community, elisabeth, holidays, stephen, thoughts

Remembering

Remembering to be thankful:

Sometimes waves of love, fierce loyalty, and gratitude wash over me as I consider the little peeps God has given me. I’m thankful to be a mother. To have personally experienced the miracles of pregnancy, birth, and tiny people calling me Mommy.

While Mother’s Day is often a mix of pain and joy for many, I believe that motherhood is a good gift from God to be celebrated. I affirm that we should weep with those who weep and recognize the pain surrounding infertility, miscarriage, infant/child death, and the loss of a mother through estrangement, mental illness, or death. But, I also affirm that Mother’s Day is a day for rejoicing with those who rejoice and recognizing the joys of motherhood. Perhaps the holiday itself would be simpler if it didn’t fall on a Sunday?

Remembering the cost of freedom:

We gave each of the kids 4 small American flags and took them to visit the Willamette National Cemetery on Memorial Day. They each picked four fallen soldiers they wanted to honor and placed a flag on their graves. The conversations surrounding war, death, the military, and even religions–as many tombstones were inscribed with religious symbols–were teachable moments with the kids.

While there, a group of historic planes flew overhead. Suddenly one plane veered off from the rest. Stephen told us it was the Missing Man formation. Sobering. We could also hear the nearby 21 gun salute at the Memorial Day ceremony.

Remembering family lore:

One of Stephen’s often shared childhood memories is Dad Moody’s famous “mystery drives.” Dad would take the Moody kids out for a drive in the Indiana countryside. It was always a mystery to everyone (including Dad) where they would end up. Stephen likes to tell how his dad would stop along the side of the road, cut some wild tiger lilies, and present them lovingly to his mom.

As a newlywed couple in Indiana, Stephen and I took our own mystery drives. Once we cut up slips of paper and wrote “right,” “left,” or “straight” on them. We put them in a ball cap and would pull one out at each intersection along the drive. Stephen even stopped to pick some of those same orange Indiana lilies for me!

I told the kids that story, and we ended up spontaneously taking our own inaugural family mystery drive after church on Father’s Day. We headed southeast of Beaverton and discovered the most gorgeous verdant valley with fun sightings of buffalo, sprawling farms, and an old cemetery. There on the country hilltop, we explored the cemetery where some Civil War veterans were buried. For lunch, we ate at a local dive called The Screamin’ Chicken. The kids couldn’t get enough of the silly name! To top it all off, we ended the trip with ice cream cones from another local find, Jim’s Ice Cream.

Stephen’s dedication to treasure Jesus and to treasure us, his family, is a good, good gift we celebrate!

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