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The years teach much which the days never knew.
–Ralph Waldo Emerson


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Have I done a-n-y-thing… really?

teacuppamela.png Have you ever asked that question?  Have you ever been in a valley and wondered what in the world you’ve accomplished in life – or if the things you’ve done have any lasting value?

As I was praying and going to sleep the other night, I asked the LORD about the value of time and accomplishments to this point in my life.  I wondered: have I done anything — really?

Well, interestingly enough — and I don’t consider it a fluke by any means — my busy-as-a-bee, Hannah, was ordering up our storage closet in the attic and she came across many ‘treasures’ and, yes, other things, too.  Among the ‘treasures’ she set out in the hallway for me to look through were several boxes of photographs, letters, cards, artwork, journals and an old Bible.  Contained in the boxes were answers to my ponderings.

Some of those boxes hadn’t been opened in ten years.  As Naomi tried on my wedding dress and as beautiful Kathryn tried on my veil, I marveled that I began making that dress 31 years ago and, thus, sort of began my journey to home & family at that time, too.   I marveled that the little dress holds such fascination each time a little girl of mine sees it and then I know the next question will be if it can be tried on and have a picture taken. My bridal bouquet – though not properly dried, still looks sweet to me.

In those boxes were piles of childrens’ papers, photos of hundreds of days gone by, awards, a plaster of paris handprint mold of a hand of a three year old — that two year old is now twenty-nine and has children of his own.  In those boxes were letters and cards commemorating birthdays, mother’s days, births of children, gifts given and many more “accomplishments.”  There were childrens’ clothes and little gifts I couldn’t part with.

In the photos I saw my younger self… at the beach with different children… at home celebrating different milestones, birthdays, newborn’s and children at play.  There were photos of funny faces and skinned noses and knees… photos of parents the age I am now.  I looked carefully at the background of some of the photos: the homes we’ve lived in and the decorations – both familiar and forgotten.  I smiled at the messes in some and marveled at the order in many.  I miss some of the furnishings, blankets and flowers I see in the photos.  I realized I had made up the charts and schedules I saw on walls in the photos, and I sewed most of the dresses on the little girls and many of the curtains, valances, aprons, tablecloths and placemats… I nursed and diapered and bathed the babies, watered the plants, arranged and rearranged the furniture, decorated the cakes and pushed the swings I saw in the photos.

I read journal accounts and prayers for the children I saw in the photographs and could almost hear their little voices as I sat in the hallway yesterday looking at all the memories I held in my lap.  Hundreds of photos sparked many more memories. They’ve stayed with me through the night and into this day…

I wondered how all that could have been accomplished in such a short time — for it really doesn’t seem possible that this much time has passed already.  But it has passed and it has passed so quickly.  In just a very short time, life’s been going by.

I came across a little bag in a plastic bag.  On the bag was written: “John & Laurie’s wedding (and in all caps) SAVE (underlined).”  Curious, I opened the little bag and found a couple of imprinted napkins: John and Laurie – June  30, 1990; also in the bag was a (used) plate and fork from the wedding cake; a receipt from the Tux Shop; the little box the tuxedo shirt cuff-links came in, and there were several little gold rings that were tied in the teal ribbon around the tulle sachets of birdseed — I know this bcz one of the circles of tulle was still completely intact with the birdseed and little gold rings and another wasn’t.  That boy was so sentimental – he saved everything.  And yesterday, I was so glad I had saved some of his “everything” when he moved away from home when he got married ten years ago.

Well, that precious couple… the John and Laurie whose wedding memories I held in my hands yesterday… have remained such a blessing to me, in June I had the unbelievable privilege of assisting John helping Laurie in the birth of their 6th child (the midwife didn’t arrive until quite awhile after the birth).  That’s a story for another day — I realize I haven’t written about that marvelous event (and so many more things).

Anyway, to close for today and leave some for tomorrow… I guess the LORD answered  my question — and it sure was in a gentle way.

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No comments yet to Have I done a-n-y-thing… really?

  • I understand. I hadn’t planned on all of that but it was a definite answer to prayer-I never expected to have it answered so completely. Thank you. Love-Em

    P.S. We have been reading through the articles on here about courtship and had a few questions so I will give you a call soon. smile

  • okay… then you can see why the timing of our talk was so significant to me and why I had already decided to keep them, too. —-love.

  • I still have my napkin, program and dress too.
    :}
    Em

  • Glenys Hicks

    Oh Pamela, this post made me cry! I have often wondered just what I have accomplished in my life and reading your post reminded me of so many things. I have gotten my little treasures out today and looked through my many albums…it has soothed my spirit so much! Thank you for this wonderful post.

    Love,
    Glenys

  • Mrs. Damian Garcia

    You do not know how much this post blessed me.

    Last night I was thinking of how I would complete our Christmas letter this year (I like to start early so I can enjoy the season without feeling rushed and it be over before I know it!) but anyway, I was thinking to myself that I had nothing to really share. No one wants to hear about the mundane routine of life that a homeschooling momma has, let alone a momma of 6. I have friends who go camping often and participate in football and really neat reenactments and I feel like I have nothing to offer in sharing my life with them. Our extended family participates in dancing, fiestas and things like that and I know that our life seems so boring to those people too. So last night as I was thinking about what to write in the Christmas letter, I thought to myself “am I really contributing to the world? Or am I just letting life pass me by and before I know it I will be old with nothing else to offer?”. I immediately felt rebuked of the LORD. I felt in my spirit how good it is that I am here at home, providing a good routine for my children, some of which have told me they feel sorry for children who have to always go here and there and never have time to just sit with their momma and read a book. The LORD laid it on my heart that I am doing a good thing, setting a good example and doing this for Him. So as I was praying last night I told the LORD – “let me be as a glass window that when people look at me they do not see me but You right through me”. That is my deepest desire of all because everything else comes from that. My children (and others) see how good Christ is and want to know Him too.

    I know it is hard and the world seems to draw even the most faithful into thinking we are doing all this for nothing but we know better. God is with us and giving us strength.

    Thank you so much for the great post. It was such a blessing to me today.

    Mrs. Damian (Ouida) Garcia

  • Pamela,
    This entry is so very encouraging to me. Thank you for sharing.

  • Just recently I was thinking of how little I get accomplished on a day to day basis, especially since having a chronic illness.

    Then I look at my soon-to-be nineteen year old son who is such a young man of integrity and character, working very hard as a college freshmen. How we enjoy talking about all kinds of things!

    My daughter will soon turn thirty-one and I’m so proud of her as a wife, homeschooling mom of four, and active in her church. Not only that but she and her hubby are so giving to us, doing things like paying for us to join them for a week’s vacation in Amish Country (Pennsylvania) this Spring and not letting us pay for even our own meals.

    Somehow I know when I stand before our Lord, I can point to our children and grandchildren and show him how each day given back to Him by this imperfect Mom (but with much love and determination) and Dad brought the next generation to knowing Him. Nothing is more successful than that. 🙂

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Thank you for joining me here today, may the Lord bless you and your home.