I’m on my second week of Stories of the Heart and this week I am focusing on a look back. As the famous song goes, ‘Where did you come from, where did you go?’ I’m going to focus on where I’ve been, where I grew up, what was life like and we’ll see where it goes!
Here is my picture for the week. Its not one that I took and its not even a recent one. It is a picture of myself and I think I’m over a year in this picture. I love this picture because it tells a lot. I’m wearing my dad’s protective work glasses but they are a bit too big because I need to use my hands to hold them on my face. It looks like we were in my dad’s workshop probably visiting him or bugging him!
I grew up in the same house right until I got married at 19. I never had to share a bedroom as I was the only and oldest girl and I never had to share clothes. I was born to two parents, four living grandparents and three living great-grandmothers. And before I even knew it, I was instantly loved and welcomed into a very tight knit loving community. Now looking back, what an amazing blessing it was to be so surrounded by so many loved ones. It is rare today to know great-grandparents! My great-grandmothers were able to watch me grow and I was able to be a part of their lives– hearing their stories and visiting with them.
My parents always provided us with a warm home, plenty of food, clothes and love. But there were many years where I now know that money was very tight. I don’t think I really felt this as a child. We treasured going out to a restaurant as that was a super special treat! When I got a special birthday present I longed for I didn’t take it for granted. My favourite present as a child was the beautiful doll house that my dad made me. I still have it and occasionally my kids will play with it! (my first daughter is not a doll girl she is a bug girl, but here’s to hoping my second daughter will use it!)
I grew up with four brothers, a collie dog, numerous cats along the way and two baby raccoons for a day! I lived in the country. My dad was and still is a carpenter and my mom chose to bless us by staying home to raise us and take care of other kids. I always had something to do although I’m sure there were times when I was also bored. I remember summers being long and hot and we would always go camping. I know this is where I developed my love of summer time, the beach, the fresh air, the fresh cut hay, long warm nights– I was always outside!
I grew up in a Christian home, now some would say that I was sheltered and raised in a bubble– that I had a sub-par upbringing. I guess to a degree I was raised in a bubble, but I was never sheltered from the realness of life. I knew life was hard, that marriage was work and that life is short. I knew that humans long for relationships and I knew the importance of being there for others. I knew that a listening ear is far better than an over told story. In a way I am thankful for my bubble– through it I learned what it meant to be compassionate, loved and discerning. It has shaped me to be the person I am today.
This is a very brief capture of where I’ve been and where I came from. There are a lot more stories of how I came to be where I am now– if you want to know the more details ask me sometime! Or maybe I’ll blog about them in another post.