Memories

Some memories take root and they take root for no apparent reason. They’re random thoughts that show up in our heads when we least expect them and jolt us into a past time. One minute you’re driving down the road thinking of nothing and then the next minute you are thrown into the slide show of yesteryear. Those memories can cause us great delight, to crack a smile, to shed a tear or to knot up and cringe but whatever the emotion they are always there lurking; waiting to surprise us; as did happen to me just yesterday.

I was driving into Nashville to meet my sister and my mother. We were driving east to spend the afternoon with my daughter who attends college in a sweet little town about an hour drive away. Before I could reach the meeting point, I was immediately dropped into a time when my sister and I were about five and eight years of age. We were visiting my grandmother for the weekend. My uncle and my aunt came to visit also. They were always so sweet to entertain us girls when we came for a weekend and this day they wanted to take us to the store to buy candy. Can you imagine our excitement? Back in that time, this was a real treat. We usually had to save our pennies and bottle refund money in order to have candy money but this day we required neither because we were being treated.

My uncle and aunt always had the coolest sports cars and this day we were piling into a 60’s model Mustang coupe, two adults in the front seats and two stringy haired, freckle faced girls in the back seat. Before I took my seat, my uncle barked “Watch your fingers!” but before I could watch my fingers, he slammed the door shut. Ouch! I screamed in agony and all ounce of color left my uncles face. He quickly opened the door, examined my purple fingers and carried me into the house. He doctored my wounds and wiped my tears. Lucky for me, nothing was broken. I can’t say that for my uncle. I think his feelings were broken.

They went onto the store without me and I stayed with my grandmother and kept my fingers wrapped in ice. A short time later they returned with candy. I found that sugar heals. Opening my very own little brown bag of sweetness, my hand hurt no more.

I have no clue why I recalled this memory on this particular day in this particular moment but it happened. It showed up without expectation. It was a memory that had taken root and some twenty plus years later I still have it stored in this head of mine. Perhaps it’s because I am trying not to rush through the seasons of my life anymore. I am trying to savor everything, every thought and every event and memory. I’m sure if my uncle had it to do over on that day he would have taken his time to get us loaded into the car and on our way. Let us enjoy the simplest tasks and not rush…delight in the “getting there” as much as the “being there”.

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Obedience

Obedience…

I’m guilty of quitting. How ’bout you? I can recall many times when I have internal quarrels with myself and they can be fights about something as simple as folding the clothes. It goes something like this:

Setting: The dryer just rang its quitting bell alerting me that the drying cycle is complete. My favorite television program is on and I am perched on the couch, relaxed and content.

Good self: “You need to get up off the couch and go fold the clothes in the dryer before they get wrinkled.”
Bad self: “Oh, I’ll just wait and do that when I get up to go to bed. I can run the de-wrinkle cycle and the clothes will be fresh as new. I deserve to relax after a long work day.”
Good self: “Don’t put it off because you will forget all about the clothes in the dryer. You need that black shirt to wear to work tomorrow and by the time you remember the clothes it will be too late; you’ll be running late for work and will not have time to de-wrinkle. You do not need to be late and the black shirt goes perfectly with the gray slacks and blazer. You need to look your best for your important meeting tomorrow. Besides, if you will do it now, you will not have to worry about the affects of not doing it.”
Bad self: “Oh alright! When will I ever have time to relax?!”

Sometimes that good voice in my head gets me all knotted up and tired because she simply won’t let up. She’s always barking out a list of things left for me to do and I feel that I am in a constant mode of checking those things off my list: washing clothes, folding clothes, dusting, making the bed, spending quality time with my husband and children, exercising, eating healthy, drinking my daily water goal, grocery shopping, changing the oil in my car, rotating my tires, paying bills on time, reviewing my insurance policy, checking my retirement statements, making and keeping doctor appointments, staying current in my career field, and the list goes on an on forever it seems. But then I sit back on the heels of my accomplishments and I realize that it’s about one thing…obedience; doing what I should do even when I don’t feel like it. Galatians 6:9 “And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart.”