A birthday present received.
Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about family. It’s been weighing on my heart heavily, to be honest it always has. With all the free time we’ve had lately, my mind has been thinking more and more about it.
I spent a lot of time missing family that have passed away, but I’ve spent more time sad and crying and really heartbroken just missing family. Every family has relationships that become strained or estranged. I honestly think having riffs and estranged family is even more heartbreaking than losing a family member to death. That’s just my opinion though, from my experience.
We all have items or things that remind us of our loved ones. Sometimes that’s an animal, or an object or a food that brings back memories. Maybe you have something that’s coming to mind right now, that triggers your memory back to somebody special.
On my birthday every year, my mind goes to thinking about my family and my family roots. I don’t know if that’s something that only happens to people who’ve lost their family members, or if this is something others do who still have their parents and grandparents. For me there’s been items, usually food related, they bring me back to remembering family.
I was at the grocery store earlier in the day. When I walked by the flower section, I stopped in to take a look. I found myself wondering, if my parents were still alive, would my mom buy me flowers? Wondering this sounded kind of silly to me, because this isn’t something I ever think about. So I looked through the flowers and thought to myself which one would they pick? I even contemplated buying some for myself, but I decided not to.
As I walked through the grocery store the thought of picking up some pretzels kept coming into my mind. I eat gluten free food and gluten free pretzels can be anywhere from 6$ to 9$ a bag. So I decided not to buy them, and instead I picked up a 3$ bag of nacho chips.
I’ve been thinking lately of my Grandma and Grandpa, on my dad side. My Grandpa passed away on Christmas when I was eight years old, and my Grandma passed away when I was 19 right before we were going to visit her out west. When I was young we’d go up to the cottage, not too far from where they lived. Sometimes my sister and I would go to their house and spend the night with them. My Grandpa was quite intimidating, I don’t think he liked children much, he would be one to say something like “children should be seen and not heard.” This is something recently I read in an Anna Green Gable‘s book. My Grandma on the other hand was so sweet and kind, she wasn’t perfect, but she was this big German woman who had a heart of gold. When I slept over at their place I would always sleep in her bed with her. She would stay up late doing a devotional, and reading her Bible. Her and Grandpa would be awake in the morning before I would be. When I would go downstairs I still remember the kitchen, how it looked and where they sat. Grandma would be in the kitchen making breakfast. Usually she would make pancakes when I was there. And Grandpa would be sitting at the table eating his breakfast. He liked to have an orange for breakfast. I used to watch how he would use this small knife to peel his orange in one long piece. Sometimes I would be brave enough to ask him if I could have an orange, or a piece of his. He used to leave so much of the white stuff on it, I once asked him if he could cut the white off for me. He told me it was good for me, to just eat it. I miss those visits with them, I miss those moments with family.
My husband’s favourite candy are these gummy‘s, from a store down the road from us. Every time I go in there to pick up a few things and ask him if he wants anything. He almost always asks for those. One time when I was in that store, might’ve been the first time actually. I was with his dad, my father in law, and he had picked up those candies. My favourite colours are red and black. The black ones taste like black licorice, and the red like red licorice.
One of the last times we were able to hang out with my in-laws, we were outside with the kids and Grandma had pulled out some Mentos out of her pocket and shared them with the kids. The kids loved them. Candies and grandparents are like a right of passage to spoil your grandkids with sweets. Getting to see family hasn’t always been possible with all the lockdowns.
My husband‘s family on his mom side are Dutch. So my husband grew up eating chocolate sprinkles on bread with butter. I hope I’m describing that right. I think anybody who is Dutch has heard of this. Our kids have had it a couple of times. When each one of them were born we got the coloured sprinkles and these thick crackers that you put butter on and then put the sprinkles on. Jeff’s Oma and Opa brought those sprinkles to us when our first baby was born and we continued to do it for the other two children. Something to do to include tradition for another generation.
The reason I share all of this.
On the night of my birthday I was putting my youngest to bed when the door bell rang. My husband went to answer and found a open box of items on the front step with a card addressed to me. I came down to open it and saw it was from a friend down the street. It was a birthday card and some treats. I texted her to thanks her. She mentioned that she asked Holy Spirit for guidance on what treats to pick up and hoped we like them. I took a second look at the box, and asked Holy Spirit about the items. Then it hit me.
Earlier I had wanted flowers and pretzels at the grocery store. Then slowly as I looked at the other items, I realized they represented some family members that were heavy on my heart. There were two oranges, a bag of gummies, some mentos, and a box of chocolate Dutch sprinkles.
It hit me while looking at all the items, in that open box, that God knows my heart and he cares. He heard my prayers that I had been praying for my family. He knew this day, my birthday, brings up all the feelings of my past relationships with loved ones and my roots of my family tree. I realized that I am seen, I am heard and He cares. I felt that God so cares about my family. God knew and saw those moments with those family members. He saw because He sees everything. He cares about us so much that the eyes of His heart are always on us. Wow.
I share this story with you, to say the same is true for you. God hears your prayers, and sees you and He cares for you, and He cares for your family too.
That moment in your past, that you still feel, He saw it, you weren’t alone. God cares, He loves you. He has love He wants to pour into that moment, that memory, or that hurt.
God loves you. You are never alone.
This is one example of a sign that makes us wonder. An example of the love of a good good God, He’s a perfect Father.
The greatest gift 🎁 is the gift of the Father’s love.
Thank you for reading.