Another treasure came my way on Sunday. Mom sent me a memory. My moms are in the risk group for this pandemic and I haven’t been able to see them for over a month. I miss my moms. And yes, I understand they are taking care of themselves. We text and chat on the phone to stay in our bubbles. Here is the text I received on Sunday morning:
“…I was thinking about that Christmas in the mountains where we rented the cabin and set up the Christmas tree oh, and you made Mary and Joseph out of tinfoil. I remember that you ate the ornaments and last vision I had was of Faith running down the hill with the string popcorn and eating it after we cleaned up the tree. I’m thankful for those times that I had with you kids. And I guess we’re on the same thought, because you seem to enjoying your time with your kids. So besides being thankful for the air we breathe, the water we drink, and the beautiful flowers we see I’m glad for the memories. Love you”
I wrote back:
“…I loved reading those memories. It was a wonderful trip. I remember you and dad said no presents because the trip was our present. The nativity and little tree with popcorn and chocolate, it’s funny, I got the chocolate and Faith got the popcorn! Faith and I went to bed talking about the day and how great a present the trip was for us.
We woke the next morning to find two packages under that little tree of popcorn and chocolate. Imagine our surprise to find they were for us. We now had our own flashlights just like the grown-ups! I think I fell in love with the mountains on that trip. Thank you for the memory…”
Is anyone else remembering the good stuff in life lately? Are we building new “good memories” to store up for the future when we need a boost? I needed the boost yesterday. It has been a long month in the house. I found myself a little down over the last few days. It looked like I wasn’t going to make it out of the shadows. At that point, I felt like I would be isolated forever.
This is a mirage of fear and just like a strong hurricane, the clouds will lift and the sun will return to its place in the sky. We will go out and assess the damage, and begin to recover. My mother’s text broke through the shadows, reminding me that good and bad times come and go.
1Oh, sing to the Lord a new song!
For He has done marvelous things;
His right hand and His holy arm have gained Him the victory.
2 The Lord has made known His salvation;
His righteousness He has revealed in the sight of the nations.
3 He has remembered His mercy and His faithfulness to the house of Israel;
All the ends of the earth have seen the salvation of our God.
[Psalm 98:1-3 NKJV]
I’ve had many good seasons like this family Christmas vacation. We celebrated our faith, enjoyed downtime, and discovered a new terrain. We were not poor but neither were we wealthy. That year we had a choice; a gift-filled Christmas at home or adventure. That year we chose the adventure!
Since then I have had more good seasons than bad. Praise God, I am grateful for his Grace in my life. But there have been many bad seasons too; seasons with shadows so dense I thought they would suffocate the life right out of me.
But now, O Lord,
You are our Father;
We are the clay, and You our potter;
And all we are the work of Your hand.
[Isaiah 64:8 NKJV]
When we look back, we can see our stumbles, where our clay shattered, and when we gave up. This part of the past can bring pain. But don’t fear the past. What about when you soared? Or when you know God has blessed you. The happy times, you connected with someone special; you got the job or the miracle. Those memories can uplift you. Don’t forget them. Tuck them away in your heart. They are treasures. God wouldn’t give us memories unless we could learn from them or enjoy them. Otherwise, what is the purpose of a memory?
If you need to write them down, do that. Take them out when you need that smile or belly laugh. Give the gift of that smile or laugh to those around you. This is what my mom did this weekend. Memories are treasures passed down to the generations. With all the same talk about the pandemic going on, shut it off for a while and enjoy some memory time today! It is the stuff legends are made of…
P.S. Faith is my sister and the ornaments were foil covered milk chocolate.