This past week I turned 30D (no that is not the size of my personal apparel!! It is my age. I switched to the letter system several years ago;) My boys and I were watching tv the evening before my birthday when Sam (son #2) looked at me with excitement. For those of you who know Sam you understand that this look is always followed by a momentous announcement and he did not disappoint. “Mom you’re lucky!!! Most people only get one 30th birthday but you have had at least 4 now!!” I then explained to him that most women stop having number birthdays at one point or another and that the polite thing to do is pretend that you had no idea that they turned the same age the year before. He looked very confused and before he could question my logic further I announced bed time (saved by the bell!!)
In all seriousness I am excited to be at the point of my life that I am. I am blessed beyond measure. I have a wonderful family that I love completely. I have many friends (the real kind that are there for you no matter what). I am healthier than I have been in a long time. The checklist of things I have to be grateful for goes on and on. Still I can’t help but reminisce a little on these days where times relentless march is magnified. It seems like but moments ago that I bought my first bike. She was a beauty!! It was pink with streamers on the handle bars, a white wicker basket with flowers on the front, and a horn (the kind with the bulb on the end you squeezed). I earned the money to buy that bike by memorizing Bible verses. I loved that bike for so many reasons one of them being it represented my first major accomplishment, my first major purchase;) Flash forward a few moment in time and I remember my first job. I was 7 or 8 and we lived in West Virginia. There was an older couple in our “neighborhood” (that is a VERY loose term for where we lived) who spent part of the year in Florida. The lady hired me to tend her gardens while they were away. She had beautiful gardens. I would walk over early in the morning and water some plants and then I would return in the evening and water different plants. I weeded a little as well. They had a pond at the back of their property with beautiful lily pads (the kind you see in magazines with flowers on them). After I was done my work in the early mornings or evenings I would walk around that pond, find my favorite place to sit and just absorb the serenity and beauty of it all. Nearly 30 years later and I still remember those as some of my favorite moments.
The time stream is still in front of me. I hop forward in time a few minutes more and I see myself crabbing on a bridge in Frenchtown. We had moved to the Eastern shore of Maryland and I am around 10 or 11. My father, brothers and sisters are with me. We would hang strings with chicken parts over the side of the bridge. We each carefully manned our few lines. I would wait until I felt that tell-tale jerk on the line then sl---o---w—ly, painstakingly pull it up a centimeter at a time. Then just when I had it near enough to the surface where I could just see the crab I would sweep the net as quick as a flash and get the crab. Those sundrenched hours, before high tide rolled in, joking and laughing with the family, eating one of Dad’s picnic lunches are some of the best memories of my childhood. Time is moving faster now before me. I am 11 and I am sent up to West Virginia to live with my great grandmother while she recovers from hip surgery. My great grandmother was not a pleasant person most of the time….to be honest quite often she was downright mean spirited. I was nervous to have to take care of her and her snippy little Pomeranian named Misty (not to speak ill of the dearly departed but that dog was just plain evil). This was a turning point in my life. I came to really understand the meaning of leaning on God and really felt his Spirit for myself in a tangible way. Lying on my bed, crying after getting in trouble for something I had not done I felt God’s spirit comfort me and give me courage to face the next day. I prayed that God would use the time I had to help me understand my great grandmother. Slowly our relationship changed and I now look back and am grateful for getting to know her a little before she passed. She began to share stories of her life and travels with me. By the end of my stay up there she was spoiling me rotten. God works in mysterious ways.
Suddenly I am 17 and living in Ocean City Maryland with my friend Amy. This was my first taste of a having a real friend. We were summer missionaries at an outreach center. Every Thursday we made spaghetti dinners for hundreds of people as part of our homeless ministry. We sang until we had no voice every night. We rode roller coasters at midnight screaming our heads off. I put on clown makeup for the first time (that was a DISASTER—LOL). I was pushed out of my comfort zone in so many ways and experienced so much growth. I am so grateful for those few months. They were life changing. The next few years fly by: College, work, more college, more work. I moved to NY to go to Bible school. There I met my wonderful husband and the rest of the story you already know.
This walk down memory lane reminds me of how fast things change, of how much I have to be grateful for, of the things that forged me into who I am today, of where I come from. Thanks for your patience on this journey. Happy Mother’s Day friends.-Kristine