A Few of My Favorite Things

  • God and all that goes with Him
  • Time Spent With Family
  • Bedtime Prayers
  • Family/Group Hugs
  • The Beach
  • Good Friends
  • Good Music
  • Laughter

Friday, September 24, 2010

Special People

One of the advantages of growing up in a small congregation is how close you get to the people you worship with. They are family. I think sometimes in our rush to move through our Sunday afternoon and to get our babies home and to bed on Wednesday night, we lose sight that this is our opprotunity to catch up with our spiritual family. A time to celebrate even the small and big things that go on during the week and the opprotunity to comfort and encourage those whose week has been a tough one.
I found out this morning that one of the sweet men where I grew up passed away last night. He was blessed to have had his family around him and felt well enough earlier in the week to talk and visit with them.(After losing my sister and cousin, the day we spent together before their death is a treasure and a comfort. It was God's gift to us.) I'm prayerful this family will find comfort in those special moments, that it will draw them closer together and closer to God.
This sweet man always found a way to encourage my sweetheart. He would brag on him when he would lead singing (which as a teen was a scary thing for him). He would always give him a sweet pat on the back when we made trips home too. He gave such good hugs and wanted to know how I was. He and his sweet wife took care of the flowers for our wedding, and they made our family feel apart of theirs.
I can say that about so many families at home. It's been hard to watch that congregation slowly grow smaller and smaller.
I guess I just wanted to take the time to remember the joy of standing on the front steps after worship for 30 minutes to an hour just catching up with each other. We loved one another and we knew when someone was missing. Looking back, I wish I had made more of an effort to contact those who missed. It's a lesson to take forward and work on from this point on.
I hope and pray when my life here is ended that people will be able to remember me with fondness. To remember an encourager and a soul that empathisizes with others. I pray I'm one of those special people that hearts will ache over as my heart aches for this special family today. May God bring us comfort.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Grandparent's Day

I've been blessed to have gotten to know 3 of my great-grandparents and both sets of grandparents. Since this is a day that has been chosen to honor grandparents, I thought I'd share my favorite memory(ies) for each.
Great-Grandma Garrett is just a vague memory for me because I was so young the last time I saw her. In fact, most of what I remember is probably stories I've heard told. I know that she loved to hold and rock my cousin Matthew, but the memory I have of her is a parrot. If I remember right, his cage was beside the door and when I would come to the house the parrot would say "Go away Sam, go away". LOL,it's a funny memory to me, but I also remember feeling love and welcomed in her home. Great-Grandpa Garrett, I have many more memories of he was the town dentist for a long time and I think as a small child I have memories of going to his office in Robertsdale. Everytime we went to see him, you'd get a hug and a dollar. Oh, how that dollar would burn a whole in our pockets before we could leave :) I can remember sitting and listening to the story telling between the grown ups on those visits. Once again, the feeling of being loved and welcomed was the overriding feeling of those visits. Great-Grandpa Patterson lived in Texas and my memories of him always seem to revolve around a wing back chair. He'd sit in his chair and the grandchildren and great grandchildren would take turns visiting with him. I felt a connection with him because I knew I was supposed to be Sam Justin(that was the name mama and daddy picked out to honor both great grandfathers, and I turned out to be a Samantha Kay). But one of the things aside from remembering him as being frail is that his Bible was never to far from his side.
I loved to get up early with daddy when I was little and make the trip out to the truck stop for breakfast on Saturday mornings. I'd ussually find Grandma Dean sitting in her chair behind the counter and her sweet hugs and being pulled close are memories that still warm my heart. My favorite memory is of her putting all of us grandkids in the car (back before we had to have car seats or seatbelts) and riding down the road to just over the FL line. Shealways rode with the window down and hummed the same song as she drove. We'd get to where we were going and we'd all get a snack and a coke and head back to the truck stop. My memories of Grandpa Dean make me laugh now, but there was a time we ran to get out of his reach when we were playing(and yes that ussually meant spininng incircles on the bar stools which we knew was a major no-no). My favorite memory of him though is after I got old enough to ask my sweetheart to take me out to visit. I loved the feel of his scratchy old beard as I'd reach around his neck to give him a hug and a kiss. He liked to act all gruff but those work worn hands would reach up and grab my arms and give me a good squeeze back and I knew beyond a shadow of a doubt I was loved. In fact,love is the overflowing memory through all these memories :)
When we'd go to visit Grandmama and Granddaddy Lyles, I can remember waiting to here the floor squeak the sliding door to her bedroom open. Grandmama would be getting up to make breakfast. I loved that time of morning with everyone else asleep but me and her. She'd let me help cut out biscuits and listen to whatever story I had to tell that morning. Grandpa Lyles was in my mind one of the most humble people I've ever met. I loved to hear him pray and can remember peeeking to watch him talk as he prayed(sometimes it would be hard to hear). I love to hear Garrett pray now because so often he reminds me of Granddaddy. But, my favorite memory of Grandpa Lyles is having a tea party with him, a babydoll, and a teddy bear. Marshmellows and tea were served and he would sit in a little bitty chair and talk and eat with me and our guests.
There are soo many more precious memories of all these sweet people that I hold close, and I'm soo thankful that God gave me the opprotunity to know each one. I'm thankful that my Samuel has such sweet grandparents. Feeling blessed and loved by the special love that comes from spending time with those who realize just how important the little moments are. May God bless you this Lord's day. Love to all..Samantha