Sunday, November 13, 2011

Gratitude, Day 12 (Family)

I hope you know that this series on Gratitude isn't in any particular order.  I just post what the Lord lays on my heart each day.  Sometimes I'll know fairly early in the day what to add and other times, (like right now!) it doesn't come to me until early evening.  And occasionally the days' thankfulness will spill over into another topic I have already discussed.  But today I am thankful for my family. 

I grew up in a home where Christ was first and foremost in our lives.  We were poor, but God always provided and we had parents who loved us.  My mom was and is a very committed Christian who raised her children in church and taught us by word and example to live for Jesus.  My dad had been saved when they were fist married, but he didn't fully surrender all to the Lord until his later years.  But he was a good father and I have special memories of him; he passed away in 1972.  I can remember one time when I was in grade school, I wanted a particular style of purse that was popular among girls at the time.  This would have been around 1961 or 1962.  I can't remember at the moment what they were called, but they looked almost like a miniature suitcase.  Can anyone help me out here?  Anyway, my dad surprised me one Saturday and took me to Newman's Dept. Store in Joplin, MO and let me choose the size and color of the purse I wanted.  Was I thrilled and excited!  I had that purse for a long time and loved it.  This has always been a special memory to me.  My mom was the one who always took us shopping, but on this occasion my dad wanted to be the one who bought me the bag. 

Mom and Dad
September, 1950

Mom always enjoyed long walks and window shopping.  I'm convinced that in addition to God's wonderful grace, she has lived to be 90 because of all the walking she did when we were growing up.  It seems we went almost everywhere on foot!  I can remember her taking me to S.S. Kresge's one day after school and letting me buy a girl's series book.  After careful consideration, I chose "Donna Parker at Camp Cherrydale."  I had that book for a long time, but eventually it was lost or misplaced.  About 10 years ago I saw a used copy for sale on ebay and purchased it!  I re-read it and after all these years, it still held up well and was a fun read. 

I am the oldest of 6 children and was the only child for almost 6 years.  My sister Ellen was the next to be born, then Alice, later Nita, my brother Royce and lastly, Jackie.  Despite our age differences, Ellen, Alice and I had many happy hours of playing dolls together. I wasn't ready to give up my dolls until I was almost 12 years old!  Our family wasn't perfect, but I can always look back with fondness at my growing up years and today, I am warmed by the way our family stands together during times of loss such as when Ellen went home to be with the Lord this past July.  Like most families, we've had our share of trials and tribulations, but how I thank God for His great grace in sustaining us through the years.  I love my family and thank the Lord for placing me in this particular one.  Psalm 68:6 says, "God setteth the solitary in families."  Thank You for my loved ones, Lord Jesus.