Old Stuff Day

This is Old Stuff Day.  When I think about old stuff in my house, the first thing that comes to mind is this washboard.

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My grandmother, Edith (Stevens) Lynn, purchased the washboard in 1957, from Carabaos Store in Anchorage, Alaska.  My grandfather was in the Army and he was stationed there at the time.

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It’s amazing to think about how different their lives were from mine.  I can’t even fathom how long it would take to do laundry for an entire family with a washboard or how much elbow grease was involved in that task.

Life for them was hard.  They moved constantly with the Army and sometimes spent less than one year at a location before moving again.  They raised four kids and would sacrifice to provide the best possible life for their children.

My mom remembers in the early years, when my grandfather was just a private, my grandmother would skip meals.  She sat at the table and said she wasn’t hungry.  However, the truth was she didn’t have enough food to feed everyone.  She decided her husband needed a good meal, since he was a soldier, and the children needed food to grow, be healthy, and do well in school.

The washboard now hangs in our laundry room, but it’s more than a decorative piece.  It is a reminder of my family legacy.

The sacrifice and hard work of my grandparents, gave my mom the chance at a good education and an example of how to survive in the world.

Mom passed that legacy down to her children.  Today my life successes are a reflection of that tradition and I try to teach Gwen the same values I learned from Mom.

It began over 60 years ago, a tradition of hard work, dedication, and love for your family.  It still continues to this day, thanks to my grandparents, Frank and Edith Lynn.

Authority to Forgive (Matthew 9:1-8)

Matthew 9:1-8

And behold, some people brought to him a paralytic, lying on a bed.  And when Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, “Take heart, my son; your sins are forgiven.”  And behold, some of the scribes said to themselves, “This man is blaspheming.”  But Jesus, knowing their thoughts, said, “Why do you think evil in your hearts?  For which is easier, to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Rise and walk’?  But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins”—he then said to the paralytic—“Rise, pick up your bed and go home.”  And he rose and went home.  When the crowds saw it, they were afraid, and they glorified God, who had given such authority to men. (ESV)

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In this section of scripture we read about Jesus healing the paralytic and we also learn more about the mission of Jesus.

Jesus has the authority to forgive sins.  That means Jesus has the ability and the power to forgive our sins, to cancel out debts, and to pardon us for our transgressions.  We are released from the prison of sin.  We are set free by Jesus.

What Parenthood Taught Me About Myself

A few months ago, I was granted custody of my niece (Gwen Thaler).  I have no children of my own, so this is my first experience with being a parent.  It has been an exciting time in my life.  The main things I learned about myself are I tend to act like a helicopter parent and how making sacrifices changes my view of things.

The first thing I discovered is I am a helicopter parent.  Gwen was talking about going to college and I made a remark about taking classes with her.  I do love taking college classes and learning new things.  Gwen said, “That would be embarrassing.”  I have to admit, she has a good point.  I would not have been happy if my mom was following me to college as a young adult.

A few days later Gwen made a comment about getting a job after high school.  I immediately pipped in and said I will get some applications, help her complete the forms, and even help with the interview.  Gwen just looked at me and said she could do it herself.

I need to be willing to let her do things without interference.  I can give advice when needed, but I should not do it for her.  Gwen is a very capable person.

The second thing that I discovered was the amount of sacrifices I need to make in order to care for Gwen.  I sacrifice my time and money, just to name a few things.  I knew there would be sacrifices, but I didn’t know how it would affect me.

I am willing to make these sacrifices, because I love Gwen.  She is the most important person in the world to me.  Each sacrifice I make only makes me love her more.

In the two months of being Gwen’s legal guardian, I learned a lot about myself and I love Gwen more than ever before.

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