If you’re on facebook, you know they care about your memories. They say so. And then bring up pictures of past posts for you to think about. Or laugh at.
This morning facebook reminded me of a wonderful memory from the above picture posted on May 12, 2013, in Lee’s Summit, MO. It was Mother’s Day. And it was one of our best surprises. Ever. Well, until Miles was born.
We had moved from Temple Terrace the previous year, and it would be the first time in several years that Norma Jean wouldn’t get to be with our kids on Mother’s Day. So, I decided to surprise her by flying them to Kansas City.
However, I suggested to her that she ought to surprise them by flying down to Tampa. Kenny was born the day after Mother’s Day so it always makes that weekend extra special. So, on Friday, she was getting ready to pack, thinking I was taking her to the airport that afternoon.
No sooner had she put her suitcase on the bed than the phone rang. It was April. While she was chatting, Kenny walked in. You should have heard Norma scream. After she realized what had happened, then April appeared. More screams. Then a few minutes who walks in, but Rachél. More screams of joy. And lots of laughter. It was a wonderful and memorable weekend.
I share that story to remind us of the importance of making good memories in our families. And that family life ought to be fun.
There’s a whole lot going on in the world today that is discouraging, disheartening, and depressing. War among nations. Conflicts dividing partisan groups. Mayhem and murder in our major cities. Sickness. Disease. And death. And sometimes divisiveness in our churches.
There’s not a lot I can do about so much of what goes on in the world around me. But I can do something about my life. My heart. My home. And my family. How about making your home a happy place? Of loving, serving, and sharing with pleasure and a spirit of joy? Of making memories that will bring a smile to your face and last a lifetime?
“Memory is the way of holding on to the things you love, the things you are, the things you never want to lose,” once wrote the prolific author anonymous. Or as Libbie Fudim opined, “Recall it as often as you wish, a happy memory never wears out.”
That memory reminds us that life is not about expensive gifts, material wealth, or our treasured possessions. In fact, Jesus said so when he warned of greed. “A man’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions” (Lk. 12;15). Life is about relationships. People we love. Values we embrace. Good times we share. The memories we make. And, of course, the God we serve.
The picture was taken after a delicious buffet at Pierpont’s at Union Station, following worshiping together where I preached at the Hickman Mills Church in Kansas City. My message that day was from Proverbs 31–“The Worth of a Godly Mother.” It was a special time of being together. A wonderful memory.
The picture also reminds me of how much has changed in the past 9 years. Just over a year later Rachél gave birth to Roy, our first grandchild, and 8 days later April would welcome baby Miles, a surprising early arrival. Two years later both would give birth to girls, Katherine and Fern, born 5 weeks apart. During that time Kenny has coached cross country at Florida College, taken on the role of a full-time Dad in rearing two rambunctious kids, volunteering to coach sports teams at their school, and raising chickens.
Then, April was in the early stages of Medical School. Today, she’s in Family Practice in Inverness, FL. Then we were in Missouri. Three years later we would move to Texas. And after that spend 33 months of full-time traveling and preaching that took us to 36 states and 10 countries. Today, we’re back in Florida.
Life moves on. Changes occur. We get older. And some memories are bitter-sweet as we think of those whose life journey is completed, who would have loved some of these treasured moments. Yet, through faith, we believe their joy is far beyond anything we’re experiencing on earth.
Hopefully, this personal little trip down memory lane will encourage you to make each day count. To love the people in your life. To make special memories. And to live so the observation of the wise man can be realized in your life–“The memory of the righteous is a blessing” (Prov. 10:7).
–Ken Weliever, The Preacherman