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Make a Memory

DSC_7167By Kim Chaffin, The Midlife Domestic Goddess.

Originally written for the Whatever Girls Ministry.

“A mother holds her children’s hands for a while, but their hearts forever.”

–Author unknown

My children are adults and one thing I have learned over the years is that making memories doesn’t need to cost a lot of money. Some of my best memories didn’t cost anything at all. They are moments in time, locked in my heart to hold on to forever.

This summer has been a very special time for my daughter and me. She is home from college and God has blessed me with the opportunity to live at the lake with her and work on my book while she works her summer job.

On one of her days off we had the most amazing day. It could not have been any more perfect. Other than the little bit of gas we used in the car, some money for a coffee and Gatorade, no elaborate expense was needed.

There were forest fires in the area and the firemen had cookies on their wish list. In the kitchen cupboards we found what we needed to make oatmeal cookies and even a package of muffin mix. The two of us baking together is quite funny. I am not exactly the best cook and my daughter somehow ended up dumping brown sugar into one of the kitchen drawers. We laughed while we baked. With our goodies in hand, we set out on a nice drive around the lake.

We grabbed some bottles of Gatorade for the firefighters and dropped all our stuff at a place called Autumn’s Loft. Autumn’s Loft was full of treasures and we wandered around the store sipping our yummy coffee drinks.

As we drove home my daughter yelled, “Pull Over!” and we waded into the river. When we got to the cabin I got the crazy idea to jump into the lake in my clothes. I ran down the dock fully dressed and when my daughter saw me, she yelled, “You won’t beat me!” Off the dock we went in our clothes. The people in kayaks must have thought we had lost it as we went down the slide in our clothes rather than our swimsuits. Oh how we laughed as we swam around!

Side by side we sat on the porch that afternoon. She painted while I finished writing my book. To hit ‘save’ on Screen Shot 2015-08-24 at 8.59.47 PMmy finished manuscript, with my daughter by my side was priceless. The day seemed to move slowly and we had time for some lawn golf, corn hole, and a walk with the dogs. Through out the day she would hug me and in those moments she was my little girl, not a 20-year-old woman, working a full-time job and leaving at the end of summer to continue her education.

Life moves so fast and we need to remember to slow down and make memories with our children. The bond of a mother and daughter is so important. She is no longer my little girl but she will always be my daughter. Looking back over these 20 years the memories that really stand out to me were the simple things, the ones that don’t cost much if anything at all.

What special memories are you making with your children? Take time to stop and play with your daughter (do this with your sons also). Be silly. Run off the dock in your clothes or have a picnic in your living room. Stop at a fruit stand along the road, grab a treat and sit in the shade while you enjoy it together. Let her choose the music in the car. Take turns reading out loud to one another, play a game or color together.

When I visited my daughter at college we spent a night coloring princess pictures. Hearing her tell me how pretty mine was made me smile. But most importantly talk to your daughter. If you don’t build a strong relationship with her when she is young, it will be harder to get her to talk with you when she is a teenager.

Make memories with her that will last a lifetime.

Thank you Lord for the moms who are reading this. Some of them may be struggling in their relationships with their daughters right now. Lord I pray that you will give every mom who reads this one special moment with her daughter(s) and with any sons she may have. Even in the middle of the struggles that they may be having, bless them. Father our children are the greatest gifts we could ask for and parenting them is one of the hardest responsibilities there is. Lord we look to you for wisdom and strength. Help us Lord to make special memories with our children. Help those who are struggling in their relationships with their children right now. Give them a sweet and special memory to hold onto and in those memories may healing be done.   Amen.

For more stories like posts like this check out the Whatever Girls 

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That one there is mine

I was lucky enough to get to know my grandparents. I had three of the most wonderful grandfathers ever. My great-grandfather was with us until I was 19 and I cherish the time I had with him. As kids we would sit in his little cabin at night and laugh until our stomachs hurt. We would mess up his hair and he would poke us with his Lignavita brush that he used to scrub his back with while taking a bath. I remember the name of the brush because grandpa Travis explained that Lignavita is a kind of wood that wouldn’t get water-logged and sink. His cabin at Priest Lake had the most wonderful smell to it and there was a little stool with a bell on it that we would pretend was a horse. When we were with him he made each of us feel special. Those were some of my favorite memories as a child.

Grandpa Travis’s son in law was my Dad’s dad. We called him Granddad and he had the biggest hands ever. He would hook his fingers together so his hands made a seat and he would bend over and hang his long arms down so you could sit on his hands and hold on to his arms like they were the  chains of the swing. Because he was so tall and so strong he would give us kids the best ride as he swung us back and forth. He also had his special chair and there was always room on his lap for a kid or two. When you were in his lap you would wait for him to give you “Whiskers.”  Whiskers is what we we called it when he would rub his 5 o’clock shadow on the side of our check and neck. We would laugh so hard because it would tickle. I remember wanting him to stop because if felt so funny but yet loving every second up it as I laughed because it was such a special time with him. I can still hear the sound of his voice as he would say, “Let me get in there, you need some whiskers.”  In a group of grandkids he made each of us feel like we were the only one there.

My mom’s dad was whom I got my sense of humor from.  I was blessed to have him with me into myphoto[1] forties and he was a character. He would introduce himself as “Bob…. Bob with one ‘o’.”  He had a line for everything and I use them still. My favorite because it seems to apply to me on a regular basis is: “You can’t be smart and beautiful on the same day”. Let’s just say I find myself having a lot of beautiful days because I can do or say some of the dumbest things ever. I was close to all my grandfathers but my grandpa Bob and I had something very special. At the hospital one night when he was sick I will never forget what he said to the nurse. He said, “you see that girl right there” as he pointed at me. “She is my girl, my special one.” I was overwhelmed with love by him at that moment. I was “HIS GIRL.”  That night was when things began to come to an end for my grandfather here on earth and it would be the beginning of his eternal life with God. He would in the months to follow go to meet his maker.

I spent a lot of time with my Grandfather but, that night we really began to talk about life, about morals, and about God. My grandfather let me know he believed in God and he was ready to see him. He never missed a chance to tell me how much he loved me and he told me he trusted me to take care of Grandma. To have someone you love so much trust you and love you with so much love right back is the greatest gift ever. My grandfather was a strong man and he would do anything to protect me. I remember standing behind him in college as he put a landlord in his place that was not doing his job or obeying the law. He stood there and said, “No one messes with my granddaughter like this. From now on you will deal with me.” My grandfather was my hero. He told me that he felt children were a blessing and that they should be loved and cared for. I have the scripture that says children are a gift from God (Psalms 127:3) hanging on my wall because of him.

God is like that. He wants to stand in front of us like my grandfather did for me. He wants to protect us and he wants to be able to look at us and say, that one there is mine! He wants to hold us in his arms and share those special moments like I had with my grandfathers.

If you will let him, God will make you feel so special that it will be like you are the only one there is. He wants you to feel like the Apple of his eye.  Psalms 17:8 Keep me as the apple of your eye; hide me in the shadow of your wings

To feel loved like that gives a person the strength to hang on in the hardest times. Knowing we can run to our father in heaven and knowing beyond a shadow of a doubt that He is there waiting to scoop us up into His loving arms is such an amazing feeling. When we are hurting we can hold tight knowing He will step in front of us and say, “ No one treats my child like that, and you will have to go through me.” When we fall down, it is He who will pick us up without judgment, dust us off and put His healing love over our pain.

I miss my grandfathers. Each made me feel special, in a different way. I look forward to seeing them again when it is God’s time for me. Until than I cherish the memories of those three special men and I give thanks that my God, my father in heaven, is there for me always to make me feel so special, so loved, so protected. As life gets hard at times I know that God is saying that one there is mine, she is my special girl. He has got my back always. How he longs to be there for each of us like that.  He longs to be there for you if you are willing to let him

Dedicated to LeRoy Arthur “Roy” GRAYHEK (10/20/1922 – 02/11/2014), The loving grandfather of my sister in Christ, Erin Bishop.

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