Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Sweet Memories: Reflections on Life and Legacy

I love coffee.  No wait, I adore coffee.  Is there a stronger word than adore? If there is, then that is how I feel about coffee.  Sometimes though, especially when I am fighting sickness, I’ll switch it up a bit and put a kettle on the stove for tea.  This morning was made for tea.

The smell of this brewing dark drink touches my senses and triggers sweet memories.  I love that God wired us to have scent memory. Smells can transport us to another time and place and allow us to feel connected to people, places, and events. This blend, with its sweet, spicy aroma and a hint of citrus, always takes me back. Maybe that’s why this tea has a home in my cabinet. It makes sure those memories always have a home in my heart. 

Saturday mornings we would gather at Amy’s house and squeeze around the table in her breakfast nook. I still drink my tea the way I did back then. Honey with a splash of cream. We would sip our hot drinks while savoring warm cinnamon rolls from the oven.  Each of us would share our hearts over open bibles, pens and journals, and a Beth Moore study.  All of us young, all of us college-aged, being mentored and loved on by an older, sophisticated, Godly woman.

I loved this time together, but the beautiful thing about this friendship was that it extended beyond Saturday mornings.

Amy knew I was a broke, college kid working to pay my own bills while also juggling school and ministry. As I prepared for my trip to Young Life camp in Colorado, she made an unexpected visit to my apartment.  When she left, I discovered cash on my dresser, her way of making sure I could afford to eat and maybe buy a t-shirt in the camp store.   

Ephesians 2:10 is forever imprinted in my mind and in my life. While serving others, she encouraged us to remember that we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.

As a young bride, clueless about my own wedding day, Amy helped me navigate wedding planning and even volunteered to coordinate the day.  

Other memories involve trips to Walmart for matching hats, scarves, and gloves, traveling to a Bebo Norman concert held in a little coffee shop in Knoxville, and dinner parties at her house. I share some of these memories with the other ladies in my group, and I know they all have individual memories special to them.

Beyond all these things is the fact that Amy cared about us.  Really cared.  She loved us in our high moments and she loved us through bad decisions and choices.  God knew how much I needed her at that point in my life.  God knew I needed someone to guide me through my mistakes and challenges. God knew I needed someone to be honest with me about my sin, but to also pray me through it.

Not long after I moved with Jonathan to Sparta, I received a phone call from our friend Chad.  Amy had suddenly passed away. 

I have always trusted that God is good. I have always trusted that God is sovereign.  But, death still stings.

I prayed and struggled with what to do. How do you honor someone who has made such an impact on you? How do you celebrate their life? 

For me it has been to live my life in a way that passes on her legacy. 

I want to keep leading bible study with college-aged, young women. 

I want my new home to be a place of openness, comfort, and hospitality where everyone feels welcome.

I want to live in such a way that others see Christ through me. 

As I take my last sip of tea, I realize that Amy has crossed my mind a lot lately. A reminder of love and a reminder of legacy. A reminder to be His workmanship and walk in good works, just as she did.


Jeannie said...

Thanks for sharing and for sweet memories. Makes me want to go buy some constant comment too ;)

Stephanie said...

You remembered! What sweet memories, indeed.

Lindsay said...

I just stumbled upon your blog and started to read..brought back sweet memories of a time with a lady that truly cared about our lives. I think she would be proud of where we have all ended up. =) Glad to see you are doing well and God is working through you!