- They valued time with each other. They had lunches together - often packing a little picnic lunch & sharing it together, sometimes just sitting in the car by a frozen pond in the winter. They sat in the same room together most evenings - even though my dad was often watching a TV show while my mom was sewing or mending or doing something with her hands.
- They valued each other's personal time doing what they loved... on their own. Dad would go hit the golf ball around a course from time to time. He'd play tennis with a friend. Mom would go to a craft show in a neighboring town with her "art friends" or visit an elderly person in the nursing home. They didn't have to be together 24/7 to feel connected or committed to each other.
- Yes, they DID place God first. Each of them read the Bible daily & had their personal prayer time. They constantly looked at how God wanted to change & improve them. They were not stagnant in their relationship with God or with each other!
- They had a life aside from the kids (yep, they did!). They went on dates - usually free ones like a ride in the car or a walk around the block. They went to Pastors & Wives Retreats and left the 3 of us home! When we left the home for college, my parents still had things in common. When their hoousehold was just the two of them, they continued to get out & do things together.
- They invested in & valued the lives of others! From the earliest days, I remember my parents having people over for dinners, for desserts after church, for game nights (yuck), and more. With their examples, they showed me that our efforts need to be focused outward toward all of God's children. My father visited people in his role as a pastor but, you could tell that it was one of his favorite things to do. When he retired from being a pastor, he volunteered at their new church visiting people in the hospitals or unable to leave their homes.
- They valued FAMILY! Okay, I know that we were poor preacher's kids with hardly two coins to rub together but... vacations for our family were almost always spent in a relative's home. It was usually on the way to/from Anderson Campmeeting too. That might seem like the "cheap way out" but, think about it! You can't spend 4-5 days once to twice a year in someone's home if you can't get along with them. We weren't exactly like all of our relatives but, we learned to adapt to their schedules while in their homes. We watched their family dynamics and found our place in them. We made lifelong memories surrounding "family" times. We learned the value in the statement that blood is thicker than water.
So, on the eve of my "BearBear's" birthday, I thank God for His many blessings & ask for His continued guidance in our lives. I vow to continue with the "work set before me". I vow to continue to model principals & convictions to my children to better equip them to be Godly, responsible, caring, family-oriented adults.
Happy Birthday Eve to my BearBear
Scripture of the Day: "Lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author & finisher of our faith." Hebrews 12:1-2a