Memories…how precious they are. We can bring to our remembering much joy through our memories. What was it about your childhood that you most enjoyed? What was something your family did that was fun for all of you? What are some memories that first come to mind when you think of your childhood?
Why do you think it is important to think of those memories today? To some of us, they are just that…memories. We don’t have the loved ones to gather with as we did in childhood. I know I don’t. Both my parents have been gone, along with my grandparents for many, many years. They never got to see their grandchildren grow up, least of all, their great-grandson. Stick with me for a moment of looking back…back to simpler times. It was about family getting together and visiting around a meal, cousins playing together, helping each other through tough times, and then living through the week to gather with family again maybe the next weekend. It was sunny days of sun shining through the branches as we were climbing trees, swinging on a tire swing, or it could have been a fun time on the beach while you stayed at a cabin for the a family vacation. Maybe it was a camping trip together. Or, like me and my brothers and friends walking a mile in bare feet in the
summer up the road to a Service Station where they had shelves of penny candy. Then, walking home peering into our sack of goodies, thinking about which we would eat first on the way home. We each have different memories. I trust your brain has flashed some great memories before your eyes by just reading this paragraph.
Maybe we have forgotten that meaningful living takes time. We have maybe forgotten the joy of a leisurely walk, or a siesta time on the deck with coffee, watching the sky turn colors as sun sets, or sitting with coffee or tea and a good book. We feel guilty when we do that and feel we aren’t accomplishing anything. We have let culture dictate how we live our lives. No one said that making a different way is easy. We have to be intentional in our efforts to live that way. When we know what we want in life, we also know what we can eliminate. We can examine how we spend our time, Think about what you want to do in comparison to what you are doing. We really can redesign our lives if we want to. Ask yourself if there is one thing you really want to do that you aren’t doing it right now. What do you have to do to make that happen? Then write down at least one thing you like about your life right now. Maybe get yourself a book and start writing some of these things down. Keep it up to remind yourself…make it your Life Re-design Book. I have a journal that I write everything in. It’s a proven fact that writing things down enact the mind to move forward toward that written goal or dream. It’s like a pair of shoes…the old ones can be comfortable and we like wearing them because they are so comfortable. But, that doesn’t mean they are good for our feet anymore. We aren’t getting the support from them that we need. It takes time and effort to go out and find a new pair, spend the money for them, and they break them in again. However, sometimes we have to give up the old, in order to better take care of our needs. We may need to examine our support and make sure we are getting what we need to move us forward. We can find out that we didn’t even know how those old comfy shoes were holding us back until we put on the new. I want to be seeking all the “new” that God has for me in every area of my life.
I have shared before about making a home to feel like your haven. In my case, it is where I spend a vast majority of my time. So I want to enjoy it. I want to enjoy what I see around me. What are some of the things that reflect the spirit of your home or space? For example, what might be your favorite spot in your home? Favorite piece of furniture? It’s fun to take the time to think about those things. It gives you a sense of belonging and peace to feel that as you look about your home.
Here’s another area to think about…when you are alone in your home, what do you most like to do? Do you find yourself looking around and feeling trapped by where you are? Angry about your circumstances? Don’t feel at home in your space? Or, do you look around and feel comfort, and excitement that you have some time to enjoy your home? Maybe you want change something up, or bake or read? What does your home bring out in you? Do you like to open your home up for company? Maybe a one-on-one? Are you doing that?
Let me give you a peek into mine. I love every home I have lived in, because it is where God placed for that season. I love decorating, so that is the first thing I begin working on when I move in. I spend a lot of time IN my home, so I want it to be reflective of me and my hubby. Because of that, I have items in my home that I love and that bring me joy. I know that if I have that in my home, I will be happy and content there. My home breathes of me and my hubby. However…probably more of me, since he used to be a clean lines kind of guy. But he loves me, and has come to know my love of vintage and all things that remind me of my story, as well as his life story. I have a couple of reading spots, I have a creative spot, I have a cooking and baking spot in my kitchen, and my rooms all inspire me. I love to read and have a bookshelf filled with books in my living room and my cabin/office. I am also Norwegian so you would see reflections of that through out my home. I have furniture that belonged to my grandparents and my parents, which gives me wonderful memories every time I see them.
I have the sights and sounds of my story throughout my home. I love to see and enjoy nature, so you would see wall to wall windows in my cabin. Right now there are no curtains on the windows, with the exception of the window facing the street. Even with that, I made sure I could see the light coming through. My intent is to put up lace valances only so I can continue to enjoy what I see. I love reflective light and so I have things in my home that reflect sunlight when it comes in. My home is a delight for me. It gives me a place where my story can write itself. I love that.
Now…with that in mind, let’s get back to how we started. We all have a story; some have more hardships in their story than others. However, that TOO, can be used by God to walk along side someone who is hurting. God uses all of our story, not just parts of it. Moods can gauge our days. So know what triggers that in you. If you need light in your space, find a way to make more of it…a favorite lamp, open the windows curtains, change the curtains to allow more light, candles, or whatever will bring that into your space. Make time to be with your family and connect. Connection is totally lost on us these days. We text or Facebook, but we have trouble making the time to connect face to face. The more alone you stay, more the daily grind can take its toll. Spend time enjoying your family together. It doesn’t have to be a big thing. But what a joy it brings to gather together again. If you don’t teach that to our kids and grandkids, it will be lost.
If we aren’t moving forward, we are moving backwards by virtue of… no forward motion. I am eager to move forward and make memories of my own as I go. I enjoy connecting with others and feel it is important to do so. Because of that, I make arrangements to do that when ever I can. I want the people in my life to know how important they are to me. I took my grandson to a store that I found that has all the old candy I used to get. It was so fun to share that with him. We got some so he could have that same experience I had. I have planned pb&j picnics with him. He didn’t care what we ate. He was happy to have time together. I did a rainy day picnic sitting in the back of, at that time, my Ford Focus, and we had the back up with umbrellas on each side to keep the rain out and we watched the water and took pictures together. He still remembers that time spent together. I shared more of my story with him. I have grown sons who have said to me, “I have never knew that about you, Mom!” I have changed that. I have now shared with them where we came from and about their heritage. I want them to know how I came to be the person I am today, in other words, more of my story. That pleases me that God has allowed my hubby and I to be able to do that for my boys and grandson. One day, I won’t be here to ask, just as I can’t ask my parents or grandparents the questions I would love to ask, or share with them what I have found or where I have gone. So I share with them in the here and now. I leave a legacy.
Don’t be fooled by the “busy” life you think you must have. We can’t go back in time, but we can sure make more of today more of what we want. It just means intentional decisions. It means doing things others don’t do. As Dave Ramsey says, “Live like no one else, so some day, you can live like no one else.”
The path may be more narrow, but I am living the last half…so I can live like no one else. That is a choice I am happy to live with.
Until next time…
P.S. Just for fun for those that want to know: The windows you see are my windows in my cabin/office. The hanging lights came from a purchase in Norway this last trip, along with the wooden bowl you see. The hanging light is in my living room and came from a mansion in Seattle, and I adore it! I was sitting in one of my favorite spots and admiring it, and couldn’t help taking a picture of it with my iPhone. The pumpkin is one of my reflective pieces for Fall. The picture is of some of my family at a reunion I helped organize to get our family together. The sewing machine is my grandmother’s, along with the pin cushion, and the Army hat of my dad’s, and many other gifts and memories sit there. The vest was made by my mom for me as a little girl and was my favorite. The shoes? Courtesy of my cousin in Norway. Ssssshh…don’t tell him I took the picture. It represented this point for me when I saw them side by side. Why? Because he didn’t want to purchase new ones. 🙂 The path is a path walked by my grandson and my son when they went to Norway with me.