Posts Tagged ‘memories


On being still

Abstract autumnal backgrounds with petzval lens bokeh

One of my favorite Bible verses is Psalms 46:10 Be still and know that I am God… 

I would love to have “Be Still” tattooed on my wrist as a daily, or rather, moment by moment reminder to be still, to pause, to reflect, enjoy, be thankful in all things. This verse has been a sort of catalyst for Jason and I to change how we do life and make sure that what we choose to do and even spend money on has a purpose that is lasting and meaningful.

Over the last several years we have been working to simplify life. Create memories that are meaningful, focus on adventures and not materialism or overabundance of things.

Quite a while back we choose to streamline Christmas and give a focus to our gift giving. Our children only receive 3 gifts each from us and they represent the gifts given to Jesus by the Wise-men.

Gold – their most wanted item

Frankincense – something to represent worship

Myrrh – a gift for their body

We also give these gifts on Christmas Eve so they are separate from all the other gifts given by family and friends. We include Jesus birth story and the significance of what the 3 gifts represent and why they were given to Jesus.

As far as birthdays we gift adventures not things.

We have limited time with our children living at home and we want to make sure that when they leave home their heads and hearts are full of memories and their cars are not full of possessions that would be a burden and collect dust. The bonus is that when they become parents they most likely will give how we gave and encourage that generation to not be consumed with materialism.

This year for Thanksgiving Jason and I decided to forgo the huge, traditional meal that takes so much time to prepare where we over eat and eventually the leftovers get thrown out because there was too much food and it eventually got tiresome to keep eating over and over. As of late it just seems so glutinous.

So we are packing up all the camping gear, the dogs and exploring together for a few nights. Just the six of us, some books and games. It will be dark around 5 or 6 pm and our only light will be a campfire. There is something about a campfire that causes you to be still, relaxed, and free to let your mind wander, open up and share things and recall memories that bring laughter. I am sure bedtime could be earlier than normal (or later) but the extended quietness we will have in the evenings will be a well-deserved and longed for rest bit for all our minds and souls, even if the children don’t know they need that or even how much they truly want it. But as parents I feel not only are these forging of memories and time together one of our most important jobs but so is enforcing the rest from the sounds, clutter, light and busyness of the world.

Only one child is not excited about this idea. She like, her mom, loves certain traditions and planning of holidays but we learned it comes down to some of her favorite foods that we only seemed to really make at Thanksgiving. That is an easy fix…. I will just change-up another tradition slightly when we return from camping. I know she will be thankful and happy for the change.

I am even pondering how we can show our thankfulness and gratitude for our blessings by giving back in a way that will truly transform someone else’s life that needs it. I am so excited about this camping trip over any others ones we have taken thus far and I love how our learning to be still is changing how we are parenting and doing life together.





Sunday as I drove to a meeting I listened to public radio. I do not normally listen to it since my children have very difficult times being quiet. Instead, if the radio is on music plays so we all can sing along. But, my big boys, Coleman and Jackson, were here this weekend and they used my car and set it on that station.


Mama & Daddy

Anyway, on my drive all I could think of as I listened was my dad. I do not remember my dad ever listening to another radio station when I was a kid and it is still his station of choice. Anytime dad was driving NPR was on. I remember listening to Car Talk, Lake Woebegone, and All Things Considered. As a child I remember drives in the VA Mountains listening to Car Talk, hearing dad laugh and make commentary. Even when we were at home he would turn on the radio to listen to Garrison Keillor. As a family we all enjoyed our Saturday evenings with Garrison Keillor.

I remember sitting in the car at the bus stop on super cold or rainy days listening to the morning edition. We didn’t talk much when the news was on. At times I thought that public radio was so boring, I wanted to listen to the current music topping the charts but we quickly learned the car rule. The driver chooses the radio station.

Some memories are so vivid that it seems as if it was yesterday that as a family we were driving through the Blue Ridge Mountains, picnic packed, looking for a great place to stop, hike, play in a creek, picnic and enjoy simple family time. In the fall we would go up to get fresh apples. The orchard had fresh, hot apple cider. I remember we were all excited about those days. Colorful scenery, cool temperatures, getting apples and running through creeks…I believe we all crashed on the drive home.


Although, listening to NPR has not been a regular past time of mine I find a sense of comfort to it. I enjoy the memories of mornings with dad, Saturday nights at home, car trips we took and dad would always find the public stations, and the times we would wait for mom to get off work at night so long ago when she worked at Thalhimers. I know my sisters, brother and I were not always obedient and quiet but I believe we knew not to speak, or if we did to whisper, while the radio was on so dad could listen to it.

Since moving out of mama and daddy’s house I prefer to listen to the news rather than read it. Most nights I turn on the evening news and listen while I cook. The kids always want me to change the channel. They think because I am not sitting down watching the evening news that I am not paying attention.

So since Sunday I have had the radio turned to our local public radio station when in the car. Although, I do not know the program schedule or am not in the car much I find myself thinking how cool it would be if Car Talk or Garrison Keilor just happened to come on. A few months ago I even downloaded the NPR’s app to my phone and was excited to see I could listen to Car Talk or All Things Considered.

Although public radio may not be something I think about tuning to on a regular basis the memories and feelings that come back are wonderful. It is the same with public TV; a few weekends ago the kids and I watched Masterpiece Classics and some Opera on PBS. That brought back great memories with my mom.

There are many traditions we have in my family that came from mama and daddy because I loved them as a kid. I enjoy sharing with my kids those things and talking about my childhood with them. Now I have incorporated more PBS and NPR into our lives because of memories in the car with my daddy.

Day by Day

May 2018
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