My wife reminded our family that a year ago, we were on our way halfway across the country for me to officially graduate from seminary. I had finished all of my coursework the December prior, but I had worked so hard that I wanted to be a part of a celebration to commemorate the day. A lot happened on that trip and even during that celebration, not the least of which was a reminder of the verses that my mom had kept on her bedside table in the months leading up to her death (story here). We had a great time as a family traveling through Asheville, Nashville, St. Louis, and Iowa on our way to St. Paul, Minnesota. It’s a trip full of memories that I hope my children will cherish for years to come.
The last few days, I’ve been reading the posts of many of my seminary friends who are celebrating this weekend and their own commencement from seminary. It’s brought up a lot of memories from just one year ago.
When I knew that there would be a ceremony in St. Paul, Minnesota, I talked to my wife and we decided that it would be fun to go out and celebrate as a family. After all, while I was the one doing the studying, my whole family contributed to my education along the way. They all played an integral part and for that I am thankful.
This year, our trip will be to Disney. With some of the money that I got after my father died, it made sense to use it for us as a family.
Disney…..the place where dreams come true. Right? Well, sort of. Disney has always held a special place in my heart. I grew up going to Disney World as my grandparents lived in Florida, not too far from Disney World. My wife and I, before we decided to start our family, took a “Last Hurrah” trip to Disney without kids. We had an incredible time together and have been waiting about 9 years to go back again.
As my kids are getting older, they are able to remember more and more. Every trip, every activity, every moment spent with them is being stored away in their memory banks. Some of the greatest memories that I have as a kid were the road trips that my family and I would take. Long Island for holidays. Upstate New York in the summertime. South Carolina in the summertime. There are so many memories couched in these trips that I could probably spend a year recounting those stories on this blog.
If I had a dollar for every time someone told me that life moves fast and that kids grow up before you know it, I would be incredibly rich. Instead of ignoring that advice, I’ve tried my best to seize the opportunities that come before me. I get a giggle out of some of my friends who take their kids somewhere special and they are more consumed with the airport than the actual destination.
I’m finding out that kids don’t care as much as we do about the things that we are doing. All it takes is some creativity and time and they’ll be pretty content with whatever they get. In a culture where screens have taken over and consumed much of the time of our children, we have to work harder to keep them engaged with things that stimulate their minds and bodies.
As often as I can, I want to help create a memory for my children. It’s the memories that have sustained me long after my mom and dad have been gone. It’s the memories that are the most valuable possessions that I have received from them, not money or other keepsakes.
Make a memory today!