Psalm 78:6-7

That the generation to come might know, even the children yet to be born, that they may arise and tell them to their children, that they should put their confidence in God, and not forget the works of God. (NASB) 

My grandmother got married when she was 13 1/2. Can you imagine? My grandpa was 19. My mom was born when grandma was 16. I was born when my mom was 17 and my son was born when I was 3 weeks shy of 19. Our family is a very young family. Because our family is so young I knew many of my great-aunts and great-uncles very well. What a blessing it was for me to know Aunt Fan, Uncle Chet, Aunt Iva Rhea, Aunt Bess, Uncle Tete, Aunt Babe, Uncle Little Boy and Uncle Big, Aunt Lennis, Aunt Maggie, Uncle Lois (yes, UNCLE Lois),  Aunt Josephine, Aunt Evelyn, Aunt Lula and Aunt Lou, Uncle Bud and Aunt Sis and all of the rest of the lovely people who made up the Stephens, Duvall, Smith and Skipper families that are my DNA. At this season in my life I really enjoy my great-nieces and great-nephews. What a blessing to be this age and energetic enough to drive across country to attend their college graduations, dance at their weddings, pick them up from school, camp with them at the beach, go to lunch and just be “present” in their lives. I want them to really know that they are loved by their Aunt Terrie, or as the Ward boys call me “Grant Terrie”. 

Coryann Lynn-Marie Ledford is my #2 great niece, Brooklyn being the first. When my niece Brandie had Coryann I was at youth group camp with my daughter Michele and nieces Wendie and Kellie, Brandie’s two sisters. Can you picture 4 excited aunties huddled around a pay phone laughing and crying? It was a sight for sure! We got to hear her cry and Brandie cry too. We all wished we had been home but would lay our eyes on that little miracle in a few days. I was very excited that Coryann and I would share a birth month – July. Rubies for both of us! Much to my delight 12 years later I would have a great-niece actually born on my birthday. Another “Marie”, Isabella Marie. We recently realized we are July babies with connected names: Terrie Lynn, Coryann Lynn-Marie and Isabella Marie. Lovely how that worked out.

Coryann and I share some “inside” stories. When she was a baby I was in the acrylic nail stage of my life. As was a usual thing for our family we were having a Sunday dinner at my sisters. Looking down at my hand I realized that my red acrylic thumb nail had popped off. I started looking on the floor for it like it was a lost contact lens. Suddenly I hear “what the heck is this?”. Jeremy, Coryann’s dad, was changing her diaper. In the diaper was one red acrylic thumb nail. Oh my gosh! My face turned as red as the nail. The last one to change her diaper had been me. To this day I have not lived that one down!!

Coryann is detail oriented to a fault, but in a good way! Nestled next to my nose was a mole. It was a small mole but a mole nonetheless. As Coryann got older, every time I would hold her she would try to pick the mole off of my face. I explained that it was attached and it was owie when she tried to scrape it off. She looked at me and said “mole?” I answered yes. Then she said, “Aunt Mole.” Whoopee, I was Aunt Mole for the longest time. Actually, it was kind of endearing. 


Years later my dermatologist removed that mole. The first one I called was Coryann. I got a tear in my eye when I told her I had just had the “Aunt Mole” mole removed. End of an era. 

It was during a breakfast at Snooze with this precious woman that I decided on a most important end of life decision. She was in her pre-med courses in collage and was relating to me and her mom how they got to operate on a cadaver. She told us that it was a crowded class because there weren’t enough cadavers these days. That got me thinking about donating my body to medical science. I was already going to donate my organs so why not the ultimate donation. Looking across the table at that sweet young face so full of promise my mind was made up. Later that week my husband and I filed our papers with UCSD, our local medical school. 


When she was little I used to take Coryann and her brother Colton to AWANA at my church. She has always been close to the Lord. She is kind, sweet, very smart, funny, sensitive and loves to color code. Yep, she has the color coding gene. We have bonded further over our addiction to colored pencils and markers. Her college notes were so good that one of her professors wanted to make a copy if them because they were so outstanding. I love to color code my bible studies and I do a lot of that. Coryann knows about my penny journal, she knows about the lasting legacy of faith, she loves God. The fact that I can be here now to talk to her about trusting God for her life is precious to me. The other day as I was preparing for my lesson to teach women how to study their bible the dialogue box on one of the pages noted an experimental study that was done by Lamberski and Dwyer. The study revealed that “color-coding techniques are great instructional strategies. They found that color coding improves attention, learner motivation and structure in memory” www.ed.psu.edu/dwyer). 


I had to share that with her so I texted her right in the big middle of her work day. She is deep into her practicum at a local hospital. Precious girl works so hard! I just had to let her know that our bond was a “thing”. 
A few minutes later I got a text from her. The text said, “Look what I found during my lunch break. I definitely needed it. Been a slow day and I’ve been in a weird mood I just can’t kick. I’m gonna use the penny mojo to turn my day around. Love youuu.” This was accompanied by the penny resting on her hand. My heart was about to burst with gratitude! She knows that she can trust God. The penny is a reminder for her, for all of those who come behind to trust God. Leaving that lasting legacy of faith is of the utmost importance to me. Knowing it is ingrained in their hearts and mind gives me so much joy. Trusting Jesus is the only way to live our lives, so blessed that she knows❤️


#InGodwetrust #LeavingaLegacy #ProjectPenny #Greatniecesrock

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