My great grandma taught me how to crochet when I was nine years old. Her gnarled hands were deft with a crochet hook, her bright eyes sparkled while she talked and worked, and the house was bursting with the brightly colored doilies and afghans she whipped up at the drop of a hat. Friends and relatives would bring her odds and ends of yarn which she would find a way to pair up in color combinations and creative stitches to make something new. My great grandma taught me resilience and creativity, how to make something beautiful out of what many would think were scraps.
My grandma taught me how to make a bed when I was twelve years old. She showed me how to tuck in the corners just so, to turn the top sheet back over the edge of the quilt, and when all else was perfect, to turn down the front corner invitingly, ready to welcome whoever was going to sleep there. My grandma taught me cheerful generosity, how to laugh at life and not take myself too seriously. She taught me that everyday life can be a time of hospitality.
My own mother taught me more than I can recount. While I am still pretty new to motherhood, every day it seems I do more things like her – even those things I didn’t like as a child and thought I’d never do. My mother taught me what good family life is like. She taught me that doing good is always worthwhile, even if it doesn’t look perfect. She showed me what sacrificial love looks like – and that it is incredibly beautiful and worthwhile.
Most importantly, these women modeled faithfulness – to God, to family, to doing the job God had given them, no matter how insignificant it may have seemed. I don’t know why I was blessed with such an amazing legacy of mothers in my life. I certainly didn’t do anything to deserve it. All I know is that those to whom much has been given, much will be required; I want to do all that I can to continue their story of faith. I want to pass on to my own children the faith and truths that these past generations have handed down to me.
Sarah Williamson lives with her husband and their four children in Grand Rapids, Michigan.
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