Thursday, February 23, 2017

Rooted and built up and overflowing with thankfulness

These verses have been on my mind tonight.

So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness. Colossians 2:6-7

I've been thinking about growing up. I grew up in a small town. I grew up in a small town where there were as many blue collar workers as professionals - or maybe even more. My father was an engineer for the L&N Railroad and he worked hard to provide for us. He had been a wonderful carpenter but needed a more steady income with three girls and a wife to support. He worked crazy hours - he was on call throughout the night. I wonder why trains had to leave at such odd hours?  I never knew that we didn't have money. I never went hungry. I always had clean clothes. I was given strong roots in my faith. I am indeed overflowing with thankfulness and I am humbled at the difference in then and now.

This was the house that my daddy built with his own hands.  I need to dig through and see if I have any old photos of our house.  There used to be a pretty banister around the porch, a big tree and a swing in the front yard.  This is how it looks now - forlorn and sad.

The room on the right was the living room.  The room on the left was a bedroom.  The house was tiny - maybe a 1,000 square feet for 5 people.  The original house had two bedrooms and one bath (no shower - only a bath tub!), a living room and a kitchen.  Since my daddy had great carpentry skills, we had the fanciest cornice boards on the block.

I learned to back up in this driveway.  We had an LTD (in the 70's) and daddy would give me the keys and I would drive up to the entrance of the garage and then back all the way down the driveway.  You can't see it, but there was a fence all along the right side of the driveway.  Let me tell you -- I can back up a car!!

See that garage in the back . . .that is where my daddy would go to escape all of the females who lived in our house.  That garage was his refuge.  I remember that he raised mealy worms in the garage one time.  He was always working on some project or another.  I also had an incredible sandbox.  I must find a picture of that sandbox.  Of course, it was wooden.  Not only did my sandbox have a bench seat on each side, but it had a shingled roof!! I wonder if building that sandbox gave him pleasure!

Our backyard seemed immense.  We had a sandbox, a tree (maybe a dogwood??); a peach tree with delicious peaches (and wicked switches - I would know this because I misbehaved a lot); a long clothesline and a garden.  The backyard in reality is tiny.  I have no idea how my daddy organized all that into one space.  But at the time, the yard seemed immense.

My daddy and his daddy were both excellent gardeners.  My daddy grew the best tomatoes.  I love Sand Mountain tomatoes today because they taste similar to the ones my daddy grew.

This was our next door neighbors house.  With the magic of Facebook, we have reconnected.  Their house looked much prettier back in the day!!

This was the house across the street and the youngest daughter from this family and I actually attend the same church!  Their house was THE most luxurious house on the block.  They had quite a few fancy things - they even had a real dining room (actually a couple of houses on our street did).
Their daddy made the most amazing play house and sandbox and he was a welder (I think) and made some enormous swings.  I wonder if the wrought iron on the porch is the same wrought iron that he made for the house back then!!

What is really amazing is that there were three rental houses (that I know of) on our street.  One family had about 15 kids (not kidding) and they were very poor.  I think it is so interesting that I knew and still remember today how poor they were.  I never knew their story.  I just know that the son who was my age always carried a bologna sandwich with mayo (which I thought was soooo gross!!) for his lunch.  His family couldn't afford lunchboxes so he carried his lunch in a lard bucket.  We weren't poor because I always had a lunch box!! 

I am thankful for parents who raised me well.  Parents who loved me even when I messed up.  Parents who cheered me on.  Parents who loved me.  I am thankful for deep roots of faith - the church was on the other side of the blue house above.  We walked to church and that was awesome.  I am thankful for all of the Sunday School teachers who taught hundreds of Sunday School lessons.  I am thankful.

I am truly thankful for our home today. . . but I'm even more thankful for those deep roots of faith.

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