You know that the past several weeks have been tough on our entire family. Of course, Janet is dealing with her broken arm and at least she is on the mend doing some of her physical therapy to keep her arm from freezing up. And I am like a fish out of water; doing the laundry, making the bed, doing the dishes and all the things that Janet has done for years – in addition to the things that I normally do. Mind you, I am not complaining… I don’t know that I would go so far as to say that enjoy the laundry and the cooking, but as I do less in the corporate world, Janet and I have been doing most of the chores together – at least until the accident.
Additionally, all three of our children have been unbelievably helpful – especially with the events surrounding Christmas and all the family gatherings that we had going on. That was also true with all the help at the hospital and staying with Janet both pre and post surgery to make sure that she was as comfortable as she could be. When all the dust settled, Jill went back to Oklahoma to spend her January 1st birthday there (although we would have liked her to stay here) and both Andrew and Kristin have their work duties to attend to.
When Janet and I were finally left alone after all the celebrations, we looked around the house and started to formulate a plan to take down all the Christmas decorations. Now that’s a bigger job than it seems. This year we decided to decorate to the max. We started around Thanksgiving and were finished the first week of December. All, told, we put up four trees, three mantle displays, all kinds of seasonal decorations in virtually every room of the house and a myriad of outdoor lights around the front porch and bushes, rear lakeside deck and even the lower level with lighted Christmas trees.
If we had known that Janet was going to get hurt, there is no way that we would have done all this work, in spite of the fact that Janet and I both love decorating for Christmas. But never fear, Connor, Carter and Cooper came to the rescue. All three of our grandsons wanted to help put the decorations away. In every sense of the word, they were a Godsend. They helped pack the ornaments and take down the trees, making countless trips upstairs to our storage area. That alone would have taken us days and days of work.
Those three pairs of young legs saved us more time than either Janet or I could possibly imagine. Their willingness to help was very special to me. When I was young, my grandfather taught me about always helping family – I would go over and mow the yard or pick weeds or anything else that my grandparents needed – and was usually rewarded with $1. Grandpa said that you always do things for family and you can’t expect to be compensated (but most of the time I did get that $1) and we have passed that sense of family duty to our three children. Apparently, they have done a good job in carrying that tradition and passing it down to the next generation.
It did my heart good to see the boys working without expectation of reward. And I was proud of all they did. It made our job much easier and even though we couldn’t complete everything – that would have been impossible – we made a huge dent in the workload. Pat, a family friend, and I finished everything up with two days of work earlier this week. So… the house is packed away, ready for next year and I have been able to get my business year started without the hassle of knowing all that work was ahead of me.
The verse for tonight is a simple one – from Proverbs 22:6, “Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it.” This past several weeks, we certainly saw this in action – not just once, but with two generations. It was so gratifying…
My encouragement this evening is that God wants us to instill good values in our families. As we age and become the leaders (patriarchs and matriarchs) of our families, it is our duty to insure that family values get carried down through the generations. My prayer is that you will recognize how important it is for all of us to never let down our efforts to make sure that our children, grandchildren and even great-grandchildren are taught great Christian values. Have a great day in the Lord, grace and peace…