“Leave those two until the last” she instructed. “And open the bag that says #1 first.”
A pile of presents lay at my feet. We took turns opening gifts, oohing and ahhing at each other’s new treasures.
Getting to the bottom of my pile, I picked up bag #1. Reaching inside, I felt a small glass container. I pulled a glass mason jar from the bag. Strips of white paper with words written on them filled the glass.
I knew just what it was.
“I can’t believe it!” I exclaimed. “You saved this all these years?”
Twelve years ago, in graduate school and stretched for money, I wanted to give family members a meaningful present for Christmas. Always interested in family history and the keeper of all the old photos of my ancestors, I decided to give a gift that would tell me more about the member’s of both mine and my husband’s family. That Christmas, I gave them legacy jars. I typed up a list of questions for them to answer about their past and gave them a journal to record the answers. My hope was to receive back the completed journal to pass down to my children one day.
Time passed. Life happened. There were moves, marriages, births, surgeries, and travels.
When my children were born I had a renewed desire to find a way to document family stories. I interviewed one of my grandparents and wrote down his responses. But then my other grandparents passed away a couple of years ago, and I felt a greater urgency to learn more about the people in our family.
Christmas is a season of waiting and of anticipation. Waiting, while hard, is often rewarded with the most wondrous of things. The seeds we plant, water, and nurture grow into colorful and fragrant flowers. A tiny fetus in the womb develops over nine months until it is ready to be born and placed in its mother’s awaiting arms.
And after waiting for my mother-in-law’s story, this Christmas I opened the second bag and inside was the journal I had given her twelve years before. Inside the journal I found her story typed out and glued onto each page. She had answered my questions, recorded her story in words, and gave me her legacy for me to pass on to my children.
It was the perfect gift and well worth the wait.
I’m starting out this new year counting this and all the gifts of grace (#2001-2026)
a trip to Atlanta in December: enjoying light shows, tubing on the snow, painting pottery, a trip to the outlets
A small Christmas party at our house with a few friends
oreo truffles and egg nog punch
spending Christmas with family, fun gifts for the kids, new shoes for me:)
taking a few weeks off from blogging to rest and reflect
Having an articles of mine in the January edition of Proverbs 31 Magazine
my husband completing everything on my honey do list:)
finishing the kid’s digital scrapbooks for this past year
deciding on my one verse and word for this new year
getting the house back to normal
organizing closets–one of my favorite things to do!
my husband’s help with the kids
roasting marshmallows over the fire pit
telling jokes around the fire
the slowness of January
the power of the gospel in daily life
forgiveness and grace
Downton Abbey season 3!
Linking up with these friends: