Good morning dear ones! Do you ever have moments of just deep reflection? Little moments where everything seems to stand still and you are simply lost in days gone by? Maybe you cannot relate to this feeling, I guess some may call it simply a flashback... well that is where I am as I write this post. These words are flowing from a heart of gratitude, sorrow, and joy (who knew all those things could co-exist).
You see, the beautiful woman in this picture below was my precious Grammy. She went to be with the Lord in July of 2013 after a very sudden heart attack. I miss her every day, but I often think that even if I had spent every day with her until she was 100 I would not have had enough time with her. My Grammy was one of those one in a million women... yes, I know I am a little biased. But trust me, she was special, and anyone who met her knew this. The epitome of a Southern Belle and classy lady, Beth Keys was a joy to know and love. So in honor of her and the love I will always have for her, here are 10 things I learned from my Grammy.
1. Always seek the good.
My grandmother rarely ever had a negative word to say about anyone or anything. She truly was an example to me of Proverbs 31:26, "She opens her mouth with wisdom, the teaching of kindness is on her tongue." She always loved to be the optimist in any given conversation, and because of this people loved her. They knew she could be trusted, and this is a rare character quality to find these days.
2. Thank You notes are not optional.
Old Fashioned to some, but a requirement to my Grammy. I appreciate the way she and my Mom taught me to always express my gratitude to others through a handwritten note. I think this is a practice that is beginning to die, yet I truly do see the importance of taking just five minutes to write a heartfelt thank you note.
3. Those serving dishes you got as a wedding gift may seem "too fancy" but they make an ordinary meal so special.
We always used to think it was so silly that when we would have family dinners my grandmother would bring out all her nice serving dishes, and make us all sit in the formal dinning room. However, now I look back on those times with such sweet memories. Her crystal goblets, nice platters, and fancy serving utensils made our normal dinner so special. She was the greatest hostess, and wanted everyone who came into her home to feel valued, loved, and special... who knew that simply using nice dishes could play a small part in accomplishing that.
4. Always Smile.
My Grammy was known for her smile. You can ask anyone who knew her, she loved to smile. She taught me that there is ALWAYS something to smile about. She did not have a perfect life, and honestly had to face a lot of heartache in her lifetime, yet she always chose to smile.
5. Love the people who are not like you.
Both of my grandparents were such examples of this. My grandmother and grandfather were real estate agents before they retired. They helped so many lower income families find homes, and then they became their friends. They did not just sell people homes in their community, they became family to all these people. My mom used to always tell me that is was very common for random people to live with my grandparents while she was growing up. My Grammy loved people well... what a testimony to the Lord in her.
6. Take time to visit.
Stop, sit, and drink some coffee. Talk, catch up, and put the phone away. Visiting with Grammy was always so refreshing.
7. Make things from scratch.
Grammy taught me to use what I have in my kitchen. She showed me how to improvise and improve a recipe. She hardly ever used measurements, but she was a pro in the kitchen. One of my favorite things that she made were homemade sweet pickles. It would take her two months to complete a big batch from beginning to end. She gave me the recipe before she passed away, it was the recipe that my great-grandmother wrote down for her. I am determined to learn how to make these pickles that we call "Grammy Pickles"...this is #100 on my 101 in 1001 list.
8. Always have snacks for your guests.
Sounds silly, but this was so expected at my Grammy's house. We never walked in when there was not some type of little munchie waiting on us. It made it home. So I strive to do the same in our home.
9. Serve your community.
I was always so amazed how active my grandmother was in her community for her age. She loved Columbus, MS (where she had lived her entire life). She was so proud to live there and sought to make it a better place daily. She was such an inspiration to so many.
10. Love Jesus no matter what.
Beth Keys loved Jesus with her whole heart. There was no question of this. She was the most selfless woman you would ever meet which just spoke to the fact that she had encountered a loving God. She desired to extend grace, love, and encouragement to everyone she came in contact with.
I realize that this may not be a post that many people are jumping up and down to read. However, my Grammy was an exceptional woman, and I have been longing to put into words the impact she had on my life. This barely does her justice, but the moral of the story is that there are very few women like Beth Keys out there anymore. I long to be like my Grammy. She inspired so many people. Let us all be inspirational people to those we come in contact with. Inspire someone TODAY!
Thanks for reading my heart today!