Butterfly Sparks Designs

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Thoughts on Molly

My very precious mother-in-love, Beth "Molly" Greenwood, went to her heavenly home on January 9Th of this year. You might remember that she has been ill for a couple of years. A rare and difficult to diagnose disease of the liver slowly stole her strength, her body, her plans for an active retirement, and her days of attending her grand children's most important events - but it never stole her faith. Its been almost a month since she quietly slipped away from us. I've been thinking about her a lot and every time I do, I am grateful for the incredible legacy she has deposited in each of us. (Click on the title of this post to see the slide show from her recent memorial service.)

I have this theory that when a person dies their "mantles" or "gifts" or maybe "special graces" fall to the ground, like when Elijah was swept up to heaven, but his mantle fell to the ground. Elisha picked it up and immediately activated it's power, thereby receiving a double anointing of Elijah's power.

Molly left a few mantles behind - ones that I believe her children and grand children are picking up. Here are a few that I can name...

1) Faithful to the end - Mark commented that his mom had an incredible ability to accept the difficulty of her circumstances and move on. Her faith kept growing to the end. The worse her physical condition the more her faith arose. She loved to listen to good worship and great preaching. She kept feasting on the Word. She used to have a beautiful voice. I can remember she and her sister singing hymns in perfect harmony. Although she could not sing in the end, her whole spirit was singing his praises all the time.

2) Grace in suffering - Surely Molly suffered - physically, emotionally and maybe even spiritually. She began experiencing neuropathy several years ago. As the pain progressed and the strength of her body deteriorated, she suffered much. For over a year, she has been completely bed ridden. Despite the mental wear of daily pain, she didn't complain and only seldom had a special request. Somehow she allowed the pain to tenderize her heart rather than harden it.

3) Pray without ceasing - I remember having a conversation with her about having a purpose in this life until her very last breath. She seemed to embrace this, daily lifting our family and others in prayer. Not just us - but everyone she met. The staff of the Carlyle were always on her heart too. She knew every single persons name, their history, their secret dreams and pains, and she loved them. When her body limited her capacity - she allowed her prayer life to take her places she'd never been.

4) Refuse bitterness - Molly never got bitter. She had a lot of reasons to be mad, angry and disappointed. She was barren as a young woman, lost her husband at a young age, had to work hard (sometimes two jobs) to support herself, and just when she was ready to enjoy the fruit of her work and enter retirement, her body began to fail. Dreams of volunteer service, long days of working in the yard, and time to follow after her grand kids quickly slipped away. In very typical Molly style, she choose to see the good rather than the bad.

5) Believe in adoption - Everything about Molly's life reflects a simple willingness to adopt another. She demonstrated this in lots of relationships - from the adoption of her own two children to her years of hard work at an adoption agency to how she adopted me into her family. She continued this same kind of love until the very end, even "adopting" some of those who served her - always being a mom to those in need.

6) Family is important -
"Born to be a Grammy", she said of herself one day. It's true! Her grandchildren were very important to her. They have lots of fun memories of outings with Grammy. She loved to make every visit an "event". They can tell you about the zoo, the pizza parlor, or the ball park. Bottom line - somehow she communicated they were special.

I'm contending for Molly's mantles, asking God for the favor of a double portion of each of her special graces for our family. I feel the weight of her "job well done" on each of us.


Unknown said...

Went to visit and pray with her twice. She always was so sweet and never complained. She was alone so much and in pain I know God had her in his arms. Since mom left Carlyle and living with me now, I had not heard she went home to Jesus. Glad she is free of pain and able to move.
Thank you for sharing about her- what a testimony !!
So sorry for your great loss! Love you;)

Anonymous said...

Love how you honor your mother-in-law in here. This spoke to me deeply about the mantle I want to leave for my family to pick up. Everyday that I invest in my relationship with the Lord and choosing His ways, I am making deposits in a trust for them. Thank you for stirring this revelation up in me. ;)
Rebecca Gates

C Miller said...

What beautiful words written by a beautiful spirit, about a beautiful woman who lived her life honoring the God she loved and trusted by loving and trusting others. Thanks for sharing. Your words brought back memories of Molly's gentleness, her sweetness, and her loving kindness.

Your mantle of faith is already a fitting covering for your family and all those around you. Add to yours a double portion of Molly's, and God's blessings will flow through you for generations to come.

I pray my mantle will be worthy of continuing. Cindy Miller

The Durham's said...

This is such a beautiful writing/tribute to this incredible woman of God! Thank you for sharing her with all of us......her mantles will be cared for and treasured well!