New Mercies

IMG_6568“But this I call to mind, and therefore I have hope: The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.” (Lamentations 3:21-23)

We heard that Aunt Alice was losing ground, slowly fading from this life and making her way toward eternity with the dignity and grace that marked her years on earth. She was granted the grand reward of dying well, all her children and grandchildren surrounding her bedside like a laurel wreath a champion wears after the triumphant completion of an exhausting race. I imagine she has heard the Lord’s welcome and his affirmation of, “Well done, Daughter of mine.” But now we have opportunity to give her the praise she is due, to remember her generous heart, to recount the lessons she taught us on her journey through.

When we speak of Aunt Alice years from now, when we recount her remarkable life to those who never had the chance to know her, we will tell them that her hands were always busy doing good, always industrious, always at work. We will encourage them to have such a reputation too, to be known, as she will always be remembered, as a woman of strength and conviction who chose to wisely multiply whatever God entrusted into her hands.

We will remember her home that bulged at the seams with new people and old friends and countless family members. She kept her pantry stocked, her stove bubbling and her lengthy dining table full to the brim. Aunt Alice created feasts for eyes and palates in a matter of seconds and made it look easy. Somehow it seemed that in no time at all she had simply whipped up an elegant banquet for fifty or more souls fortunate enough to be invited to partake.

At various times in her 90 years Aunt Alice learned how to stretch a dollar and how to have an articulate conversation with reigning Queen Elizabeth II. We watched her care faithfully for her ailing mother and compassionately nurse her husband as he swiftly spiraled down from cancer. From her example we learned that in the tough places you hang on, you endure. You grip the hand of Jesus and choose to believe in his steadfast, unwavering, all-sufficient love amidst any disappointments and hardships he might ask you to bear along the way.

Aunt Alice is immersed in the glorious kingdom of heaven now, partaking in her unimaginable rewards. She leaves behind five children and their spouses who acknowledge their love for the Lord out loud and live for him boldly in a multitude of ways. Her grandchildren bless the lives of others and radiate that unusual loveliness that comes from growing up beneath the protective umbrella of a matriarch who held the family together in and out of storms. This lady with an indomitable spirit has left a legacy that will endure. We are richer for having known her; we have been marked by her brand of resolute strength. We praise God that his faithfulness is great and his mercies are new every morning, just as she taught us all through the years.

‘“The LORD is my portion,’ says my soul, therefore I will hope in him” (Lamentations 3:24).

Elizabeth A. Mitchell

 

 

 

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11 Comments

  1. gracie

    Thank you Lizzie….that was so beautifully written and captured the essence of our graceful Aunt Alice. We were truly blessed to have had her influence in all of our lives.

    Reply
  2. John

    Lizzy, thank you for sharing so beautifully about our amazing mother. She touched so many lives and will be missed. Thankful to have been influenced by her in so many ways. She was the rock of our family and always clung to her Rock, Jesus Christ.

    Reply
  3. Sue wick

    What a beautiful tribute and how blessed you were to have such a godly model to follow. ❤️

    Reply
  4. Elias

    What a beautiful & loving tribute to my dear sister, Alice.
    Liz, that was so beautiful, and very encouraging, to all who will read it.
    You continue to amaze me and many others with your incredible talent and your diction.
    Well done Liz! God’s blessings on you & yours, Always!

    Reply
  5. Bill,Sr

    Elizabeth…You truly have the gift of putting an ocean of meaning in a drop of ink, and surely no more deserving subject than Alice, that sweet Proverbs 31 handmaiden of the Lord, much loved by not only her family, but by her extended family which includes us all.

    Reply
  6. Phyllis Choy

    I had only met Lady Alice twice but have known your sons Andrew & Anthony for many years. They were truly your sons in their humility, kindness, love for everyone & most importantly they live life with our Lord as there stepping stones in life. Your wings must be glowing brilliantly as you watch over your family.

    Reply
  7. Diane Kanell

    Dearest Elizabeth,
    What a beautiful tribute! Thank you for your heartfelt words each and every Tuesday; our Lord has blessed me through your gift. I am so sorry for your family’s loss, but what a treasure to know your Aunt’s love for Christ will live on through all of you. God bless you and your dear family.

    Reply
  8. Sandra Dominijanni

    Dear Mrs Mitchell,
    Thank you for the lovely way you described your dear aunt…. It’s always a pleasure to read your thoughts and prose. I am fortunate enough to know several of Mrs Barbar’s family members, including her late husband George, and if they are any reflection of her, then she was truly a remarkable woman….. Your words brought beauty to an otherwise sad moment in time. I’m sorry for your loss.
    Fondly, Sandra

    Reply
  9. Paula Gast

    Thank you, dear Lizzie. Aunt Alice taught us well. I miss her, but am so thankful that her suffering is over.

    Reply
  10. Donna Rabadan

    Thank you Elizabeth for sharing these beautiful words about your lovely auntie. Hearing about her life and remarkable legacy is such an encouragement to me. I am sorry for your family’s loss. Blessings always to you and your family.

    Reply
  11. Traci Specht

    Dear Elizabeth,
    I’m so sorry you and your family lost such a great woman of God. You have such a beautiful way of expressing your heart. I know you all rest in knowing she is with the Lord but the sting of not having the loved one still pierces our hearts. Praying for grace and comfort. This devotion really spoke to my heart as you know the valley I’ve been walking through. Thank you and thank God for using you to encourage and lift others even in the midst of your own grief.

    Reply

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