Love Changes Me


A good memory drew me to my knees last night.

My dad’s mom was a conundrum of contradictions. But, I loved her.

She was all of 4′ 8″ tall when she passed away.  I’m not sure she ever reached my soaring height of 4′ 11″ before she started shrinking in her old age.  She lived to be 95.  And some would say she was the meanest old lady they’d ever known, while others would call her downright crazy.  But, like I said, I loved her.

My whole life I was told she didn’t like me. 
And that may have been true.
But I sure don’t know, ’cause it wasn’t what I felt from her.

Her favorite name for me was stick-in-the-mud.
And when she was in a good mood, I became Snicklefritz.  

I’m not sure how often we visited when I was little, but it seemed we were there almost every other month.  She lived in Oklahoma.  After Papa Bill passed away, I usually slept in his bed when we stayed over, which meant I got to have evening prayers with Mama Lois. 
And she could pray. 
For a very. loooooooooong. time.

She would let me know that it was something I needed to do every night. 

“Michelle, did you say your prayers? 
Come on down here with me. 
Get on your knees, right by your bed, and let’s talk to Jesus. 
He loves us and He wants to hear from His children .”  

So that’s what we did…
…until my legs…began…falling…asleep. 
Finally, the amen would come and I could crawl back into bed. 

Papa Bill’s bed never felt so good until after a long time of prayer on my knees with Mama Lois and Jesus.

She had other skills, too.
She taught me how to make pancakes and once she fried up some frog legs. 
Yep, she was cool like that.

Yet, she was mean.  
That’s what some people said. 

And I did see glimpses of that meanness as the years went by.  But, I don’t think I’ll recount those things.  They’re in my memory, as well, but I’d rather remember the good things. 

Like the time I was in college…

 I attended a church school in the same town where she lived.  About every two or three weeks, I’d go by to check on her.  She was always happy to visit.  And it didn’t matter what time I showed up, she would want to feed me.  In those days I didn’t weigh much and she was sure I wasn’t eatin’ right. 

She asked all about my schedule.  Once I was very tired, probably had my annual case of strep throat, but I had to get to work, write a paper, and practice for recital.  I couldn’t stay long.  She let me know how concerned she was and wanted me to take some time to rest.  I didn’t know how that would be possible, “I really need to leave now and get these things done.”

A few days later I was at the cashier’s office to make a payment on my tuition.  I had some of it, but not all.  The college allowed me to pay it out over the semester.  As I asked how much I owed, worrying that I didn’t have enough, the cashier informed me that my balance had been paid. 

I was shocked! 

No.  It’s not possible!  I knew from the time I was sixteen that I’d be paying for college.  It was a known fact that we didn’t have enough money and if I wanted to attend, I’d better start working.  And now they were telling me it was done!  No more payment due.  Nothing more to worry about that semester.  “Two little old ladies, I think they were sisters, came by on Thursday and paid off your balance.  They said you needed some rest and didn’t need the extra worry of working.  They took care of it.”

Mama Lois and her sister, Aunt Dorotha.

I’ve often wondered how mean Mama Lois would have been if she didn’t know Jesus.  Some say she was terrible, others say she was crazy, but honestly, to me, she was a breath of fresh air. 

I enjoyed my time with her. 
And ALL the gifts she gave. 
Good gifts straight from the Lord she served.

There are days
When I feel
The best of me
Is ready to begin
Then there are days
When I feel
I’m letting go
And soaring on the wind
‘Cause I’ve learned in laughter or in pain
How to survive!

I get on my knees! (x2)
There I am before the Love
That changes me
See I don’t know how
But there’s power
When I’m on my knees

I can be
In a crowd
Or by myself
Simply, almost anywhere
When I feel
There’s a need
To talk with God
He is Our Emmanuel
When I close my eyes,
No darkness there
There’s only light!

I get on my knees (x2)
There I am before the Love that changes me
See I don’t know how, but there’s power
In the blue skies, in the midnight
When I’m on my knees
I get on my knees (x2)
There I am before the Love
That changes me
See I don’t know how, but there’s power
When I’m on my, oh, when I’m on my
When I’m on my knees


6 responses »

  1. Wow, Michelle, this post reminds me that each one of us, His kids, has from somewhere, through some person, situation, resource — explained or understand by us — or NOT! — that God has provided us to better “get” GOD! The provision(s) He sends don’t always show up in the “packages” we may be expecting, or imagining! Your “Mama Lois”, for example! Though your knees/legs fell asleep while spending an overnight with her, still, on your very-young “hard-drive” God was loading all kinds of outstanding software (the likes of which you could never pay for in $ or cents). What an amazing gift they gave you in taking care of your school bill that semester! But richer far, I’m thinking, are the “riches” of being on “speaking terms” with God Himself… That makes you a “multi-gizillionaire”, Michelle! Thanks for sharing from your “inheritance” with us “out here” (think: Ps. 16-stuff!) Still prayin’… — gracie;-)

  2. Michelle you have the right idea in focusing on the love you and your grandmother felt for each other. That is what Jesus taught. Live life with, and through, love.

    Your grandmother also taught you a very valuable lesson for any Christ Follower, get on your kness and pray to Jesus. It pleases him greatly to hear from his children.

    Thanks for sharing that beautiful song. Jaci Velasquez sings with great passion.

  3. Hey, Gracie! I’m so thankful for my memories of Mama Lois. Like I said, not everyone has such good memories, but I truly did enjoy my time with her. She was short and sassy and had a good sense of humor. The radio was always going in the kitchen as she listened to her preachers…a trait I’ve picked up, as well. So many good gifts, but her love for Jesus far outweighed any others. (Although she caught that frog, butchered and skinned it! Then showed me how the legs still jumped when she salted ’em. Soooo cool.)

    Hey, Ed! I would like to be able to focus on the love in every relationship, but some are easier than others. I am still reaching for that type of Christ-likeness in my life. As I ask for His help, He has been good to show me how…not that I always obey…sigh.

    Isn’t Jaci Velasquez wonderful?!? I think she was tired during that performance, but her vocals are amazing. Here’s another video with the recording:

  4. Wonderful song… I think if one has been showed much love it is easier to show love. A lot of people have a lot of love to give, but they were never treated very well and so all that comes out is what appears to be meanness and cruelty or harshness but that’s really just their own hurt coming out. I think it is great that you were able to see the real heart, an also experience love because of it. Left to our own devices we’d all be mean after all… it’s only grace…

  5. Amen, Rain! If Jesus hadn’t been in her life, I’m afraid to think of what could have happened to her. She was harshly treated and even abandoned. It is only by the grace of God she learned about the love of God.

    Being shown much love it’s easier to love…yes, and to the love-starved it’s easy to believe the worst and let the bitterness reign. Only by the grace of God.

    Oh…and m’am…I’m loving your posts. Can’t let you know since the comments are off…but they have been a source of encouragement and devotion for me. Thank you.

  6. Another great tribute. I’m glad you were able to sieve everything she said to you and just keep the treasures. THAT is amazing.

    Thanks, Sparkle. 😉 (March 9, 2014)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s