Today I have spent hours sorting through old papers and memories of my children. I have kept a large plastic tub for each one of them stuffed with things from their past. I have been fascinated to reflect on the unique personality of each child and what they treasured, the images they drew, what they wrote about.
I had to laugh when I opened the tub of my firstborn. When she was a child her favorite dress-up outfit was that of a bride. In her tub were two of her favorite Barbies; one in a wedding dress, the other in a glamorous green gown. As she grew her highest goal was to be a wife and mother, today she is fulfilling that dream.
My second born daughter is preparing to enter graduate school to get her PhD in English. I spent at least an hour sorting through and reading her writings. She wrote notes continually as a little girl, later she wrote poetry. I have a folder full of poetry she has written. She had collected trinket boxes and treasures. Today, her home is full of older furniture, full of memories and reflective pieces.
My oldest son didn’t have much, mostly things from school. He gave up his boxes of soccer trophies years ago. But a priceless treasure that I reflected on was a box full letters and gifts from his 13th Blessing Ceremony. I sat in awe as I remembered how time after time, when he would struggle, he would pull out the letters that 5 important men in his life wrote him. He would hold the gifts, and he would remember who GOD said he was.
My youngest son was so afraid he would not have the opportunity to experience anything NEW. After all, he had 3 older siblings who had done so much and he wanted his own unique experiences. I found it so fascinating to note that he not only had the largest tub of all his collections, memories, and activities…he also had boxes full of things that he had collected over the years; feathers, stones, etc. He has lived life fully indeed and had more than his share of unique experiences.
However, as I have glanced through creative writing exercises, photos and pictures, I feel a wave of grief develop in the deep caverns of my soul. I suddenly realize I did not take time to treasure many of the moments and thoughts my children so openly shared. Their intimate thoughts that were shared through creative writing were marked with red or notes that said, “This sentence isn’t clear.” Instead of taking the time to treasure these words, I was forever the educator trying to get them to write better. It’s moments like these that I sit in awe of the redemption that comes in Christ Jesus. How painful it must have been to my children to have a mom that was disconnected on many levels during their years in the home. A mom who was trying to get through the days, make ends meet, navigate job, home, finances, the emotions of 5 people; EVERYTHING.
You will rebuild the ancient ruins’
You will raise up the age-old foundations;
And you will be called the repairer of the breach,
The restorer of the streets in which to dwell.
It’s in partnership with the Lord that we get to see His hand bring restoration.
As I continue to read through some of the papers, I will grieve the loss. Then I will turn to Jesus in the midst of it all and ask Him again to restore the years the locust have eaten. I will share with each of my children what I have learned, I will repent…yes, I will gladly tell them I am sorry for being critical, not hearing them or understanding them at the time they were struggling. And I will ask them to forgive me. They will choose forgiveness, because we have all experienced the power of love. Our relationship bonds will be strengthened. We will love and trust each other more. They will feel validated and affirmed and loved. And they will be better at humbling themselves. They will learn it’s never too late for restoration. And GOD will receive ALL the glory. He will once again use negative experiences of our past for GOOD for us and for others we meet.
That’s just how God works and I am glad to be a part of His family and partner with building His kingdom.
Are there memories you have been afraid to look at, afraid the loss is too great? We have a God whose name is RESTORATION and REDEEMER. Take time to unpack a memory or two and look at it from Heaven’s Perspective. [Tweet “Are there memories you’re afraid to look at?”@MistyHonnold @1C13P]
By Misty Honnold
Mother of 2 adult girls, 2 adult sons & 2 amazing NEW sons (married to daughters)
1 Corinthians 13 Parenting Team Member
Executive Director and Founder of The Single MOM KC
Hostess of Mocha Moments For The Single MOM
Join Misty Honnold, along with Lori Wildenberg, Becky Danielson, and Matt Haviland at the 2017 Kansas City HeartCORe Single Parent Conference January 21. Click HERE for more information and to register.
The HeartCORe Single Parent Conference will inspire and encourage you to be the best mom or dad you can be during these challenging times. Be blessed by the messages given by single parent gurus, Misty Honnold (Single Mom KC) and Matt Haviland (A Father’s Walk Single Dad Ministry). Culturally relevant material presented by Lori Wildenberg and Becky Danielson, co-founders 1 Corinthians 13 Parenting, will arm you with the current cutting edge information for families.