Mattie Mae

I’ve done a lot of praying for wisdom and strength lately, but today I asked for something new. JOY.

I need joy.  This house sorely needs joy.

I was flooded with memories of my great-grandmother.

She had no material wealth that I know of.  Almost all the years I knew her she lived with her youngest daughter, Ruth, and my cousin…. coincidentally named, Joy.  We were born three weeks apart, Joy and I.  I always thought I should have been named something like Noel.  Then we could be the Christmas cousins.  How quickly I digress.  Anyway…..

My great-grandmother was industrious.  She cleaned and cooked and mended.  One day I broke the zipper of my skirt.  She “just happened” to have a replacement zipper.  She stitched it into my skirt by hand.  The stitches were tiny, evenly spaced and strong… lasting as long as I owned the skirt.

She played the piano as long as her fingers allowed… fingers cruelly twisted by arthritis.

But mostly she prayed – – for her five children, her grandchildren, for great-grandchildren she would never know.  I know this because I heard her so often.  One day as I approached her front door I could hear her praying for each one of us… by name.  She prayed loudly, confidently and with expectation.  She knew her Father heard her.

My grandpa, Dan, her son-in-law, credits her with sharing the gospel and saving his “hooligan” life…. physically and spiritually.

She was quiet, although if you asked her opinion she most certainly had one.  She was also very deaf and I wondered if that’s why she didn’t talk a lot…. she was focused on hearing us.  She listened intently and she answered with prayer.

Her eyes constantly smiled, her arms always hugged, and her words always encouraged.

Thank you, Mattie Mae, for the joy you lived each day of life.  Your memory brings my joy today.

2 thoughts on “Mattie Mae

  1. What an incredible woman. I set lots of goals, have lots of plans, but it really comes down to this – if I could live simply and pray effectively, like her, I would feel successful. Thanks for this reminder of true beauty.
    I wish for you this Christmas season, lots of JOY!


  2. I, too, wish you joy. You may find it in unexpected places. You obviously follow Ann Voskamp’s blog and will know of her counting of one thousand gifts. I truly believe the thankful heart is blessed with joy. I’ve begun my own personal journal, counting those seemingly insignificant daily gifts and feeling grateful for them. That “attitude of gratitude” erupts into joyfulness.


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