Friday, July 30, 2010

Family Memories

Grandparent's home in the background
Family history. Those two words put together never excited me. In fact, I would run in the opposite direction when my family began to play the "Mennonite game". That game may have a different name depending where you are from but around here, it means long conversations of who is related to whom.

Yesterday I did something I've been wanting to do for a very long time. I stopped at the home/farm where my Grandma and Grandpa lived until the last few years of their lives. The home has had 3 owners since my Grandparents auction. Each owner has made improvements to the old brick home. I'm sure if I ever went inside, I would not recognize the rooms.

The current owner is having a garage sale. So I seized the opportunity to talk with the owner and ask permission for my Dancer Daughter (a.k.a. budding photographer) and I to stop in sometime and take pictures of the pond and weeping willow tree I helped my Grandpa plant (which they agreed...yay!!). While I was there, they started asking questions about the house and farm when my grandparents lived there.

Memories came flooding back. You see, growing up we only lived a half of a mile (at the most) from my Grandparents. It was like a second home to me. It was familiar. It was safe. It spilled over with love. I spent many hours helping my Grandma with housework or the garden. I remember watching her make cinnamon rolls. I remember hours spend under the dining room table playing (for some reason underneath that old table was just so much fun!) and the hiding place for all the yummy goodies. Watching my Grandpa use his power tools in the barn (he was a carpenter) and the summer kitchen converted into a woodworking area. And I use to mow their lawn and earned some cash. The many, many times aunts, uncles and cousins would visit. So many memories. If I wrote them all here, the post would turn into 5 pages!!

And of course there are the memories that aren't so great. Like the time my Grandpa had a stroke and my mom, Grandma and I as a very small child brought him home from the hospital. He still had an IV and I was pretty scared of him. Or when Grandma started to go "blind" when she was older and had to use a magnifying glass just to read the church bulletin. And I'll never forget getting the phone call early one Sunday morning telling us our uncle who was visiting had died during the night in the house. Or the mixed emotions when they decided to auction off the farm and house because they were getting older and couldn't handle the upkeep much longer. Not all memories are pleasant. But isn't that what life is about? The bad naturally comes with the good.

Family memories. I think I like those two words. Those two words make me happy.

Monday, July 19, 2010

At the End of the Day

"At the end of the day, what matters is
when you've looked up at God and can say,
"I followed your voice." Your identity is in Him,
not in the notions of others."
~ a beloved friend

How many times have I looked to others for approval? How many times have I missed a God-directed-moment because of a negative comment someone said in the past which still holds me down and haunts me today? How many times have I berated myself because I am not as "good" as so 'n so? Why can't I get past the rejection and hurt? When will I get past the insecurities?

Sometimes, words are like atomic bombs. They have the power to knock us down and destroy for years. How many times have I said something I should not have said to a person. How were my words like atomic bombs in someones life? What about the co-worker who really only needs to say one thing "wrong" and I am grumpy to her the entire day? I'm not showing Christ in my grumpiness. It is easy to love the lovable. But we aren't called to love just the lovable. (sigh.) 

I'm glad God is a God of second, third....twentieth.... chances, aren't you? I want to say at the end of the day, "I followed Your voice" and not have regrets. How about you?

Sunday, July 18, 2010

You Make Beautiful Things

Beautiful Things by Gungor

All this pain
I wonder if I’ll even find my way
I wonder if my life could really change at all
All this earth
Could all that is lost ever be found
Could a garden come up from this ground at all

You make beautiful things
You make beautiful things out of the dust
You make beautiful things
You make beautiful things out of us

All around
Hope is springing up from this old ground
Out of chaos life is being found in You

You make me new, You are making me new
You make me new, You are making me new

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Summer Sights, Sounds & Smells

Birds chirpin'
Kittens jumping
Children laughing
Water splashing
Sun shining
Storms storming
Skunks smelling
Lawn mowers mowing
Swings creaking
Fans blowing
Ice cream dippin'
Weed pulling
Camper's Pie eating
Garden hoeing
S'more making
Fire blazing
Dog panting
Hair frizzing
Sun burning
Baseball bat cracking
Wind blowing
Bathing suits drying
Porch chair rocking
Sunset watchin'
Fireworks bursting
Bicycle riding
Tent camping
Toads croaking
Marshmallow roastin'...

What are your sights and sounds of summer?

Monday, July 12, 2010

The Last Times

I am reminded how quickly time flies by. One minute you are holding your first born baby and wondering why the nurse let you leave the hospital with this life you have no clue about. The next minute your first born is an adult.

Time seems precious to me at the moment. It seems like there are a lot of "we better do this now because it might be the last time all five of us will do...." (even though she will be living here and commuting back and forth to school, I know she won't have the time to do stuff with us.) I know this is part of life. I know this feeling or realization has hit many parents. I know she needs to grow, mature and become the woman God has intended. But I didn't realize how hard this would be.

I lived at home until I was married. One day after I had children, I must have been saying something to my mom about one of the kids doing something (I can't remember). My mom told me that the hardest thing she ever had to do was watch me carry my clothes out to my car to move them into the house my soon-to-be hubs and I would be renting. Well, many years later, I think I understand a little bit of what she was feeling.

But as Ecclesiastes 3 says, "There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven..." I need to remember that. I was young once and remember this is a natural thing. Yes, the family dynamics will indeed change, but God is my constant.