How Can Our Life Shape Others?

Sister Baldwin sat across the aisle from me.  She wore a blue dress with small white daisies.  Her white hair was pulled into a tight bun and her Bible rested on her lap. She is imprinted in my mind.

She taught me the stories of Moses, Noah and Ruth. The flannel graphs laid across the board and coloring pages hung from the wall. She showed us Jesus in that tiny Sunday School room.

As I grew older, so did she and her small frame in the pew across the aisle grew frail and tired.

Over the years, my mind would wander as the sermons trailed on. I often gazed over toward Sister Baldwin and the other ladies who sat beside her.  That group of widows faithfully kept their place in the pews that once held their husbands and children.

I sat as a little girl kicking my feet and wondered to myself:

  • How old are they?
  • How many children have they taught?
  • Did they teach my mom?
  • What do they do all day?
  • How many times have they read that Bible?

These were thoughts of a young girl gazing at the faithful living their lives for Jesus.

In this last month, two of my home church pastors have gone on to their reward. Times like these always bring me around to legacy.  Their legacy is living on the lives they touched. Those pastors now sit in the bleachers, cheering us on!

My mom is in those bleachers along with the ladies across the aisle from me…Sister Bessie, Sister Treese, Sister Sorenson and Sister Vickers.  Sisters of the faith.

I would love to sit with them now and hear their stories and ask them questions. How many miles of trial and storms rocked their world and shaped their faith?

All of those women shaped and molded my young life. Without them knowing, a young girl watched them faithfully attend that small church in my hometown. I listened as they sang their hymns of praise and I watched through peeking eyes as they prayed prayers of faith.

 

daises

I wonder now,

  • What is my legacy?
  • How am I affecting the young lives who sit in my church?
  • Do they gaze over and think similar thoughts as I once had? 
  • Are my miles of trail and storms shaping the faith of those watching from across the aisles?

Lord, help me to live faithfully, love passionately and pray with fervency and faith so that young ones gazing over will see Jesus woven in, out and through my life lived for You. ~ Amen

Jump on into the conversation:

  • Who has shaped your life with their legacy of faith?
  • How can we shape the lives of those watching us?

We are linking up with the ladies of Five Minute Friday.  Our lovely hostess, Kate Motaung gives us a word prompt and we all link up over here to see what pours out.  Today’s word prompt:  BLUE.  Sister Baldwin’s dress just kept lingering in my mind and this is what spilled out.  I hope it’s an encouragement to you.  Happy Friday to you!

18 thoughts on “How Can Our Life Shape Others?

  1. What a joy to have so many women of God shape your faith life and that you have such sweet reminders of them. I love your prayer, Rachel – that we can live life to it’s fullest and fulfill our callings (at a computer or in a Sunday school classroom) so that others can look at our lives and see Jesus. Blessings, friend. #fmf

    Liked by 1 person

    • I do think about that as well in our day and age…. what am I telling/showing the next generation in what I am doing online? What kind of life am I living in this social media world? My desire is to be a solid, strong influence of how to live out loud in a positive way for Him. Thanks for the reminder and encouragement!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. This is beautiful! I, too, have a similar experience growing up in church. Many of those faithful folks have passed on, but their legacy lives on and I hope I am leaving the same legacy of faithfulness to the little ones among us now. Glad to have found your blog through Five-Minute Friday!

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  3. What a great memory Rachel! All of these ladies shaped my faith, even though I didn’t come to that faith until I was 30 years old. Other specials for me were Hazel Campbell, Ray Stoddard,Marcus Gilbert, your mother and your Aunt Mary. My relationships with three of them – Sisters Baldwin, Vickers, Clemens – continued until their deaths, although the location changed to the nursing home for all of them. The funny thing was, they were all so grateful to me for visiting but I believe I was the one who profited the most! I am now at the age that many of them were when I met them 30+ years ago and I still long for that type of friendship with an experienced woman of faith! Their type of Godly womanhood will never go out of style for me!

    Liked by 1 person

    • That’s right, Kathy! Those are all beautiful women of faith living strong for Him. I always look to see what can learn from those who have gone before and how can I love on those around me!

      Thanks for jumping in and sharing! And BTW you are one of those beautiful ladies that shaped my faith as well! Thank you! 🙂

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  4. I love this post! I think that so often older women feel like they’re overlooked and “out of the game.” Like they’re not making any difference. But their faithfulness matters! It trickles down to and inspires the next generation.

    Now I want to hug all of my “church grammies.”

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  5. The bleachers are full of those beautiful women, we were all blessed so much with their presence in our lives! So thankful for my upbringing in small town USA. Love you Rachel Julia💕
    Carla

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  6. What a beautiful legacy has been left to you, Rachel! I love how God does that . . . how He places women in our lives who tread the path before us, showing us how to live godly, to live wholly for Jesus. For me, there was a lady who helped with my junior high youth group. A single mom with three hard-to-raise boys. Even as they made poor choices, she loved them whole-heartedly. She taught this girl how to drive when it was time. She poured into my life and gave lots of grace.

    As a 20-something, God brought Terry into my life who taught me to fall in love with God’s word. These women, and others, have helped me grow into the woman I am for today (I credit them with none of my faults!). My prayer is that others will be drawn to Him through something they may see in me. It’s probably better if I don’t know about it until I, too, sit on those bleachers. 🙂

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  7. When I think of a legacy of faith, I immediately think of my grandmother, of the way her first response to absolutely everything was to pray…of the way she always had this air of quiet peace about her, even when things weren’t going well (like when she was in the hospital after having a heartattack).

    Although I’m nowhere near as patient and calm as she was, I still aspire to that with my own kids…and with other parents’ children that I come across in my career or just in life. I feel a lot of how we can help shape these lives is to be honest…yes, we want to try to model correct and even inspiring behavior for them, but it’s also a big deal to admit that we don’t always do it right. I certainly don’t, and it seems to my own kids that appearing only human and someone who’s just walking out this life to the best of my ability at the time is a valuable lesson.

    I totally agree with Marie…these older women are very important to have in our lives…they teach us that we reach a level of peace and grace by going through all these trials, and gaining humility and trust in the Lord along the way.

    Liked by 1 person

    • What a wonderful grandmother you had! That is awesome to hear about others who have influenced us and encouraged us in our faith! And you are doing a great job with your boys! Press on, girlfriend! 🙂

      Thanks for jumping in and sharing!

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  8. Great post! It is so awesome and such a blessing to have those mentors in our lives. Sounds like these individuals modeled faith for you.

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