Remember the Simple Things

This morning while I was driving to my internship I was listening to the radio.  The hosts were talking about a recent news report that stated that the people of Norway (I think it was Norway) are much simpler in their parenting and in what they do with their children, and as a result their children are happier.  They then shared their memories of their childhood and what stood out as the best things that they remember doing with their families.  All three hosts remembered very simple things like going for a ride or playing a game in the back yard.  I thought it was interesting that even though they had “bigger” memories, such as trips to Disney as a family, these trips were not the thing that stood out to them.  It was the simple things.

I couldn’t help but think about what I remember about my childhood.  I remember, and appreciate the trip to camp at the beach and going to Creation as a family, but I think the memories that mean the most to me are much simpler.  I remember going to yard sales with my mom and/or grandmother.  I remember going fishing with my dad, or groundhog hunting, or sledding.  I remember renting movies and watching them over a snack.  Even today grilling and having a picnic dinner or sitting around the fire pit is the kind of thing that my family loves to do together.

It really is the simple things.

My kids are growing up.  I wonder what they remember most?  Is it the big planned activities?  Or was it much simpler?  Did my husband and I do enough of the quieter, easy-going stuff?

I’ll have to ask them.

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My favorite things…

“Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens….”

“These are a few of my favorite things!”

I remember watching “The Sound of Music” on tv when I was a child.  It was one of my favorite movies!  I used to sing along with Julie Andrews at the top of my lungs.  I wish I could say I sounded just like her, but the truth is though I can sing I am no Julie Andrews.  But that is besides the point.

This time of year reminds me of this tradition of watching certain things every year with my family.  Besides “The Sound of Music,” I remember watching “The Wizard of Oz,” “Frosty the Snowman” and “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” every year.  My family would gather around the tv with a snack to enjoy these shows together.

I think that is the only thing that I miss about “the way it was.”  Nowadays with on-demand and YouTube etc. it is possible to watch any one of these shows at any time.  This used to be something that we all looked forward to doing together once a year.  It was special.

It is a fun memory!

The Princess on her birthday

It was her birthday.  She wore a princess crown and a purple shirt.  Purple was her favorite color after all.  She was turning eleven years old and was in love with life.  Her parents.  Her friends.  Her four sisters.  Little did anyone know it was the last birthday she would spend with her family and friends.  Little did anyone know what would happen in the spring. 

She was just eleven years old when she died.  She never got to become a teenager, never got to go to a school dance or any number of things that most teens get to do.  She had a seizure and she was gone.  Just like that.

Today would have been her sixteenth birthday.  Sweet Sixteen.  Her mom and dad and sisters should have been throwing her a party.  They should have been laughing and teasing and celebrating this milestone.  Instead they were left with only memories.  Happy memories and laughter at the stories about her life.  Tender memories about her sensitive heart and love of life.  Sad memories at her loss.

The crown she now wears is real, given to her by Jesus himself.  I believe she is wearing purple, her favorite color, and laughing and dancing with Jesus for her birthday in her princess crown.  I think Jesus cares about stuff like that.  I believe that by the time she turns around and looks for her family to hug them and celebrate with them, they will be with her.  Time doesn’t pass in the same way in Heaven.

But here on earth, where time passes more slowly.  It feels like a long time since she was with us.  Her mother’s arms ache with her absence.  She is missed.  Deeply.  And she will be until she is reunited with her family while she is dancing with Jesus!