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Time. The continual movement of our lives. Sometimes we would like for the clock to stop when things are going well. Then speed time along when things are bad. When I think about the steady pace of time, I hear the opening monologue..."like sands through the hour glass, so are the days of our lives." Growing up, I would spend a week with my paternal grandparents each summer. Weekdays, after lunch, all household activities would stop, so my grandmother could watch her "show." My grandfather and I would rummage through the used book store in their small town to get reading material for my week. My "Mimi" and I would go about daily tasks, hanging laundry on the clothes line, having coffee with her friends, shopping, etc. On several occasions she would allow me to pick a special piece of costume jewelry to go with the dress-up gowns in the trunk for tea time. For those weeks, time progressed slowly. Those weeks with my grandparents were very special, but I couldn't wait to grow up, to be big.

I thank God, whom I serve with a pure conscience, as my forefathers did, as without ceasing I remember you in my prayers night and day, greatly desiring to see you, being mindful of your tears, that I may be filled with joy, when I call to remembrance the genuine faith that is in you, which dwelt first in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice, and I am persuaded is in you also. For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.

2 Timothy 1:3-5,7 NKJ

Jumping ahead several years, my husband and I made the decision to move back to the small town where he grew up in order to raise our sons closer to family. Growing up in a small town afforded our children the wonderful benefit of being minutes from their paternal grandmother who provided a long list of memories over the years. She had a menagerie of hats for the boys to play with. Spending the night with her usually included midnight "ice cream." Seasons, holidays, flag day, or Notre Dame football game was celebrated with decorations throughout her home with items given to her over the years by friends and work staff over the years.

Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. Luke 2:19 NIV

Now with both ladies at home with the LORD, I reflect with some regret that I didn't appreciate the love these women poured into me when they were while on this earth. I guess I never thought about what it would be like to live without the outpouring of their lovingkindness. My memories are sweet, but how I wish I had a few more of these minutes back. Remembering their love, I try to be more deliberate, savoring moments with friends and family, but often life rushes past me. Vacation days with my men, come and go too quickly. Sometimes so quickly, I miss getting a single picture. One Mother's Day I stopped my guys in an alley to get a quick "selfie" before they got into their cars to back to school. We set the phone on the electric meter on the opposite building! They were slightly embarrassed, but complied with nice smiles, my memory was recorded.

When our children are small we dream of days to come, what they will be when they grow up. When we are older, we realize how precious past moments with family can be, never knowing if there will be a tomorrow. As the holiday season approaches, stop, be purposeful to set aside time to make a memory. Document the memory in some way, a picture, a journal entry, or a hand made wreath.

One Thanksgiving when our boys were small, we traced several copies of their hands on colored foam sheets. After cutting a circular donut shape from poster board, we used a hot glue gun to secure the hand prints, fingers outward on the circle. I added a bow and more than ten years later, this wreath is a wonderful memory of an afternoon with my sons. This hand wreath is a part of our Thanksgiving decorations that include other handmade treasures and the glassware and napkins from the two grandmothers.

This year, as my boys are older, I anticipate a full blown mutiny if I try to recreate my wreath, so... I'm making plans for a new tradition. I'll let you know how it turns out...stay tuned.

Father God, You alone hold time in Your hand. You set the stars, moon and planets in motion that count our seasons and days. Please help us to appreciate each second, not wasting a moment that You have given us with those we love. May we serve You faithfully with the time You allow us to be on this earth, savor memories, seize every opportunity to demonstrate the love You have placed within us. I pray my children understand the love their father and I have for them, but more importantly the depth of Your love, grace and all things giving You the glory and honor with thanksgiving. Amen

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