Last week we drove out east to Pennsylvania to surprise my Grandmother for her 90th birthday. My brother and his kids, my cousin and her kids and us with our kids, plus an aunt, uncle, mom, gramma and grampa and you’ve got a good ol’ family time!
We pulled out the old photo albums and looked at my dad’s growing up years. He has passed away, so some of that is tinged with great sadness that I can’t hear him tell the stories anymore. The ones of his dog – the one that was the stupidest dog ever – or the time he dug up his dead duck. But to hear my grandmother retell stories we’ve heard over and over again about her years growing up on Cape Cod…a blessing. Hearing him and his mom tell stories were always one of my favorite things to do EVER. Oh, and she’s also saved almost every note I and my kids have ever sent her. It was a sweet time of remembering.
It also reminded me of the Old Testament – we sometimes think of the Old Testament as old and dry and dull…and not very applicable to today. But the OT is full of stories – stories of human frailty, sin, battles, victories, promises and of how God works with His people. Deuteronomy, for example, includes sermons by Moses to Israel and it’s interesting to note how many times he tells the people to “remember” and to pass things down generation to generation. We need to talk about history – family history, national history, world history – why? Because when we review history we see God’s faithfulness. It’s such a simple concept, but so easily glossed over or forgotten or considered boring. Don’t have kids? Find someone to tell a story to!
My dad’s stories were always so fun to listen to because he made them fun – he wasn’t lecturing, he was sharing experiences from his life. My goal today? To tell my kids a story from my childhood. To (maybe) make them laugh, to make them see I was a kid too, and to maybe, just maybe remind them of a God who is faithful.