Friday, September 05, 2008

Trusting in the Names of God

My mom sent home a very special book with me last week, but I delayed opening it until I knew I needed a pick me up. Wednesday was a long, rough day, and I was hurting, so it felt like the perfect moment to crack it open. The book is a memory book compiled by my Grandma Valley. It has newspaper clippings and letters goings back nearly 70 years. Every time Grandma saw an article in the paper about friends or family or read a poem or joke she liked, she clipped it out and pasted it in this book. Engagements, weddings, funerals, and birth announcements are next to notes written by her children and grandchildren. You know the little notes that your kids write you: Hey Mom, sleeping at Roger's. Be home tomorrow. Love, Howard. Grandma kept all of them. It's easy to see what and who she loved on every page. Grandma made several of these books in her lifetime, but they have been scattered throughout her children who hold them close to their hearts, so this one that ended up with Mom is probably the only one I will ever see again.

When I was a kid, Grandma would let me look through them, and it felt like a treasure hunt.
Wednesday when I was going through the book, I found a true treasure. There was a small engagement announcement, probably from the 1970s, for a young woman named Joan. I recognized the last name as being a distant cousin, but when I read the last name of her husband-to-be, my jaw dropped. It was my librarian! I called my mom, asking her where exactly she fit in the family tree and was surprised to discover that my librarian (one of my favorite people in the whole world) and I are fourth cousins. My great-grandmother and her grandmother were sisters. Thursday I brought the book in to show her, and we both exclaimed our excitement at finding the family tie. Isn't it amazing that even though my Grandma Valley has been gone over 8 years, she still is blessing my life?

Trusting in the Names of God by Catherine Martin is the most recent addition to Martin's growing repertoire of outstanding devotionals. Honestly, when I see her name on a book, I know that it's going to help me grow spiritually, and it immediately goes on my wish list. In Trusting, Martin takes the Biblical names of God (Elohim, Yahweh, Abba, etc) and puts them into a 30 day Bible study taking the reader deep into Scripture and giving new understanding of the nature of God. She gives information about the character of each name and how we can rely on it. I've used Abba in my praying, but I had never used the other names before, and I found that my prayers took on a new life when I specifically addressed prayers to names. Yahweh Sabaoth, the deliverer, is the name that held the most power to me. When I was reading in Jeremiah several months ago, I kept coming across that name in my reading, and while I knew it was important, I didn't understand how it applied to me and what was going on in my life. Martin really helps the reader understand that while all of the names apply to the same God, they are different aspects of her character that help us to understand and love him better.

Today's pic is Doogie with his car. I picked up the plates for it today, so he's ready to take it on the road, and on Tuesday, he starts working as a cook at a local restaurant, so he'll be using it regularly. I can't believe how quickly my kids are growing up!