It’s funny the memories you are able to conjure up on particular days or without a moments notice.
While I was Christmas shopping at one of my favorite stores, I came across a wooden piece of wall art with the same prayer inscribed as the one that used to hang in my grandmother’s bathroom. For $12.99, I bought it and actually finally hung it up in our home yesterday afternoon.
‘God, give us grace to accept with serenity the things that cannot be changed, courage to change the things that should be changed, and the wisdom to distinguish the one from the other.’ Reinhold Niebuhr
According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, serenity is defined as the quality or state of being serene. Seriously, did someone get paid for that? After searching again, thefreedictionary.com gives me the same definition, but adds the synonyms leaving me with the absence of mental stress or anxiety. I laugh for obvious reasons. How am I supposed to find the state of serenity in my life?
My sweet grandmother passed away 16 years ago today. Ironically, it is also the five year anniversary of when I discovered that Corbin was baking in my oven. The Lord does giveth and taketh away, doesn’t he? Sometimes with a sense of humor and irony.
My granddaddy had his own business for many years downtown; he had a produce stand and was quite the little gardener himself. In the backyard, he had tomatoes and in the side yard mint for my grandmother. You could smell it when you got out of the car in the driveway. Granddaddy even had an old refrigerator in the garage for those small bottles of Coke. I can’t go to Cracker Barrel and get pancakes without thinking about my grandmother. She’d keep the small syrup bottles and put toothpicks in them; she even gave them out at Christmas one year. I almost left Cracker Barrel last weekend with one tucked in my purse for sentiments sake. Grandmother made the best biscuits in the world and Granddaddy would mix his butter and sorghum syrup together before spreading it over the biscuit. There is sorghum syrup in my pantry today.
I’ve written it here before, but of the many more memories I could share, I remember my grandmother’s house having the Serenity Prayer in the bathroom by the laundry room and I remember her spontaneously saying “Praise the Lord.” It didn’t matter where we were or what time of day it was, she would just say it sometimes. I find myself doing it too. Whether I’m reminding myself to praise the Lord or just giving it up to Him, it just comes out sometimes.
We were sitting at the kitchen table the other night. Corbin was leaning on the table reaching for a tomato from the salad. Spontaneously, my sweet gift says “Praise the Lord.” Nothing else. It wasn’t part of the conversation and didn’t have any follow up. Just a simple “Praise the Lord.”
I swear my Grandmother picked him out for me in heaven, took his sweet Spirit to the throne room and asked for him to be mine. Then she gave him the love of Golden Books (I have some that she used to keep at her house), small Coke bottles (he brought me home an empty one the other day as a gift), the love of tomatoes and pancakes with small syrup bottles, and she whispered in his ear to always praise the Lord, Baby.
I miss my Grandmother. Oh, how she would have doted on Corbin and Danny. I hope that I can live with serenity even while life is hard, is hardest. Grace, Peace, Courage and Wisdom all built on Hope. More on that some other time.
I live rich in heritage and will live so to pass it on to Corbin and his children. Thank you, Grandmother. Please have the biscuits waiting for me whenever I get to Heaven. Oh, and pass the sorghum.