|My granddaughter a few months ago (she will soon turn one!)|
I have mentioned before my first memories of Sally... back when Christopher was a little guy playing in a park while I listened to a tape by Sally about homeschooling. I loved every book she wrote and would often remark to Stephanie that I finally found another family "a lot like us" (well, except I am not musical at all)... another bookish family who loved all things British, good coffee, and spending time together... they even knew what it was like to have moved a great deal!
Stephanie and her hubby attended Joel Clarkson's graduation concert in Boston recently and our conversation the next day was all about how God places children in just the right family for the bent they are given. All the Clarkson "kids" (now young adults... even Joy!) are exceptionally creative like their parents. How amazing to find that combination of child raising and gifting and genetics to form... a family.
It was around this same time that Christopher and I had one of those late night conversations about life's challenges and how God allows us to gain strength emotionally and spiritually in those areas which we will need later in life. My own childhood was at times filled with trauma and quite unsettled (literally) but the lessons learned then were necessary for the challenges faced as an adult. My son is already finding how childhood challenges have made him stronger and wiser for the world he faces.
That is one reason I have written so much about families coming together in challenging times. The society in which we live tries to tell us our children will not grow up to be emotionally secure adults if they face serious trials in childhood.
The truth is just the opposite... when a family works together to face the trials and tribulations of life, the children grow up having experienced God's provision... whether groceries, or relief from the dangerous fever, or gas money for the car, or a new job, or wisdom for the exam, or the grace to go on when the answer is not what we desired.
Whether we are parents or children, aunts or uncles, a close friend of the family, a teacher or ministry leader, or a sibling... we all can inspire the next generation and encourage them toward their "bent" for which God created them. Today's children and adolescents are growing up in a world I never could have imagined and how they need someone to come along side them to teach and encourage.
We don't have to be in the same town to be a part of a child's life. We live 1,000 miles from our grandchildren and see them once a year but we take full advantage of our time together... and correspond with Elisabeth and David. I still have a little book about trusting God sent to me by my mother's sister when I was just a little girl growing up in a non-Christian home.
When I see how much Faith loves flowers, I remember my father sharing his love of flowers with me when I was little. Elisabeth takes cookbooks with pretty pictures with her to read in bed... like moi'. I can see so much of my son-in-law's mother in Elisabeth, too.
How much fun it was to see the boys playing baseball with Granddad last October, sharing his love of sports (although my husband will continue to be appalled that his grandchildren are being raised New England Patriots fans).
My children fully understand the need for second breakfast or afternoon tea ... and it is wonderful to know the next generation will know those truths... and that there are others who feel the same. :)