Sanctuary Ridge Faith Stories

Love is a Gift

Breaking Beans with Grandma

Happy Valentine’s Day!

My favorite Valentine’s Day memory is from February 14, 2017…

My grandmother was a sweet lady, but she wasn’t the kind of grandmother who spent time with us as kids. We never spent the night. They never “babysat” us. We never went on trips together, baked, or played games together. What I remember most is Sunday afternoon visits where the adults sat around talking and the kids either sat quietly or played outside in Grandma and Grandpa’s yard.

Grandma and Grandpa traveled a lot and had their own friends, so they had lots of stories to share with the adults but they didn’t really relate to us as kids. I know they loved us. It was just different from my relationship with my other grandmother who loved having us kids around- sometimes for weeks at a time. My other grandmother cooked with us, taught us to sew, played games with us, and it was very clear that she adored us.

So on Valentine’s Day, I decided to spend the day with Grandma. Noah and I visited with her; we took her some flowers. We cleaned her house. We searched for her “lost teeth” for hours. And then we took her to eat at her favorite restaurant- Captain D’s Seafood. Grandma loved shrimp! We laughed together. Her memory was slipping away but she shared so many memories from her youth during those days. I never knew her when I was young, but what a joy and a blessing to take the time to build a relationship with her in those last years!

She told me of her growing up years and courting with my Grandpa. Of her first Coca-Cola. Of working in the knitting Mill in Chattanooga- of hitching a ride across Signal Mountain every day so she could get to her job. Of her travels, friends and some really great fishing stories.

My sweet Grandma went to be with Jesus the next year.

I am so thankful for every minute with her. Loving her and making time for her was a gift. Not to her, but to myself. It was a revelation of God’s unconditional love for us.


  1. If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. 2. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. 3. If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.4. Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.8. Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. 9. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, 10. but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears. 11. When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. 12. For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.13. And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.

Every year I think about that special day with Grandma. And our new family tradition includes dinner at Captain D’s on Valentine’s Day. What a special gift love is! God gave us the best gift when he sent his son, Jesus. Go find someone to share HIS love with!

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