My Mother-in-law's Sifter: Remembering Betty Jean

It was sixteen years ago now ... that day when we unboxed the items my mother-in-law was discarding because of her need to downsize. Betty Jean Loyd was moving to a senior community, states away from where she had lived most of her adult life and where she had married a man and raised an only son.

At 80 years of age, Betty Jean, an only child herself, knew that she needed to be near us, her only family. So we helped her dispose of her discarded things.

And there it was -- her sifter!

No! Not her sifter! She had used that sifter day after day, month after month, year after year to do the delicious baking and cooking that she was known for ... at least I had noticed that about her. Along with her amazing flower garden, needlework and sewing, my MIL cooked and baked! Delicious food, lovely cakes and desserts!


It overwhelmed me ... deeply ... I can't explain it! For a long time, I cried thinking of that stage of her life done ... for good. Those days of cooking and cleaning and caring for a little family. Now the disassembling of a life! 

The ending of a beloved stage of life! The pending "good-bye" that certainly was closer than ever. The brevity of life! All of that and more spoke to me in that sifter.

Then as the days and years unfolded, that little, old, well-used sifter said something more ... It spoke of what happens to all of us as we live life on this broken, fallen earth. Our lives get sifted, slowly eliminating the earthly, superficial stuff of what our lives consist on the human level -- our  possessions, our abilities, our energies, even our understanding and awareness. What will eventually remain are the eternal, enduring treasures of life indeed.

We fight the sifting, the stripping, the emptying; instead of embracing our real life today, each and every "today." But wise are we when we walk through each "valley of the shadow" with the Shepherd and Guardian of our Souls. We can trust Him to put it all together to fulfill His purpose in and through our lives (Acts 13:36).

Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day.
2Cor 4:16 NIV
Betty Jean Grange Loyd

Betty Jean Loyd passed into eternity on Wednesday, November 23, 2016 at 9:15pm. Betty's sifting has ended. So now she has no need of the stuff that she had shed in this life, for now Betty Jean is finally home! 

by Don Wyrtzen

When alarmed by the fury of the restless sea,
Towering waves before you roll,
At the end of doubt and peril is eternity
Though fear and conflict seize your soul

Just think of stepping on shore, and finding it heaven
Of touching a hand, and finding it God's
Of breathing new air, and finding it celestial
Of waking up in Glory, and finding it "Home"

When surrounded by the blackness of the darkest night,
Oh how lonely death can be,
At the end this long tunnel is a shinning light,
For death is swallowed-up in Victory, (Victory!)

Just think of stepping on shore, and finding it heaven
Of breathing new air, and finding it celestial
Of waking up in Glory, and finding it "Home"
Finally Home!