Monday, June 23, 2008

From Generation to Generation - Leona speaks

I have waxed eloquent in my day about how we should be passing on a legacy of faith to the next generations.

Today it hit me. I have been given the gift of being a branch on a family tree full of very strong-willed, passionate, stubborn, long-living, and very faithful women.

While some of those attributes become troublesome from time to time, the reality of having a heritage of strong faith passed to me and to my daughter is overwhelmingly amazing.

A picture of this gift came at my daughter’s baby shower. First of all, what an amazing thing it is to see your own little girl becoming a mom! There she is, blossoming and beaming. A picture of anticipation, naiveté, and panic.

A moment of enlightenment came to me, though, when my mother stood up to read a poem. My mom is 81, the great-grandmother of this soon-to-be-born little baby boy. She read a poem that was given to her by her grandmother when I was born. That means it came from MY great-grandmother, right? My daughter’s great-great grandmother! The baby’s great-great-great grandmother! What a marvelous heritage of faith.

Here’s the poem, written in rather odd English, but beautiful. Made even more beautiful read by my own mom to her granddaughter.

Prayer of a Mother-to-Be
By Mattie C. Leatherwood

Dear God, I walk along a shining road
Of happiness. Soon it will be mine to wear
The crown of motherhood. Help me, I pray, to seek
That preparation of mind and heart thou’dst have me make
For this experience from thy hand.

O let me work in partnership with thee,
Dear God, thy Spirit fill, that every
Thought may be
Clean and pure. Give, I pray, the strength I need
To meet each new demand. Let no craven
Fear becloud my way,
Or harm my child to be.

Grant, God, that as this tiny body grows
It may perfect be and strong—this young mind
Sound and clear.
Breathe into my child’s new soul,
I pray, a warm and free responsiveness
Unto thy love.

And when my baby comes—
When I hold him in my arms and press
Him to my heart,
O temper thou my ecstasy with conscious thought
Of my responsibility.
Keep me mindful of my trust, dear God,
To rear my child for thee.

1 comment:

Lynnea said...

I'm so glad you posted the words, I was going to ask for them! I like the description of anticipation, naivete, and panic. Is it so obvious??? :)