She has been teaching Sunday school for over 50 years and has the biggest heart of gold I have ever seen. Several times, without being asked, she has sewn, from scratch, matching Easter dresses for my girls through the years. One time she even made a matching bunny rabbit (in the same dress) for my daughter to carry while wearing the dress. This is really sweet to me, because when I was a child, about the same age, my mom's boss made a dress for me. It was pink with a white apron type thing over the top of it with a pocket in the front. Inside the pocket was a little dolly dressed the same, and inside HER pocket was a mini dolly made of paper dressed the same as well.
This woman currently is a 'school grandma' at a preschool near her house. A lot of the kids that go to this school come from families who don't have much. She has taken it upon herself (with primarily her own meager funds) to handmake small quilts for each child in this school so that during naptime they have something soft and comforting to snuggle up with. This is the type of lady she is. She gives and gives and I would say she gives until she can give no more. But that is not true, because she is like the widow with the oil. God keeps providing for her so that she can keep giving because He knows that her heart is true and she will always give, so He keeps providing so that she can continue giving.
For years she has hosted a New Year's Eve party for the young children in church. The kids all come to her house and she entertains them and celebrates the New Year (at midnight!) (This is way past my bedtime so I have no idea how she does it with a houseful of small children all revved up on sugar, jumping around celebrating.) But she does. And she does it smiling and laughing the whole time! Amazing!
She has suffered through painful health problems through the years which have sometimes kept her from attending church services. But even during those times, she MAILED her offerring to the church. This is a woman of pure faithfulness!
She has been driving a car for many years that is in really sad shape. I don't even know all the details of the disrepair, but a few of the characteristics of this car are: no interior door handle (I don't even know how she pulled the door shut once she got in , because the handle was broken off), windows that don't go up or down, and in fact they don't even stay up (she had rubber door stoppers wedged into the window slot on the door to try to keep the window up while she was driving, and if it started to slip she would pull over and try to fix it and then continue on).
Every day when she would drive this car she said she prayed to God that it would get her to where she needed to go. Every day it did. That in itself is an example of God's faithfulness to those who are faithful to Him. That car on its own was not that reliable. But with God. With God that car never failed her and never left her stranded.
This is a woman who did not 'pray for a new car'. This is a woman who prayed for what she had to continue to be effective and sufficient. And it was. God never let her down.
Faithfulness like this is a very blessed thing. Faithfulness like this is a very wonderful thing.
God rewards faithfulness in many ways. I feel she was being blessed for her faithfulness daily through the joys of loving her family and the preschool children she worked with. Through improved health. Through the love of those around her. And through her needs being met daily for rent, gas, and groceries.
But God sometimes works through other people as well. He did this time too. God laid it upon the heart of a man to provide this wonderful lady with a new vehicle. Fortunately, God not only worked in her life, but He worked in this man's life as well, because this man listened. And obeyed. Now the sweet thing is that this man just didn't do the minimum of what God told him to do (provide a car) but he went above and beyond and provided new tags, title transfer, full coverage insurance and gas for a year.
This woman, Sister Ruth, as she is affectionately known by all those around her, was blessed today for her faithfulness with a new car. Our church partook in the surprise and celebration today as she was given the keys to this vehicle. It was a very wonderful time of celebration. A time to celebrate all that Sister Ruth has done for all those around her and what a blessed soul she is.
Now the most beautiful thing (and what I think really shows just how wonderful her heart is) is that not 15 minutes after she was given this gift, she herself became the giver, and blessed another family (who was suffering a financial setback and car troubles) with her old car. Yes, its not in the best condition. But it still runs. She could have easily sold it for $500-$1000 and used that money for something. Anything. But no, she didn't even hesitate. I was standing right there and saw her not even break a stride when she heard someone was in need she said "well, they can have my car! Let me just get the title transferred over and its theirs".
Isn't that wonderful? I think its the most beautiful thing and I think she is the most beautiful lady. God I thank you for people like her in my life. I thank you for the example of a life she is leading. And I thank you for all the love you have shown her, because she has certainly shown that love to others.
Here are some pictures I took of this joyous occasion...
|The big red bow and name tag on the gift.|
|A very speechless lady :)|
|A beautiful picture of one of the hugs being passed around afterwards :)|