The Northview Blog

stories of community, faith, and values

Friday Spiritual Column: Grandparents blaze trial for future generations to follow

Posted by on Jun 13, 2014

Gma_&_Gpa_2

BY RACHEL MORAN

My grandparents met at a high school football game at Ben Davis High School in Indianapolis, IN. My grandma was a student there and my grandpa was there on another date. When they met, they struck a chord and he asked her if he could walk her home. In just three short months after that walk home, they got married. In today’s world we tend to think that this is only something that you would read in a Nicholas Sparks novel, but this was their reality.

They spent their lives building a family of four children, 11 grandkids and 12 great grandkids (with one on the way!). Our family has gone through many blessings and trials together and through them all we have grown stronger and closer. My grandparents are the perfect example of what it looks like to surrender their family to God and allow Him to mold and shape it the way that He wants to.

When my grandma passed awayon April 21, 2014, I asked my cousins to write down their favorite memories of grandma. Their stories were funny and sentimental, but they were all full of love. My cousin Matt talked about the time that he heard ruckus outside of his house really late at night. He was agitated and went outside to see if it was one of the neighborhood kids. Come to find out, it was my grandma and her best friend toilet papering (TP-ing) his house! This is a classic grandma story; she loved pranks, adventure and laughing with her grandkids.

As a wife, my grandma loved her husband and always respected him. Even while she was battling cancer, she never hesitated to cook dinner for everyone, sew blankets for new babies everywhere or take trips to Goodwill and Kohl’s with her daughters. My grandpa is the perfect picture of what a husband and patriarch should look like. Whenever we need something fixed, he is our handyman. If you need someone to lighten the mood, he is there with a good (corny) joke, and whenever my parents left me at home alone with my big brothers he would be there to pick me up when I couldn’t take it anymore! While my grandma was nearing the end of her life, he would pray that God would give him her cancer, arthritis and congestive heart failure.

Grandma_&_Grandpa

Not only did my grandparents love their family, but they also poured out their love to anyone they met. Grandma taught toddlers Sunday School for 30 years and each week she would have a new activity and craft for them to complete. I often tell my mom that I have always seen grandma as one age; I never believed that she was getting any older. Her youthful spirit was the enthusiasm of our family.

My grandpa drove a bus for students who could not find a ride to church. His actions showed God’s love to those who needed help. Every holiday my grandparents would pack their house full of people; well over the amount of people that are in our family. They never wanted to see anybody have to go through a holiday without family. Every time I would bring a friend over to their house my grandma would introduce herself as “grandma.” It does not matter if you are not a part of their bloodline; you are a Burks!

When my grandpa reflects back on his time spent with his wife, he always gives the same advice, “don’t wait.” We fill our lives with excuses of why we can’t do things right now. There is not enough money, you don’t have enough time, it’s not the right timing, or your kids aren’t the right age. There will always be something that demands your time, you will never have “enough” money by today’s standards, and you will rarely ever feel that it is the right moment. This is why we serve an omnipotent God that is able to take our mangled timing and shape it into his perfect timing.

My grandma had plenty of legitimate excuses to put things off, or to not do them at all. Even though she had rheumatoid arthritis, congestive heart failure and ovarian cancer she never let it slow her down.

Like my grandparents, we must take risks and cherish the time we are given. One thing that we tend to forget is that time is a gift, not a right. Are we truly conscious of how we spend our time? We should be spending our time pouring out love, not worrying about menial tasks. My challenge for you, and for myself is to be intentional this week. Don’t put things off or make excuses. When God lays something on your heart, even if it does not seem glamorous or practical, do it!

My mom recalls her parents telling her, “Remember, you are a Burks. Everything you do reflects this family.” Friends, as you go about your day today, think about this: You are a child of God. Everything you do reflects His kingdom, so go do extravagant work for Him.

The Friday Spiritual Column is entirely the opinion of this week’s writer and does not necessarily reflect the view of Northview Church as a whole.

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Tuesday Spiritual Column: A legacy

Posted by on Apr 10, 2012

BY ASHLEY RHUDE

Three weeks ago, I attended the funeral of a 66-year-old man – a husband, a mentor to many and the father of my best friend. He passed unexpectedly when an emergency surgery took a bad turn and my friend wasn’t able to get home in time to say goodbye. I’ll never forget the phone call I got from her on that day. My husband and I immediately grabbed hands and lifted her up in prayer. It was quite a surprise.

The days that followed went quickly and next thing I knew, six of my closest girlfriends and I were on our way to Ohio for the funeral. I was the driver and as the girls chatted and played some games on our four-hour car trip, I found myself zoning in and out of their conversations.

My mind drifted many places as I tried to imagine the heartache my dear friend had just been through. I must admit that I began to feel guilty for all the people I have in my life and how easy it is to take them for granted. Living several hours from both my family and my husband’s family, it can be very difficult to schedule a whole weekend for a visit. A new month starts and we realize weekends are already full so a visit gets put off until the next month. As we pulled up to the church, I began to think in my head, “Well, what if there isn’t a next time?” My friend didn’t get that opportunity with her dad.

After an entire package of tissues and quite the array of emotions, the funeral ended and the casket was carried away. Her father touched the lives of so many people in his 66 years here. Community people, congregation members, childhood friends, siblings and his own children all shared such beautiful stories of the way his faith was displayed in every area of his life. He led so many people to the Lord and loved others just as Christ commands. Though there was pain surrounding this family’s loss, there was also such rejoicing as they all know they will see him in Heaven again someday. That’s something to celebrate!

My friend continues to miss her Daddy. She’s sad that he’ll never be there to walk her down the aisle and meet her kids. She misses being able to call him after she acquires a big account at work. She longs for a great big Daddy hug again. But, even in the midst of all her pain and grieving, she’s thankful for the legacy her father left behind. His faith is her inheritance – a rich one at that. What a beautiful gift!

Nicole Nordeman sings a song titled, “Legacy.” The song is a great reminder that it dosen’t matter how many people we impress or how much we accomplish in our life. She sings, “I want to leave a legacy, how will they remember me? Did I choose to love? Did I point to you enough to make a mark on things?”

My friend’s loss reminds me just how short life is and I don’t want to waste a precious moment. Make time to get acquainted with your Father in Heaven today. Make your family and friends a priority and give your love freely. Worry not about the temporary things of this world. Our time here is brief and a gift so we must be intentional each day, friends. What kind of legacy will you leave?

The Tuesday Spiritual Column is entirely the opinion of this week’s writer and does not necessarily reflect the view of Northview Church as a whole.

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