Molly Parker attended an Encouragement Event in March and later sent me this article she wrote for her local paper. I asked for her permission to share it here. Enjoy!
My extended family is a clever, fun-loving bunch. My peppy aunt hosted a bridal shower for my cousin over the weekend, and it was celebrated with classic “McSorley” flare. Everyone came dressed in an old bridesmaid (or mother-of-the-bride) dress. You know, an old dusty one from the past, picked right up off the closet floor – possibly resembling a large lamp shade when worn. Something peach colored, perhaps, with matching satin heels.
Unfortunately, I didn’t have the pleasure of going because, well, it was in California. (Sigh.)
But, I did have the pleasure of attending a women’s Bible study the very next morning here in Alabama. The adorable speaker was super with-it and very wise; her joy bounced all around the room filled with tired ladies in dire need of a good pick-me-up. (Well, at least I was one of THOSE ladies.)
She spoke of the things – both material possessions and character traits – we tend to pass down from generation to generation.
In speaking of material possessions, my grandmother has an antique rocking chair that, if passed down to me, I will proudly display in my favorite room. However, if I happen to inherit her glass, mustard yellow, “decorative” grape cluster, it’ll go in the closet where it belongs.
As for character traits, I would love to see my mother’s wisdom and love for God’s truth continue for many, many generations. On the other hand, family members who struggle with various addictions and fears, I pray for God’s healing touch on their lives so that their “stuff” is kept from sneaking into the next generation.
But knowing me, it’s so easy to lightheartedly say, for example, “Whew, that Charlie! Stubborn as can be…just like his grandfather.” But should stubbornness be brushed aside, moving on down the family line with such ease?
2 Corinthians 5:17 says, “If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!”
And our Bible study speaker reminded us of Jesus saying “don’t put old wine in new wineskins” and how Psalm 40:3 talks about the Lord putting a new song in our hearts. Do you see it? New! Fresh! Not old! God’s desire is for us to live joy-filled, grace-abundant lives – for this generation and the next. So let’s pass on the baton of “God traits,” not human traits.
In the meantime, I’ll be sure to grasp onto my aunt’s creative, party-planning, hospitable ways. But sorry, Dad, the love for ketchup and bologna sandwiches stops here.