Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Turning the Heart of the Children to their Fathers


I love my family and there is nothing more precious to me than having them in my life. They help make me become a better person as I get to know them and grow with them. This understanding has brought me to want to be part of the promise: “And he [Elijah] shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers….” (Malachi 4:6)

A few months ago (just after we had moved), I met an older gentleman at my church. As he introduced himself, his name brought me back to my roots. When I told him that my grandma had the same maiden name as his last name, he asked where she grew up. I told him and he said, I had cousins from there. As it turned out he was my Grandma Twila's first cousin. My grandma was a major part of my life and impacts much of the way we sisters act. She was kind, loving, nonjudgmental, pleasantly plump, relaxed, and genuine. It was so exciting to have someone I felt instantly linked to that could share my love for such a great person.

Fast forward to last week. This cousin told me that he had pictures of my great grandfather (his uncle) that he wanted to give to me. Honestly, I never knew my great grandfather's name (Dad always called him grandpa) or much about him, but as I looked at these pictures I could see much of the goodness that was passed on to my grandma. It's been fun to share these pictures with my family and learn more. And remember all the treasure I still have to find as I see these pictures on my wall. It was incredible to be trusted with such a sacred heirloom as these pictures.

My Great-Grandfather with similar laugh lines in his cheeks and eyes as my Grandma Twila.

I've gotten to delve a little into family history as we've been issued a 40 day challenge to find a family name that is incomplete or currently unconnected to it's family. Then learn about that person and their story and find out how you are connected back to them.

My Great-Grandfather at a ground breaking for a new church. He's the cute little man on the far left.

Genealogy work is important for everyone. I have a distant Holland cousin that has been the means of uncovering a huge chunk on my mom's line. He is doing it because he knows that those people and their stories matter.Mom has shared some of those Holland ancestor stories with us. We had ancestors that bravely, helped aid in hiding Jews during the Holocaust. Knowing stories like this helps me know that I can be brave enough to stand up for what is right when others aren't willing or able to.

It honestly breaks my heart to see on my family fan charts when an individual's parents or children are not known. If we knew the stories and people missing, we could have added strength in hard times, but most importantly those incredible people could be remembered.

I think a great way for us to know where we're headed and who we are, is to understand where we came from. I am positive that those that have gone before me can make a profound impact on me in ways I can't yet comprehend.  I challenge you to take the leap and dive into the histories of your ancestors as well. Also, if you have any advise, please, please share.

With Love,
Al

2 comments:

  1. http://shaffer-sisters.blogspot.com/2013/01/the-hearts-of-our-fathers.html
    I am not sure if you did this on purpose or not, we should talk more :) but, look what I posted on January 28th 2013. I love you! And I am so glad you posted these, because I don't know how to open zipped files, so I couldn't open the pictures you sent me. any way good luck with your challenge.
    with love,
    -Jo

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  2. For the record, I have a funny tidbit of family history. The man in this post is the maternal grandfather of the Shaffer sisters' dad. The paternal grandfather of the Shaffer sisters' dad was featured in Jo's post from a year ago. That great-grandfather and his son were some of the builders of the church that was built following the groundbreaking where this great-grandpa was present.

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