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Archive for November 26th, 2013

It’s that time of year when the aromas of heart and home come from the kitchen. This afternoon I pulled yummy banana breads from the oven and plopped them on hand crafted trivets my Daddy made to cool.

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Suddenly memories mesmerized me—times I had used these trivets. Unthinking, take-for-granted times. Times I had treated them like trash. But today I am thankful. Thankful for my Daddy’s thoughtfulness and love to construct these necessary tools for me. A part of him that endures and I felt his love even though he’sDSCF3940 been gone fourteen years.

I look around my home and remember the treasures we enjoy from my family and my husband’s family. And I am thankful. For them, for their love, and for the precious possessions they left behind.

Mama’s recipes have fed my family and friends. Her investments in my life become more evident with each passing day. Years ago my teenagers laughed at me one evening and confirmed, “you’ve turned into your mother.”DSCF3939

My home is blessed with her favorite things: porcelain figurines, dishes, furniture, silverware—things she loved and used everyday. Things that evoke sweet memories. Things I pray my children and grandchildren will hold dear.
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Dick’s mother lived with us in her final days and brought many of her cherished antiques to Texas from North Carolina. I’ll never forget the day we held that first garage sale in Carolina before the move. By all measurements I’m short, but Grandma Gates was even shorter. And that little woman toted stuff back inside faster than I could move them out for the sale.DSCF3949

I finally stopped, sat her down, and attempted to explain, yes, everything was bigger in Texas, except our house. We couldn’t take it all.

Today I’m so grateful I have a portion of her things to remind me of Grandma’s tenacity and fierce love of her family. I’ve rocked my grandchildren in Grandma’s rocking chair and fed them from their Papa’s baby spoons. Treasured memories.DSCF3952

Were they all pleasant recollections? Oh my, no. We’re not perfect people, just people with memories—the good, the bad, and the ugly. And I marvel what God has given, taken, and molded out of the multiplicity of cracked-pot lives that fill our family albums. I’m thankful.

What about you? As you approach Thanksgiving Day 2013, which is longer? Your thankful list or your regrets list?

The only thing going into eternity will be folks. Your folks. My folks. Family. And friends. Not stuff. While I enjoy Mama’s and Grandma’s stuff, all their things just loop me back to our relationships and times spent in their presence. Living, laughing, lamenting. And I’m thankful.

Regret steals thankfulness when we waste our lives chasing objects that will one day be destroyed, only to wake up—often when it’s too late—and realize we’ve ignored the important things. Relationships with family, friends and acquaintances. Because we were too busy, too foolish, or too self-absorbed to understand the difference between trash and treasure.

“Do not lay up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in or steal; for where your treasure is, there will your heart be also” (Matthew 6:19-21 NAS).

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