This sweet childhood memory I have~~The glass panes of the old farmhouse windows, cold to our touch as we sat, patiently waiting and watching. The heavenly frost that created beautiful pictures on the exterior, making them appear even more magical in my little mind. My younger brother and I giggling as we drew scenes with the tips of our tiny fingers into the clouds made by our warm breath. The colorful, twinkling lights and silver tinsel from our Christmas tree reflecting off of our childish artwork. Knowing mom was in the kitchen. The smell of turkey and fresh evergreens filling the air, and Andy Williams telling us it was the most wonderful time of the year. We didn’t have to be told, we already knew. When our cousin’s car was finally spotted coming down our snowy dirt road, we squealed in excitement. FAMILY WAS HERE!~ my cousins, whom we rarely got to see due to the distance we lived apart. FAMILY. That's why each part of this memory is so vivid to me. I couldn’t wait to spend Christmas with them all, especially the girls~ Liz and Joan. What a feeling that was. FAMILY. I know my own children feel the same way every year when we all go down to Oak Island at Easter and see Grandma and Grandpa, aunts, uncles and cousins, many of whom we aren’t able to see all year.
I cherish every single childhood memory of family get togethers, especially when my mom was still with us. Each memory I've made with my own children, and now their families, will forever hold a special place in my heart. From every Christmas morning and the excitement my kids had, to every holiday get together or vacation with extended family.
When you’re with the people you love, you can be yourself. You can pick up right where you left off. You can laugh about memories you share with them and make new memories for the years to come. There is a bond and a happiness that can’t be explained.
And so, my “Christmas” reminder to you for February is FAMILY. Loved ones. Friends. Making the time apart from Christmas and holiday get togethers, because we don’t always know how much time we have. How many more moments will be made into memories? Who will still be at the table next year for Christmas dinner? Time can be a good thing, but sadly, time can also be a bad thing. You are the one who chooses which it will be. You can choose to let the nonessential things of life steal away your time or you can make the most of it by purposely choosing to spend it with those you love~EVERY chance you get. Don’t make the mistake of realizing this after that time is taken away. It will be too late. Purposely take the time for each other then stop and take a deep breath, savor the smell of turkey and evergreens, a fresh rain or newly cut grass. The sea shore. Being together. Birthday cakes or french fries just because. The familiar smell of mom’s house. The sound of happy laughter from Dad. Live in the love of that laughter, make tiny moments into beautiful memories. Share stories. Look at photos, not your phones. Listen to music. Be together. Cherish each other. Draw pictures on the window pane of your heart. Pictures of family, friends and loved ones that will last forever.
Don’t ever forget that feeling of FAMILY.
James 4:14 Psalm118:24