Little quirks bring lasting memories

By Becky Spell Vann - Contributing columnist

What are you dwelling on in life? This story stirred in my heart as Connor and I waited to board our plane and head home after visiting my son and his wife in Tampa.

Saying good-bye to loved ones you will not see for months is never easy. I always dab happy/sad tears while walking away with a trembling lower lip.

Turning to share one last smile and blow a kiss before losing sight of one so loved happens like clockwork. I always blow a kiss to my children and grandchildren when we leave one another. Surely, you have those little quirks, too.

Tim and James are on my mind as we fly high above white fluffy clouds that make me feel so close to Heaven. Remembering their little quirks brings laughter to my heart as I type while tucked between my grandson and a stranger. Tim’s little quirk every Friday at five was to tune into WCLN and listen for Cameron, Blueboy, to play his sign-off song, Gone Fishing, for his Dad.

I can still see Tim’s grin when his son’s voice and special song made us all aware we should take time in our busy lives to go fishing and cherish family. When he turned the open sign to closed at Spell Insurance, he would walk outside, check things out in his parking lot, and go next door to check on me after closing up at The Learning Station.

He’d give me a kiss, lock the door behind him, and both of us would finish up work at our businesses before heading home together. Our little end of day quirks were important to both of us.

We always agreed things are better when family is together. We loved having family dinners and get- togethers that would bring the family home. Do you enjoy time with your family? Never take this precious gift for granted.

James’ little quirk came every Thursday – bowling league night. I would watch in awe as James pulled his Carolina blue bowling bag from the back of his car, hoist it above his head, and begin his pre-bowling procedure: 10 repeating lifts of that heavy bag high in the air before resting it on the ground and giving me a kiss on the forehead.

His strength and sweet spirit swept me off my feet. Holding hands and heading inside for a fun time together is a memory that brings me peace today. James’ routine is a reminder we should all take time to strengthen our bodies, express our love, and enjoy things together.

The two of us enjoyed a fifteen minute exercise time every morning at 6:30; then we would write names in our prayer journal and pray together. James would pick me up and set me on the kitchen counter, wrap his arms around me and say the most beautiful prayers. I miss our prayer time together most of all.

The Bible promises healing and binding up of our wounds when Joy cometh in the morning. We must make choices to carry on and stay connected to our heavenly Father and family. Happiness is possible even when loved ones leave first while we figure out how to go forth in faith without them. Yet, a happy heart doesn’t just happen! Our choices distance or direct us closer to Christ. Trusting and obeying God ensures true happiness, amazing grace, and joy, joy, joy, joy deep down in our hearts.

What brings joy to your heart? The gentleman seated beside me read from a magazine titled, Millionaire. Not meaning to snoop on his reading material, I was drawn to bold print proclaiming the ways to become and rewards of being a millionaire.

Thoughts of how God must feel as He watches us building up treasures on earth as if we will be here forever stopped my writing. The rich man in the Bible who asked Jesus what he must do to follow him came to mind. Jesus simply said, “Go sell everything you have and come follow Me.” Sadly, the rich man went away with little joy in his heart, for he loved his money more than his Master.

Are we also guilty of making a living and loving our money more than our Lord? Do bulging barns and bank accounts symbolize lifestyles that can limit joy while keeping us busy and burdened beyond anything we ever imagined?

Being wealthy here is grand when we honor God and give of our first fruits. Yet, His Word warns against the love of money and how a camel can go through the eye of a needle easier than a rich man can enter Heaven.

Busy days and nights can limit precious time with the Lord and loved ones. Instead of being our first love with first fruits, He (and our families) can easily be left out and looked over as we work, worry, and wonder where our joy went!

His sweet spirit settled in that plane. Tears filled my eyes. I stand accused. Do you?

We judge by what we have here… what we can see! God judges by what’s in our hearts…what He can see!

When we are focused on living and loving out loud for Jesus here, we can count on crowns and treasures being stored up for us in Heaven.

Connor pointed to the seat belt sign that meant landing at home was close at hand. Our joy was easily seen as we rushed through the airport where Cameron waited with open arms. Our memories were unseen treasures stored inside our hearts.

The three of us did our big family (group) hug right there on the sidewalk as cabs and cars whizzed by taking people to their destinations. Then, we loaded our bags, buckled our seat belts, and headed for home – sweet – home!

Becky Spell Vann is a long-time columnist for the Sampson Independent’s Faith & Family section and owner of the outreach ministry Tim’s Gift.

By Becky Spell Vann

Contributing columnist

Becky Spell Vann is a long-time columnist for the Sampson Independent’s Faith & Family section and owner of the outreach ministry Tim’s Gift.

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