Thursday, October 25, 2012
Memories: What Type are We Creating?
The image, above, evokes such happy memories for me. It was taken in the summer time and shows three of our daughters having fun on the vine-swing near our creek. "How many girls can fit on a vine?" was the theme of our game!
Looking at this picture begs a question in my heart.
What type of memories are we creating?
My siblings and I often reminisce about the days of our childhood whenever we get together. It makes me wonder what stories and thoughts my own children will share when they are grown and on their own in the world. Already, we've had a glimpse of this with our two married children. Most times, it comes in the form of them seeing their younger brothers and sisters doing something, which causes them to exclaim, "Hey! We were never allowed to do that when WE were their age!" We all laugh and have a good time of it and then my husband and I rush in to explain why things have changed or why WE have changed or why we have no excuse other than the fact that we are old and tired and just don't feel like making *whatever it is* an *issue* anymore; which brings MORE laughter and more joking.
On a more pensive note, however, I do find myself wondering, "What will they remember most from their childhood? What will they reminisce about? What memories will be at the forefront of their thoughts?"
Our world is a very busy place. Marriage and family life look very different today, generally-speaking, than it did in the 50's, or moreover, in the 1800's!
Have you ever read stories of the Frontier Days? If so, then you might recall that the prose is often riddled with tales of challenge and hardship and, even, tragedy. However, intermingled with the trial and suffering, there is an ever-present feeling of "contentment" and "joy". We see captions like, "The children had little to no toys, but they were happy playing their games and running in the fields".
This tells us that it is not material wealth or goods that bring about cherished family memories.
It is togetherness. It is weathering the storms of life; side-by-side. It is enjoying the companionship of your brothers and sisters. It is being a part of the beautiful nature that surrounds you.
I make a mental note that I don't ever want to get so caught up in our schedules, outside activities, gadgets, electronics, academics, and work, that the simpler pleasures in life and our true family time get pushed aside; or, worse yet, forgotten.
Sometimes, as a homeschooling mother, the enemy places that nagging little fear in my mind: "Am I doing enough? Are the kids happy? Are they missing out?" etc...
Then, I come across a photo image, like the one, above, and I have my answer.
There are more pictures where this came from.
Pictures of a family, on a blanket, at 2 am, watching a meteor shower in the sky.
Pictures of children with hats on heads and juicy apples in-hand, bouncing along and singing; snuggled together in the trailer-ride that their Dad takes them on...pulling them in a homemade *hayride* through the fields and woods of our land.
There pictures of brothers and sisters proudly holding the newest baby in their arms.
There are stories in journals, too.
Stories of cheering for a brother or sister on a sports team.
Stories that tell of birthday dinners, or days spent baking, together in the kitchen.
Others tell of special church services and community events; attended together, on Sundays-past.
And, then, there are the tales not recorded in writing or by film...but, rather, captured in the memory box of a mind and heart...and re-told, while sitting on the front porch, sipping lemonade, or, in colder months, hot chocolate...tales of outdoor games and victories...tales of gardens and pets and family movie nights...tales of friends who have come to visit...and even...tales of trips to the emergency room or hospital stays and heroic older brothers and sisters that "held down the fort" while mom and dad were away.
These are our cherished memories. These are the stories our children will pass on to their children.
It's about love and co-operation and joyful service in God's name. It's about learning and growing, side by side, in this extraordinary-ordinary life of ours. It's about sharing and comforting and encouraging one another along life's journey.
Family dinner tables, rides in the country, long walks through the woods...splashing in the hose water on a summer's day, climbing trees, building forts, playing house, and singing in rounds.
We don't have to fall in with the anti-family culture of the day. We don't have to rush off, apart from one another, to an endless stream of meetings and committees. We don't have to *buy* our way to happiness.
We don't have to stare at television shows that degrade fathers and mock the Christian family life.
We can be counter-cultural. We can be different. We can restore what God has ordained.
The way that we live, the things that we do, the lessons we teach, will be remembered by our children and their children.
Memories: What type are you creating?
Judy Dudich is owner of Homeschool Faith and Family Life, the website that uplifts, encourages, and supports families in their daily life journeys. She and her husband Tom have been blessed with ten children and four grand-babies; so far!
Judy has successfully taught all grades, K-12, while striving to surrender each day to Christ as she learns along-side her family. She is the author of, “I Surrender”, the study guide for women seeking Christ in the center of their daily life journeys and available in hard copy, e-book, Kindle, and Nook at BookLocker. You can listen to Judy, LIVE, on her online radio show, "Mothers at Home"; coming to you, every other Friday, on Blog Talk Radio, to encourage you in your vocation at home! You may visit Judy's personal blog: Benmakesten, connect with her on Facebook, or follow her on Twitter.