This past weekend was what I lovingly refer to as “Arnettfest.” The family gets together at Uncle Mark & Aunt Sue’s for good food, catching up with each other, games, a bonfire, singing, and maybe a few adult beverages are consumed as well. Being the family “town gown,” Aunt Sue asked me to give a devotional talk. I hadn’t prepared anything but what came up in my thoughts was what I had just read from my journal the night before. You see, I had just finished filling my second journal book and decided that it would be good to go back and read what I had filled my journal with over the last six years. What I had read the night before was from 2012, right after Grandma Arnett had passed away.
(My cousin Michelle and I – 2017 Arnettfest Cornhole Champions!)
6/26/12: This past Sunday Grandma Arnett passed away from her most recent bout with pneumonia. She was 90 years old and will be greatly missed. I’m grateful that I got almost 47 years to be with her and will miss her the last half of my life. I’ve been asked to speak at her funeral and I also asked if I could sing “I’ll Fly Away.” “I’ll Fly Away” comes from Psalm 90:10, “The length of our days is seventy years- or eighty, if we have the strength; yet their span is but trouble and sorrow, for they quickly pass, and we fly away.” 70 or 80, yet grandma made it to 90. Nobody would argue that grandma was a strong woman. She beat cancer, and many times it seems like she cheated death. But I would go elsewhere in the Bible to sum up grandma’s life. I would turn to Proverbs 31 where it talks about an industrious woman. Specifically in verse 28 it says, “Her children arise and call her blessed.” Surely it’s not just her children, but also her grandchildren and great-grandchildren. When Moses is given the ten commandments it talks about “to the third and fourth generation,” but to those that love God to the 1000th generation. Indeed look at how many grandma has influenced. I remember very well saying to grandma that the Bible says (Psalm 127) that blessed is he who’s quiver is full. I said “look around you, your quiver is full and you are blessed.” Grandma came back with, “this is all my fault?” I’m sure grandpa had something to do with it, but yes! Your four children have all had families of their own and now that generation is having children and on goes the march of the generations. But we could trace back these 25 (or so) people straight to grandma. Indeed, grandma’s quiver was full and indeed grandma was blessed. And she was then a blessing to so many others.
I then shared that I found it interesting that the first thing that God did after he created Adam was create family.
Then the Lord God said, “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him.” Now out of the ground the Lord God had formed every beast of the field and every bird of the heavens and brought them to the man to see what he would call them. And whatever the man called every living creature, that was its name. The man gave names to all livestock and to the birds of the heavens and to every beast of the field. But for Adam there was not found a helper fit for him. So the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and while he slept took one of his ribs and closed up its place with flesh. And the rib that the Lord God had taken from the man he made into a woman and brought her to the man. Then the man said,
“This at last is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.” Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh. (Genesis 2:18-24 ESV)
We experienced this earlier this year when Emily was in the hospital. I remember telling her that no matter what happens in life that you’ll notice that it is family that is really there for you. And as I looked around the circle at all of my extended family I shared that the love we experience as a family is a good, and God-pleasing gift.