“As a homemaker she enjoyed cooking and baking and sharing hospitality in her home. Her hands were busy with knitting, crocheting and all handiwork. Most of all she enjoyed spending time with her family.” These were words from the obituary of a simple country woman who loved the Lord, her husband and her family. She was a true helpmeet to her dairy-farmer husband, a passionate gardener, having an acre of vegetable garden until her health forced her to give it up a few years ago, and a consummate cook.
Proverbs 31:10-23 says: Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies. The heart of her husband doth safely trust in her, so that he shall have no need of spoil. She will do him good and not evil all the days of her life. She seeketh wool, and flax, and worketh willingly with her hands. She is like the merchants’ ships; she bringeth her food from afar.
She riseth also while it is yet night, and giveth meat to her household, and a portion to her maidens.
She considereth a field, and buyeth it: with the fruit of her hands she planteth a vineyard. She girdeth her loins with strength, and strengtheneth her arms.
She perceiveth that her merchandise is good: her candle goeth not out by night.
She layeth her hands to the spindle, and her hands hold the distaff. She stretcheth out her hand to the poor; yea, she reacheth forth her hands to the needy. She is not afraid of the snow for her household: for all her household are clothed with scarlet. She maketh herself coverings of tapestry; her clothing is silk and purple. Her husband is known in the gates, when he sitteth among the elders of the land.
Here are some of the tributes that qualify her for the Proverbs 31 “Hall of Fame”:
“Pearl knew no limits to caring and helping. Her table was always ready for more people. She gave of herself and her substance relentlessly. She was definitely a Proverbs 31 woman,” writes a woman who as a girl enjoyed being often in Pearl’s home.
Another writes, “Laughter is not in the ‘spiritual gifts’ list directly – but hospitality is. I am quite sure that never was there a more grateful college student recipient I, of her joyful hospitality! God knew I needed Mrs. G’s (and her family’s!) open heart, home of laughter, fresh cookies and zing for life as a college student – especially after loosing my own mom.”
“She couldn’t do enough for you. Each time we visited Loren and Pearl she wanted to share something she had canned, baked or from the garden,” writes her brother and sister-in-law.
(This attribute of exceptional giving wasn’t always understood by me. When I was a young bride, I chafed when she would bring well over half the food we would need to eat for the weekend when she and my father-in-law came to visit! I wanted to give her something. But this was her way of saying “I love you.”)
Her 6 children shared during the funeral that verbally saying “I love you” wasn’t her way; instead she would discover your favorite food, and then she would make it for you every time you came home to visit! Mine was her incredible Chicken and Noodles. She made the noodles from scratch! This dish is so beloved that it was requested and she cooked it for all the guests at her 3rd daughter’s wedding reception!! My husband’s favorite dish of hers was Swedish Brown Beans: he will sadly miss her making them for him. (We brought home a Large glass cannister of these special beans, so that I can attempt the dish, knowing full well that I will never be able to make it like she did.) Food was her “love language.”
A nephew writes, “What a lady. It seems there was nothing she could not do, and do well. I remember her doing lunch in a hayfield which was as good as the tables she heaped with food like only she could do. Nobody could pick peas or berries like Auntie Pearl and truely she was an example of hard work, patience, kindness and love.” (The truth was that some of her children tried to beat her speed at picking blueberries or shelling peas, or just about anything(!), but it was impossible! She was truly amazing.)
One of her mottos in life was that you just stayed healthy, but if you weren’t feeling well, you “worked through it” which meant you just worked harder! I remember one time phoning her– she must have been in her sixties or seventies, I suppose–and knowing that she had been suffering with a cold or flu symptoms, I was expecting to console her. She was up on a ladder painting the vaulted ceiling of her living room!
The last two years when she wasn’t feeling too well, she produced needleworked dresser scarves for all the 10 grandchildren and crocheted inumerable doilies. Previously she had made quilts for each of the 10 grandchildren’s graduations, afghans for each of us gals, and each of her children, at marriage, was given a long tablecloth upon which she had done beautiful needlework. She made doilies to give as High School graduation gifts, and all of us girls received many as Christmas gifts over the years, but there were enough doilies left over in order to give every family member one and then give one to each of the cousins, as well. And the quality of her work didn’t go down.
One of the things that meant a lot to me was her consistency in her convictions. Though she always was working on some piece of handwork when sitting or riding in the car, she never did it on Sunday, the Lord’s Day.
A man who was influenced by Pearl and Loren’s Godly lives writes, “Pearl G. was truly a wonderful and beautiful woman of God. I will always remember the effect that her husband Loren and her had on my family and my life. Because of Pearl and the wonderful family, my family started going to B. Chapel and gave their life to the Lord. I gave my life to the Lord at Camp JIM (Jesus Is Mine) when I was 8 years old, and Pearl and Loren were instrumental in seeing that Camp opened as well as faithfully supporting it over the years.”
He adds this postscript: “Currently, I am serving as a Pastor in Grafton, ND and I have no doubt that were it not for Pearl and the rest of her wonderful family, I would not be here. I look forward to seeing her again someday in heaven and seeing the great number of people that are there because of her godly life.” To which I say a hearty “Amen!”
Click below to view a video tribute to Pearl: my mother-in-law, and a true Proverbs 31 woman:
A week was spent going through all Mom’s things, and dividing them up, first between her children, and then her grandchildren. A family reunion of my father-in-law’s side of the family followed right on the heels of this work, which meant that we were exhasted, but it was a wonderful time celebrating the wonderful Godly heritage this family has.
Daddy and all his kids and their spouses
Our kids enjoyed the time, too!
The 6 Siblings
Daddy giving a Prayer of Dedication for the beautiful
Memorial Cabin named after
father.It was a wonderful turnout and a wonderful weekend.