The years my girls were born and growing up could fill the whole train! We didn't have a lot, but we were together. We made time for fun. We had a simple, but adequate home.
We took advantage of what the Lord gave us and tried to make the most of it. With only one car, my girls and I didn't have the opportunity to go lots of places during the days when their daddy was gone. Hence, we made the most of the backyard. We had a swing set, play house, and tree house in the fenced yard. We would all go out and play, swing, climb and hang out. The huge trees provided shady areas for hot days when we would throw the quilt under its branches and read and eat our lunch. Who needed the park?
I added an herb garden beside the patio, partly for use of the herbs, but also to add beauty to the yard. Stepping stones and a bird house added a warmth and welcome to our little garden. A thriving strawberry patch filled the back corner of the yard, providing sweet blessings for our morning cereal or evening ice cream. The front yard received loving care with the addition of mulched flower beds, bushes, springtime bulbs and trees.
My memories of our yard include Bible Clubs held for the neighborhood children. We would gather under the trees and sing and share the hope of the Gospel. My mind's eye sees my girls riding their bikes/wagon down the driveway.
Springtime brought the girls outside, Easter baskets over their arms, scurrying through the yard to find the hidden eggs. Summer's heat encouraged the placement of a small pool, where they would cool off, suck on Icees and swing on the swingset in dripping swim clothes. Fall's beauty brought a trampoline of leaves on the ground that begged to be jumped in. There were the frigid Indiana winters when we would pull out the sleds, make the expected snowman in the front yard or attempt an igloo. Yes, sweet memories.
Why am I reminiscing here about all this? Well, because this week our older daughter and her dad had reason to be back in our "old stomping ground." While they were there they decided to return to see "our" house and yard.
It was nothing like it had been.
The yard was neglected. The play house and tree house were all removed. There was no sign of any kind of a garden - not a mint leaf or lavender plant -
only forgotten blades of grass waiting to be cut and dry patches, thirsty for a drink of rain water.
Whitney's words were, "It was as if there was never a family who had had a good life living there." Then she quickly added, "But we did!"
Yes, we did.
I wanted to reassure myself with visuals, so I took out the albums that very day and found photos of those years. I found our family
oh yes, and creating memories!
The most important thing we can do during the years our family is still home is to instill eternal truths into their hearts that will never fade, diminish or grow old! The building of a love for God, His Word and His commission are structures that will last. What an encouragement that is! So keep on teaching and training! Even if you lose a material possession to decay, you won't lose your child to the enemy of his soul!
Come back tomorrow and I'll share some encouragement for bringing refreshment to those family times and memories. In the meantime, don't forget to do the little things today to create moments, days and weeks of a happy family serving, flourishing, laughing and loving together.
What one special memory do you have of the years you were growing up?