Monday, October 9, 2017

The rainbow with all the colors...........

My Saturday with the kids was a bit different than usual since it rained for most of the day!  Usually the kids spend many hours outside.  Instead, we watched a couple of movies - something that we rarely do.  Finally in the late afternoon, I prompted the kids to go outside with their umbrellas (just to burn off a bit of energy).    I took a quick picture of their umbrella "cuteness" since this grandma just had to capture this moment...
I left the kids watching another round of rain clouds forming in the sky, and went inside!  Suddenly the door flew open and Ellie announced, "Grandma, come quick!  There is a double rainbow!"  
And there it was! Standing on their front porch and looking at the sky, a perfect full arch, double rainbow!
I got several pictures of the rainbows, but I especially love this one with the kids looking at the sky.
It was such an awe inspiring and simply beautiful sight.  We all just stood  and stared for the longest time.  Then Ellie noticed something even more special.....
As the rainbow started to fade away, one portion became very visible and you could clearly make out ALL THE COLORS OF THE RAINBOW - even the violet (that is so often hard to see)!  My picture really does not do it justice, but you could clearly see.... (as the song says)

RED, ORANGE, YELLOW, GREEN, AND BLUE, INDIGO AND VIOLET, TOO!

What an amazing thing it was to stand under that very bright and very clear rainbow with ALL the colors!  It was indeed, a bright spot in a very grey and dreary day.  And every though it wasn't the end of the rain that day, I know that as I reflected on the day, it was that beautiful "rainbow with all the colors" that stood out to me.  

Sometimes you just need that one bright colorful thing to change a bad day into a really good day, don't you?  I love the symbol of the rainbow and the Biblical promise to Noah that God would never again flood the entire earth.  It is the also a symbol of hope and light after times of loss and darkness.  Our family has been blessed by Grace,  a "Rainbow baby". Bonus picture of Grace - just because!

I found this description of a rainbow baby and I love it!  The time after Lucas died has felt like a storm with lots of darkness.  Even in that time of dealing with the ravages of that storm, there was hope.  We were able to hold onto the promises of the Bible, knowing that we would see Lucas again one day, and knowing that there would be a rainbow!  When the sun shines through the clouds, the rainbow appears.  Knowing that Jesus is always with us - even in those really dark and hard times - gives us hope!  

As I was thinking about this, I decided that really the rainbow is all about HOPE!  Before the storm, during the storm, after the storm, dealing with the effects of the storm...... when you think about that bright rainbow..... you have hope.  Yes, I am so thankful for that very special rainbow with all the colors.  

Jesus, thank you for always being with us.  Holy Spirit, remind us when it is especially dark, or when storms are all around us, that the light Jesus will break through those clouds.  Help us to hold onto the hope found in you.  Thank you for letting me see through the eyes of the children around me.  Amen

Friday, October 6, 2017

The prayers of a little girl....

Today I am having the special opportunity to be with Ellie, Zeke and Anna.  Gwen, Tim and Lia (who unbelievably is old enough to GO on the youth retreat with her mom and dad.....sigh) are away for a couple of days on a retreat.  So, it is just the younger kids and me, roughing it at home.  After a dinner of frozen pizza, a bath that was longer than it should have been, a bedtime snack, it was finally time to tuck those sweeties into bed.  Anna was first.  She insisted on "reading" to me her current favorite book (which she has memorized).  I loved that at this page she "read" SPRINKLES instead of freckles!  After the book, I asked her if she wanted me to pray or if she wanted to pray.  She immediately said that she wanted to pray.  She took a very long time and in whispered prayers that I couldn't hear, really poured out her requests to Jesus.  She told me that she really needed to pray for her "other" grandpa (Tim's dad) because he had a big line on his body and the doctors are giving him medicine.  But Jesus needed to make him all better. (As an aside, Tim's dad has recently had a major surgery for pancreatic cancer.) She prayed for her mommy and daddy and Lia and all the kids that are on "treat" to have a good time and be safe.  And then she prayed some more quiet prayers, just between her and Jesus. 

Let me tell you, there is nothing in the world better than the prayers of a little three year old.  What a powerful reminder that Jesus hears all of our requests.  That he knows even the things that we just whisper to him.  What a wonderful thing it is to sit next to a fresh from the bathtub, sweetheart as she sings Jesus Loves Me!

I really needed this time with the kids, more than I realized.  Lately, with all of our home remodeling, I confess that I haven't been spending as much quiet time as usual.  I have not really been very good at just stopping and spending time with Jesus.  Anna reminded me tonight that it is good to slow down and just rest and then pour out those whispered prayers.   I am thankful that I will have some time this weekend to do just that.

A friend asked me this week what I had been hearing from the Lord.  The message that has been in the front of my mind is that this is a time for us to be quickly connected to Jesus.  As I started to blog about Anna's prayer tonight, I realized that this might seem like a bit of a contradiction to that thought.  But it is really NOT a contradiction!  The key is WHEN you slow down and actually make that time to pray, you can be QUICKLY  in that intimate, one on one conversation with Jesus. 

I love that prayer can be part of everything we do.  When I think about this, I am reminded of the movie "Fiddler on the Roof".  (One of my all time favorite movies).  Through out the movie, Tevye (the main character) is constantly in prayer - no matter what he is doing.  There is a constant conversation between him and God. 

I want to do a better job of staying in that place of such an intimate connection to Jesus, that no matter the place, or the circumstance, a conversation can happen.  I believe that will be my goal for this month.  Won't you join me in this process? 

Jesus, thank you for this special time away from my routine.  Holy Spirit, remind me to open up the line of communication with Jesus through out the day.  Give us all those prompts to whisper our deepest needs to Jesus.  Thank you for always being with us, Jesus, even when we don't remember.  And Jesus, thank you for hearing all of our prayers!  Amen

Sunday, October 1, 2017

When an accomplishment gives you an improved point of view....

In a matter of just a couple of days, this little one went from learning how to sit up from her tummy, pushing up to a crawl position, moving forward (slowly) crawling, to zooming across the floor crawling and finally to pulling up to her knees!  All in one week!  Suddenly baby proofing is very necessary. And the dogs have decided they need to move when they see Grace approaching.  She has been fascinated by the many objects that she had never noticed before....things like magazines on a table!  Or the dog's food and water bowls.  And the cords for the lamps.  You get the picture.  This sweet little girl - 8 months old today - is growing up fast.  One of her favorite places to crawl towards is the patio door. 
She loves it outside and will sit and watch the trees and the birds.  I am sure that Doug and Susie will be finding many, many sets of hand prints on those doors!  One thing is for certain, she is not sitting in one place for very long these days.  There is so much to explore!  That new perspective from her knees has opened up so many wonderful treasures.  It's amazing what a new point of view will do for you.

Ken and I have had another busy week, working on our house.  Sometimes the "small things" take longer than the BIG things.  Last week the BIG cabinet installation happened.  This week has been about completing those smaller projects.  Things like cabinet liner, shelf adjusters, new wall shelves, door hardware, electric for the dishwasher - each project taking more time that you thought it would.  And these projects are not without their own challenges -  screws that are too short, brackets that didn't fit, wiring that wasn't correct.  Each challenge requiring one more trip to the home improvement store.  In the midst of those trips, we did manage to choose our counter top (has to be ordered and will be here in about 3 weeks) and sink.  It's pretty sad when the checker at the store realizes that she has seen you three times in one day!  

But, when I stand back, and look at those new cabinets, it is certainly an improved view over our old ones.  Each small project (even the ones that you can't really see) is its own accomplishment on the way to having an updated home.  I have to confess that I had to throw out quite a bit of expired food from my cabinets.  But what a great feeling to glance into those cupboards now, knowing that everything is organized and FRESH!  

I got a bit of a break from all the home improvement this weekend "dog sitting" for Sammy and Kylie, while Doug, Susie and Grace went camping.  I enjoyed the time playing with the dogs without having to keep an eye on Grace!  I managed to tire them out playing in the back yard last evening, enjoying our first really cool, fall weather.  This gave me the chance to see a really glorious sunset and breathe in some cool, crisp air.  

Earlier in the day, Ken and I had caught this guy lounging on our air conditioner....
I was surprised to see this Praying Mantis since they have not been around much anymore.  But it was another small thing, that gave us a break from our home improvement projects and shifted our vision outside for a bit..  

All of these home projects can really get to you and cause you to become so SELF focused that it is all you can think about!    Last night, I was thinking about how blessed we are.  We have a home - even if it is need of improvement!  We have food in our cupboards and the ability - both money and access to get more when we need it.  Here in the United States, we take our tap water for granted.  Turn on the faucet and there it is.  Yes, a roof over our heads, food and water and clothing.  So much to be grateful for.  Today I am thankful for a new point of view.  A point of view that has reminded me just how much I have.

I have been collecting items for my Operation Christmas Child boxes. If you don't know about this program, click on the link and find out more about this amazing way you can help someone who is NOT as blessed as you are.  For the last two years, our family has assembled boxes to honor and remember our sweet Lucas, who would be three years old this year.  It seems a fitting way to share with another little boy or girl, out of the riches we have been given.  Looking at the small items in each box and thinking about how much we have, it seems like a very small sacrifice to make.   And I can imagine that little boy or girl, opening that box, and suddenly having a very different view of the world.  A view changed by the love of Jesus, shared through a few small items out of our bounty. 

Jesus, thank you for being the one who can change our point of view!  Holy Spirit, help us to look around and see the many blessings that we have.  Even as we work to accomplish needed tasks, shift our point of view outside of ourselves.  Keep us aware of your presence Jesus, in nature and in other people.  Thank you for Operation Christmas Child and the many children who have been blessed through these boxes.  Remind us to share all that we have.  Thank you Jesus.  Amen

Sunday, September 24, 2017

Gee, where have I been all month???

What a crazy busy couple of weeks it has been.  My last blog talked about all kinds of decisions that we had to make regarding the updating of our house.  Nothing is ever easy when you are trying to do as much as you can yourself (or think Ken is doing as much as he can).  Even just getting a delivery of our cabinet order was an ordeal!  The delivery service promised us a delivery between 1-3pm and by 4:30 we figured something must be wrong.  Then they said they would deliver between 6-8pm.  But at 5:45 we got a call that the delivery truck had been in an accident.  Several phone calls later, we managed to arrange to still get our cabinets that day.  They arrived at 8:15pm and all the cabinets were safely in our garage.  Sigh.

The biggest ordeal for me (the floor was the biggest for Ken) has been the removal of a tile backsplash we had in the kitchen.  It took me three full days to scrape off the tile.  And then three more days to totally remove the tile backing from the wall.  My hands (knuckles) and thumbs have many blisters and scrapes.  But the job is done.   The best part is feeling like I actually participated in the kitchen redo!

On Saturday those long awaited cabinets were finally installed.  Ken and I both know that without the help of these two amazing young men, Tim and Doug,  it would have been a LONG process!
Our entire family (all 11 of us) spent all day Saturday together while Tim, Doug, and Ken worked on the kitchen.  Now that alone, is an amazing adventure when everything from your kitchen is in your livingroom - stacked on the chairs, in boxes and totes filling the space. Susie and Grace and Gwen, Lia, Ellie, Zeke, Anna and I mostly stayed upstairs in the master bedroom!  It made for a really cozy time.  The kids spent most of the time looking at my scrapbooks and playing with Grace. We also turned on the television - something that we rarely do when we are together.  But desperate times call for desperate measures!   Normally we would have been outside.... but that is the rest of the story of Saturday.  Doug and Tim were a powerhouse team and they got those cabinets in with only a brief stop for lunch.  We had a deadline of 4pm and with just a few minor things left to finish, we have new cabinets!

The reason for the 4pm deadline is that Gwen, Susie, Lia, Ellie, Zeke and I were all running a 5K race (first time for all of us - except Gwen who has run many races) that started at 5pm.  The real killer of the day is that it was 94 degrees - on September 23rd!  And there was an air quality warning making it difficult to breathe - and really nasty to run.  There was an announcement at the start of the race urging everyone to slow down and take it easy, and to drink lots of water.  I was the tail end of the pack.  Lia was the fastest (with Tim running and pushing Anna in a stroller - and Tim ran a Marathon last Sunday in this 90 degree weather), followed by Susie and Ellie, then Zeke and Gwen (who ran with Zeke and Ellie),  and then - finally - me.  I was just very grateful to walk - yes WALK across that finish line.  Somewhere around mile two, I wasn't so sure I would make it.  The cup of ice that I got certainly helped, but it was hard to press on while being passed by so many people.  Even a blind guy passed me!  This picture sort of sums up this blog.  I am hot and tired - but I  finished the race and got that medal!  And notice those lovely bruises and scrapes on my knuckles?  See the paragraph above about the tile scrapping.  

Because of all this house stuff, and this race, I missed a long awaited conference with many wonderful speakers.  I had registered for the event and even reserved a hotel room, long before I knew that this would be the week for kitchen work.  I decided last weekend (after spending three days working on the tile, with more work ahead), that it just didn't make sense to go to the conference.   Sometimes you have to make hard choices.  And it was the right decision.  Having a working kitchen again, after two weeks with no sink, no stove and no cabinets, feels so good tonight. 

Yes, this month has been about pressing on towards a goal (home remodel) and finishing the race.  Even when the process is long and hard and slow and very, very hot.   I can see God's hand in the timing of the race.   I had plenty of time to be with Jesus on that walk (notice I didn't say run).  I was so thankful for our family, who came together and helped us during this process.  I was encouraged, remembering these verses.....

"So we must let go of every wound that has pierced us and the sin we so easily fall into.  Then we will be able to run life's marathon race with passion and determination, for the path has been already marked out before us."  Hebrews 12:1b - The Passion Translation

Jesus reminded me that I can do difficult things.  It is easy to begin thinking that since you are now a "senior citizen" you have lost your strength.   But the joy of the Lord is my strength!  And that is ageless!  I was able to finish the race - and that is what mattered.  Not how fast I finished, but that I finished.  The last mile or so, I was determined to finish!  It felt great to get that medal around my neck.  

Today our home redo project seems much smaller than it did.  I have a confidence that we will finish it and we will finish it well.   It doesn't matter how long it takes, it will get done.  And I feel so blessed, so thankful and so glad to be done with this part of my "Life's Marathon"!

Jesus, thank you for always being with us - no matter where we are.  Whether it is at a large gathering, or on a solitary walk - you are speaking to us.  Holy Spirit, remind us that we can do hard things when we know that Jesus is our strength.  Thank you Jesus for giving us passion and determination to take on all that life throws at us.  Amen 



Friday, September 8, 2017

Life is making decisions


This was certainly one of the highlights of the last couple of weeks for me!  We had all the kids and grandkids over on Labor Day weekend to celebrate my birthday!   We spent the entire day outside on our back patio.  It was really quite lovely.  We grilled some wonderful smoked pork tenderloin, made by Doug.  The kids had fun and Grace even took a nap! The adults actually got to talk to each other!  It was such a great day.   Here is a bonus picture of Grace with Grandpa....

We were especially thankful for the great weather that day BECAUSE of what has made these past weeks so interesting!  Ken and I have decided to finally bite the bullet and do some very much needed home improvement projects.  And the biggest project (so far) is to replace all of the flooring on the first floor.  This required us (and by us, I mean mostly Ken) to remove several layers of tile from the last 39 years!  What a big mess!  Complicating this process is the fact that we have a very small home and very little room to move things around.  I just have to keep reminding myself that it will be so nice when it is completed!  And since we are redoing the flooring, it makes sense to remove our very nasty kitchen cabinets at the same time and finally have an updated kitchen.

I thought that I was prepared for this project - but I had no idea how many decisions we would have to make!  Picking out the flooring was actually the easiest part.  We had to figure out how to remove the old tile.  How to dispose of all the garbage (a special plug for the Bagster Dumpster - it was simply amazing for us.  After purchasing the bag we decided to set it up inside our garage.  It worked great.  There is no time limit on the disposal so we could take as long as  needed to fill it up.  And just a couple days ago, we dragged it to the curb (with the help of the car) and they picked it up and hauled it away.  We will soon be starting on bag number two!)  Then suddenly we were talking about replacing all of the interior doors in our house.  And changing the doors to the laundry area.  Then it was figuring out if it made sense to replace our cabinets and then finding ones that would fit the space.  Each time we seemed to have things decided, one more thing would come up.

As of right now, we have a concrete floor in half of our downstairs and are close to actually starting to install the new floor.  We are still "in process" of preparing the floor (removing all of the adhesive and cleaning and sealing the concrete) but it finally feels like this new floor will get done! And then it will be on the kitchen cabinets!  Of course we need  a new counter top and back splash.  More decisions.  It would be nice to think that this would be the end of the project, but then it will be on to the other half of our downstairs and then drywall repairs and paint!  Have you noticed just how many colors of paint there are these days?  There is an entire aisle of paint chips to choose from.  My head is spinning just thinking about it.

I was thinking about how many times one decision you make ends up leading to more and more decisions.  You know what I mean - you decide to buy a car but then WHICH car?  And then what options and what color.  Even deciding on a vacation..... when, where - fly or drive.  It just never seems to end.  So many decisions.   If you were to stop and really think about all of the decisions you make in an average day, you would be astounded.  When to get out of bed, what to wear, what to eat, what route to take to work.  You get the idea.  Life is making decisions!

I was thinking about this song I Have Decided to Follow Jesus, by Elevation Worship.  The most important decision anyone can make.  I am personally so thankful for that decision that has changed everything about my life.  After listening to that song, all of the decisions we have to make about our home improvement project, every decision I make during the day - well, they all seem rather small and not nearly worth the worry that I have been putting into them.  It will not really matter, in the long run, what color flooring we use.  Or what cabinets we choose.  All of these are just THINGS.  Things that are here today but could be gone tomorrow.  With the current events - hurricanes, fires, floods, earthquakes - it is especially good to remember that.  Today I heard the Governor of Florida reminding the people that material things can be replaced.  Stay safe and keep your family safe.  Yes, tomorrow, as Ken and I are making yet another decision for this project, I will remind myself that this really doesn't matter in the long run.  And tonight, because I made that decision to follow Jesus, I will be thanking Him for all that He has provided for me - my family, my home my life.  

Jesus, thank you.  Thank you for your presence with me that brings peace, even during times of tough decisions.  Holy Spirit, continue to draw people into your great love and to know and follow Jesus.  Thank you for a renewed perspective on decision making.  Jesus, please keep all those in the midst of these disasters close to you.  Thank you for your great love.  Amen

Monday, August 28, 2017

Disasters separated by 27 years.....

 Today the news is "flooded" with all the pictures and stories out of Texas and Hurricane Harvey.  Thankfully there has also been plenty of stories of all of the helpers that have volunteered to aid those affected by this natural disaster.  The photos are simply unbelievable.  You just can't imagine 50 plus inches of rain in just one day.  The highways look like rivers!  As I scrolled through the many, many photos, I was praying for those who have lost all their possessions, their homes ......

And then I came across this post....

The 1990 Plainfield tornado was a devastating tornado that occurred on the afternoon of Tuesday, August 28, 1990. The violent tornado killed 29 people and injured 353. It is the only F5 tornado ever recorded in August and the only F5 tornado to strike the Chicago area. There are no known videos or photographs of this heavily rain-wrapped tornado. 

That day, 27 years ago, is one that I will never forget.  This is Doug, just a few weeks after this event.
On that day, I had gotten off of work early to take 8 year old Doug to a doctor appointment.  We had waited a very long time to see this particular specialist to check on Doug's vision.  He had taken so much medicine for his health issues as a baby and young child, there was concern that he may have had eye damage.  I picked Doug up from our neighborhood babysitter's house and we started the drive to the doctor.  He had a 3:30 appointment.  Now this was long before "Smart Phones" and instant weather forcasting...... really there was no way to "check the weather" (which we can now do very easily).  Looking at the sky was the only way to predict that a storm was brewing.

I was immediately worried by the dark and very ugly looking sky - that I was driving directly toward! The route to the clinic was heading right into the storm.  About half way there, the rain started.  And then came the hail.  Before we got much further, all the traffic signals went out, the power went out all around us and I decided to pull over.  I remember very clearly, that Doug calmly pointed out to me that the sky was an unusual shade of green!   This was the worst storm I had ever driven through.

By this time, I knew that we would not be making that doctor appointment.  I waited for a slight break in the blinding rain, turned the car around and headed back home ......thankfully AWAY from the storm.  When I finally reached the clinic on the phone the next day, I was told that they had lost power and part of their roof during that storm.  I felt thankful that Doug's appointment had been at 3:30 rather than 3:00.  We would have been in the middle of that storm.

I think about that day many times as we drive down that main road towards Plainfield.  A large church that was destroyed has been rebuilt, as have the schools that were destroyed.  But each time I look at those new buildings, I see, in my mind, those shells of buildings and trees torn out of the ground and buildings ripped in half,  that we witnessed in the weeks after that terrible tornado.

My home is about 15 miles away from that path of destruction from that tornado.  Thankfully, we had no damage at all from that storm.  As clear as my memory is of that day, I can only imagine the long term impact that Hurricane Harvey will have on the people of Texas.  Even those that might not personally have loss of property.  Everything in their day to day life has been disrupted and it will be chaotic for some time.  

I am so incredibly thankful for the advancements in weather forecasting over the last 27 years!  Thanks to cell phones with satellite mapping and weather radar, nearly every person can figure out if a storm will come near them.  We have instant weather alert apps on our devices that give us warnings that save so many lives.  And, we have more informed people in charge who can order mandatory evacuations when necessary.

Most of all, I am so thankful for the Good Shepherd who never leaves us or forsakes us. In those times of really terrible storms, Jesus is always right there with us.   Additionally, I am thankful for the Holy Spirit - living inside of me - who give me guidance and help in times of trouble.  It was that prompting of the Holy Spirit that kept me from driving into that storm.  

So tonight, as I sit in my dry home, really far away from Texas, my heart is there with those families.  My thoughts and prayers are with the Fire, Police, National Guard and all those involved in keeping the people safe.  I am praying for all those electrical workers, tree cutters, utility workers and many others who are driving in from far away states to aid in the clean up process.   I am praying for all of the humanitarian agencies, churches, and ministries that are sending teams of people to bring water, food, health kits and first aid to so many people.

Tonight, I am so thankful for all of the helpers.........

Jesus, bring your comfort and peace to anyone who is in an uncertain situation tonight - anyone who is fearful or angry or lonely or sad.  Holy Spirit, give wisdom and courage to all of the helpers.  Show them the best way to care for people who are so hurting.  Thank you for your great love for us.  Amen

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Legacy in some old dishes.....

Yesterday I caught an interesting discussion on the radio about the increased amount of dishes and other treasurers being donated to Goodwill.  There has been a 20% increase in the last few years.  The reason seems to be that the current "younger generations" have no use for the sets of "good china" or other items that were once stored in "china hutches".    There were several callers who told stories about discovering that their parents (or grandparents) china sets were worth thousands of dollars! Of course I was reflecting on my own very different situation.

When my mom first moved out of her house into an "independent living" apartment, she got rid of most of her dishes and many of her other "nick nacks".  I remember that she asked me if there was anything that I really wanted.  It was really easy for me to come up with a very short list......
I wanted the tree plate that was at the lake.  I wanted the grape plate that she used on "special occasions" and I wanted 4 of the glass "desert cups" that we always used.  Needless to say, she was shocked by my list.  Shocked because she could not imagine WHY I would want those particular items!
This is the tree plate.  I always asked to use this plate at the lake.  I just loved it.  I found out from my mom (when she gave me the plate) that this was a supermarket give away from Council Oaks Grocery Store sometime in the 1950's.  She couldn't believe that I wanted this old thing.  
This is the grape plate.  My mom couldn't really remember anything about where this even came from.  She never really liked it, but it has sort of raised edge so things stay on the plate when you pass them.  I especially remember deviled eggs being served on this plate.  My mom pointed out that it was kind of chipped and really shouldn't be used anymore.  I still wanted it.  
The last things were these glass dishes.  She laughed at me for wanting these.  They actually were "jelly jars"  - filled with jams and jelly purchased at the grocery store and then cleaned and kept for use.  I remember many, many servings of tapioca pudding from these!  

So yes, these items are still sitting in my china hutch.  And I don't actually use them at all.  But I like knowing that they are there.  The radio conversation got me thinking, however, about the fact that soon enough I will be trying to get rid of all of MY stuff as we begin to downsize.  I do own a set of "good china" but we never used it.  It sits unused in the cabinet.  I do have a few crystal pieces that do get used - on holidays or other family gatherings.  But I am fairly certain that neither of my kids will have any interest in those items.... or the ones that I got from my mom.  Times have really changed, that is for sure.  Alas, I think most of my things will find their way to Goodwill!

It was really nice to take these items out of the hutch and hold them in my hands (to take these pictures)!  Each one of them made me smile.  There is something very powerful about holding an item in your hands, remembering the other hands that once held them.   So unlike those callers on the radio this morning, my dishes have no monetary value.  But the memories and the connections of these items to my mom and dad are very real and so very valuable.   I remember all of the wonderful meals my mom cooked at the lake - in very primitive conditions.   I think about those special holiday dinners when I would see that grape plate on the table covered with some special treat.  And oh the special puddings and deserts those glasses held.  

I am really sorry that I never used these special plates and dishes with my own kids.  They will not have any memories of them and will most likely not want them.  And that makes me sad.  I also am trying to imagine if there is anything that they might want out of my very crowded hutch!  After this past weekend of scrapbooking family events, I am extremely grateful that we have made it a priority to make lots of memories through activities!  And I am also very thankful for all of those scrapbooks!
Even if my dishes and my mom's dishes end up in Goodwill some day, my children and grandchildren will have photographic reminders of many great family times.  It might not be a plate they are holding in their hands, but it will be pictures of  all of us having lots of fun together.  

Yes, the value of legacy is much more than dollars and cents.  There is really no way to put a price on memories.  While my treasured legacy items may not be worth much money, they are filled with memories.  And every page of my scrapbooks are also priceless!  

Take some time to consider what legacy you are leaving.  More than likely the best legacy you can leave does not have much monetary value.  Think about the good times you have had with friends and family.  Remember those special times - maybe just doing nothing but being together.  Look at some pictures - or take some pictures!  Slow down and talk and listen to those you love.   Tell those younger than you about the "good old days".  Create a legacy, one story at a time! 

I love that the Bible is God's legacy to us.  It is a love story filled with events that all connect together.  One story leads to the next story and reveals a wonderful "rescue plan" (as my grandchildren love to call it) in Jesus.  The faithfulness of God is shown to us over and over on each page of the book.  That is a truly priceless legacy!

Jesus, thank you for my family - my mom and dad and siblings and thank you for Ken, and my kids and grandchildren.  Holy Spirit help us to build a lasting legacy for our families, not of things but of stories and memories.  Remind us all to stay grounded in your amazing legacy - the Bible.  Amen