Tuesday, May 16, 2023

“Roots” and “Home”

Since we moved to Washington State full-time almost two years ago, I have been thinking about the difference between ROOTS and HOME. I believe this could be answered in different ways by different people, but for me, this is it:

My ROOTS are “where I am from” - and the term “roots” carries with it a depth of meaning. 

My ROOTS are in Missouri. I spent most of my 75 years (so far) there (with time away for hubby’s military locations during his three years in the USMC).

I love my ROOTS. I love Missouri. It’s a great place to live and raise a family, especially in the rural areas, which is where we always lived. 

I love the four seasons as they occur in Missouri. I even love the heat, because it is part of what defines Missouri. 

I love the wildlife and the trees and the crop farms and the cattle farms. I love the state parks and the caves and the springs and the country roads. 

I love the thunderstorms and the fact that when it “comes a rain,” I can know that it is going to be over soon and there will be sunny skies afterward (not to be confused with the months of rainy weather in Washington).

In Missouri, things just “seem to make sense” (quoting my daughter-in-law, who also has Missouri roots).

I could write a book about my roots.

When I was first married, my husband and I spoke of “home” when we were talking about our parents’ homes. When we were newlyweds and in college, for example, we would say “We are going home for the weekend.” We meant we are going to our parents’ homes, where we each grew up and lived until our marriage.

For some people, the place of their ROOTS is also the place of their HOME. They live where they always lived, likely where their parents lived and maybe their ancestors before that. So there may not be a clear differentiation between roots and home. 

But, for me, now when I speak of HOME, I am talking about where I live…where my life is…where a large part of my family is…where the setting may sometimes feel “foreign” because I’m not “from here” (my roots are not here), but it’s still HOME because it’s where my life is right now. And that is by choice. 

We really do miss Missouri, but we choose to live where there are now 10 of our immediate family (Hubby, me, son, daughter-in-law, granddaughter, grandson, granddaughter-in-law, three great grandchildren) who are in our home most every Sunday for dinner, after church (where our son is Pastor and our grandson is Pastor of Worship and Discipleship).

I know the saying is “Home is where the heart is.” And that’s true. Clearly, as I have described it, I love my ROOTS, and I love my HOME. But my heart is where I live, so, yes, my HOME is where my heart is, and that’s in Washington State right now. 

My roots and my home are 32 driving hours apart. And that’s okay. This is where God has placed me for now.

My art sometimes reflects my roots and sometimes my home. I just painted a blue jay. We do not have blue jays in Washington state, but we had a lot of them in Missouri. They would always disrupt the peaceful environment of our bird feeders when they visited, scaring away all the birds who play nice (not to be confused with the blue jays, who were bossy). But I do miss them, because I associate them with my ROOTS. 

They are fun to paint because they are so colorful.

This blue jay was painted with direction from a tutorial by Louise de Masi.

Monday, May 1, 2023

“Ripple Effects”

I just finished reading the most inspirational book I have read in quite some time. My granddaughter-in-law mentioned this title to me when we were thinking of a book for our second Girls’ Book Study (which didn’t materialize, sadly for me). This book, written by the mom of one of my favorite sports figures of the last several years (Tim Tebow) is all about my favorite topic, influencing family. 

The book is Ripple Effects: discover the miraculous motivating power of a woman’s influence by Pam Tebow.

The entire book is filled with inspiring stories, written by someone who sees her mission in life as this (derived from Psalm 127): “To love and train my children as the gifts and rewards that God intends them to be and aim them toward the target of an influential life that honors God and impacts their world.” Quite a mission statement, and she has seen her mission fulfilled with all of her five children. 

She goes on to say, “I had no sense of a mission when I was growing up, so I was highly motivated to provide a framework for purpose and influence through the unique missions God created for my children.” 

Then she paraphrased the passage that I am adopting as MY mission statement, Psalm 78: “My role,” she writes, “is to tell the generations to come the praises of God, His strength, and the wonderful things that He has done, so their confidence would be in God. One generation influences the next when we convey God’s wondrous works. Tell your God stories to influence those in your sphere to ask Him to write amazing God stories just for them.”

So, that caught my attention, because I am kind of “known” for story-telling. By “known” I mean, when I start to recount a true story from my [long] past, there is some eye-rolling happening, and I can almost hear the “Oh, here we go… again.”…. Then, my rationalization is, “Yeah, but now we have another new one to our family who hasn’t heard this story yet” (and I’m thinking, “and, honestly, it wouldn’t hurt YOU to hear it again…..”)

So, yeah, I tell those stories, and some of them are stories of actual miracles that have happened in MY own lifetime, in my own family. So, yeah, I’ll tell them AGAIN.

My Mission Statement:
“I will declare wise sayings; I will speak mysteries from the past  — things we have heard and known and that our ancestors have passed down to us. We will not hide them from their children, but will tell a future generation the praiseworthy acts of the Lord, his might, and the wondrous works he has performed. He established a testimony in Jacob and set up a law in Israel, which he commanded our ancestors to teach to their children so that a future generation — children yet to be born — might know. They were to rise and tell their children so that they might put their confidence in God and not forget God’s works, but keep his commands.”

‭‭Psalms‬ ‭78‬:‭2‬-‭7‬ ‭CSB‬‬

Today I read further about what the Bible has to say about generations (it’s a lot—I only touch on it here).

I read this, “Modern Americans tend to think of our own life and—if marriage and kids are part of the picture—our children and perhaps grandchildren. But God thinks in terms of generations, a much longer view.”

Here are some verses that encourage us to think about family in terms of generations, generations of influence.

Genesis 9.12: And God said: “This is the sign of the covenant which I make between Me and you, and every living creature that is with you, for perpetual generations.”

Genesis 17.7: And I will establish My covenant between Me and you and your descendants after you in their generations, for an everlasting covenant, to be God to you and your descendants after you.

Psalm 22.30: A posterity shall serve Him. It will be recounted of the Lord to the next generation…

Psalm 103:17-18: But from eternity to eternity the Lord’s faithful love is toward those who fear him, and his righteousness toward the grandchildren of those who keep his covenant, who remember to observe his precepts. ‭‭

Joel 1.3: Tell your children about it, and let your children tell their children, and their children the next generation.

Ephesians 3.21: …to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen.

From Pam Tebow’s Ripple Effects:

“What would happen if you decided that when you put this book down, you would influence people on purpose through the mission God has created for you? God designed you for influence. Your role is to seek Him by faith, day by day, for grace to live out the perfect plan He has for you. God’s part is to accomplish more than we could ask or think according to the power, the miraculous motivating power, that works within us (see Ephesians 3:10). And heaven will reveal the ripple effects when we fulfill our God-created missions.”

How challenging!!!

Artwork from last week: Carolina Wren

#generationstocome #influenceofawoman #PamTebow #RippleEffects #MyMissionStatement