Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Family...Where did we come from? Who do we look like? Where did we get our talents?

Family.....Where did we come from? This became a very curious subject as I worked on our family heritage album. We all knew where our grandparents and parents were from, but that was only one piece of the puzzle. Going through these old photos and finding out their story made them real. These were my people, my family, yet I never knew them. I had never even met them except for my grandma who is the baby in this photo.

As we looked at these photos we could see that family features had been passed down. The eyes, the ears, the hairlines, they were all familiar. One of them had the beautiful red hair that showed up in our family. We could see our relatives in these people, but please tell me who started the crooked toes, and genetic tendancy to gain weight! That was not fair!
What we could not see were the talents or weaknesses each possessed. We wondered, were who were the carpenters in this family? The God given talent of skilled carpentry runs through this family of ours. Good work ethics? We have that. Our men and women are not afraid of hard work. Who were the muscians? Piano players, guitar players, singers. Worriers, who gave us that blessing? We have a lot of "worry warts" as my mama called them in both sides of our family. Strong women run deep in this family also. Women who have looked adversity in the face and kept going. That little baby in the above photo grew up to be the mother of 14 children, 6 of whom she buried at birth or shortly after. A set of quadruplets among them. Imagine that heartbreak. She was strong when she needed to be, soft spoken in her talk, and always faithful. She and my grandfather worked hard and had strong character. They raised 2 sons and 6 daughters that were also strong and that have brought 5 more generations into this world. One of their great-great granddaughters has just faced heartache and trauma in the life of her child, yet she has risen above her circumstances, and put her faith in God, and He is seeing her through her darkest moments of her young life. Amazing!

I cannot imagine who will be here 5 generations from now. I do know that the life we lead and the legacy we leave will have an affect on them. I hope they can look back at our photos and prayer journals and see the faith in God that we had, and that they can see we didn't quit when life got hard. I feel like we have been through so little compared to my grandparents, but I know that it's just as important for us to keep on going forward just the same. To be strong, follow God, do our best in this life to be the example for those that follow.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

I HAVE ARRIVED! Or, at least I know where I'm going now.

Yes, that's me. At the kitchen table by the coffee cup! I may think I have arrived, yet I have not gone very far. You will still most likely find me at the kitchen table with a coffee cup, or at my scrapbook table with a coffee cup, or at the computer, you guessed it, with a coffee cup .

A couple of years ago I was in the process of making a Heritage Scrapbook for my family, and when creating the page for each of the four children as adults, I hit a road block. One brother was retired from the military. My other brother owned his own construction company. My sister ran her own piano studio with 60 students, and I, the baby of the family, had no real career. I didn't know what to put on my page. What was I? As I contemplated what to put on my page, I began to realize that I had fulfilled my childhood dream. I had been married 25 years, and I had four children. I worked at my children's school and at our church. I had survived one daughter's wedding and had one grandchild. Through it all, I had learned to do so much, and I had skills I never thought I would have. I was very happy and fulfilled. I didn't need to have a title. It was a good thing to have a career, but not a bad thing to not have one. I remembered what my mama had told me long ago. She said when I was a little girl I always said ,"I want to be a mamacooker when I grow up". Mamacooker? In my child's mind I must have been really impressed with my mama. She was a good one! She loved her family, took care of us, and loved every minute of her time spent with us, and she loved to cook. One word, mamacooker, summed it up for me I guess!

I now know that I am a "mamacooker". I love being a mom and count it a privilege, and yes, I love to cook too. God has blessed me, and I know my job is very important. It is what God wanted me to do. It's a high, humbling and scary calling to be the influence and caregiver of the next generation. I have been entrusted with three girls and one boy, and now three grandson's. I just hope that I do as well as my mama did.