Memories of Days Gone By
Box by box and room by room we’ve sifted through sweet memories of days gone by. Some things have brought tears, while others prompted smiles and laughter. What we are facing is nothing short of overwhelming, but we are clinging to joy and contentment as we uncover all the treasures.
Cleaning out our childhood home has been a huge task—50 years of life in every room, nook and cranny. The final chapter is coming to a close, but the important part is we still feel the happiness and contentment of life growing up. One friend told us recently she could feel the love and happy times of our home place. She was right.
As my sis and I leafed through albums and scanned a slew of letters and notes, we realized how much we were loved and cared for by our parents. We thought about the fierce games of ping pong, fishing from the pier, and cookouts with family and friends. I can hear the echo of laughter and I can sense their smiles shining down on us. Through it all I am clinging to joy and contentment.
It’s Not the Stuff That Makes Memories
This trip down memory lane reminds me to appreciate the past and thank God and our parents for the experiences that helped shape us. It’s not the possessions or stuff [as I like to refer to it] that make the memories; it’s the people. And as we move throughout the house, we know we can’t take any of it with us to our eternal home. But we can be content with sharing pieces of our past with our earthly friends and with those who need it more.
We have reminisced over pictures, clothing, yearbooks, and more. Uncovering the cassette recorder and the 8-track tape player really made for some good laughs. [Wonder where those 8 track tapes are?] There were moments when our spouses could sense how much we missed our childhood. They were good days, filled with simplicity and contentment. Where has all that gone? When did we relinquish the things that were extra special to us, only to adopt a lifestyle that wreaks of technology, striving for more and busyness? It made me wonder.
Trading Our Moments for More
- Life before cell phones? We checked in when we could. There were no texts or private messages and no calling from the car. Instead, I had a CB radio and it was used in an emergency. We can laugh about it, but it worked. While our cell phones (mini computers) are a great convenience today, using them sucks hours from our life that we can never get back.
- Television with only four channels? Growing up we had ABC, NBC, CBS and a local station. And you know what? We made it fine. Today, any of us could have a 100+ channels and still not find a single thing to watch. Even worse, my family watches the same seven or eight channels or Netflix most of the time.
- Eat at home or eat out? I’ll admit it was a treat to eat out growing up. Today though, we take it for granted. Truth be told even this gal [who loves to cook] enjoys a night off from the kitchen every now and then. It’s whatever works best for you and your family. I’m not perfect and I don’t prepare a meal every night of the week. We eat leftovers and sometimes we have cereal or breakfast for dinner. Whatever we enjoy, must be done with balance and moderation.
- What about fun and fellowship? We played games all the time and while I’ll confess I’m not an avid gamer, I still like Monopoly, Go Fish, Bingo, and the occasional Uno game. More importantly, my sis and I had a chance to revive our ping pong playing days not too long ago and it was sheer bliss. It took 40 years for a rematch!
Can’t Stop Time
I realize we can’t stop time, nor would I want to. But it certainly makes me rethink what we’re doing and how we’re doing it? The old saying, ‘We’ve come a long way baby’ causes me to reflect on where we really are. Some days I just want things to stop, or slow down at the very least—mainly so we can take a break from the rollercoaster ride we’re on.
While I’m grateful for the smart tools that make life easier, it’s all about balance and control. Too much of anything is never good and it distracts us from the important things.
I believe God wants us to enjoy life. I believe He wants us to be discerning when it comes to finding balance, and He wants us to live a joy-filled life. Seeking simplicity will bring us joy, less stress, and the contentment that He desires for us. I’m praying for you in the days ahead.
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