Hello my friends! I hope you're all having a wonderful week so far and enjoying this Christmas season. Renaissance Man and I are still trying to figure out how three whole weeks have passed since we headed west to Texas for Thanksgiving ... and now find ourselves smack dab in the middle of Christmas without having even lifted a finger to deck the halls. We arrived back home this afternoon ... finally ... but I have one more post in me to follow the last several. Thank you for allowing me to record the journey ... and for praying us through it.
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Way back in 1855, one of Renaissance Man's ancestors donated land for a church and adjoining cemetery. The property is a significant part of the history of Rusk County, Texas.
Beautifully maintained, the grounds embrace those gone before ...
... some born as long ago as the 1700s, when Texas was still a part of Mexico. I'm so pleased that the oldest headstones, though damaged, are cared for and not left to sit in heaps of brokenness.
Civil War soldiers rest in peace there, too.
I have a soft spot for architectural elements common in old cemeteries ...
... and last Friday afternoon I enjoyed walking amongst them.
But that day, I was mostly focused on two brothers ... 14 years apart in age ... quietly walking through the cemetery together. Reminiscing. Appreciating the legacy of their forefathers. Two ordained-minister-sons, my husband the younger of the two ... preparing to conduct their mother's funeral service three days hence.
The actual building where their mother began her spiritual journey no longer stands, but well over half a century ago, this little country church was erected ... only a few yards away from the original site. As children visiting family, Renaissance Man and his siblings attended many services here with their parents and grandparents; joining in worship with a congregation deep-rooted in the east Texas community.
Though no longer home to an active fellowship of believers, the brothers agreed that their mother's beloved New Prospect Baptist Church would be the perfect place for her funeral ... as it had been for those of her parents. It was.
Yesterday, on what was forecast to be the coldest day of the season so far, the little church with no built-in source of heat was transformed by a creatively caring cousin into a warm and welcoming shelter where family and friends gathered to celebrate
a 92-year-long life.
The day appointed for goodbyes could not have turned out more beautiful.
With gratitude for a legacy of faith, a family laid to rest its oldest member ... the last of six children in her family to pass into eternity.
The 157-year-old cemetery graciously received its newest resident.
I am confident Heaven did as well.
Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of his saints.
My thoughts are now turning to Christmas ... and the stocking for Little Sir that still needs to be made. But tonight I'll unpack the suitcase I've been living out of for almost a month and sort through a huge pile of mail. Maybe I'll even finish the book I was reading in the car on the way home. Tomorrow is soon enough to clear away the Autumn tablescape from the dining table and think about "what next?" I'll let you know what I decide ...