Many of you already know that on January 12, my sweet grandmother went home to be with the Lord.
She was 104.
Her name was Sarah, but she got the nickname "Budder" from a grandchild who once tried to say "grand-mother" but it came out "grand budder" instead.
One of the last meals we shared with her over the summer was at a steakhouse near Memphis where she lived. We prayed for the food and ended with a word of thankfulness for our dear Budder.
After we said amen, the waiter, who was standing nearby, said, "I noticed you prayed for your butter and was wondering if you wanted more?"
Noticing the pile of butter already on the table, we laughed and said, "No thank you, we have plenty."
Budder pointed me and many others to make Christ our everything.
She married a godly man in 1938. They loved each other deeply and lived a Christ-centered marriage.
He wrote Budder a note prior to their wedding day and said this:
"Goodnight my lovely one and may all our clouds have gold linings encrusted with diamonds…you have all the love capable of my being."
Whoa! Love your spouse heartily. Legacy point number one.
Unfortunately, in the early 1960s, my grandfather died suddenly from a stroke. My dad in his early twenties was the oldest of the four sons and returned from the Navy to help with the family.
This was a tragic loss because Mr. Freeman held such a loving presence for Budder and their boys.
Budder was a widow for over 57 years.
My mom says this about Budder: "Jesus Christ was everything to Budder. He was even her husband."
Budder lived a simple life that drew from God. She always mentioned to me that Christ was her keeper, her protector, and he met all of her deepest needs.
That's legacy number two.
Budder told Emily recently that every morning she'd wake up, turn on her little bedside lamp and read Philippines 4:19, "And my God shall supply all you need according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus."
It is such a contrast to me that Elvis Presley lived a mile down the road from her house in Memphis and practiced complexity by satisfying his deepest needs with stuff. Elvis had everything but really nothing. He desired fullness of love like the rest of us.
Budder lived a simple life and didn't really have much yet in Christ she had everything!
A final thing (of so many!) I've learned from Budder is captured in the chorus of her favorite hymn (He Keeps Me Singing):
"Fear not I am with thee,
Peace, be still
In all of life's ebb and flow.
Jesus, Jesus, Jesus,
Sweetest Name I know,
Fills my every longing,
Keeps me singing as I go."
The joy of Christ filled every longing of Budder's and overflowed to her family, her church, and her community.
I can only imagine that as Budder transitioned to heaven she heard the words of the sweetest Name she knew saying: "Come now my love, my lovely one come."
May we all know this same love of God.
May Christ be our everything.
May he fill every longing and overflow with a joy that keeps us singing as we go.
May life's ebb and flow carve out space in our soul for the riches of His glory.
May our actions point people to the reality that Christ's love is plenty for us today and forever.
My fourth year of Grace Discipleship has started well. Budder's legacy continues as I help people factor in the fullness of Christ in everyday life.