We're going to travel backwards for a bit...to help you understand who I am, why I am, and from whence I came. I was blessed with the two best parents in the whole world. I am the middle child, between two wonderful (now that we're all grown) brothers. We had a simple life. We had simple things...home grown garden...home sewn clothes...used cars...just a sweet life - much like growing up in Mayberry, USA. In fact, my dad reminds me so much of Andy Griffith it's almost spooky. He had a dry, quick wit, he loved "hands-on" work, he had a simple education, an infectious laugh and was a very kind and gentle soul. He was driven, though not by monetary things. He was not interested in "climbing the ladder" but was driven to work hard and spend time with his family. He always had time to spend with us and for us. We never wanted for anything. In our eyes, we were rich!
Mother worked as well, to help support our family of 5. She had her job, came home and cooked, cleaned, went to all of our ballgames, stayed up until the wee hours sewing many nights and then started all over the next day. She was funny, warped (in a good way) and had more moxie than anyone I know. She was a practical joker. She was a Sunday School teacher for many, many years. She sang in the choir...she loved music, movies, dancing...she was a wonderful woman. She taught me all about "pulling up my big girl panties" and dealing with things.
We all spent many Saturdays going to Spring Lake to swim, cook hot dogs and just relax in the outdoors. Every Sunday we went to church...no arguments...we knew we were going and that was that. After a huge lunch, (always prepared very early before church by mother) we would load up and either go fishing or just driving all over the back country roads around Danville. (us kids and Jet, the family mutt, in the back of the pick-up truck). We always came home in time for "night church". Goodness, wasn't morning church enough for one day??? Sadly, I find myself even now, looking for excuses to NOT go to night church. As kids, we would secretly plot in the back of the truck, ways to distract them from the time so that we would get home too late for church. It rarely worked. Bummer. But when it did, we knew in our hearts they were just giving us that little "extra" time of togetherness or family time that we needed once in a while. Back in those dinosaur days, The Wonderful World of Walt Disney came on TV on Sunday nights. We were very distraught over never getting to stay home and watch that...no DVR's back then. And if that weren't punishment enough, once a year, The Wizard of OZ came on...always on Sunday night...DANG! They figured after they allowed us to stay home and see it once, that was enough. We didn't need to skip church once a year to see something we had already seen. My older brother, Harold, still insists that he will forever be traumatized over not getting to stay home on Sunday nights to watch it - not even once a year! Oh the memories...too many to share.
Mother and Daddy never complained about being too tired to do these weekend things, even though they had worked all week, nights, and sometimes day and night. They were never grumpy...even with each other. I never heard them say a cross word to one another...ever! They were always ready and willing to spend what little free time they had, with us...making memories. More than anything, they were devoted to God, to each other and to our family. They were truly the epitome of unselfishness. They also taught us to entertain ourselves with simple pleasures. We didn't have video games, DVR's, computers, texting on cell phones...all the things that we can't seem to live without in today's world. We had to create our own entertainment, using our own imagination (what's that?), with sticks, rocks, clover chains, dirt, balls, friends...when is the last time you made a 6 ft. chain using gum wrappers? (Fruit Stripes made the best ones) When was the last time you picked clover flowers and weaved a necklace, bracelet or a ring? When was the last time you built a tree house..a fort... baked a mud pie?
Oh, to live the simple life again. What happened to our world? Where is the simple pleasure of a summer night catching lightning bugs or bees in a jar? Where is the simple satisfaction of riding down old country roads and getting a mouthful of dust when other cars came by? Where is the simple pleasure in putting pieces of bologna between your toes so your dog can lick it out...making mud pies and building forts? Playing outside until dark? Riding your bicycle to the store? Playing Jax? Sitting out on the porch swing and wrapping up in a blanket on a cold day to read a book?
I SOOOO miss those days...which leads me to the first song on my playlist - "How Could I Ask For More"? I'm not exceptionally crazy about this version, but I haven't figured out how to upload/download...whatever you do...the one I want. However, the most important thing is the message in the song! I love this song more than you could ever know because it is so my life. It has my precious mother and daddy stamped all over it. Tears spill over my cheeks even as I type, because of the joy and warmth this song fills my heart with. It is simple in itself...bringing to mind the simple things in life. Both of my parents have now gone to be with their Savior, but the love and joy they gave me will forever be engraved on my heart and the gratitude to God for blessing me with them is more than I could ever express.
I pray that you will listen to these words and allow them to speak to your heart...to appreciate the simple things in life...to know there is so much more out there than this over-paced world we try so hard to keep up with. Promise yourself this week to spend a little simple time with your family, with yourself, with God - take a walk, sit outside under the stars and look for the big and little dippers, catch lightning bugs in a jar, (just don't let PETA know about it), sit down and read a book for 30 minutes, take a nap...do something SIMPLE! Then thank GOD for the blessings in your life! I am so blessed!
There is so much more I want to tell you, but I've already "talked your eyes off", so I will stop for now. (you're thinking - "Thank you Lord for the simple task of shutting her up.")
Until next time.
"And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight." Philippians 1:9