Touching Another Life

August 16, 2007
by Marilyn Allanson

Exodus 20:12 – Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee. (KJV)

On Sunday, November 3, 2003, my mother-in-law had her eightieth birthday. We celebrated by having open house. I had many people praying that I would have the strength to be able to get through this and that all would go well. I must tell you that it went extremely well, and Mom enjoyed it very much. My mother-in-law is a beautiful woman and very active. Many of her friends have passed away, and she seemed nervous at the idea of this party and who would come to it.

Well, we had a least sixty people come and share this day with her. I watched my mother-in-law move with ease from one person to the next as she welcomed them to her celebration of life. There are many lessons we can learn from our elders if we pay a little attention.

Mom is a strong woman. When my husband, Bill, her son, was twelve years old, his father was shot while out hunting. Mom was a young woman when she had to raise her two sons on her own. My relationship with her has changed a great deal over the years and continues to change and grow as all good relationships do. I have great respect, tremendous admiration, and deep love for Mom.

I have always enjoyed listening to the stories elders tell. The history of one's family is very important and should be passed down from generation to generation. I have information and pictures of both sides of our family, Bill's and mine, to pass on down to our children. If we will take the time to sit and really listen to our elders, we can learn many lessons, while at the same time understanding them better.

In taking the time, over the years, to get to know my mother-in-law, through sharing her past with her, I have been able to understand and appreciate her so much more.

The Bible is also our "family history", its stories telling us things that God wants us to know. We need to take the time to read it and listen to past generations' relationship with God, what they went through, and how they endured and survived. We also need to continue to document our own family's relationship with God and pass the history on to the next generation.

Prayer: Dear Lord, please help us to make the most out of every moment that You give us to let others see You shining in our lives. Help us to be a positive influence on those around us, that Your Kingdom would be glorified by the lives that we live for You. Please open the eyes of the hearts of others around us, Lord, so they, too, may come to know You, not just know about You. We love You, Jesus. Amen.

About the author:

Marilyn Allanson <nk-wm@shaw.ca>
Kenora, Ontario, Canada

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