While I was in undergrad, my pawpaw had a very bad stroke that affected his speech and the right side (his dominant) of his body. He is able to walk and his speech has improved, it isn’t the same as it was before but he can communicate pretty well. Before he had the stroke he was always tinkering. Working on a lawn mower here or a boat there, making odds and ends, he was always busy, but the stroke has really slowed him down. One of the things he would make before he had the stroke was wind chimes. My mom has had one on her front porch for years and one day I told her I wished I could have one too but I didn’t think he was capable of making them anymore and I never really thought about it again. After a very hard first year of marriage including a house fire (you can read about here), we had a very big 1st birthday party for AK to celebrate her and moving back into our house. I was so surprised to receive this!
It had taken him several months to make, but it is way better than any wind chime I could have bought in the store. I love to hear it every single day and when I get overwhelmed by all the silly things I have to take care of, I just listen to it and think of how hard he worked on it, how he persevered to give such a special gift with almost no use of his right hand.
It may not be beautiful to everyone else and the sound may be a little different but it is a work of art to me and I am sure it will hold up better than anyone I could ever buy! He is the last pawpaw I still have here and while I don’t get to spend as much time with all my grandparents as I would like, I love them very much and am encouraged and motivated by their perseverance throughout their lives.
Family stuff is hard. Strokes, sickness, depression, operations, accidents, the list just goes on and on but we are called to rejoice!
“We rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.” Romans 5: 3-5 ESV
To see others endure through hardships and continue serving the Lord motivates me.
To see others overcome great obstacles motivates me.
To see the body of Christ working together motivates me.
To look back and see everything I have overcome motivates me.
What motivates you?