Tribute to Mom

#Inspiration, mom, mothers dayMother’s Day is a bittersweet time for me. Twenty years ago, on Mother’s Day weekend, my mom went to her eternal home. After all these years, I still miss her. If I concentrate hard enough, I can almost hear her voice.

No longer can I share my life, ask for advice and learn from her quiet wisdom. She gave me all she could when she was with me. Now I draw on those memories as I navigate my life.

Recently I was told my mom would have been proud of me. Oh, how I cherished those words.

Mom loved me enough to ensure I learned what was needed to have a fulfilling life. This was much more than separating the whites from bright colours when I did the laundry, or not letting the potatoes boil dry!

She taught me to be polite and respectful.

Her example showed me the value of service to others. I learned giving is receiving. To this day volunteering is still one of the most rewarding parts of my life.

Although I didn’t always appreciate it at the time, she helped me learn appropriate discipline is a form of love. I learned to be honest and responsible.

When I did something wrong, she was forgiving. This taught me to be honest about my failures. I also learned the freeing power of forgiving others.

The twinkle in her eyes and quick wit ensured I would appreciate fun and laughter. Her ability to laugh at herself helped me learn not to take myself too seriously.

Mom’s deep love of family helped me see the beauty in committed relationships. She loved and accepted each of us despite our flaws and weaknesses.

I know my mom was proud of me because she told me so in her final days. I like to think she’d be proud of the woman I’ve become today.

The best way to honour mom’s memory is to pass her wisdom and love on to the young women who follow behind me, so they, in turn, may pass it on. I look at my daughter, my daughter-in-law and my granddaughters and know she’d be as proud of them as I am.

The Hunt

 

#inspiration, #Jesus, fulfillment, treasureWe held our annual Easter Egg Hunt for the family yesterday. The grandkids were excited and couldn’t wait to get started. Once everyone arrived, instructions were given and at the signal, all ran in different directions.

Due to popular demand, the adults are also included in this hunt. While the children get to keep anything they find, the adults can only keep what is above shoulder level.

During this hectic time, the noise level escalates and fun and laughter abound. The result is the creation of fond family memories.

The grandkids know there are always treats in our pantry. So do the adults. It would be easier to gather goodies from there than to search through the house for the unknown. There is something exciting about the hunt, though.

This reminded me of my life. Many times I have set out searching for something even though I didn’t know what it was I was searching for. When I saw others finding what they wanted, I grew frustrated. Where was the treasure I was looking for? The one that would fulfill my hopes and dreams.

What I discovered was that it was there within my reach all along. I had been so focused on my search that I’d missed the treasure in front of me.

Jesus provided the answer to all of my needs. Once I put my life in His hands and trusted Him for the outcome, I could stop searching. He has led me on bigger adventures than I could have planned for myself.  My life is sweeter and more fulfilling. His faithfulness is so great that I am excited to see what treasures each day will bring.

“Because of the LORD’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.” (Lamentations 3:22,23)

Sufficiently Suffonsified

#inspiration, sayings, familyTwenty-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.

Love and Friendship Day

#inspiration, love, Valentine, romanticMy 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.

Great Love

#Inspiration, #Jesus, #Love, familyMore 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 Treat Tin

#inspiration, treats, memoriesThe 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.

Not Ready

#inspiration, heaven, #JesusIt 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)

Honouring Family Heritage

#inspiration, family, heritageI 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!#inspiration, God, heritage, family

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)

Christmas Traditions

#inspiration, #Christmas, traditions
image from Pinterest

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?

Preparing to Fly

#God, #inspiration, encouragement, practice
picture from images.search.yahoo.com

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)