Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Holding on to Family Memories

Today would have been my Grandaddy's 89th birthday.  I have so many fond memories of times spent with him.  It's on days like today I especially find myself missing him and wishing that my kids could have known him.
This is 4 generations: My Great-Granny, My Grandaddy, My Mom and Me
 Grandaddy used to sit out on their front porch swing and listen to me talk and tell him stories. I remember how he used to take my sister and me to the drug store to buy his cigars and ask, "Do you girls need anything?" by "need" he really meant want and we always wanted candy.  He would get in line and let us pick out whatever we wanted.  My favorite was to get the Brach's candies out of the bins, which was a special treat.  Grandaddy always felt the need to sit out by the pool to watch me swim, even far beyond the age of my needing supervision in the pool.  My Grandaddy was a quiet presence, but if you got him riled up, he'd argue a blue streak ~ my dad and uncles loved to get him going.  My Grandaddy who always ordered the same things at the same restaurants.  Any given Saturday at Wendy's he'd order a "BLT with may-o-naise" for lunch.  He would let my sister and I eat his Little Debbie snacks that Mema had bought for him to take to work in his lunch (we called them Grandaddy's lunchies) and after he'd give them to us say, "Don't tell your Mema."  My Grandaddy who always supported the things I was interested in and would be there any time, all I had to do was ask.
Easter 1979 ~ Dad, Mom, Mema, Me (in front), Granddady and my Sister

To this day I still smoke the ocassional cigar in his honor (shhhhh! Don't tell my kids!) and the smell keeps him close to my heart.  I wear one of his flannel shirts on cold days and feel him with me.  I watch the Space Shuttle movies "Hail Columbia" and "The Dream Is Alive" and see him in the VAB working.  My kids love watching the movies with him in them.  These are all ways I keep him close.

Me (left), showing Grandaddy my new Strawberry Shortcake watch with my sister.

Several years ago I found an idea in a magazine that I really liked.  A lady wrote in and talked about continuing to celebrate those in your family who are no longer with you.  She continued to have "birthday" dinners where she would pull out pictures of their special loved one and share her special memories with her children.  I liked it so much that I have used it each year on special days to celebrate our family.  Tonight at dinner we will talk about my Grandaddy and how special he was to me.  He may have gone on to be with Jesus, but his memory lives on and my kids will know their Great-Grandaddy, just as they will know their other great grands.
One last pic of Mema and Grandaddy with my uncle.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

The B-I-B-L-E

This morning in worship we gave Bibles to our rising second graders. I told them that I hoped they would wear these Bibles out from reading them so much. I hope they grow to love their Bibles as much as I love and enjoy mine. Prince and Princess received their Bibles today as well. They have a Beginner's Bible and a Bible they use at school, but this is their Bible for use at home.  When we got home from church, Princess got to talking about different Bibles and she asked me about the Bibles I have.  I dug around and found my first Bibles to show her, from when I was her age and also the story Bible I received when I was 4 years old.    

As things have gotten busy with the beginning of school,  I've tried to continue to with my daily quiet time with God.  Sometimes it's those last few minutes before bed at night or a quick read first thing in the morning and usually on my Kindle.  I have several books that I have downloaded, as well as a Bible on there, so it makes it easy to access whatever I want to read.  Sometimes it doesn't happen until after the preschool building has emptied for the day and I pull out one of the Bibles by my desk.  You see, I have several Bibles...different versions, different thicknesses and covers, different reference and study aids.  I use them all at different times, depending on what I am trying to study.

Yesterday morning as I was cleaning up around my side of the bed, I pulled out an old friend.  It was my favorite Bible ~ the leather study Bible that Hubby gave me the first Christmas we were married.  I hadn't realized how much I missed it until I held it in my hands.  It felt right and as I turned the worn pages, it was like reuniting with an old friend.  There are old bulletins and notes from church services past, pictures my sweet Prince and Princess have drawn on scraps of offering envelopes, Bible verses that have been given to me for various stages of my adult life.  There's a laminated newspaper copy of my wedding announcement from 10 years ago.  The bulletin from Hubby's Granny's funeral.  So many memories from joyful and difficult times in my past, and this Bible has been used for all of those.  In sickness, I clung to God's promises, looking to Him with hope.  In joy, I have sung His praises and thanked Him for my blessings.  Even now as I think about it, I have the song in my head "The B-I-B-L-E yes that's the book for me!  I stand alone on the Word of God.  The B-I-B-L-E."

Do you have a favorite Bible?  Why is it your favorite?

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

What Would Jesus Do?

This afternoon Princess was sitting on my lap, telling me about her day at school.  She was talking to me about a conversation that she had with a girl in her class. They are both strong personalities and they just kind of clash.  Today when Princess was talking to this girl she came across perhaps a little stronger than she should have.  I wouldn't say that she was mean or inappropriate even, but she was definitely strong in what she said. 

I asked Princess if she thought this is how Jesus would have handled this situation.  We've been working on WWJD, What Would Jesus Do?  Princess took a minute to truly think about this.  Her eyes were looking up like she was searching for some sort of answer and then I said, "Well?  What do you think?  How would Jesus have handled this?"

In a very thoughtful way she said, "Mom, I don't want to think about what Jesus would have done because then I would have to act that way too.  I just don't want to think about it."

It was one of those life lessons where I saw myself in her shoes.  How many times have I said to myself, "I don't want to think about what Jesus would have done in this situation!"  She really hit the nail on the head.  Don't we all at some time or another think it would be easier to ignore those nudgings from the Holy Spirit that tell us to think about what Jesus would do?  Of course we do!  We would rather not think about it because if we are truly living out our faith and walking the walk, we must change our thoughts, behavior and words to be in line with what Jesus wants for us.  Jesus lived as an example for how we are to treat others.  Ouch! 

This afternoon I have been in prayer about this issue in my own life:

Dear Lord, please help to always ask myself what You would do before I speak or act.  Help me to always keep in mind that I am to be a witness of Your love and kindness to others.  Please help me not to turn a blind eye because I don't want to deal with my flaws, but help me to see myself as You see me so that I may be working toward the perfection that You call me to strive for.  Thank You for giving me this example in my sweet Princess so that I can see how You see me.  And God, please help me to love and forgive others the way You love and forgive me.
In Jesus' Name,