Sunday, November 10, 2013

Grammy Clemmer

What do you do when  you have a house full of company, and you receive a text letting you know that your last living grandparent has passed away?

I'll tell you. You inconspicuously walk to your bedroom, quietly shut your door, sit down and cry.  You call her face to mind, the way she looked when you first met her, when your mom and step dad were first married and she welcomed you as her own granddaughter.

She wore a netted bonnet and plain dress, giving outward testimony to an inward reality that she was submitted to another; she was not her own.  Though different from your own expression of faith in appearances, its roots were the same. She loved Jesus, trusted Him as her Redeemer and Savior. She raised four children to love Him, too.  One of those children walked into your life when you were 13, just a year after you lost your dad. He married your mom, took on four children in addition to his own three and like her, loved you as his own. She was the mother behind the man who demonstrated grace to you like few other in your life.

Grammy Clemmer, as known by 21 grandkids and 36 great grandkids, passed away this past Friday, November 8, 2013.  I didn't know her like some of my cousins because I only became a part of the "Clemmer clan" when I was 13. But, my heart is full as are my eyes of tears when I think about her now and the legacy she left behind.  She lived a quiet life by the regard of some, but the themes of love for family, home, and God ring loud through her children, grandchildren and one day, God willing, all of her great grandchildren.

In material possessions, she had just what she needed and not much more. But, she always had enough to give a gift to every grandchild and great grandchild at each "Clemmer Christmas".  Some years, it was a bottle of scented soap or sample size of deodorant along with a money gift of $5 or $10, all 21 of them individually wrapped in PartyLite boxes, tagged with all the names of her grandchildren on them.  Appealing to the the young ages of many of her great grandchildren, she found more age appropriate gifts for them, musical pull toys or puzzles, books for the readers.

Her hands, somewhat gnarled by age and arthritis and I imagine years of cooking and cross stitch, were always willing to serve and to embrace. She loved having her family together, and for as long as her home could hold us, she would host a Thanksgiving meal which always included her oyster filling and fruit salad.  Her four children always made the effort and asked their children to make the effort to come together at least once a year to share a meal, or two, songs, games and prayer together.

Beula Clemmer, your children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren will rise this week and call you "blessed", as you were a woman who feared the Lord and taught all who came after you to fear the Lord, too. There is no more worthwhile mission. You completed your mission, Grammy Clemmer. Know the rest and presence of God forevermore. We will see you again one day 'soon.'

Thursday, November 07, 2013


There's nothing more frustrating than being constantly hungry while trying to shed a few pounds. I cannot seem to satsify my hunger today.  Could it be the 5 miles I ran yesterday kicking my metabolism into high gear?  I really do hope so.  But, the fact remains that in order to shed weight, I have to ouput more calories than I input. And, today all I want to do is input.  I know enough about nutrition to know not to eat chocolate incessantly on days like today. Not only will that NOT satisfy my hunger; it is a calorie dense/nutritionally sparse food. I need to eat calorie sparse, nutritionally dense foods on days like today.

So it is with my spiritual life. There are seasons where the output kicks up a notch or two, and I can find myself starving.  Ministry to my family or friends may increase for one reason or another. Maybe a friend's family has been sick for a prolonged period of time, and she needs encouragement and meals! Maybe one of my children is having a pronounced struggle with grumbling and needs constant encouragement and discipline to kick what may be becoming a habit. Maybe my husband is under pressure at work and needs to put in extra hours requiring me to take up the slack at home with physical chores, and tending to the emotional and the spiritual needs of my children.  And, maybe all of this converges all at the same time.  Can I get a witness?

In these times, I need to remember I cannot skip out on my time with God in prayer and bible reading.  I am in great need all the time, but especially during seasons where more is being asked of me.  In these times, I need God's Word in concentrated form.  I need to eat and eat and eat. I need to open up the Psalms and read one in the morning, listen to worship music while preparing breakfast, read scripture to the kids while eating breakfast. I need to pause in the middle of my school morning for a "snack" from a Spurgeon devotional and then pull out the worship music and/or youversion bible to listen to at lunch again. I need to play a sermon while I prepare for dinner and swallow up "gulps" of biblically rich blogs any time I can sneak away to the bathroom.  (Any momma reading this knows exactly what I'm talking about when I write "sneak" to the bathroom.)

And, even then I may feel empty. But, without the constant feeding on the richness of God's Word, I will most definitely starve.