Box of Memories on A Winter Day

Morning Cup of TeaAs I sip my morning cup of tea, I want to tell you about a box I have. It’s just a small, colorful box with a label of “Our Family,” and filled with pictures.

A few days ago, I pulled it from the shelf because I was looking for something specific…those old pictures taken in the house I’m writing about on Fridays.

For the next hour or so, I was swept away as if I’d stepped into a time machine. There were Christmases past, animals who have gone to rainbow bridge, silly hairstyles and clothes, vacations, candid shots, birthdays and weddings. Memories played through my mind, bringing smiles, and I remembered each moment of time when the pictures were taken.

I realize technology has replaced the old way of taking pictures and having film developed. It’s very convenient to pull out a phone and take a picture. We then upload them to share on Facebook, occasionally print one out to put in a scrapbook, but we are missing something vital here.

My children don’t have boxes of pictures to pull out and recapture moments in their children’s lives. They are mostly stored on a phone and deleted to make room for new ones! We are losing the ability to share our family with future generations.

In many ways, we are becoming a people unconcerned with family values, the community of family, and the desire to pass on memories through pictures. It’s a lost art. And it saddens me.

Pictures capture moments of happiness, moments to look back upon with joy. We should all have at least one colorful box of memories to look through on a day when life is not so busy, when children are grown and one is all alone. A box to be treasured and passed on to the next generation. It’s more than a history book, it’s life at it’s best.


 

Verse of the Week from Jeremiah

This week’s words from God come from Jeremiah 30, verse 11.

“I am with you and will save you,” declares the Lord.

With the way the world is right now, I find these words to be a comfort–words I can rely on no matter how things seem to be falling apart around me.

More and more I am remembering that I cannot control things, nor can any human. God is in control now and always. So when fear seeps into my heart, I will remember these words as a promise from God.


 

Weekly Study: Exodus 8-14

For the week of March 19 – 24, please read Exodus 8-14.

Be sure to journal in your notebook or in the margin of your Bible anything that is significant to you. Remember this is a personal study.

We are taking our time and not only reading the history, but listening for what God is speaking to us.

The Unwelcome Guest – Part Two

The mouse was gone but it wasn’t the unwelcome guest I’m going to tell you about.

Life kind of settled for a bit. The one bad thing about this house was the large floor register which heated the rooms. The register was in the kitchen. It was always warm, but not uncomfortably so. I kind of liked it because it reminded me of the house where I grew up. I would come home after walking in the cold from the bus stop and stoop over the register, letting the heat build up under my dress to make a nice warm tent.

Then one morning while dressing my son to go to the babysitter’s house, I noticed the bottom of his feet were filled with blisters! I was horrified. He was a tough little guy and had a high tolerance for pain so I didn’t notice him favoring his feet while he was walking around. The doctor said the burns weren’t serious and there wasn’t much to do but put some cream on them and keep them covered/padded to help alleviate the pain…the pain my son didn’t seem to notice. But we watched him closely and I tried to keep him off his feet as much as possible.

But where did the burns come from? Had they come from that floor register? And how? And, if not, from where?

The question was never answered, but I began to sense something was “not quite right” within the walls of this house. Was there an unwelcome guest living with us?

In the meantime, the kids loved playing outdoors on the swing set when we were at home. I liked being able to watch them from the window above the sink, where I could also see the lilac tree which gave such beautiful blooms in the spring. It was one such spring like morning when the kids were swinging and I was cleaning. I glanced out the window and my heart sank! They were not on the swing set!

I hurried outside and my heart started beating again when I heard their voices. But they were behind the house where that big ditch was and a highway on the other side. I rushed to find them and there they were, standing like little ones do, slightly bent over, their hands on their knees as they stared at something…in the ditch.

“Look Mommy!” Little fingers pointed and I went to see what had caught their attention.

Rats! Big rats, larger than squirrels. Black rats, gray rats, nasty, terrifying rats!

I snatched them up and hurried through the back door to the safety of the kitchen, my heart pounding, my mouth too dry to even scream.

(The Unwelcome Guest – Part 3 coming soon)

 

Thorns and Tears

Love for the new yearThorns today brought me to tears!

Not in the way you’d expect. I didn’t physically have a thorn prick me. Here’s what happened.

We are beginning work on our Stations of the Cross exhibit for Good Friday. I volunteered to help out on the committee, but couldn’t make it to the meeting last night.

Today, Pastor came in with a bag and she took out three broken off stems with thorns over an inch long attached! She showed me these were going to be on one of the tables along with a smaller replica of the spikes used to nail Jesus to the cross. Just looking at those thorns made my heart plummet. This is what the crown was made of that was placed on Jesus’ head. (shudder)

Immediately I began to see the vivid images of “The Passion of The Christ.”

Pastor asked me if I wanted one of the stems and I quickly said, “No!” I began to tear up.

After she left my office, the tears streamed down my face. I dropped my head as I once again felt the shame of all the pain He suffered for me. All I could say was, “I’m so sorry, Jesus.”

His suffering is beyond my comprehension. We have pain medications, and if we have surgery, we are put to sleep. But Jesus had nothing at all to relieve the pain He suffered. He was innocent, yet He endured something so horrific and terrible to save us!

How easy to forget and to take our lives for granted. We accept God’s promise that we’ll have eternal life. We accept God’s mercy and grace and yet, how often do we really think about the price Jesus paid so that we could have these things?

I saw the thorns. I saw in my mind His bloodied face. I saw Him stumbling along, carrying the very cross He would hang upon to die. I’m humbled. I’m sad. I’m ashamed.

Dear Lord, Thank you for loving me so much. Amen.