Life is fragile, they say. Yes, it is fragile, like a Cone Flower. Once full of vigor and beauty, after a frost the ground is littered with the soft remains of petals. The tall stem bends and bows low. Life is the same. In Joshua 13:1 we read,
Now Joshua was old and stricken in years; and the Lord said unto him, Thou art old and stricken in years…
Joshua knew he was old, and then God reminded him of that truth! We all know that with age comes infirmities. Some are debilitating. Some rob people of the ability to move, while other illnesses rob people of the ability to think clearly or to speak. We don’t know how our lives will play out, and while none of us wish to be “Old and stricken,” we just don’t know what the Lord will allow in our lives, nor how our lives will end.
You read the title correctly, we made family memories, not going around the globe, but gathered around the table. We had the blessing as a family to enjoy our third annual HamFamVacay! That simply means, Cunningham Family Vacation. We spent three nights in Sevierville, TN over the Labor Day weekend. We stayed at a Wyndham resort again. We were a little crowded in our two bedroom space, but everyone made concessions for one another, and we made it work just fine (we like each other!). Who could complain with a view like this…
If you’re a mom of school-aged children and you just finished the first week or two of school, how do you plan to celebrate? It is an occasion that merits some family fun! Why not go out and let everyone get their own whopper scoop of ice cream in their favorite flavor? Too expensive, you say? I have an idea I bet your whole family will love!
I just finished reading a biography of an author I loved as a child – Beverly Cleary. She wrote the books telling the hilarious tales of Henry and his dog, Ribsy. I was happy to be able to read how she became an author and what led up to the publishing of her books. Beverly remembered with much clarity and detail the events of her life. I’m not sure if she recorded them, but I can’t see how she could have remembered the stories she shared unless they had been written down somewhere. The book was engaging as I read about her memories, each one making up the story she told.
Life is full and fast. The days and years are so full of precious memories, but it’s easy to let each day follow the last and forget those treasures of our lives. When we allow events to slip away unrecorded, we lose those memories like the sun that slips behind the ocean at sunset. We forget the day-to-day events that got us to where we are. We forget the funny quips our children utter. We draw blanks on the details we wish we could recall – all because we weren’t intentional to record them.
Maybe you’re thinking, “I hate to journal!” No worries! Here are a couple simple ways to record happenings and events in just a few sentences that don’t require writing a journal page. These will only take a few minutes, at the most!
Who doesn’t LOVE going to Pigeon Forge in the Smokey Mountains?! Last weekend we were blessed to gather there for a family vacation. After all the restrictions, I have truly rejoiced each time a planned event actually gets to happen! This time away was our 2020 Christmas gift to our children and their spouses, so we’ve been planning this for many months. What a precious time it was and how full our hearts are after four days and three nights together! This is hard, but I’m just going to share five highlights of the many fun moments we shared.
We opted to have all but one meal in our condo. We divided up the days and mealtimes and each contributed food for that meal. The first night we made it easy and brought pizza in since we had just checked in an hour before. I added a salad to round out the menu. Here is everyone (except my husband who’s taking the picture) at the table. We were a happy clan!
Whitney and I both have September birthdays, so we celebrated with a delicious Lemon-Raspberry Cake from Blackbird Bakery in Bristol, VA. How special to have the whole family there to celebrate with us! That in itself was a precious gift!
For a little added fun, we had a game competition that lasted the whole weekend. That was Whitney’s idea and it turned out to be a great plan! We played Sorry, Dutch Blitz, Spot it, Miniature Golf, Scrabble and Taco, Cat, Goat, Cheese, Pizza. That last game is hilarious and great for a crowd!!!
I loved our game time because it kept us connected even at hours when we were really tired. Instead of scrolling on our phones, we were playing games, laughing ourselves silly, and pushing up our competitive sleeves to gain more points on the scoreboard! Whitney kept an ongoing tally of the winner and second place contestant of each game, and then awarded the first and second place champions on Monday morning. Who do you think won???? Keep reading!
it was really great that the condo has a putt-putt course on site. Beside it is a playground, and just up the way was the pool. It was all literally outside our door! Our little guys enjoyed all of those fun activities and the Lord was gracious to give us beautiful days in which to enjoy it all.
We had several special times in God’s Word and prayer as a family. How sweet to gather together to thank the Lord and also leave our burdens and requests. I’m so thankful for a family who loves Jesus. Equally special was seeing individuals open the Bible in their own little space and spend time with the Lord before our day began. Yes, my heart is full.
I’m not boasting and don’t desire to make you envious of our family time. It was truly a gift from the Lord and we praise Him for it. There are heartaches and burdens, needs and concerns in our family, just like in yours. How precious to be reminded even this week that as the Lord heard Hezekiah’s prayer and told him that He saw his tears, our God hears us and sees our tears, too.
Whatever may be grieving your heart today, refresh your spirit by remembering that the Lord cares and is at work in your life. Cry to Him as Hezekiah did, then watch to see how He will comfort you.
I pray your weekend is refreshing as you fellowship with believers and worship our great God!
Oh, wait…the first place winner of our game competition was Alli, and anyone who knows our family will not be surprised at that! Second place was awarded to her equally competitive mother!
What are some ways you keep everyone connected during family times?