A good name

“A good name is to be chosen rather than great riches, loving favor rather than silver and gold.” Pr. 22:1

Yesterday was my son’s 8th birthday.  He did have a good day and by the end of the day, declared it “the best birthday ever!”  That’s a win!

He liked his presents, but more than all of that, he enjoyed the closeness we shared as I read him our traditional birthday book.  He hugged me over and over as we looked at his baby pictures and I answered his questions about when he was born.

It thrilled his heart that his sister worked really hard and enthusiastically to make him a special birthday cake just the way he wanted.  His heart was overjoyed when we surprised him by having his old friend show up at our celebration last night.

He appreciated the work we did on his decorations.  He enjoyed having his grandfather, uncle, family, and some friends there to celebrate with him.  He was just happy to be loved and favored.

He was grateful and thankful for all we did and gave, and he expressed his thanks to all.  Everyone was happy to celebrate with him because he is a such a great guy.  He is kind, generous, loving, sharing, encouraging, fun, and is a joy to be around.  In other words, he has a good name.

And that is what I want for him most of all.  As much as he was grateful for the “riches” he received, he was much more nourished and made to feel complete by the favor shown to him.  As much as I enjoyed giving him things, I feel much more proud of the fact that people enjoy being around him and that he is a kind person.

My prayer is that he continue on this path all his days and that he grow to truly know for a fact what ‘things’ are most important to be chosen in this life.

It’s a reminder we can all use from time to time.  Riches and things can be helpful, pretty, and can make us smile temporarily, but can all be taken away or destroyed.  At the end of the day, what really matters are those who love and care for us.  How we make others feel is what they remember about us.  We have to make sure we are choosing to give ourselves a good name by our actions towards others.

Thanks for being a great illustration for this important verse, my amazing son!  We are so proud of you.

Mom, aka jamie

 

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Happy birthday, dad!

Pr. 4:1:  “Hear, my children, the instruction of a father, and give attention to know understanding.”

Today is my dad’s birthday.  The most amazing thing about that is that about 14 years ago, doctor’s said he probably wouldn’t live 2 more years.  Yeah, dad!  That stubborn determination sure pays off sometimes, huh?  🙂

I am grateful today that, regardless of what medical science could prove, the Lord had different plans for my father.

I’m thinking of the instruction my father taught me over the years…of the things he wanted me to understand.

He let me dig up worms for our fishing trips when I was a kid.  He wanted me to understand how to be industrious and fearless.

He made me wear a shirt when we were working in our garden when I was six, even though all the guys had theirs off.  He wanted me to understand discretion.

He took time to play Weeble Wobbles with me when I was little.  He wanted me to understand that I was important to him.

He taught me how to drive when it was time, and although I wanted to drive like Dale Earnhardt, he wanted me to understand that safety was pretty important.

He took us to my cousin’s houses, to family events, and on family vacations.  He wanted me to understand how to enjoy life and family, and which investments would last longer than most.

He worked hard at church.  He wanted me to understand that the Lord’s house was worthy of our time and our respect.

In sickness, my dad’s perspective on life shifted a bit.  Little things that used to bother him or get him upset no longer seemed too big of a deal.  He began to appreciate family and the little blessings in life in a way he never had before.

Over and over since then, he has reminded me that there’s no need to get upset about little things in life.  He wants me to understand what’s really important and treat each day as a gift from God.

He texts me almost every morning, proclaiming that “this is the day the Lord has made,” or simply reminding me that it’s a blessing to have another day.  He reminds me every time we speak that he is blessed. He wants me to understand that it’s not possessions, perfect health, status, or any other worldly ideal that makes us blessed.  He wants me to understand that being a child of God is the true blessing.  He wants me to understand that each day we’re alive is one more opportunity to invest in what truly matters.

So, thanks, dad, for the instructions.  See?  I have been paying attention after all.  ha!  And I love you.  ❤

Blessed,

jamie

Happy Birthday to a light of God

Pr. 1:8:  “My son, hear the instruction of your father, and do not forsake the law of your mother.”

When I was a young teenager I got nose bleeds pretty regularly.  I remember my nose bleeding during a hiking trip with my mom.  Because we were outdoors, with no tissues available, my mom took the sock right off her foot and gave it to me to use to help with the bleeding.  She walked the mile back in a tennis shoe with no sock.

While as imperfect as any of the rest of us, my mother taught me that 2 wrongs do not make a right, that if I’m too sick to do what is expected of me then I’m too sick to do what is fun, and that if you say you are going to do something then you need to do it.  More than teaching me, though, she showed me those things by the way she lived her own life.

Still more important than any of that; however, she pointed me to Jesus.  My mother has taught my Sunday school class several times.  (Thanks for the sardines during the story of the Feeding of the 5,000)  I have been her assistant in the nursery at church, during VBS, and been by her side doing mission work, as well.  I have sung side by side with her, in trios, and in the choir.

My dad tried to help me with Algebra in high school.  He took me fishing and even “let” me dig up the worms.  He taught me to drive a 5-speed, and made me get back in a car to drive the day after I totaled my first car so I wouldn’t live in fear.  He worked swing shifts for 2 decades to give me a roof over my head and food on the table.

More important that any of that; however, he pointed me to Jesus.  I have bowed my head countless times as my father prayed in church.  I’ve sat under his leadership as an elder in our church.  I’ve sat on the pews in church buildings he has helped build.  I remember him spending his days off work mowing the church lawn and making repairs.  He showed me, through his actions, that church was important hearing the Word of God was a priority for our family.

Both my mother and father showed me what work ethic means and that there is nothing I can’t do if I set my mind to it.  More important than any of that; however, they pointed me to Jesus.

Today is my mom’s birthday.  I am thankful for a mother who has demonstrated for me, in countless ways, wisdom, a servant’s heart, and a sacrificial life.  I am thankful for a father who demonstrated respect for the Lord and His house, humility in leadership, and responsibility in caring for the things God has entrusted to you.

I wish I could go back to all the times when I did not heed my dad’s instructions, or I did forsake the law of my mom.  I am thankful; however, that their lives were examples of what they truly believed.  Truly their actions pointed me to the One who matters and my life, as a result, has led me straight to His arms.

Thank you mom and dad.

I love you dearly,

jamie