7 Examples from 7 Decades

17 May

D&NToday would have been my sister’s 70th birthday. Quite the milestone.  I’ve been anticipating this birthday and what I wanted to write about it. I had thought I might write “70 Lessons I’ve Learned from Nancy,” but decided against that. Instead I thought I would share 7 examples from Nancy’s 7 decades of living.

  1. Enjoy a good laugh – even if it’s at your own expense! Nancy loved a good joke. I would frequently get calls or texts sharing a funny story. Many fell into the “only Nancy would have done this” category, but I cherish these stories. She brought so much joy and gave us great memories to chuckle over again and again. She was also kind to listen to the jokes children would tell her at school and laugh with them – making that child feel special and of value. (Proverbs 17:22)
  2. Strive for excellence in all you do – Nancy was an outstanding teacher. Some of her students became teachers because of her example. She was a great cook, meticulous housekeeper, and an award-winning quilter. She made each of us quilts for significant events that we cherish today. She did as Paul admonishes – “Whatever you do, do your work heartily, as for the Lord rather than for men” (Colossians 3:23 NAS).
  3. Obey – My sister had a track record of obedience. She obeyed as a child. She followed doctors’ orders to the “T”. She obeyed Christ. Was her obedience perfect? No. But the trajectory of her desire and heart were to do what she was called to do. She was also faithful to lovingly confront those who weren’t obeying if needed. (I might or might not know this from personal experience!) (1 Samuel 15:22)
  4. Don’t be a complainer – Nancy was born prematurely and was a surviving twin. She had immunity issues all her life that made her easily susceptible to illness. She had both of her knees replaced at the same time. She had a heart condition – to name a few. Yet, for the most part, she did not complain (2 Timothy 2:3-4). She endured a difficult childhood, in no small part to a little sister whom she practically had to help raise! Yet I never heard her complain. (She would say this was because she knew she’d get in trouble if she did!) I was included in many activities that for any teenager would have been embarrassing to have your younger sister around. I never knew it if she felt that way. Oh, we would have dog & cat fights like many other siblings, but for the most part, she included me with great grace. (Philippians 2:3-4)
  5. Be passionate about the things you enjoy and the things that matter – Nancy was a staunch Denver Broncos fan and a Texan through and through. She was passionate about her family. I don’t know of a time she did not support me, encourage me, pray for me. I watched her do this and more for her daughter Claire and husband Weldon. I observed her enter into the joy of friends and other family members. She “over-the-top” loved being a grandmother to Gibson and Lincoln. She was passionate about her relationship with Christ. She loved the Lord with her whole being. She held up God’s Word as the standard of truth for her life. She fought the good fight. (Mark 12:30-31)
  6. Pray – This example was the hallmark of her life. I was looking at some past texts from her. They were full of prayer requests or telling me she was praying for me. Prayer made her sensitive to others. She listened when someone was having a rough day and wrote notes or gave little gifts to encourage others in whatever they were going through. She didn’t just say she would pray. She followed up with a text or a call to see how God answered the prayer or if she needed to continue to pray about the matter. The margins in her Bible and her prayer journals were full of her heart cries to the One she knew would listen and answer (Psalm 62:8).
  7. Seek to have a life that counts for eternity – Today my niece sent me something Nancy wrote in her prayer journal on her 67th birthday. “I don’t have long years left, and truly don’t want to come to the end with a waste.” Bless her heart, she rarely wasted a minute, let alone the life God had given her. (2 Timothy 4:6-7)

Thanks, my sweet sister, for setting decades of examples for me to follow. I miss you and love you. I look forward to seeing you with our blessed Savior one day soon.


2 Responses to “7 Examples from 7 Decades”

  1. Tender Mercies May 19, 2017 at 12:44 am #

    Beautiful, Darise, & identify so much. My only sister was 81/2 years older than me. She’s been gone 15 years now…mine was a teacher too! Precious memories! A wonderful tribute.

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