Who is someone you’ve known personally who has inspired you? I can think of a slew of people and all of them have had unique flaws, regardless of how much they inspired me. For example, my former neighbor across the street always inspired me with her devotion to raising her children to love Jesus & how she continuously treats her husband with respect & dignity. With those noteworthy accolades, she had lots the the same flaws that I have. We can be disorganized, scatter-brained & sometimes irresponsible. Nonetheless, I chose to remember her excellent qualities & minimize her shortfalls.
I would suggest that this is a good strategy for lots of our relationships, so that we bring out the positive in people rather than maximizing their negatives.
On this Memorial Day, let’s be grateful that we get to live in the land of the free because of the brave!û
Memories are important ingredients for learning & sometimes the lessons we apply from various memories aren’t very helpful. For example, I remember an occasion as a kid when my dad came home from a later afternoon walk with our new puppy & my dad was sobbing & totally busted up. I could barely figure out through his broken words & tears that our new puppy had been run over by a car & was dead. My dad explained that our puppy had darted in front of a car into a busy street during rush hour traffic and was run over.
To this day, the place where my dog was hit still has negative associations for me & I find myself subconsciously avoiding that intersection. That negative memory has shaped my behavior & I’d venture to guess that you may have some similar memories that shape your current behaviors & values.
I think it’s super important that our experiences and memories teach us valuable take aways, but let’s be sure that we choose the right lessons.
Some important memory lessons could include:
mistakes and failures are merely practice and lessons for some great success, likely just around the corner
communion: Jesus told His disciples at the Last Supper, “Do this in remembrance of Me.” – may we never forget the infinite love Jesus expressed in His sacrifice for us
forgiveness – practice makes perfect
fond memories can be helpful motivations for endurance & perseverance 🙂
Yesterday, Joan Rivers died and this was big news for various circles. Honestly, I didn’t really know much about Joan Rivers until her death. Thankfully, my husband knows a little something about everything, so he quickly brought me up to speed. Having looked through some of her style of comedy, it’s not what appeals to me, except on one very important level. She maintained an element of truth in her comedy, despite being coarse, biting and even degrading. While I don’t appreciate humor that degrades others, I do appreciate truth and in that way, I choose to give honor to Joan for this part of how she presented her comedy.
It’s always easy to find bad things about people, but with her passing, let’s find the things that were valuable to honor their memory moreso than maximizing their failures, shortcomings and flaws 🙂
Over the last month or so, I’ve thought of my dad on several occassions. Maybe it’s because I’ve been traveling alot & I started a lifetime of travel when I was 5 with my mom & dad. For whatever reason I’ve been thinking of my dad, here are a few quickie lessons I learned from him:
don’t ask questions to which you don’t really want to know the answers
always celebrate birthdays no matter how old you are because the alternative solution isn’t as appealing
don’t put mugs or glasses on antique wood furniture without a coaster – it can leave a permanent ring
smile and be warm with people just because
the jamocha shake a Arby’s is a nice complement to their roast beef sandwich and potatoe cakes with LOTS of Arby’s sauce ,)
even though nursing homes can smell bad, the people inside can be really cool & loving
when you make a hospital visit, pray for the person you’re visiting, even if there’s another person in the room (don’t be embarassed)
be patient when your dad is talking, even if he talks alot 🙂
I had a friend remind me recently about a fond memory I have of my dad that might be fun for you to read about. When I was in elementary school, my dad bought a REALLY bright yellow jumpsuit & totally enjoyed it. He liked it so much that he took it on a family vacation trip to Italy. It was pretty humorous to watch this tall American man with total white hair in a BRIGHT yellow jumpsuit with white tube socks & black shoes. As he walked down the street probably the best entertainment value was to watch the Italians look at him with envy over his yellow jumpsuit ,)
Dad liked this jumpsuit so much that he pretty much wore it wherever he went or doing whatever – hospital visits, furniture refinishing, craw dad hunting, office attire & more. Thankfully, I don’t remember that he preached in the top banana ,)
When a person whom we love dies, its kind of a surreal journey & that has certainly been true for me with my dad’s death almost 2 months ago. I’m writing, on occasion, about my thoughts and feelings about his death not to be morbid or to seek for sympathy or attention. Instead, my intent is to help others who may be going through some grief or loss. With that being said, the first few weeks after my dad died were a bit of a whirlwind – lots of activities, people expressing concern, kindness and an overall sense of busy-ness. The last month, however, has seemed to settle down in relation to activities related to my dad’s passing. For me, this has been a more difficult time than when he first died. I find myself frequently remembering cool things about my dad:
when I was 5 years old, he would let me ride on his shoulders when we would go to Israel so that I could see and hear what the tour guides were talking about – helping me experience the Bible in a first hand way
he would make his coffee uber strong & playfully threaten to splatter weak coffee all over the wall – a sentiment with which I find myself in more & more agreement ,)
stopping for ice cream at Baskin Robbins 31 flavors on the way home from church on Sunday nights & he always ordered (and shared with me) jamocha almond fudge 🙂
when I was in junior high, he would come to my basketball games, even though he had absolutely no athletic inclination. Now more than ever, I totally appreciate what this means – watching jr high girls’ basketball can be a genuine labor of love ,)
So if you’re on a journey that includes grief or loss, I pray that you would continue to celebrate the good memories and characteristics of whoever has passed on and I pray that we can both turn to Jesus to carry our griefs and sorrows. After all that’s said and done, Jesus loves us and is walking along this journey with us.