Friday, October 5, 2012

TGIF: Visiting my Parents and Celebrating a Birthday {Link up}


Welcome to my link up -- Thank God It's {Family Fun} Friday !!

I want to encourage you to create memories, build family traditions, and have fun with your family!  Because children grow up faster than you think possible . . . 

Many families look forward to having a Family Fun Night on Fridays.  Is this something your family does?  Tell us about it!  What are your favorite Friday night activities?  How does your family have fun and create memories together?  Please share!

A Visit with My Mom and Dad . . . and a Birthday Celebration!
As you know, I drove to South Carolina last Friday and spent the weekend with my parents and also my sister who was visiting from Ohio. I was also blessed to get to spend a little time with my daughter, Ashlyn! It was a fun weekend. It was good to spend time with my family, adding special memories to our mental scrapbooks.

It was also sobering, as I had to own the fact that my parents are not as young as they used to be.  I mean, let's face it -- they have a fifty-year-old daughter!  Yikes!  ;)  It's time for my Dad to 'fess up and admit that he is no longer "29!"  ;)

My Mom is struggling with some new health challenges on top of her ongoing physical problems.  She was too sick to go to church on Sunday, and it was hard to leave her.  She has suffered much in this life, but God has poured out much grace on her as well!

The drive home proved difficult, especially the last couple hours when I battled weariness, sadness, and a driving rain that made it difficult to see in the darkness. At one point, I just didn't think I could make it . . . but I did. I prayed. I got others praying. I resolved to keep going. Sometimes, we just have to keep plugging away in this life.  We can't stop and park beside the road forever -- we just have to keep trudging along, praying that God gives us the grace and strength we need for the journey.

Monday morning gave me another chance to keep plodding along the path laid out for me.  I started the day tired, behind, worried about my Mom, and weighed down with some bad news I had received.  (That is why I was so blessed by the devotional I posted this week from Jesus Calling!)  

But, I couldn't spend the day crying and moping about.  It was a special day! It was the 17th birthday of my amazing son, Chris!  As mothers, we have to navigate many trials and sorrows, but we don't have the freedom to spend our days "wallowing in the pit."  For the sake of our families, we have to rise above the sorrows and burdens of our heart, and make our homes a place of joy and a refuge from the world.

So, on Monday, along with the unpacking, the processing of laundry, and the processing of emotions, I had to put a smile on my face, make a plan for the day, and pull together a birthday celebration for my dear son. I didn't have a vehicle at my disposal (because Joe's car was down for the count and he had to drive the White Elephant to college and work). Therefore, I had to plan a birthday meal from what I had on hand. I offered to make Chris anything he wanted for his birthday dinner and birthday cake -- as long as I had the ingredients!!  ;) He sweetly chose a menu that I had the physical (and emotional) resources to handle -- Sloppy Joes, macaroni and cheese, sauteed green beans and pumpkin pound cake with homemade whipped cream for dessert!! :) 

Josh and Kristi came over at 5:00 to join in the celebration, and Josh amazingly helped Joe take out his alternator, buy a new one at Advanced Auto, and install it!  Just like that!  (What a blessing to see my sons working together, helping each other out, living out the brotherly love that I worked desperately to instill in them all those years!  Can you imagine the JOY that brought to my heart??)

So, we added another birthday to our family's collection of birthday celebrations.  We observed our favorite traditions - like giving Chris the red You are Special plate for his meal, and singing "Happy Birthday" in both English and Chinese and following it with an ear-piercing rendition of "George Washington's Bridge!"  Chris opened his presents and we all laughed a lot and ate too much birthday cake and celebrated the fact that Chris is a cherished member of our family!

Your Turn to Share

How do you rise above the burdens and sorrows that threaten to drag you down and make your home a refuge, a place of peace and joy for your family?  How do you celebrate birthdays?  What family traditions are you building that bond the members of your family together?  How are you encouraging brothers and sisters to invest in each other's lives?  Please share!

I'd love to have you link up your blog!  You can share any past or present blog post that shares ways to create memories, build family traditions, or have fun as a family!  Just be sure to link back to my blog or add my blog button to your post!   



Phyllis Sather said...

Oops! I clicked before I was ready.

Great post and we'll need to check out those pumpkin pancakes.

~Rachel said...

Great post - reminds me of my mom. We all have those times when we'd rather not live life and feel as though our burdens weigh us down. My mom has had days like that - but she always puts her kids first, like you did. Years ago that was probably the norm, but anymore, I think it's a rarity for anyone to put others ahead of themselves. I'm sure your kids appreciate your service. I'll be praying for you. Blessings!

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