There’s a little fad that’s made its way around Facebook and Twitter the last couple of years in the month of November. It’s to post each day about something you’re thankful for.
I’m gonna be totally honest. I’ve never participated because I knew I wouldn’t follow through and finish. But this year I felt like I was supposed to play along…just in a different way. To share what I’m most grateful for: My Foundation.
I’m thankful for my life’s foundation. It’s not just a foundation of faith, but a foundation of love, of giving, of life. It’s a foundation that has shaped who I am in so many ways. It’s a foundation that was laid by my grandparents, Lloyd and June Ball.
My grandparents lived through the Great Depression. They both lived through things that would make some people crumble…but made them stronger. They both lived their lives to serve their God and anyone else they could. They worked hard. Today’s entitlement generation could take a lesson from how they lived…and saved…and earned all that they had.
My grandpa served in World War II and the Korean War. If you asked him, he would downplay his service. He often felt that because he wasn’t on front lines, his role wasn’t as significant. That’s actually how he was about most of his life. Incredibly humble. A prideful spirit was nowhere to be found with him. He epitomized the phrase “man of God”. Slow to anger, quick to forgive. First to serve, but usually behind the scenes. He never wanted recognition. He truly served out of a heart of love and only needed his Heavenly Father’s approval.
He loved everyone. And everyone he met loved him. He saw the best in everyone and always gave the benefit of the doubt. He would give the shirt off his back to anyone at any time. He may have aged physically, but he never got old. His heart for missions was unmatched. His pride in his family was evident to all who met him…even if just for a moment. He’d be sure you knew how perfectly wonderful his daughter, granddaughter and great grandkids were. And if you knew him the last 5 years of his life, you’d know that mom and I happily faded into the background as he became completely enamored with my two munchkins!
He knew his Bible inside and out. And even as his memory faded over the last couple of years, he never forgot the spiritual things, the Bible things, the beautiful old hymns.
My grandma, well, she was grandpa’s polar opposite in so many ways. You’d know that if you ever got on her bad side. Grandpa didn’t have one. Grandma did. And once you got on it, you weren’t getting off. She brought life to every place she went and everything she did. If she was around, there was a party. You never knew what she was gonna say.
She was a get-it-done kind of lady. If she saw a need, it was going to be met. If she couldn’t meet it herself, she was going to get all the people necessary to make sure it was met. She was fiercely loyal. And ferociously protective of those she loved. She was strong and independent. And she was incredibly smart. She had a career working with special needs students. She was so different from so many other women of her generation.
She had a voice…and she used it. She never stopped learning. She never stopped giving. She pretty much never stopped. Age was strictly a number. She watched MTV so that she would know what all the “kids” were up to these days. She loved the old church music, but welcomed the change of music with more guitar than organ.
All of those things, plus countless others, have laid a foundation. Have taught me. Have had a huge part in shaping who I am today. They established a foundation of faith in our family and left a legacy that now their great-grandchildren can begin to carry. I’m so thankful to have called them my grandparents. Who are the people who laid a foundation for you?