I love my family! I enjoy spending time with them talking, playing games, praying together, singing and playing musical instruments, as well as cleaning, and even doing nothing together-the doing nothing together can be challenging. I am of the belief that there is always something you can be doing. My boys don’t agree…
Because I know the time God’s given me with my two boys is precious, I try to get the most out of every event we plan or attend as a family. If we are together, I will make sure we are creating some memorable stories for our mental albums. We have been able to add page after page in our mind archives of memories that will be cherished by our children’s children in the future. There are sad stories, encouraging stories, happy stories and inspiring stories to last us a lifetime.
I often find myself wondering what the future looks like for each of my family members…We are a unique bunch with different goals and ideas on how our lives will unfold and where God will take us. I’m not naïve to think my children and those who are dear to me, will be with me for ever. Everyone moves on. My job is to make sure I provide my family with experiences and memories that will carry them through life’s most uncomfortable and difficult times. I want to provide them with stories of encouragement and affirm their faith in God, so that when I am no longer around, they will be able to pull back the pages and remember.
Just the other day, I added a new page to our mental family album. According to my family this was a funny page, but to me, let’s just say, not so funny…
It was Sunday, May 10 and my family had planned to take grandmother and I out on the lake to celebrate mother’s day. We rented a boat and off we went to Lake Lanier in GA. It was great! For lunch we had sandwiches, vegetables and fruit, and my wonderful sister in law brought a treat for the diabetics in the family; sugar free cookies! I thought that was thoughtful of her…
An hour later my stomach began to hurt. I knew I was in for a whole world of hurt if I didn’t get to a bathroom quick. I made the announcement; “we need to go back…NOW!” My husband reminded me that we were 30 minutes away from civilization and there were no bathrooms in sight. At this point I was desperate!
“You don’t understand. I have to go now!” My face was flushed and tears were beginning to build up in my eyes from the embarrassment I felt. Again he reminded me there was no way we’d make it back in time, so I would either have to go in the woods or hold it till we got back.
Everyone laughed…I didn’t.
I gathered my resolve and my pride and climbed out of the boat to a small island, and against everything I’ve ever known to be right and decent, I took care of business. I was mortified, embarrassed, and obviously relieved. My pride was bruised!
Back on the boat now, and half a bottle of hand sanitizer later, I could hear my children scheming how they would leak (no pun intended) the story out to their friends and I knew then, I was doomed. This would get out no matter how much threatening I did.
Everyone laughed…again…I didn’t.
I decided then, I’d go ahead and share it with the world since there are already emails floating around with my name on them. Check this out; it appears that the cookies I was given had Sorbitol and Maltitol aka laxatives (if consumed in excess). I only had two cookies…just two…come ‘on people, does anybody else see the unfairness in this?
I would like to take this opportunity to thank my family for making mother’s day a memorable one indeed…Everyone had a good laugh at my expense but we did have a good time and we spent the day together –that was meaningful to me. I thought it was interesting that when it came time to say goodbye, we struggled, wishing we had more time together.
Sometimes we think special holidays are to be celebrated by doing outlandish things and spending loads of cash, but the truth is, for most people, and I can only speak for myself and those I know, time well spent together means so much more than money or material things and the memories will last long after the money runs out.
Paul Pearlshall once said; our most basic instinct is not for survival but for family. Most of us would give our own life for the survival of a family member, yet we lead our daily life too often as if we take our family for granted.
In a perfect world, we would stand by our family through scandal, marriages would fight to stay together, children would honor their parents and strangers would be trusted. In a perfect world we’d call each other daily and visit frequently…In a perfect world. But we don’t live in a perfect world. At least not the kind God intended for us.
If you spend any time flipping through TV channels you’ll see a real representation of how we’ve messed with God’s intended plan for the family. Have you noticed how sad reality TV really is? I say sad because it gives a real depiction of where we are as a people. For those who do not know the savior, this can be disheartening and depressing. But all is not gloom and doom. We have a hope in Christ Jesus!
So, you ask, what are we to do? The apostle Paul wrote in Philippians 4:8 (New International Version):
“Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.”
If we follow that example, we’d have healthier marriages and more stable homes held together by strong bonds of love and respect. If we follow that example, we’d have more funny stories than sad ones, we’d have more laughter and less tears to shed. If we follow that example, we’d leave a legacy worth dying for and one our children would be proud of.