Wednesday, November 24, 2004

What Memories Am I Making Now?


Magazines like Reminisce or Good Old Days are filled with childhood memories. I take notes, albeit mental ones, of what these now-grown children remember from years long gone. Funny how you can sit at a table with a cup of coffee and relive a day of someone's life all over again, even if that day happened before you were even born.

Sometimes I return to my own childhood and relive a memory. I spend time with the good ones and tend to leave the bad ones alone, perhaps believing they will die from neglect.

But the pleasant memories make me smile and they make me wonder, "How am I spending my adult life? What memories am I making now?"

I have a friend I've known more than ten years, sweetest person on Earth. But every time I talk with her? She spends half of our conversations saying she hates her job. She's afraid to look for another career so she remains in the same one. Her adult children make her crazy and sad with the choices they make and she has an emotional (and physical) war going on with her house and--

She does have a terrific husband. And I try to bring a little happiness into her days, but there's only so much another person can do. So I watch her spending her years like money--using it up on stressful, worried days, one after another.

And that is the life she is remembering.

It takes a lot of letting go to have a happy life. Releasing fear and perfectionism and believing things must always be one certain way. And releasing our adult children to live their own lives and learn from their mistakes.

It requires letting go of guilt and condemnation. A joyful consists of leaving our sins at Jesus' feet daily, then toddling forward as a baby with her fingers squeezing, even crunching those of Someone who walks with ease.

When I look back at my life, may I recall reading books on quiet afternoons and sitting on my husband's lap in the recliner. Laughing with my daughter in the kitchen or chasing her cats with the cat-nip mouse. I want to recall kindnesses both received and given, painting my walls while Leave It To Beaver blared on the tv and staring at those walls by lamplight while thinking, "Heaven must be pretty great if it's going to beat this."

My days are a gift and they are flying, each year passing more quickly than the one before. May I always spend my days wisely and with a whole lot of joy mixed-in.

The greater part of our happiness or misery depends on our dispositions and not on our circumstances.
-Martha Washington

"I have yet to find that God ever uses a man that is all the time looking on the dark side...and is discouraged and cast down...There is no life in (him). Now if we are going to succeed we have got to be of good courage, and the moment we get our eyes on God and remember who He is then it is that we will have courage given us." ...D. L. Moody


Peg said...

Hello- I am in search of other blogger friends who share similar views. I came across yours this morning and really enjoyed it! Each day is a gift from God, even the bad ones. Thanks for your words.

Jammie J. said...

Most every day I come to visit your blog and every day when I leave I feel like I just took a breath of fresh, clean air. There's always a gentle reminder to stop and notice that which we usually miss.

My Grandma spent the last 50 years of her life bitter and angry at a man who was insensitive to her gentle heart. The bitterness covered her sweetness, sometimes I would get glimpses of it and I longed for more ... I never knew the "real" woman that she was until the end. Until her health failed her. Until she realized that this life is temporary and she didn't have to atrophy her problems because they were big enough on their own. When she realized that she was going to see Jesus soon, I met my real Grandma. I am looking forward to getting to know her someday again. :)

Samantha said...

Edith Schaeffer talks about this idea in her book "What is a Family". I think it is in the context of the children's memories, but I am sure she would agree with what you are saying here. It is so easy to forget that today's preent time is tomorrow's memory.

Debra said...

Peg--thanks so much! I do love hearing from new people. I visited your blog and really enjoyed reading about your family. I'll return there often.
Jeanette--That's so sweet of you to share about your grandmother and the hard lesson you learned from her life. I'm so glad you go to see the real her before she passed away!
Samantha--At first I was going to title this post "What Will Your Children Remember?". But as I began writing it, it sounded too preachy and heaven knows I already preach enough! :o) So I went at it from a different angle. With that in mind, I thought your comment was really interesting. Thanks for stopping by again!
God bless each of you ladies.... Debra

Saija said...

that was a super thought . . . a good reminder to try and seek out the joy in every situation . . . to make memories worth having, and worth sharing . . . we are all drawn to the person who can laugh at lifes calamities, i hope that i can be that person to someone to someone else!

Dianne said...

I think memories are one of God's blessings we most overlook. Me, I'd rather indulge myself in a good ole' memory-fest than a pity party anyday. There's something comforting about just being able to sit and relish the best of years gone by. Soon after my gram died, I realized she was only gone from us in body. She's all around me, in her kitchen tools I still use . . . her Estee Lauder fragrance my mom still wears . . . Life is so much more meaningful when it's filled with good memories. That's why I enjoy coming to your blog so much! Keep sharing!