The words of those that come before us are heirlooms to pass on to the next generation.
By ReBECCA LITTLE, lower elementary principal
Recently, I read a book written by one of our former parents, Kimberly Iverson, who now ministers alongside her husband at a church they planted in downtown Atlanta. Heirloom is full of faith and wisdom from Kimberly Iverson’s grandmother, Anne Murphy. What a treasure it is to learn and glean wisdom from those who have journeyed through life fully dependent on their need for Jesus. As I read this book, it reminded me of truths that I know but so often forget as I walk through my daily life.
Here are a few nuggets from the book that hopefully will bless you, like they have me, and give you areas to reflect on in your own life.
We speak of community and relationships often at Perimeter School, but how are we doing in this category? In our fast-paced world, cultivating relationships is difficult, yet let’s not forget the vital importance our relationships have in our lives. At 93 years old, Kimberly’s grandmother was still cultivating friendships and hosting people in her home. As Kimberly eloquently responds, “My assumption reflected a view that people are a burden and add stress and chaos to your life and possibly get in the way of what you actually want to be doing. Grandma’s outlook was that people, especially family members, added a richness and depth to one’s life, and there is no greater priority (besides spending time with the Lord) than knowing and treasuring relationships which God has entrusted to us.” Wow! How our lives and covenant body would be even richer if we followed this wisdom.
We all have needs, but what is our greatest need? Where do we go to fulfill our needs? Often we run to others or things that temporary satisfy. Anne Murphy knew the secret to fulfilling her needs: “I spend so much time with Him because I need Him so much.” Daily we are in need of Jesus. Oh Lord, help us to recognize our need for You and run to Your Word and live in daily reliance on You. “I lift up my eyes to the mountains - where does our help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth.“ Psalm 121:1-2
choosing joy and gratitude
This one hurts. I can often be pulled to a negative and complaining spirit and forget that it is my choice how I respond to circumstances in my life. So often, I need to choose joy and have a heart of gratitude instead of letting my tongue and mind run freely into territories that are unhealthy for me and those around me. In the words of Anne Murphy, “You know, we can also be our own worst enemy. We can choose to criticize and complain about everything around us, or even the things in us that we don’t like. That can drain any possibility of joy out of just about any situation we find ourselves in. We also get to choose if we will allow fear to creep in and steal our peace. We get to choose if we will let worry divert us from the present, which would keep us from fully relishing the moment and entering into it. Worry is just rushing ahead mentally. These kinds of mindsets mar our happiness and joy can lead us into a ‘just enduring’ state. If we aren’t careful, we let the overwhelming and hard things bury all the smaller joys and blessings.” Jesus does not want us to be “just enduring.” He wants our joy to be found in Him. This year’s school verses in Philippians 2 speak to this.
As I ponder the picture that Kimberly painted of her grandmother, I desire to live the life that Anne Murphy lived: one that was bathed in scripture and prayer, one that was in tune with the Holy Spirit and responded with obedience, one that ran to Jesus to fill her needs, and one that unselfishly gave of herself to others.
Anne Murphy’s words and life are an heirloom that we can all cherish and learn from, so then in return, we may pass this precious asset on to the next generation.
You may find Heirloom by Kimberly Iverson on Amazon.