Strolling Through A Legacy

Hello my friends!  I hope you’re all having a wonderful week so far and enjoying this Christmas season.  Renaissance Man and I are still trying to figure out how three whole weeks have passed since we headed west to Texas for Thanksgiving … and now find ourselves smack dab in the middle of Christmas without having even lifted a finger to deck the halls.  We arrived back home this afternoon … finally … but I have one more post in me to follow the last several.  Thank you for allowing me to record the journey … and for praying us through it.

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Way back in 1855, one of Renaissance Man’s ancestors donated land for a church and adjoining cemetery.  The property is a significant part of the history of Rusk County, Texas. 

Beautifully maintained, the grounds embrace those gone before …

… some born as long ago as the 1700s, when Texas was still a part of Mexico.  I’m so pleased that the oldest headstones, though damaged, are cared for and not left to sit in heaps of brokenness.

Civil War soldiers rest in peace there, too.

I have a soft spot for architectural elements common in old cemeteries …

… and last Friday afternoon I enjoyed walking amongst them.

But that day, I was mostly focused on two brothers … 14 years apart in age … quietly walking through the cemetery together.  Reminiscing.  Appreciating the legacy of their forefathers.  Two ordained-minister-sons, my husband the younger of the two … preparing to conduct their mother’s funeral service three days hence. 

The actual building where their mother began her spiritual journey no longer stands, but well over half a century ago, this little country church was erected … only a few yards away from the original site.  As children visiting family, Renaissance Man and his siblings attended many services here with their parents and grandparents; joining in worship with a congregation deep-rooted in the east Texas community.  

Though no longer home to an active fellowship of believers, the brothers agreed that their mother’s beloved New Prospect Baptist Church would be the perfect place for her funeral … as it had been for those of her parents.  It was.
Yesterday, on what was forecast to be the coldest day of the season so far, the little church with no built-in source of heat was transformed by a creatively caring cousin into a warm and welcoming shelter where family and friends gathered to celebrate a 92-year-long life.

The day appointed for goodbyes could not have turned out more beautiful.

With gratitude for a legacy of faith, a family laid to rest its oldest member … the last of six children in her family to pass into eternity.

The 157-year-old cemetery graciously received its newest resident.
I am confident Heaven did as well.

Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of his saints.
Psalm 116:15

My thoughts are now turning to Christmas … and the stocking for Little Sir that still needs to be made.  But tonight I’ll unpack the suitcase I’ve been living out of for almost a month and sort through a huge pile of mail.  Maybe I’ll even finish the book I was reading in the car on the way home.  Tomorrow is soon enough to clear away the Autumn tablescape from the dining table and think about “what next?”  I’ll let you know what I decide …


  1. Sorry to hear of your MIL’s passing. That is truly a beautiful cemetary. I love all the trees around, it feels as if it is really a restful place. Love the little church and all the beautiful headstones. May you find peace in this wonderful season. Joni

  2. What a beautifully written post of passage, Susan. I know it was a long month for you . It is a beautiful place that she has been laid to rest with those who have gone before her. I know there is some peace in everyone’s heart that she is finally at rest. Blessings to you and what you get done before Christmas you get done-what doesn’t get done doesn’t really matter- Blessings xo Diana

  3. OK, so I’m wiping tears off my face. Susan, I may be “off,” but I deeply enjoy walking through cemeteries. I wish I could do this on a monthly basis.

    First of all, so many gave their lives for my freedom. I like to pause and pray for all those who love and miss them today.

    Second, there’s so much history and untold stories for me. And I think about those people’s descendants. I typically come back around to thoughts of the living.

    Thank you for sharing your own thoughts that still sigh because of where you have walked over the past several weeks. And thank God for Christmas Day– a Life to celebrate after burying a beloved MIL. Without CHRISTmas, we would never have the joy of seeing her again.

    Welcome home! We missed you.

  4. So sorry to learn of your MIL’s passing. She raised two wonderful sons. She is at peace and that cemetery is really beautiful and rich with history. You were a very good DIL, and I am sure you will get all your Christmas business taken care of in time to enjoy the season. Blessings to you and your family, Susan. xo

  5. It all looks just perfect. What a huge blessing to have not one but two sons give their hearts and lives to the ministry of the LORD. I love that scripture you used. That was read at my dad’s funeral, and I think of him every time I hear it.

    I love old cemeteries too. What a wonderful place to be laid to rest.

    And I’m glad you made it home!

  6. There is something so comforting about very old cemeteries. I’m pretty sure there was one proud mother looking down from heaven on her fine sons!

  7. What a beautiful place to rest. And it is so well tended. That’s wonderful. This, and the other posts, are such loving tributes to your MIL. I know she would be smiling down on you from Heaven.

    I’m going to be buried next to my parents in a beautiful, antebellum cemetery where other family members are as well. I know the exact spot.

    You be kind to yourself and rest. Christmas can be celebrated without all the hooplah or not celebrated at all except in your heart through prayer and song. I am still far from finshed, so I just plan to celebrate from the time I am finished till the Feast of Epiphany. That’s what my FIL’s family used to do. They celebrated the twelve days of Christmas, starting on Christmas Day and ending on Epiphany.

    Whatever you decide, I wish you a wonderful Christmas, filled with the love of the Lord.



  8. What a wonderful post and a fitting way to end your journey…for now. I have gained insight and inspiration from your words. The old church was perfect for your MIL’s funeral. She would have been so proud of her sons. Thank you for sharing your family’s legacy of faith with those of us you don’t even know but have grown to love sharing a peek into your life. I think this is one of the perks of blogging…meeting people you would not ordinarily have come in contact with yet share a portion of their lives with us!
    Blessings and may you get your nest made for Christmas
    Gmama jane

  9. Beautiful resting place. Sorry for your loss.