Moments of love, faith captured on camera

By: By Becky Spell Vann - Contributing columnist

What’s on your refrigerator? This story stirred while cleaning my refrigerator and taking a sentimental trip down memory lane. My refrigerator (like most of yours) shares love stories through pictures and particular pieces precious to me (and to you)! My heart sings with joy every time I open the door or at any given time when I stop in front of our fridge for no reason except to enjoy the memories and recount the love of family and friends. Oh, the joy of surrounding myself with cards and pictures of loved ones!

Cards sent to my family through the years are stored in hat boxes. Each of our children has a container where I keep cards and keepsakes they mailed or gave me personally. One of my favorite things is a snow day or stay at home day when I take time to visit their boxes and re-read cards, old newspaper articles, church and school programs, their first handwriting on large ruled – yellowed paper, ribbons from weddings, dried flowers from happy and not so happy times. I relish treasures from the past that make the present precious! Take time to recount love of seasons past and present, while believing for a glorious future compliments of God.

A recent house cleaning morning moved me to ‘precious place’ and without warning to ‘pity place’, while dusting special what nots, flipping through picture books, putting things (gifts from loved ones that took me back in time) in place, cleaning baseboards and remembering when we moved in and painted the baseboards with regular paint over oil. On my knees this morning, I clean where we scraped the oil paint off 26 years ago (which seems like yesterday)! Finally, cleaning ceases and cold water from the fridge calls my name. Standing still, I sip while surveying the wonders that adorn the white fridge – ‘picture place’! Peace comforts my heart as water quenches my thirst.

Taped over the pictures, I read a scripture from Psalm 65 that feeds my heart daily when I open my refrigerator. “Thou crownest the year with Thy goodness…and the little hills rejoice on every side.”

God’s goodness crowns each year that seems to ‘fly by’ with we, His children, choosing to be stretched to the limit, overextended, exhausted… leaving little time for the little things that matter most. Blessings of faith, family, friends, home, happiness, health, healing…even heartaches are abundantly given by a loving Father who desires to be the center of our lives while we ‘rejoice the little hills (things we often take for granted) on every side’.

Standing at my refrigerator waiting for crushed ice to start flowing, I scanned seasons of family memories that reminded me I am blessed and highly favored. How about you? Do you feel highly favored and blessed? Mrs. Dianna McNeil does. This mother and grandmother who has lost many treasures in her life, including loved ones, one hand and arm to the elbow, two legs, and use of her kidneys (on dialysis) hobbles in with her walker with a smile and sweet spirit that light up the room. She always replies when asked how she’s doing, “I’m blessed and highly favored”!

Pictures of our children replay seasons in my mind from toddler years eating spaghetti, to reading books at bedtime, to times when they stand taller than their Mom, to new seasons with a grandchild and step father to color our family’s world with even more love. So much love and prayers are sewn into seasons as families grow in faith. Facing the future prayerfully, with hope and help from one another and the Great I Am, makes for marvelous families.

Family prayers are powerful, especially childlike prayers beside one’s bed. One of my favorite praying pictures is beside the blue flip flops on my refrigerator. The winter season of 1956, my older sister, Glenda, and I kneeled beside one another before we hopped into our cold bed piled high with homemade quilts. Remember crawling into frozen beds with tons of blankets? These memories tell our age and appreciation for comfortable blessings often taken for granted.

Mother and Daddy were there with a Polaroid camera and happy hearts to see Glenda and me doing what they were training up their children to do. I am so thankful they took this precious picture; it captures the beauty of my big sister praying with me in a season when our childlike faith and dreams were untarnished.

This picture reminds me how treasures of the heart keep on giving, especially when loved ones are living in heaven and we are still here. Check your refrigerator (or other picture places), enjoy a trip down memory lane, and send up powerful prayers for family and friends…God’s great gift that colors our lives with love.

By Becky Spell Vann

Contributing columnist

Becky Spell Vann is the owner and operator of Tim’s Gift and The Learning Station.

Becky Spell Vann is the owner and operator of Tim’s Gift and The Learning Station.