Monday, February 15, 2016

How Will You Be Remembered?

"Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might..."   ... Eccleasiastes 9:10


I've mentioned before that weekly I read the online obituaries from Chester, CA. Why Chester?

I finished high school there.
It's where I met Tom.
He and I lived there after getting married.
Naomi was born in Chester.
That mountain town was my home from ages 17 to 29 and Honey, you surely learn and experience lots during that age span.

Chester played a mega part in who I've become. Yet also, I still read that town's obituaries because--when I recognize the deceased's names--I enjoy praying for their families. That they'll find Jesus and that He'll comfort them as only He can in huge times of loss. And sometimes I locate these folks at Facebook and express my condolences.

This all may sound weird to you, but that's ok.

Anyway. This woman's obituary made me smile:

" ... Mary Ann Fortkamp Estes can easily be remembered by her banana bread, specially-made birthday cakes, and giving the best hugs anyone has ever had. She was recognized for her dedication to the community in 2012... Mary Ann lived her life with unwavering faith, love and joy. She adored her family and friends and made sure they felt her love every single day.

Jesus put a song in her heart, and we'll hear her sing it forever."

Oh wow. Don't you wish you'd have known Mary Ann? 

And here's the thing: none of us recognized Mary Ann's name. She wasn't famous. She didn't pastor a church or sing on American Idol. Mary Ann wasn't the mayor or governor or an African missionary, either. Nor did she sit on her front porch and wonder for 60 years just what in this world God wanted her to do.

No. She baked cakes and banana bread. Gave terrific hugs. Daily expressed her love for family and friends. Mary Ann didn't waste time with worry or wishing for bigger callings, but lived, instead, with faith and joy which spilled over into acts of kindness for her community. 

While Mary Ann lived here, she regularly, daily, used what God gave her. She followed Jesus and the song in her heart--and Earth is different today because of that.

And when we someday leave, may similar words be spoken of us.

"Having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us use them."  ... Romans 12:6

When we stop procrastinating, wondering, we become set free to do the good we were meant to do.

"Bloom where you are planted."   ... copied


“People from my first home say I'm brave. They tell me I'm strong. They pat me on the back and say, 'Way to go. Good job.' But the truth is, I am not really very brave; I am not really very strong; and I am not doing anything spectacular. I am simply doing what God has called me to do as a person who follows Him. He said to feed His sheep and He said to care for 'the least of these,' so that's what I'm doing, with the help of a lot people who make it possible and in the company of those who make my life worth living” 
― Katie J. DavisKisses from Katie: A Story of Relentless Love and Redemption


Free Kindle Books:

The Bee Man of Orn and Other Fanciful Tales

Lila Blue

Here's a nifty book list I found last week:

Back To The Land: Tales of Rural Life



Living on Less Money Blog said...

I would have loved to know Mary Ann! She reminds me of Sister Ellis who made quilts to give to the homeless and made the best apple pies! We called her home The Hospitality House. I always looked forward to Fridays at her home where we shared our lives with each other around the quilting machine. I can't wait to see her again in heaven!

Pam said...

Great post, Debra! The world needs more Mary Anns.

Mrs. N said...

Thank you! This was a lovely post-something I've often thought of myself many times. I would have loved to know this woman...God Bless from Japan.

Debra said...

Living on Less--I'm so happy this post reminded you of your friend! She sounded like a delightful person, someone I would have loved to spend time with, as well.

Pam--thanks! So true. And since some Mary Ann's are leaving us, it's great if we can 'take up their mantle.'

Mrs. N.--Thank-you so much! I, too, think of these things often. How lovely to hear from a kindred spirit living in Japan!

Thanks, Ladies! Blessings, Debra