According to my mom, I tapped rhythms on pots, pans, and everything in sight as a young child, so she signed me up for piano at six years old. My first teacher was our church’s organist. After I learned the basics, church hymns quickly became my practice material.
Trust me, I was no child prodigy. But to my Grandma Tegeler, I was. At least she made me feel that way!
Growing up in my little hometown with only one stop light, I’d ride my bike across town to Grandma’s house. In her sitting room sat a small Spinet organ, out of tune but with just enough octaves to practice. No matter what she was doing, we always ended up in that sitting room. I sat at the organ. She sat next to me in her rocking chair. Grandma would pick up her hymnal, call out one of her favorite hymns, and I’d do my best to play the hymn. I missed plenty of notes, but it didn’t matter to Grandma. If I struggled with a hymn, she simply encouraged me to work on the rough spots as she read her Bible.
When I learned a hymn so the notes at least resembled the tune, Grandma and I sang it together, over and over. Those hymns represented Grandma’s life in the church. Before we finished one hymn, Grandma had the next one picked. As the time came for me to bike back home, she always requested one last hymn–her favorite, “What a Friend We Have in Jesus.” The first hymn I learned. Despite fumbling through most of the other hymns, I knew every note and every word of that hymn.
As a young girl, Grandma Tegeler influenced my faith more than anyone else. Those singing sessions on her Spinet were more than piano practices, they were faith lessons. Just as I learned the notes of piano, she taught me the notes of faith found in the Bible. During those sessions, I soaked up her steadfast faith in Jesus Christ. Grandma not only taught me every single word of “What a Friend I Have in Jesus,” she lived her life modeling every single verse.
Have we trials and temptations? Take it to the Lord in prayer.
Are we weak and heavy laden? Take it to the Lord in prayer.
As I travel the road of my adult life, those precious hymn sessions with my Grandma stick with me. As I struggle through a situation, I remember those faith notes.
I do have a friend in Jesus Christ. You do too.
Take it to the Lord in prayer.
Hugs and blessings,
P.S. In memory of my Grandma, I’m sharing her coffee cake recipe. Grandma was always ready for visitors. Fresh baked coffee cake or jelly roll was always warm on top of her stove, ready to serve!
Grandma Tegeler’s Coffee Cake
2 pkgs dry yeast (dissolve in 1/2 cup warm water and set aside while mixing other wet ingredients)
In large bowl:
1 stick oleo (melted)
Add 1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup milk
1 or 2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp. salt
Beat with mix master for a few minutes. Then add yeast mixture.
In separate bowl, mix dry ingredients:
2 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp. baking powder
Mixing at low speed, add 1 1/2 cups flour to wet mixture, about 1/2 cup at a time. Stir in last cup of flour by hand. Dough should be softer than bread dough. Let rise. Set in warm place.
Then put on floured board. Knead, then roll out dough thin enough for large cookie sheet. Let rise again on cookie sheet.
When ready to bake, cut another oleo stick in thin squares and put on top. Mix 3/4 cup sugar with desired amount of cinnamon. Sprinkle sugar & cinnamon mixture over top of dough.
Bake at 325 degrees for about 15-20 minutes until a little brown along edges.