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My Professional Background - Once upon a time, I wanted to be a motivational speaker. Actually, I was a professional motivational speaker for about 5 years.:
My Grandmother's Tongue

“She opens her mouth with wisdom,
and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue.
She looks well to the ways of her household
and does not eat the bread of idleness.
Her children rise up and call her blessed;
her husband also, and he praises her:
‘Many women have done excellently,
but you surpass them all.’
Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain,
but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.”
(Proverbs 31:26-30, ESV)

When the author of the second part of Proverbs 31 “penned” these words, I can only imagine he must have known a woman like this:

Grandmama Hinesley at 90

This is my Grandmama Hinesley (pronounced Heinz-lee).

She’s also known as “Grandmother” to my highbrow relatives. I sometimes call her “G-ma” which shows you exactly where I fall in the brow-ness of things.

I’m like the unruly unibrow of the family.

G-ma is my dad’s mom. A 91-year-old mother of six. Six. Six children that she had naturally. I could just stop right there and let us all give her a standing ovation, but she’s done so much more.

G-ma and her six kids

Seriously, six.

She’s also the doting mother of a furry, 7th child named Max. Grandmama would never say this, but he’s the most spoiled and well-behaved of all her children.

G-ma, JJ and Max

She is the grandmother and great-grandmother of too many of us to count. And the wife of 67 years to the late, great Julian (who she and we all called “Tugger”).

Tugger and Grandmama

They were quite the pair.

Young Love

In her 91 years, she has been an unashamed evangelist, prayer warrior, Sunday School teacher, English teacher, and insatiable learner.

If you look up Southern belle in the dictionary, this is the picture that should be there.

Southern Belle

She’s 80 pounds soaking wet (still) and absolutely adorable. Both then…

Young Grandmama

…and now.

G-ma chasing JJ G-ma chasing JJ G-ma playing with JJ

She was a military wife during one of the most difficult conflicts our soldiers (and their families) have ever known.

Military wife

She is to this day a dedicated Bridge player, piano player, and lover of coffee.

And children. She looooooves children.

Grandmama and Harper

This is my Grandmama.

My grandmother

For the past 32 years (and counting) I have had the great honor of listening to, learning from and loving this incredible woman. And I could write a dissertation on the ways she has impacted those who know her, but I’d like to take this post on the day after Grandparents Day to speak to one of her greatest attributes:  her tongue.

[Do what?]

Hang with me…

Grandmama has always said that profanity is a sign of a poor vocabulary.

Sounds just like an English teacher, right? And there is rarely a day when I sit down to write or to sit in front of my camera that her words don’t come to mind. What if the things I write or say show only my lack of vocabulary? Or creativity? Or lack of self-control? Or—worse!—lack of Biblical wisdom (Colossians 3:8, Matthew 15:10-11, James 3:10, Matthew 12:36-37, Ephesians 5:4, and on and on…)?

And while it’s something to know what the Bible says, it is entirely different to watch someone live it. I have never heard her say a single unkind word about or toward another human being. Ever.

Her words are deliberate and full of grace (Ephesians 4:29).

Grandmama, I didn’t call you on Grandparents Day because…honestly, the day got away from me. And I didn’t want to wake you while you sat in the recliner with your iPad in your lap and your finger still on your next Solitaire move.

But, I do hope you will find the icon to my blog that I put on your iPad and that you will read these words as a thank you for the wisdom and kindness that is always “on [your] tongue,” as the Proverb says. Your words are always with me. Your tongue—which speaks from the overflow of your heart—is one of your greatest legacies.

Many women have done excellently, G-ma, but you surpass them all.

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Comments to "My Grandmother’s Tongue"

  1. Debbie McCormick

    September 9, 2013

    Gorgeous post. Your grandmother sounds amazing. I never had a close relationship with any of my grandparents but that is the kind of grandparent I am looking forward to being for my own grand kids one day. I love your stand on profanity. I feel the same way.

  2. Janie Upchurch

    September 9, 2013

    Those verses in Proverbs are among my favorites. I do want wisdom and kindness to be the words of my mouth. Your grandmother is delightful. I have 10 grandchildren ranging in age from two weeks to fifteen years. I hope to have the same kind of tribute someday that you have given your sweet grandmother. It is said that you learn more about someone by what they say about another than about what they have said about them. I think it is both. I have learned a lot about your grandmother and about you. I am glad I found you on Facebook.

    • Katy in a Corner

      September 11, 2013

      I’m so glad you found me too! Thanks for the kind words and for your example to your own TEN grandchildren. What a blessing!

  3. grammygoodwill

    September 9, 2013

    This post beats a Hallmark card any day. What a lovely person your grandmother must be. You are blessed to still have her in your life.
    BTW, how spoiled does your dad say his one sister was?

    • Katy in a Corner

      September 11, 2013

      Haha! I do know that all six of them (my dad and his 5 siblings) agree that the dog is more spoiled than they ever dreamed of being when they were kids!

  4. Kim Jordan

    September 9, 2013

    What a beautiful post to read first thing this morning with my cup of tea. I’m in Atlanta (Marietta) babysitting my grand daughters and hope they might one day have similar things to say of their Nana. The verses from Proverbs describe my mother to a “T”. She would be 80 this year and I’m sure she and your grandmother would have gotten along fabulously.

    • Katy in a Corner

      September 11, 2013

      Kim, we lived in Marietta when we first married. Such a fun place. Thank you for your kind words and for reading!

  5. Meredith

    September 9, 2013

    Love this post. You are surely blessed to have a lovely role model like your grandma in your life. The tongue is like a fire and those who have mastered it are truly treasures to hold dear and learn from. You are blessed indeed. Thank you for this post,it was a great encouragement. Your
    “G-ma”is touching lives a thousand miles away.

  6. Kacy Jones

    September 9, 2013

    Pass the tissues. . .you have an AMAZING grandmama and I am so lucky to have an AMAZING aunt! What a lovely tribute!

  7. Jaimie Madsen

    September 9, 2013

    Beautiful post, you are truly blessed to have such an awesome grandma!

  8. Beth @ Sawdust and Embryos

    September 9, 2013

    What a gorgeous tribute to your g-ma! She’s adorable 🙂

  9. Julia Jet Ski

    September 9, 2013

    I’m at a loss for words, this is the most wonderful post. xoxox

    • Katy in a Corner

      September 11, 2013

      Thank you so much, Julia Jet Ski. 😉

  10. Jamie Haire

    September 9, 2013

    Katy,
    I’m a personal friend of Cathy and Wally. I’ve enjoyed many of your blog posts, but this is my all time favorite! I can relate to your G-ma, because I had a Grandma like her. Her legacy to me was love and prayer. I remember praying that God would not take her from me, and He allowed her to grace this world for 86 years. Thank you for the beautiful word picture of your G-ma.

    • Katy in a Corner

      September 11, 2013

      Thanks so much for the message, Jamie! We have both been blessed to know such amazing, God-fearing women.

  11. Amanda Price

    September 11, 2013

    My dear cousin, your words brought me to tears! So even though I was forced to explain my swollen, bloodshot eyes to a co-worker just after I finished reading this (which was interesting since I’m technically suppose to be working)…I’m so glad that you took the time to pay such a wonderful tribute to our grandmother. She is a truly amazing woman and you are as well!

    Love you lots and hope to see you soon!

    One more thing,…as one of the Golden Children, you really shouldn’t refer to yourself as the “unruly unibrow of the family.” That makes us non-goldens feel like the brows that get plucked. 🙂

  12. Kathy Hinesley

    September 11, 2013

    Katy,
    Great post! I had a hard time reading it to Uncle Hal through the tears, but you certainly described her beautifully.
    After Amanda’s post, you will now have to explain to your readers about the Golden Children in the Hinesley family. 🙂
    Love you,
    Aunt Kathy

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