Handing Down a Legacy of Strength and Love

With Mother’s Day so close, I have been thinking about the important place God has given to mothers. Holidays have a way of making you stop and think about the important people in your life.

The Lord is strong, and He is loving. I think He planted these same qualities in the hearts of mothers so we could experience those aspects of His nature.

family with grandma

Grandma Rebillot and my mom, with me (fourth child from left) and some of my siblings

Christmastime 1969



My mother’s mother, my grandma Helen Schumacher Rebillot, was a strong woman. She lived through the Great Depression and cared devotedly for her family. She was one of the first women in her town to get her hair bobbed (how scandalous!), and she loved Jesus!

When my parents were working, Grandma Rebillot came over to the house. She cleaned, did laundry, made meals, and welcomed all 8 of her grandchildren home when we jumped off the school bus each day. She counseled and cared for us, and her quick wit could make us erupt into laughter. God used her to provide an additional sense of security for our family.

Mom mother Jane Rebillot Mathie exhibits the same strength. She raised 8 unique children, and made each of us feel special and valuable. She worked to help support us, and she stood by us during the ups and downs of life. She still does. Her 25 grandchildren and 5 great grandchildren know her strong devotion as well. Years ago, she broke her back (read my “Wonder Woman” blog for the story). She was back up and going in no time!


My mother and her mother have been fiercely devoted to family. Their love showed itself in every tender word, each kind gesture, and all the selfless actions over the years. They never removed their love from us. Their love was not based on anything we did or didn’t do. They chose to love us and made decisions based on what was best for us. I always felt loved by them.


My grandmother’s and my mother’s strength and love came from rock-solid faith. Because they experienced the love and strength of the Lord in their own lives, they were able to share it with us. Now, we have the opportunity to continue that legacy.

My grandmother died unexpectedly of a heart attack in 1982. As my mother was going through her things, she came across a sealed letter with the inscription, “To my family at my death.” When she opened the envelope, here is what she found:

Dear Family,

Sometimes I have a strange feeling—like a clock running down. Perhaps the end of my earthly career is near. I do not mind. It is such a blessing to go quickly while in good health. We all dread a long-lingering illness—its uselessness and expense.

God has been very good to me—even performing miracles for me. I pray constantly that none of my family will ever lose the Faith. Without it, life is intolerable. Please pray that God will strengthen  your faith and keep it strong as long as you live.

The life hereafter is a much better one, and I will be watching over you so do not grieve too much. One day, we shall be together again. Until then—Bye for now, with all my love.

Grandma’s greatest concern was that we would keep our faith. She kept hers, and it flooded our lives with strength and love. My mother is the same, carrying the shield of faith, praying every day for each member of her family, enveloping each person in strength and love.

I thank God for the beautiful legacy He has given me in the women who went before me in my family. It inspires me to pass that legacy of strength and love to the next generation.

Whether with our own children or with younger people we know, we can choose each day to pay forward the legacy of love and strength to the next generation.

Question: What do you remember about your mother’s or grandmother’s legacy to your family? Share at the link below.

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