We are delighted to have Addy Oberlin, long-time member of InScribe, as our Guest Blogger today.
Life is filled with memories of many 'Good Things'. Family time together would be one of the most important ones. Every year when vacation time came around we packed the suitcases, got all the camping gear ready and made sure we got the first ferry to go to the Island. Dad would help set up the tent and then went off fishing. The best times were when grandparents came from oversees and went camping with us. There was a supposed language barrier, but body language took care of that and we all still talk about the love that was shared between us.
We lived in a home with only one bathroom and seven people. There was a line-up to get ready for church on Sundays, but there never was a moment that we did not get ready in time and everyone was in the van.
Following an old cultural tradition, (which none of the children followed, because they all married Canadians) no one left the table after a meal until Dad had read the Bible and thanked God for the food. I wish we had that tradition here in Canada. We knew what time Dad would come home and we had our meal together. Even to this day when there is only the two of us we eat together in the kitchen when it is mealtime.
Sometimes our children remind us what we did when they were little. Before they would go to sleep we prayed with them and kissed them goodnight. A very important ending for a sometimes difficult day for them. Often in their prayers we would find out how their day had been.
When my (first) husband and I left Holland we had to make one promise. We would never neglect to write letters and send pictures to the parents so they could keep in touch. Since I enjoyed letter writing it was my task to do so. Not many people write letters anymore these days, but the point was to keep in touch and most of my children still do so by phone or by email.
When the children were growing up I often told them that I wanted to trust them, because honesty would always pay off. Sometimes a warning needed to be repeated, but I wanted to instill in them the value of being truthful at all times.
Many foster children came through our doors and stayed awhile. Some siblings stayed for quite a few years. When they came I would tell them that I trusted them. However, if they betrayed my trust they would have a hard time earning it again. It was a good way to start a relationship.
A relationship in marriage is a great example to children. My daughter told me not too long ago that she never heard her parents argue in front of the children. This was something I was not even aware of.
Our home was always open to friends and often on Sunday evenings we disappeared in our bedroom so the teenagers had enough room for entertainment in our home. It was so important to know that they were in a safe place with their friends.
My hope and prayer is that some of the ways we as parents lived did rub off on the children, even the foster children, and that they will teach their children and grandchildren the love and care of a great Saviour, our Lord Jesus Christ.
To God be the glory, great things He has done.
Addy Oberlin writes devotional articles and has also written two books; one is about widowhood and taking that step of second marriage in her later years, and the other is about friendships. She enjoys reading, crafts, and making all her greeting cards. She volunteers as the Lord leads using her gifts and a willing heart—'have hymn book, will travel'—at least in her hometown. She believes that it is important to stay active and hopes to grow old gracefully... writing, keeping busy, and wanting to please her Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Sometimes Addy blogs at A Thought For Every Season.
Addy, your smile in your photo is infectious. You look like someone I'd love to know, and reading about the things you deem were important in your family life reinforces that.ReplyDelete
Your post reminds me that memories, love, security and strength are built one moment at a time. There is no drive-through version for growing families The steadfast, simple involvement you describe is the only way to achieve that. Thanks for sharing your wisdom.
I agree with Bobbi... your smile is infectious, as is your kind and generous spirit.ReplyDelete
A great post!
this is such a lovely post. thank you for sharing your story herReplyDelete
Addy, I too appreciate those simpler things, even though few of them were my personal experience. I received goodnight kisses (and heard my parents' kisses after I was in bed) and learned to enjoy writing letters.ReplyDelete
Bobbi, you would enjoy getting to know Addy! She's warm, loving, and joyful.
Thank you ladies. You make me blush.ReplyDelete
Addy, your strong family values are so beautiful! I have been blessed by hearing the other side of this story from your daughter Gerry...it is all very good! This world is deeply blessed because of families like yours!ReplyDelete
Thanks for sharing your experiences and your values of keeping family together. Building and expressing trust in one another is a significant value to keep.ReplyDelete
I missed you at Fall Conference, although I understand that travelling that distance is complicated for you.