Archive for the ‘Family’ Tag

Christmas Memories   Leave a comment

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Sorry that it has been a while since I posted on here.  With the holiday last week, life became busy and hectic.  I think that I am back in control of everything and will get back to more normal regularity in posting.

This morning I was thinking a lot about the memories which I have from my past Christmas times.  Over the years I have acquired some great memories.  So I thought I would share a list of them with you today.

  • Every year when I was growing up, my sister would purchase an Advent calendar for me which had a piece of chocolate hidden behind each day’s door.  I used to eagerly anticipate that calendar, the chocolate treat each day and the countdown to Christmas.
  • We used to string popcorn and cranberries to use as garland on our real Christmas tree.  I cannot count the number of times that I poked myself with the needle.  Or the number of times that Mom would have to re-thread the string through the needle.
  • We always had a lot of candles throughout the house during the Christmas season.  I would often light the candles, turn on the Christmas lights, and listen to Christmas records.
  • Attending Christmas Eve services and walking out of the church at midnight to find a light snow falling.
  • My Dad’s relatives gathering at our house on Christmas Eve.  One Christmas Eve when I was young the adults had all of us go to my room and stay there.  Soon there was a knock on the front door and when we were allowed to come out of my room we were surprised by Santa standing there.  I still have never figured out who was behind that beard.
  • Waking up on Christmas morning and knowing that I could open anything I found in my stocking but the rest of the presents had to wait until everyone was awake and sitting in the living room.
  • Decorating my college dorm room and having enough lights that we never turned on the overhead light until after Christmas break.
  • Listening to Mannheim Steamroller’s Christmas album in my dorm room with friends.

These are just a few special memories that have come to mind this morning.  What memories do you have?

Reason to Celebrate   Leave a comment

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Nineteen years ago this morning, I was in a hospital welcoming my second son into this world.  Saying that it was a pretty eventful day is putting it mildly.  He had decided to come much earlier than he was supposed to, in fact almost two months earlier, and he was very tiny.  The medical staff had done a great job of holding him off for about a week but he was determined to arrive anyway.  There was a medical issue which prompted his early arrival.

I remember the previous night and the early morning very well.  My son’s arrival began late on the previous night.  Throughout the night things would progress and then seem to slow down.  Early in the morning however, the decision to move things along was made and we were prepared to go into a birthing room.  I donned some hospital scrubs, boots, and cap while we made the transition.  Then in a few short minutes after arriving in the room, my son was born.  I was able to see him briefly before he was taken to be prepped for a necessary surgery.

Well, here we are some nineteen years later.  After two months in the hospital, an emergency trip back to the hospital, and multiple surgeries, he survived it all.  For the last nineteen years, he has grown, had more surgeries for different reasons, had a broken bone, and done all the normal things a young man does as he grows up.  He currently is in his first year at college and learning both inside and out of the classroom more than I could ever have imagined.

I celebrate this day because while the beginning was scary and very tumultuous, the young man who I call my son continues to make me proud.  While he was young I had a nickname for him, my M & M, my Miracle Michael.  I have been blessed with two tremendous sons who I praise God for every day.  So I celebrate his birthday filled with so many reasons to celebrate!

Posted November 5, 2015 by thoughtfulbeliever in Belief, Experiences, Family, Life

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Returning To The Past   Leave a comment

Today I did something which I have not done for a very long time…. I baked banana bread.  Now I realize that this is not some profound activity.  My making of banana bread will not alter the events in the world or even be remembered by anyone.  However, it has had an impact on me for two reasons.  The first reason is that I pulled out my hometown cookbook to find the recipe which took me down memory lane as I recalled the people whose name appeared with the different recipes.  The second reason is that I baked for the first time in a long time which is something I used to love to do with my mother and shortly after college.  I had stopped baking and cooking because life became hectic and there was someone else in my home who did these activities.

The reason that I share this with you today is due to the memories and the sense of joy that returning to this past activity has brought to me.  Sometimes in life we become distracted by the new activities and new demands on our lives.  This can lead to us abandoning some activities which brought us joy in the past.  I think that when this occurs, we lose out on a piece of our life that can bring meaning to our lives.  Thinking of this actually brings some sadness into my heart.  However, when we resume such an activity, we can regain the joy.  The memories bring happiness to our hearts.  The connections are recalled.  We can relive some of our previous life.

I encourage you today to take some time to think about some of the things which you used to do but are not doing any more.  Why did you discontinue the activity?  Can you resume the activity even for a short time?  How might you return to your past and bring the joy into your present?

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Posted October 6, 2015 by thoughtfulbeliever in Activity, Experiences, Family, Life

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Leaving An Imprint   Leave a comment

Austrian-flagThis week I had to say good-bye to someone who will forever leave a mark on my heart.  If any of you have had the great honor of being a host parent for a foreign exchange student, you will totally understand what I mean.  I would even dare to bet that anyone who has been a foster parent can relate to all the feelings as well.  These young people come into your lives and into your homes for a period of time.  They bring all of their excitement and fears with them.  They bring their habits and challenges with them.  They truly become part of your family.  Then the day arrives when you have to send them back to their original home.  For me, the only part of being a host parent which is the worst is the day that I have to say good-bye to the young person who has lived with me (and maybe the days of adjustment which follow).

As I thought about all the feelings which I am experiencing after taking my adopted son to begin his journey back home last night, I realized that he has left his imprint on my life.  Just as my other adopted son from a year ago has left his imprint, this son has done the same.  I am changed because they have been in my life.  Sure, I have come to know much more about the countries of Austria and Switzerland than I had in the past, but it was much more than that.  I have had the privilege of experiencing the love and sharing my love with these young men.  I have come to worry about them and look after them.  I have had the chance to teach them just as they taught me.  I am a better person because I have had them in my life.

It is truly a joy when people come into your life and touch you.  No matter what the distance may be between you or the time between seeing each other, you carry a piece of them around with you forever more.  I look forward to the day when I will be reunited with each of them.  I look forward to having ongoing conversations with them (yeah for Skype and social media).  I look forward to watching them continue their lives even if it may be from afar.

Thank you for imprinting yourselves on my life Arnold and Simon! Swiss flag

For Mom (A Reminder for Me)   Leave a comment

As this weekend approaches, many will celebrate the moms in their lives.  I will celebrate in the memories.  One of my Mom’s favorite songs is the one which I post today.  But I post this for two reasons, the first is to celebrate Mom and the second is the reminder that others can be our bridge.  My Mom was often one of my bridges.

Posted May 8, 2015 by thoughtfulbeliever in Experiences, Family, Life, Music

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Reconnecting   Leave a comment

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One of the great aspects of this time of year is that we are given an opportunity to reconnect with people.  Through Christmas cards and the letters included in them, we are able to share about our lives and hear about the lives of others with whom we may not have regular contact.  It is always a great joy for me to go to the mailbox and see who has sent a card each day.  (By the way, mine is in process this week.)

Yesterday, as I worked on Christmas cards, I was thinking about the importance of reconnecting.  Not only is it important to reconnect with friends and family this time of year, but it is also important for us to take time to reconnect with the cause for celebration this time of year.  In the celebration of the incarnation of Christ, we remember that God truly became one of us.  We remember about Christ’s life and ministry.  Of course we remember the ultimate purpose of his arrival, the providing us a way back to God by the removing of the stain of our sins.  Christ brought the ultimate opportunity of re-connection.

The other significant celebration is the welcoming of a new year.  As a believer, I am reminded that just as the Lord was present in my life over the past year, the Lord will be present in this new year.  I have no idea what the new year will bring but the Lord does.  No matter what each day of the new year holds in store for me, the Lord is right there beside me.  I have this connection with the Lord that will not be severed on the Lord’s part.

So I encourage you to not only celebrate the joy of reconnecting with family and friends this time of year but to also reconnect with the significance of your relationship with the Lord.  Reconnect with the reality of what the Lord has done and is doing for you.


Today’s Thank List   1 comment

thank you

thank you (Photo credit: the|G|™)

Today, I felt it was time for me to stop and take inventory of the things that I am thankful for.  So here is my list:

  • Sunshine
  • Green grass and leaves on the trees
  • Friends
  • Family
  • People I love
  • Good health
  • Nice home
  • Meaningful job
  • My dogs
  • A purpose-filled life
  • Leadership abilities
  • Coffee
  • A safe and peaceful place to live
  • People who help me grow
  • God’s love
  • Jesus’ gift of grace
  • Forgiveness

What would you put on your list?  What would you add to mine?