Monday, February 23, 2009

Reflecting on Our Blessings

About twenty years ago I read a book that at the time was a best seller. The sheer volume of the book And Ladies of the Club intimidated me when I first picked it up, and the story didn’t grab my interest right away. My boss at the time told me if I kept reading I would be hooked, and I was. By the time I’d finished, I felt like the characters were my best friends, and I understood their lives as if I’d lived them myself.

The book told the story of two young Indiana women who married at the end of the Civil War. It chronicled their lives through the birth of their children, problems in their marriages, the arrival of grandchildren, and their advancement into old age. These women lived out their lives in their small town and never deviated from the role that was expected of women in that time.

I thought of this book recently when I had a letter from a woman in Texas. This dear lady has corresponded with me frequently since she read my first book. On the day she wrote, she said it was her last day to be 79 years old. The next day she would enter a new decade in her life, but she wrote that she didn’t mind. In fact, she said, the years with zeros in them had an important place in her life. At 30 God called her to be a missionary and she had to begin college. At 40 she learned to drive. At 50 she hit the half century mark. At 60 she had her ears pierced, and at 70 she said she felt her strength failing like Samson did when his hair was cut. She ended by saying—Who knows what 80 will bring?

As I read her letter, I thanked God for the opportunities He’s given to women of today. I’m so thankful God blessed me with a wonderful husband, children, and grandchildren. But I also thank Him for the great blessings He provided for me as a teacher and principal in the public schools. Now as I teach college students who aspire to be teachers, I feel He is helping me impact generations to come. My prayer also is that He will take the words He’s given me and plant seeds of hope in readers I will never meet. I’m thankful that those words found their way into the heart of a sweet woman in Texas who has become a blessing and an encouragement to me.

How has God blessed you? I would love to hear what He’s done in your life.


Jessica Ferguson said...

A wonderful post, Sandra. I can tell you that God blessed me when He put you in my life. I've loved rooming with you at conferences, critiquing with you, praying for you and yours, and just having you as my friend. You're one of God's sweetest gifts to me.

Marcia Gruver said...

I love that little lady's spunk! Haven't seen The Curious Case of Benjamin Button yet, but your lady's story reminds me of the premise behind the movie. Learning to drive at 40 and getting your ears pierced at 60 is sort of living life in reverse, isn't it? No telling what she'll get into at 80!

Great post, Sandra. And a wonderful reminder that age is just a number.

It sounds as if God has already taken the words He’s given you and planted seeds of hope in your readers.

Sandra Robbins said...

Thanks, Jess. You're a dear friend. I certainly count you as a blessing in my life.

Sandra Robbins said...

I've seen The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, Marcia, and I think you'll love it. We should all remember that God opens new doors for us as we get older. We just have to be brave enough to step through them.


Elizabeth Ludwig said...

Your post reminded me of my husband's grandfather. He lived to be just a few months shy of his 100th birthday, but lived life to the very fullest, right up until his last breath. What a blessing he was to my husband and to our family.

Thank you for this wonderful post, Sandra. Your writing has blessed, and will continue to bless, many.

Cheryl Wyatt said...

I've heard so much about the Benjamin Button movie but just haven't had time to watch it. I am really looking forward to it though.

Great post!

I have so much to be thankful for. My family. My faith. My friends. The gift of being able to write for publication. And a gazillion other things.


Missy Tippens said...

What a beautiful story, Sandra! Thanks so much for sharing.

I'm most thankful for my family--my husband and children and all our extended family. We have so much love and support.

Pamela Tracy said...

I want to go find the book and read about these women. Enjoyed our post, Sandra.