Monthly Archives: March 2013

Journaling a Childhood

Preserving memories is important, but I’m not a scrapbooker. Most of our pictures wait for my attention in a box, an archivally sound box but a box nonetheless. Our traditional baby books contain more blanks than milestones. One thing I did do to record precious moments from my children’s lives, however, is keep a journal for each one of them.

The idea isn’t original to me. A sitcom mom in a TV program I watched years before I met my future husband inspired me to journal memories for my future children.

Six months after Anna was born, when she finally napped on a regular schedule, I opened a blank book with a rose on the front cover and wrote as much as I could before her big brown eyes blinked the end of naptime.

I never wrote every day. Sometimes I managed once a month. Later, when she acquired three siblings and soccer, dance, gymnastics, Girl Scouts, Boy Scouts, and church groups filled our days and nights, I might write only once a year during our vacation, writing from notes that filled in spotty memory gaps.

I wrote the journals directly to the owner of the book as if I were having a conversation. “You can say, ‘Mama’, ‘Dada’, ‘off’, ‘eye’, ‘mine,’ and ‘no’” You’re so excited to go to pre-school.” “Woo hooooo! New driver in the house! Good job!”

I tried to cover major events like birthdays, holidays, and soccer goals, but it was important to me to get in everyday normal happenings also. “Your sense of humor is continuing to develop. You walk by and jab me in the side to make me jump.” “You had a tough school year, but you made it through with much, much prayer. Mrs. Xxxx might be happier in a different profession, but we are finished with her and happy to be so.”

 Writing these journals gave me great joy. I loved putting my take on what was happening in their lives and making sure they knew how much I adored them and treasured being their mother. Encouraging words were also an important theme like, “God has something special for you whenever He denies your request”—a paraphrase from my current Bible study for Lane’s most recent entry.

I have just a few months left to keep the last of the journals because Lane and Quinn are high school seniors this year. So, like I did with their sisters, I’ll finish my entries and leave them as gifts when we move the boys into their college dorms.

Maybe then I can be more faithful to my own journal…, but it probaaly won’t be as much fun.

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Persisting #2

This week’s post is late, but I have a good excuse: I’m still recovering from changing to the dreaded Daylight Savings Time. I hate losing that hour every year. It doesn’t matter that we get it back in the fall. I want it now.

I can’t believe that people actually agreed to go along with this exercise in sleep deprivation years ago, and now we continue to follow along because the media and church signs tell us to “Spring Forward.”

I always wonder about residents in those small places that don’t change the time. Part of me wants to cheer, “Way to be a rebel! Good for you! Enjoy that hour that we don’t get.” The other part of me just wonders, “How do you make that work?” Not changing clashes with their regular time zone.  It has to be confusing.

So today’s post is late and a continuation of last week’s thoughts about persisting in difficulties. My difficulty this week is yawning incessantly and trying to type with blurry eyes. Lane and Quinn, however, are still struggling with questions about their futures.

“God always works for His children’s best interests.” That statement is a paraphrase from one of my Bible study lessons. I wrote it in Lane’s journal this week.  Here’s the whole paragraph from the journal:

I know you feel like you’re spinning around with no direction, but God has allowed this difficulty in your life for a reason and for your good. I know that’s hard to believe right now, but it’s true because God always works for our best.”

I love being able to share God’s truth with my children.

I love writing journals for them, too. Next time, I’ll write about journals.

Persisting in Difficulties

“The promise of God’s presence with us enables us to persist in the face of difficulties.” I borrowed the previous sentence from a Bible study lecture because it’s perfect for our family right now.

I mentioned in an earlier post that our sons are applying to the service academies. Two weeks ago, one found out that he will not receive a medical waver for childhood asthma and, therefore, will not be accepted. After a year of applying—writing essays, taking tests, gathering letters of recommendation, working hard to become a competitive candidate—and ten years of dreaming of attending the Naval Academy, Lane is having to rethink what his year after high school will look like.

I’m proud of how he’s handling his difficulty—profound disappointment. The news shook his world but not his faith. He knows that God has plans for him. He’s deciding on which Plan B to take.

Quinn is still being considered, and as he waits and looks in the mail box every day, he struggles to overcome his difficulty—sorrow for his twin and guilt.

Quinn is hurting for Lane right now, but he’s still holding out hope for a place at West Point.

So we’re holding on to God’s promises that He can do more than we can ask or imagine, that He has plans for a future for us, that He is sovereign and works everything for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose.

We’re persisting in the face of disappointments and difficulties.