Emily Belle Freeman
IMG_0901ed.jpg

THIS IS MY JOY

AND MY GREAT REJOICING

Stir Up the Gift

Thessalonians 5:24 - 1 Timothy 4:16

In the book of Timothy one of the chapters records a conversation between Paul and young Timothy.

Paul tells Timothy, “Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity” (1 Timothy 4:12).  Then Paul gives Timothy another important piece of advice, “Neglect not the gift that is in thee” (1 Timothy 4:14).

Have you ever wondered what the gift was that Timothy had been given?

We find out in 2 Timothy1:5-6 when Paul tells Timothy that he is filled with joy every time he calls to remembrance “the unfeigned faith that is in thee, which dwelt first in thy grandmother Lois, and thy mother Eunice; and I am persuaded that in thee also.  Wherefore I put thee in remembrance that thou stir up the gift of God, which is in thee.”  (Emphasis added)  Timothy’s gift was faith.  I love that Timothy’s gift of faith is a gift that could be seen in his grandmother, Lois, and also in his mother, Eunice.

In 2 Timothy 3:15 Paul tells us that “from a child [Timothy had] known the holy scriptures.”  I feel certain that his grandmother and mother probably taught him.  In doing so, they helped him to discover the divine gifts he had been blessed with both through their own example, and through the words of the scriptures.

Just like Timothy, Heavenly Father will surround us with women who will help us discover our own divine gifts.  One of the most precious gifts I have been given is something that I learned from my mother and my grandmothers.  It is the gift of compassion, of serving, of learning what it means to give all.

When I use that gift I think of their example.

I want to be like them.

One of my most prized possessions is a denim picnic blanket ––a patchwork quilt with red bandana squares and denim pockets.  The pockets are mine ––they came from jeans I wore all through my growing up years.

My Grandma Margie kept all of those pockets from the time when I was little until the time when I got married, and she sewed them up into the blanket that I love.  I guess we should really call the picnic blanket the memory blanket.  It is full of all of the wonderful memories of my childhood, but more important than that; it is full of memories of my grandma.

The blanket has become a reminder of how grateful I am for her.

When I use the blanket I am reminded of lessons from Grandma Margie that I don’t ever want to forget.

She taught me how to serve.

My grandma was a giver.

She was one of those people who always knew just what to do.

One of my favorite stories happened during one of the last winters of her life.  Because the population of her ward consisted mostly of elderly people, the Bishopric was handing out assignments for shoveling the walks in the ward, and one counselor commented, “We won’t need to worry about Berkley Street, Margie will have already taken care of that.”  It didn’t matter that she was 68 years old ––when she saw a need she took care of it immediately, she didn’t wait for someone to ask.

My grandma taught me to find happiness in the midst of adversity.  I’ll never forget moving to California the summer before my senior year.

Moving is sad.

Grandma Margie came to help us pack up the house.

She arrived every morning before I woke up and left after I was asleep.  At regular intervals during those final weeks one of us would break down in tears.  Grandma was quick with a remedy.  “One, two, three,” she would say with enthusiasm, and the whole house would shout, “Hooray!”

When we arrived at the Mission Home in Ventura, Grandma Margie did not come with us.  But as we unpacked we found hundreds of yellow sticky notes scattered throughout the boxes.  Written in Grandma Margie’s happy handwriting were four simple words ––one, two, three, Hooray!

We use the blanket a lot.

It has accompanied us to firework shows, picnics, lacrosse games and late night movies.

Every time we use it I am reminded of my grandmother’s life.

Margie was a very creative seamstress, leaving behind more than the treasure that came from her sewing machine; somehow she wove lessons into my life.

Within the gift she left me something to remember her by.

Emily Freeman