A mother’s and grandmother’s legacy: “authentic faith”

Posted May 13, 2019

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Daily Scripture

2 Timothy 1:3-7

3 I’m grateful to God, whom I serve with a good conscience as my ancestors did. I constantly remember you in my prayers day and night. 4 When I remember your tears, I long to see you so that I can be filled with happiness. 5 I’m reminded of your authentic faith, which first lived in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice. I’m sure that this faith is also inside you. 6 Because of this, I’m reminding you to revive God’s gift that is in you through the laying on of my hands. 7 God didn’t give us a spirit that is timid but one that is powerful, loving, and self-controlled.

Did You Know?

Resurrection values and supports mothers through the Building Better Moms ministry at the Leawood and West campuses, “a place that meets you right where you’re at as a mom, a woman, and a friend.” Moms can learn more and register by clicking here. Grandmothers can learn more about our new Grandparenting Ministry by clicking here.

Reflection Questions

Paul the apostle was not a father, as far as we know, but he seems to have formed an almost fatherly connection with Timothy, a gifted younger protégé. (You can read about their first meeting in Acts 16:1-3.) The apostle expressed gratitude for Timothy’s godly grandmother and mother, who had shaped Timothy’s faith. Now Timothy was leading a church on his own, carrying on the faith he’d learned from his family and his apostolic mentor.

  • In what ways, if any, have your mother, grandmother and other adult mentors encouraged you to value and use your God-given strengths? In what ways have they shaped your life?  How can you mentor and encourage those who are younger than you are?  Ask God to show you someone you can encourage and uplift today.
  • Paul told Timothy that he remembered him in his prayers, night and day. Likely his mother (and grandmother, if she was still alive) did that, too. Is there anyone you value who you know prays for you regularly? What effect, if any, does knowing you are in their prayers have on your walk with God? Who do you pray for regularly? Do they know you are praying for them?

Prayer

Lord God, thank you for your work in the lives of Lois and Eunice, who influenced young Timothy to become your devoted servant. Help me, like them, to make a difference in younger lives. Amen.

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Roberta Lyle

Roberta Lyle

Roberta Lyle has been on the Resurrection staff since 2006. She serves as the Program Director for Local Impact Ministries, concentrating on Education, Life Skills and Youth Focused Ministries.

Have you traced your family's genealogy? I know many people who have been successful tracing their family's history back many generations, thanks to online applications. It's been interesting finding and viewing online uploaded hand written church records from Germany indicating a possibly peculiar family trait of giving most of the children the same first name with varying middle names. Next to one of the children's names is the notation "Nordamerika" and that was my great grandfather who migrated to St. Louis when he was only 18. While it's interesting to ponder these family ties, the most valuable insights I have into my family history came from a document my mother wrote when she was probably about my age.  

My mom grew up in St. Louis in a time when family settled near each other and tended to stay in the same house and neighborhood for years. My mom had fond remembrances of her Granny Rieth, who died shortly after the birth of my oldest sister. My mom wrote about Granny Rieth's fun loving spirit (she always wore a brooch with a photo of her father and when she dropped crumbs she would joke that she was feeding him), her industriousness and the importance of her faith. Granny Rieth walked to mass for years and passed her faith along to her daughters. After an accident left her with severely arthritic knees that couldn't manage the long walk to St. Pius she began attending services at a closer Presbyterian church and stayed to provide care for the preschoolers. This is where my mom attended Sunday School with her cousins, and after Sunday School her Auntie Ann would pick up the cousins and take them to noon Mass at the Old Cathedral on the riverfront.

My mom had an amazing memory and, because of the influence of her beloved Granny and Auntie, she learned many Bible stories and verses at an early age. This grounding in faith helped her get through the uncertain days of WWII and absence of my father serving with the Navy, the untimely death of her mother and battling depression in her later years. One of my earliest memories is cuddling with my mom after waking from a bad dream and her comforting me by quoting from the 23rd Psalm. My mom taught my sisters and me how to pray. She enrolled us in Sunday School and taught Sunday School for many years and encouraged us to rely on God when were were troubled.

I never knew my mom's Granny Rieth or Auntie Ann and would not have know the important role they played in her life if she had not taken the time to remember and write this down and share it with me. Who in your family has passed the faith down through the generations? I encourage you to capture their story in writing to preserve this important piece of your family's faith legacy.

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