Sat., Jan. 5, 2019
1 Corinthians 6:14 – God has raised the Lord and will raise us through his power.
While everyone is packing away their Christmas decorations and moving onto Valentine’s day, I’m still savoring Christmas. Technically, Christmas goes until today, which is the 12th day of Christmas. And so, I share one more Christmas post; maybe as a bit of inspiration for us to think about how we are “raised.”
Hubby Rick and I don’t exchange Christmas gifts. We never really have, by choice. Honestly, I don’t expect Christmas gifts. We’ve consolidated our Christmas giving to our grandchildren and very little beyond this.
However, we received one Christmas gift that truly is special. Rick’s sister, Linda, gave it to us. When she arrived at our house on Christmas day, she left it on our beautiful front porch, right next to the homey Christmas decorations we’ve enjoyed. A couple days later when it had snowed, I saw it on the porch and bought it inside. This is what it looked like.
I put an old towel underneath to let the snow soak into. And soon enough, this is what it looked like.
It’s nearly perfect for us.
Rick and I were both raised on dairy farms. We both have put in plenty hours milking cows, mowing hay and doing the yucky jobs that are part of growing up on a farm. Rick also hauled milk for 25 years. This means he picked up the milk from various farms and delivered it to the local processing plant where it was turned into cheese or butter. When Rick and I planned to get married, his son, Darran, took over the family milk hauling business. Darran continues to haul milk today.
On my family farm, my sisters and I also raised sheep. For us girls, this was a way for us to put a little money into our savings accounts, which was used when we attended college. My sister Debbie still raises sheep and allows me to be involved every once in a while.
Look a little more carefully at the old window. I knew exactly where it came from. It is an original window from the house where Rick’s parents lived the last 50+ years of their lives. This house was built in 1850 by a General Starks, who also happened to be a general during the Civil War. Built as a glorious house in its day, at one point, the house was a stage coach stop. This window is one of the original windows, indicated by the wavy glass. I have a few other of these windows in our house as well; used for decoration.
So much heritage in one window.
So much reflection about who Rick and I are and where we came from. How and why we were raised.
Yes, we were raised on farms. This has colored who we are, our work ethic, our occupations and how we view life. Rick’s son, Darran, has chosen to raise his kids very much like he was raised: on a farm, with animals and a dad who hauls milk.
While being farm-raised is a cornerstone of who Rick and I are, there is another similar aspect of our backgrounds. We were both raised with an emphasis of having faith in our lives. We both grew up going to church. Our families, as well as ourselves, have been very involved in a faith community like, forever. We make faith an active part of our daily lives; not just in what we do but also in the choices that we make.
Just as it is impossible for Rick and me to separate our farm roots from who we are, it’s just as impossible for us to separate our faith roots as well. We are both grateful that our parents made sure faith was just as important in our lives as making hay and feeding calves. Yes, we still struggle with faith and God’s role in our lives and the world. But at the end of the day, we know giving up on faith is just as impossible as not appreciating the hard work and dedication being involved in production agriculture requires.
So, how were you raised? What values were instilled in you as being most important? How do you share these values with your children and/or grandchildren?
Sister Linda – thanks for the wonderful reminder of our roots. I’m still looking for a special place to put in our home. Maybe after the Christmas decorations are finally down.
For great reminders what being raised with what we consider important, I am grateful.
Holy God – thank you for giving each one of us life. Thank you for families and people who have taught us values that were important to them, which they passed onto us. I pray we see being raised in faith as a cornerstone of our very lives. Amen.
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