in life.  You raised a daughter who raised her children to love Jesus and family, to be adventurous and independent, while still tethered with the bonds of faith and love.


My friend is struggling to reinvent what family means for her, her husband, and her children.  She is determined to change her family history and raise her daughters in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.  I know in the not-so-distant future, her granddaughters may be sending her this same message I am sending you ... a message of gratitude for her faithfulness and determination.


With the help and grace of God, you and Grandpa - two imperfect people from imperfect backgrounds - were the turning point for me and my mom and therefore my own family's history.  Because of you and how you raised my mom, I don't have to struggle with so many challenges my friends face with their own parents, spouses, or children.  I still fall short of that virtuous woman in Proverbs 31 - that passage will forever convict and inspire me to do better - but I see you and Mom all the way through that passage, and I am encouraged that I can achieve that perfection only because of Christ Jesus.



There's no such thing as perfect people
There's no such thing as a perfect life
So come as you are, broken and scarred
Lift up your heart and be amazed
and be changed by a perfect God
Who lived and who died to give new life
To heal our imperfections
So look up and see love and let grace be enough

Be changed by a perfect God
Be changed.

Happy Mother's Day, Grandma.  I love you.
--------------------------------------------
PS: I could have written this just as easily for my Grandma Dorothy Hardenbrook.  She faced so many challenges growing up it devastates me just to think about it.  What she did to overcome that pain and be the woman of God she was is a real inspiration to me.
This is my second Mother's Day without Grandma Hardenbrook, but my gratitude and love for her are still being conveyed through my prayers for my own family every day.  

3 comments:

Ruth Ann said...

Thank you Jamie for sharing your heart about grandmas. Happy Mother's Day to you as a mother now in the trenches raising the little children. You are making your heritage now. My mother, Agnes Eliza Bath Hatfield ( 1/4/15 -6/21/94) would be so proud of you. She would be pleased that Timothy picked you to raise her great grandchildren. God Bless, Ruth Ann

Jamie Hatfield said...

Thank you, Ruth Ann! That means so much to me. Paul spoke of Agnes yesterday in church services and the impact of a godly mom on his life. I am so grateful to Grandma Hatfield and Grandma Wilkin for raising Paul and Judy to be the parents that blessed me and my kids with such a terrific husband and father. A godly heritage has to start somewhere, and I'm overwhelmed with gratitude for the people who chose to follow God and proclaim him to their children, down through our family's history.

Debbi said...

Jamie, this whole post is beautiful. I wrote about my grandmother a few days ago as well. Thank you for sharing!