We just returned from spending 8 days away with my family at Bear Creek Lake State Park in Virginia. 8 days with all four of my siblings, their children and my parents, affectionately known as “mimi” and “beba!”
I cannot adequately summarize a whole week in one blog post so I will share a few of my favorite memories:
Thursday afternoon, my older brother Tim wanted to kill some time with his restless kids and decided to make a trip into nearby Farmville (what a name for a town, huh?:) for some ice cream. Our kids were napping and I was craving anything fattening, cold and sweet so it didn’t take any prodding to convince me to go along!
Before stopping at Dairy Queen, Tim ran into Barnes and Nobles to buy a journal since he is in the habit of writing…writing on his well-known Christian blog, writing books, writing magazine articles and journaling. He came out with two notebooks. He explained to me the significance of these particular books, called Moleskine notebooks. They were first produced in France and used in the past by many famous artists such as Van Gogh to Picasso and writers such as Ernest Hemingway. They went out of print until 1998.
That evening, Tim gave me a little pamphlet that gave an explanation of the notebooks and then he did something that deeply touched me…he gave me one of the notebooks. The gesture reminded me of one in years past when Tim caught a baseball at a Toronto Blue Jays game and then gave it to me as a birthday gift. He was and always has been a baseball fan…I knew he was sacrificing by giving that ball to me. That year, at 12 years of age, I was a baseball buff. That ball, hit by Pat Borders, couldn’t have been a more appropriate present!
Now I am resolved to put something of worth in that journal!
More sweet memories was made last Saturday night when we celebrated Ellie’s second birthday together…cousins everywhere…such perfect timing to have her party! My sister-in-law Aileen told me that in no uncertain terms, she was going to make the birthday cake and so she made the most heavenly chocolate sheet cake around! We donned Dora party hats, the kids blew on party favors and most importantly, Ellie was the girl of the hour!:)
Her cousins fawned over her and let the time be all about her. We didn’t have a first birthday party for Ellie so I was so thankful we could have a celebration this year!
Observing Micah play with his cousin Emma, four years old just like him, was adorable. A happy, secure, fun-loving character Emma is and together, they had a ball! Chasing each other into the water, water wings on as they climbed onto large, saucer-like “lily pads” in a roped in area of the beach. Holding hands, making goofy faces, having adorable little toddler discussions about nothing in particular but to them, there is a significance.
Seeing my son learning friendship and forging relationships with his own flesh and blood…it blesses my soul and I am so thankful he has cousins who can be examples in his life of joy, obedience and love!
I was blessed by seeing faithful parenting being modeled by my siblings. My nieces and nephews are growing up to be children who honor and obey their parents, who are gentle and kind, who speak kindly to one another, who deeply love and cherish each other! Each time I see these beautiful little people, I see change and growth and it excites me! Not only does it encourage me in my walk as a parent but I simply feel so much hope. Hope that the next generation is set to live joyfully for God! Oh let it be so!
Lastly, we all treasured the morning coffee ritual of walking to mom and dad’s cabin, getting one of their delicious lattes and sitting for a while, simply visiting with whomever came through their door. Such a cozy, peaceful way to begin the day!
There is so much more I could tell…for another post!:)