Twenty-five of us were out for dinner. A woman from Mexico was on my left and one from Florida on my right. The conversations were multiple and varied. The noise level made it difficult to hear more than snippets of what was being said across the table.
Suddenly, three words caught my attention. From opposite me I heard, “I’m sufficiently suffonsified.” A few others also heard the words and were confused. I, on the other hand, was totally delighted
You see, this was something my mother said. I don’t remember ever hearing anyone else say it and always assumed it was something made up by her family.
Mom passed away twenty years ago and I hadn’t heard the saying since. What had been temporarily forgotten now returned along with a flood of memories. I was mentally transported to my younger years and could see her smile and hear her voice.
After a large meal, mom would say, “I’m sufficiently suffonsified and any more would be an overindulgence of my already exasperated appetite.” In other words, she was full and couldn’t eat another bite!
It’s funny what can trigger memories. Sometimes, like this night, it was a few words. Other times it is the sight of a humming bird or aroma of freshly baked bread.
The everyday moments form the legacy I will be remembered by. The hugs, the laughter, the time spent together are more important than I realize. Since I don’t know what may trigger memories for my children and grandchildren in future years, I will do my best to leave a positive impression. My goal is to ensure they will be sufficiently suffonsified with the love I have shared.
My husband and I attended an event a couple of days ago that was an early celebration for February 14th. We are in Mexico and the celebration was different from what we experience at home.
On a large banner, the words Feliz Dia del Amor y la Amistad were printed. Translated, this means Happy Day of Love and Friendship.
Valentine’s Day as we know it, is all about romantic love. It is important to recognize those we love and let them know how much they mean to us. My husband is the most important person in my life. I never want to take for granted the love we share and celebrate it frequently.
But, how often do I celebrate the other types of love in my life?
One significant type of love is the kind I have for my family. My daughter and son-in-law; son and daughter-in-law and my amazing, talented, witty and compassionate grandchildren (absolutely no prejudice here!) mean the world to me. Each of them has enriched my life in her/his own unique way. They deserve to be celebrated and I don’t tell them often enough how much I love them.
Friendships form another kind of love. Whether we have been friends for months, years or decades, these relationships have helped shape me into who I am today. We support each other through the roller coaster of life and I love each of you.
A very special love is the one I have for you, my faithful readers. Your encouragement and support gives me the strength to keep writing. Without you, I wouldn’t be living my passion. From the bottom of my heart I send you thanks and love.
To each of you, I wish you a Happy Love and Friendship Day.
More than ten years ago both of our children moved almost one thousand kilometers away.
We loved our family and missed the closeness we’d once enjoyed. My husband and I wanted to be able to spend more time with them and be active in their lives.
After much prayer, we decided to uproot the life we knew and start again, closer to our loved ones. The Lord provided a job for my husband in our chosen city. We resigned from our jobs and sold our home.
I was excited to know we ‘d soon live only twenty minutes from our family.
I hadn’t considered the difficulty of leaving friends and our church family. The goodbyes were tearful. Knowing we were doing the right thing didn’t make it any easier. I grieved what I would be leaving behind.
The transition had some challenges. The result, however, was more than worth it. We have been restored to a close, loving relationship with our family and are blessed to play an active role in their lives. The sacrifice we made out of love has rewarded us more than we could have imagined.
Our small move was insignificant when I think of the move Jesus made for you and for me. The love I have for my family is nothing compared to the love He has for us.
He knew we were becoming distant and longed for a closer relationship. The Lord knew there was only one course of action to be taken to remedy this situation.
He left his home in heaven and came to live on earth. He sacrificed not only comfort, but his very life in order to restore us to a relationship with God.
What does Jesus require for this love I don’t deserve? He wants us to spend time together. The more I do this, the deeper our relationship becomes. It is amazing to think the Son of God not only offers me forgiveness, comfort and guidance but wants to us have a close personal relationship. Now that is love worth celebrating.
The old coffee can received a new life in a kindergarten class back in 2005. First, it was painted white. Then a snowman face was painted on and a red felt cap added.
Our young granddaughter chose to present this wonderful gift to my husband and I. The cap had an opening in the back that was perfect for little hands to reach in, so we decided to turn the snowman into a special treat tin for our grandchildren.
They were not allowed to look inside the tin to make their choice. Instead, they would get what their hand chose. Sometimes the hands were in the tin for a long time as they attempted to feel every treat inside! This was the basis for many fond memories.
As our grandchildren grew, in size and number, the hat became unglued several times. Eventually, the snowman tin was retired and tucked out of sight in our pantry. I think we missed the game of guessing the treat more than the younger children did.
Not long before Christmas I brought out our special snowman and looked at the piece of masking tape on the bottom of the tin that still showed our granddaughter’s name.
The time had come to bring this gift back to life. My husband reattached the hat and we shopped for some special treats.
Our granddaughter has just moved out of her parent’s home and into her own apartment. When we presented her with the treat tin as a housewarming gift I could almost see the memories dancing across her mind. Her, “Oh, my gosh!” and big smile let us know the gesture was appreciated.
My hope is this tin will be a visual reminder of the sweet surprises life has in store for her and for her grandparents, who will always be there when she needs us.
It had been an incredible travel adventure. Our trip was much more than we had imagined or hoped for.
Now, after almost eight weeks on the road, it was time to start the long drive home. As soon as our van was headed west again, I just wanted to get home. And get there as soon as possible. I was anxious to return to the comfort and familiarity of my family and my permanent address.
One day before we were to arrive home, the conflict set in. Although I wanted to be home, maybe I wasn’t quite ready. There was still so much to see and do. I was weary of the travel yet not quite willing to give it up.
This change in attitude was confusing me. How could I reconcile my mind being pulled in two opposite directions?
On the radio came a song that spoke about resting in heaven when our work on earth is done. My conflict made sense when I could relate travel to my life on earth and going home to eternal rest and peace in heaven.
I wonder if I will experience any of this same conflict when that day comes to say goodbye to loved ones and enter my heavenly home. Will I feel ready to leave everything and everyone I know?
With only a few hours to go, I received a message from my son, asking if we would make it home that day. As soon as I read it, the earlier conflict disappeared. All I wanted was to see and hug my family.
I’m sure it will be the same when God’s son, Jesus, calls me home. There will be no hesitation as I hurry into His open arms.
“When everything is ready, I will come and get you, so that you will always be with me where I am.” (John 14:3 NLT)
I have a granddaughter who plays the snare drum in a Pipe and Drum band. It was a thrill to watch her playing as she marched in a local parade. Parents, siblings, grandparents, aunt, uncle and cousins all gathered along the parade route and cheered as she marched by in full Scottish attire.
My father would have loved this. He had a fondness for these bands. When I was a young girl, I was in a parade with my Brownie pack. My dad was given the task of taking photos. There may have been one or two of me but the majority were of the pipe and drum band! He would have been so proud to see a family member taking part in this activity. The only way it could have pleased him more would have been if she’d been playing the bagpipes!
Another granddaughter does Highland dancing. We have watched her in various competitions over the past year. The intricate foot movements and the swirl of her kilt show her dedication to Scottish traditional dances.
My husband was born and raised in Scotland. If I trace my family history back several generations, I also come across Scottish ancestors. We appreciate the desire of these girls to honour their heritage.
It also reminds me that as a child of God, I should be involved in activities that reflect this heritage. Do I honour God by spending time with him? Do I follow his example of loving my neighbour? Am I generous with my time and resources?
God loved me enough to call me His child and make me a member of His family. As such, my actions should reflect this heritage.
See how very much our Father loves us, for he calls us his children, and that is what we are! (1 John 3:1 NLT)
You are members of God’s family. (Ephesians 2:19 NLT)
Do you have any special Christmas traditions? Are there activities, outings or special foods that signify the season for you? They may have been carried forward in your family for years, decades or generations.
How easy is it for you to adapt to changes in your traditions?
I grew up in a home where we were able to choose one of the presents under the tree to open on Christmas Eve. When I got married this changed. My husband was of the opinion that all gifts waited until Christmas morning. It was time to form new traditions together.
When my children were young teenagers we would pick my mother up in the afternoon of Christmas Eve and bring her our house to spend the next few days.
She would come to church with our family on Christmas Eve. Afterwards, we would drive around various neighbourhoods admiring Christmas light displays. Upon returning home it was time for hot chocolate and cookies.
One year, my husband made us clubhouse sandwiches on Boxing Day. Little did he know this was the start of a brand new tradition! Boxing Day has been synonymous with clubhouse sandwiches ever since!
Some traditions change out of necessity. My mom is no longer with us and our kids now have families of their own. One thing has not changed in over twenty years. We may not all be together to open gifts or enjoy a turkey dinner on Christmas Day but nobody wants to miss out on our clubhouse gathering on Boxing Day!
It’s funny how something little like this takes hold and becomes such a big part of our lives. Tell me about the traditions that have become part of your family heritage?
Do you hear that sound? The Canadian Geese are doing practice runs and we seem to be in their flight path. Maybe you are, too.
They spend weeks practicing before they actually attempt their long distance flight. On occasion, we have witnessed a gaggle of geese on a nearby pond start to honk as two or three were landing. It was like they were cheering the others on.
Did you know that the reason geese honk from behind is to encourage the ones in front of them? Also, when the lead goose gets tired, it rotates back and another takes its place as the lead.
I could learn from their teamwork. It makes sense to take turns doing the hard jobs and to encourage those who are taking the lead.
The V formation geese fly in allows the whole flock to have a much longer flying range than if one bird flew alone.
Again, this can apply to us. When we share a common direction, we can get there faster and easier if we travel with others. Not only can we learn from those we travel with, I find it more pleasant than travelling alone.
A flock of geese is like a family. They look out for each other. As part of the family of God, I am instructed to do the same. What a wonderful world it would be if we took our cue from the geese and everyone worked together and encouraged each other.
“Be devoted to each other like a loving family. Excel in showing respect for each other.” (Romans 12:10 GWT)
Help carry each other’s burdens. In this way you will follow Christ’s teachings.” (Galatians 6:2 GWT)
I wasn’t sure exactly what it was in the box but knew it was unique and beautiful. The sculpture was a large circle with thick glass strands intertwining.
A card inside told me this was an endless knot, representing a never ending connection. It was also a symbol of eternity, harmony and endless love.
This lovely expression of endless love was a gift from family members. I have heard many stories from people who don’t have good relationships with their family. The object I held in my hands represented the blessing of the harmony that exists with my children and grandchildren.
Our lives are intertwined; each being made stronger by the connection with the others. This bond has been passed down through the generations.
As we draw near to Good Friday, the endless love of God is in the forefront of my mind. He showed his love by sending his only Son, Jesus, to atone for our sins and give us eternal life. This act of great sacrifice reaches to all generations, binding us together.
His love has no beginning and no end. He loved us before we knew him and paid the greatest sacrifice of all that our lives may be intertwined with his. For this, I am eternally grateful.
The Lord is good. His mercy endures forever. His faithfulness endures throughout every generation. (Psalm 100:5 NLT)
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. (John 3:16 NIV)
Recently I took an enjoyable stroll down memory lane. My husband and I were sorting through a box of old photographs. These were the kind of pictures where we didn’t know exactly what was captured on film until it was developed. Not like the digital ones today where we know exactly what we’re getting.
Some were better quality than others but all held precious memories. It was like having the lives of our children flash before our eyes. One minute they were babies, the next they were teenagers. Today they have children of their own. Stories and laughter abounded as we recalled events over the past few decades.
As I looked at the photos, I was struck as much by what was missing as what was there. When our children were little we spent countless hours with them. This is evidenced by the number of pictures from those years.
Just as we didn’t know how the pictures on the roll of film would develop, we also didn’t know how our lives would develop. There are chunks of time not accounted for in the photographic history of our family life. I like to think it was just the camera that was missing and not my presence in their lives. That may not always have been the case.
Time passes swiftly and looking at these pictures, I was reminded of the importance of quality time spent with our loved ones. My goal is to ensure the legacy I leave will be one of pleasant memories.
“Each day of our lives we make deposits in the memory banks of our children.” ~ Charles R. Swindoll