Monthly Archives: February 2011
Since I have been thinking about old times, I thought a few of the funny things that have happened might be interesting. My sisters and I are no different than I’m sure most of you are, and when you get 5 girls together, and then the neighbor kids, and a few cousins…well, it is a recipe for either disaster, or the funniest stories ever.
One that keeps coming to my mind, is the time my cousin Forest was over at our house, and all of us kids decided to play Hide and Seek. I can’t say for sure how old I was, but I couldn’t have been more that 5 or 6. Forest, who was the same age as I was, and I couldn’t figure out where to hide. So being the “helper” she was, my sister Cheryl, who was two years older than we were, decided to help us out. In our garage was a clothes dryer. It was one of those old style dryers with a window in front. So, Cheryl said, “Here, climb in and I’ll shut the door softly so it doesn’t close all the way.” Well, as you can imagine, Forest and I, trusting as we were, climbed right in. Cheryl slammed the door and said, “I’m going to turn it on.” We started screaming, and she started laughing. It didn’t take very long to realize that since it was out in the garage…it wasn’t plugged in! My sisters and I were always trying to see if we could pull one over on each other…good one, Cheryl. I still laugh about that every time I think about it!!
My sisters and I are all very good friends now, but as children, there were…shall we say…cat fights!!! Now these weren’t the type you might think. When we got mad at each other, we literally took matters into our own hands. We scratched, bit, hit, and pulled hair. We all had long hair, so hair pulling worked very well. After a few minutes into a fight, you would find both of us holding a handful of hair, and the attached head, firmly planted against the floor. Neither of us would give up, but we didn’t mind screaming so loudly that my mother finally had to come in and put a stop to it. We must have driven her crazy!! I’m sure you have all seen your share of sibling fights, but the is nothing quite as funny as two stubborn girls holding each other’s head to the floor by the hair and refusing to let go. Again, I laugh about that every time I think about it.
And here’s one last story I wanted to tell you about, and it is perhaps the funniest one of all. My parents had gone to the Fireman’s Ball, which they don’t have anymore, but used to be a big deal. My older sister Cheryl was babysitting the rest of us, and since it was going to be late when Mom and Dad came home, we had all gone to bed. Suddenly, we heard what sounded like the livingroom picture window crashing in. Cheryl jumped out of bed and ran out into the livingroom to see what was going on. I promptly pulled the blankets over my head as a form of “self preservation” I suppose, and my sister Alena started laughing. What is so funny, you might wonder. Well, Alena’s bed had a metal frame, and stuck between the bed frame and the wall was a metal Chinese Checkers board, which Alena had kicked, causing the crashing noise we heard. Way to go Alena…but then we all know that with your sense of humor, you had probably planned it and only got the reaction you had hoped for.
Yes, growing up with four sisters, a multitude of cousins and neighborhood kids was quite an adventure, to say the least. These are just three of the many stories I could tell. We often tried to outdo each other with our pranks and antics. Sometimes I wonder how we managed to survive without being choaked by our parents.
I have been thinking lately about the passage of time. It’s so odd that when we are young, time just seems to crawl. We are so excited about the next landmark event in our lives, and like a watched pot, it feels like it will never happen. When we are in school and waiting for summer, it seems like the school year will never end. As we wait for our next birthday, it seems so far away. We can’t wait to grow up and head out on the next big adventure in life.
Then suddenly our school years are over, and we can’t help but feel like we missed something, somehow. Remember when it seemed like forever? When did that change? But, that thought is short lived and quickly pushed out of our mind as we excitedly go into the next phase of life. We are adults now. We can make our own choices, and we don’t have to answer to anyone…or do we? We have a boss, who we must answer to. Most of us have a spouse, who we have to at least consult about things. And then there are the laws of the land, most of which we follow without thinking about it, but never the less, they must be obeyed. Hmmm, what ever happened to that great freedom we thought we were going to have when we were all grown up?
It occurs to us that maybe we recall our parents mentioning something about such things when we were going on about how great things were going to be when we were all grown up. And then another thing our parents told us about happens. Remember them saying that time flies? Suddenly it is doing just that. It seems like Christmas was just here, and suddenly it is back. The years fly by and you can’t believe that it is the year 2011, and then 2012, and 2013…wait…slow down! Somebody put on the brakes! Everything is moving so fast! Our babies are growing up and having babies, who are growing up and having babies. Before we know it, we have become our great grandparents, and we look back and think, “Where have the years gone. It seems like only yesterday that I couldn’t wait to be…all grown up.”
Two of my grandchildren will turn 15 at the end of this month. As I reflect on how quickly the years have flown by, I think back on my own childrens’ youth. When your children are small, you think it will be forever before they drive, date, get married, and have children, much less have children of driving age. But when you look back on those years from this side of life, those years seem like it was all just last week.
I remember the day each of my daughters was born. The miracle of life placed into my arms. It was so hard to believe that they were mine. Those days that I thought would last forever, quickly melted into their grade school years, filled with room mother duties, and throat cultures, field trips and sports. Again, I was lulled into the belief that those days would last forever, but before I knew it they were in junior high and then high school. Soon came that all important birthday when they would start to learn to drive and begin dating. They had turned 15.
By this time I was beginning to realize that it was not going to be very long before the next big changes would enter our lives, because time goes by so quickly. Their school years were over in the blink of an eye, and before I knew it we were planning weddings and adjusting to being empty nesters.
Then came the days when my girls told me they were having babies. My girls, who were born eleven months apart, were both pregnant at the same time, and before I knew it, I became a grandmother twice in two days. Those were two beautiful days. The next two and a half years would bring two more grandchildren, and we thought we would have babies around for a long time.
But, once again, I look back on those years, now flown so quickly by, and think, “It seems like it was just last week that they were born.” Before we know it, they will be married and having babies of their own. And yes, we will again be lulled into thinking those years will last forever, but in our heart of hearts, we will know the these children too, will be so quickly grown, as the years melt away, into the future that will be theirs.
A few years ago, I found myself sinking into depression. There was so much going on in my life that I had no control over, and I was stressed out to say the least. This situation was so new to me. I had always been a happy person, and now I was becoming angry and bitter, and I didn’t like it one bit, but there seemed to be nothing I could do about it. My situation had taken on a life of it’s own.
After my Dad passed away in December of 2007, I found myself feeling like there wasn’t much to live for. It wasn’t like I wanted to commit suicide, I just felt so sad, that I couldn’t find anything to be happy about. We had fought so hard to get Dad back to health, and we were winning, and then his liver failed, and he was gone. It shook my whole world. Nothing was right, and it wouldn’t ever be right again. Even though I know that my Dad was saved, and I will see him again in Heaven, I missed him so much, and I still do, but I knew he wouldn’t want me to continue on in this depressed state.
I had to find a way back to life. I began to pray for help…for a way back. The Lord guided me first to begin eating better, thereby giving me more energy. Then the Lord began to encourage me to get outside and walk. I started walking on the trail near our home, and slowly began to feel like the fresh air and beauty of God’s creation, and the time spent talking with the Lord began to heal my spirit. I continue to look forward to the warmer months when I can get back outside and recharge again.
I still miss my Dad terribly, but I have been able to move forward with my life. I know I will see him again in Heaven, and I very much look forward to that day, but I know that I have a job to do here. My work here is not done. I am needed here. And my Dad would want me to live a full life.
I know that my life will always have it’s challenges, but the Lord is always there for me. He is my source of strength. I know many people might not find that to be true for them, but they have not been down the road I have. They have not seen the Lord help them to find the way back.
In a world of instant gratitude, being patient is not well received. We want a diet pill that instantly makes us thin. We charge things so we don’t have to save for them. We want instant income, instant fame, instant expertise, and the list goes on and on.
In The Message version of the Bible, Hebrews 13:5-6 says, “Don’t be obsessed with getting more material things. Be relaxed with what you have. Since God assured us, “I’ll never let you down, never walk off and leave you,” we can boldly quote, God is there, ready to help; I’m fearless no matter what. Who or what can get to me?” God want’s us to be content with what we have, and patient enough to wait for him to bring blessings to us. When we get “let-me-help-itis”, we get into trouble.
Being patient is important in everyday life too. We have to work to get where we want to be, and most times the road there takes a while, but isn’t a worthwhile goal worth the trip? There is such a sense of satisfaction when you finally reach a goal you set for yourself. You can be proud of what you have achieved.
The goal of being debt free is such a great goal, and it is Biblical too. Not many people get there, but with hard work and patience it is a goal that can be achieved. Of course the first move to make is, stop charging! Begin to save up for things you want, and pay as much as possible on existing debt. As cards are paid off, add that payment to remaining payments to pay everything off faster. The beauty of this is that you get to spend more of your own money when you aren’t paying interest to other people.
These are just a couple of goal setting ideas, and reasons to take this journey. I’m sure you have goals you want to reach. Be patient and work toward your goals. You can do it, if you don’t give up.