Photo by Megan Thomas on Unsplash
Journeys,  Random

Lessons Then & Now

Some of us are able look back nostalgically on our childhood. Thankfully, I am such a person. I know others who are not as fortunate as I, and I am sorry. Today is about how then has become now

My early days were insulated and happy. Sure, like all families, we had our “moments” but mostly things were orderly and respectful. The foundations of love, faith and hope were front and center.

Mom and Dad worked hard…without complaining. Looking back, sometimes I wonder how on earth they accomplished working, raising a family, renovating a 100+ year old farmhouse, while still having time for things like ping-pong or pinochle.

Here are a couple things that are true life-lessons carried forth from the early years.

THE GARDEN

Weeding, picking, blanching, freezing, canning, digging, sweating…yeah, all of that. The garden was a place that one would hope would magically take care of itself and provide abundance. NOT. My Grandpa (Mom’s dad) was an indefatigable gardener! He wielded his cultivator with skill akin to Michelangelo’s art implements. He could even wear Mom down – which was no mean feat!

In the end, we truly did have abundance…an array of beautiful vegetables that actually tasted like something. I have attempted to emulate this in my back yard this year with tomatoes. It’s been fun.

Take Away: The discipline learning how to plan, prepare and execute something like a garden has helped immeasurably in my career as a Project Manager. Thanks, Mom, Dad & Grandpa!

THE MUSIC AND BOOKS

Ah, two of the true loves of my life…music and the written word! Even as I write this, I close my eyes and hear everything from Mozart to Brubeck to Palestrina in my head. Dad used to say (earning eye-rolls), “You only get out of something what you put into it.” Now I know better. Yes, and amen, Papa!

Not unlike a garden, music or writing a book (or even a blog post)  these things do not just magically appear. There is preparation, consideration and execution to bring forth art, dinner or even a well-timed joke. There is imagination before creation. Inspiration must be given time. There is no such thing as instant-art. And for that, I’m profoundly grateful, for the course of creating is a treasure in itself.

Take Away: Just like Mr. Wilson’s practice records in Junior High, working on one’s craft must have a devotion that is scheduled into the busy-ness of life.

FOUNDATIONS

These are but a couple of the foundations provided by two very tenacious, loving and determined parents. Truthfully, today as I write this, I wish I could let them know how their life-lessons are in full force every single day. Every. Single. Day. I trust God will pass my message along.

From their guidance have sprung the incredible realization that work is rewarding, love is a necessity and hope is real.

And, I would be remiss if I did not mention The Most Important Foundation of all, Our LORD and God. Apart from Him and His eternal love, none of this would be here in the first place. So, on this Sunday in July – I am grateful for the lessons learned and applied. Thankful that today can be used for beauty and for good…and tomorrow? Well, let’s let Monday take care of itself.

“So don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today’s trouble is enough for today.” Matthew 6:34 NLT

– RG

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