“The Best Things in Life are Free”
There is no season like spring and summer to remind us the best things in life really are free and provided by our Creator for His children. Granted, my heart is in the Blue Ridge Mountains in southwest Virginia where I spent my childhood outdoors. I lived away from the time I was 17 to almost 54. Living away and traveling extensively taught me not to take all we have here for granted and to truly treasure all of His gifts. I believe when we know the Creator intimately we have eyes to see what others do not. My eyes and ears are open to the sounds and beauty that surround my home in Woodlawn Virginia.
While rearing my children we spent a great deal of time outdoors no matter where we lived. If there were surroundings worthy we always found them. Creeks, game land, national forest, and farmer’s pastures we were given freedom to roam. We enjoyed watching the new born calves and nursing mothers when spring arrived. Spotting graceful does with their spotted fawns were always a thrill. The symphony of birds we would wake up to with all the raised windows in our home was a delight after the long months of winter. It is a time of rejuvenation for all of us if we allow it to be.
We were fortunate enough to have a cottage on Topsail Island, North Carolina where we watched many sunrises over the ocean and sunsets on the sound. These moments were what are defined as quality time together. It included sand castles, body surfing, searching for sharks teeth, and long walks on the beach just talking and listening to one another. There were early morning barefoot runs with multiple dips in the ocean before returning home for breakfast. We read books curled up in a hammock I drug to and from the beach while being wooed by the sound of the crashing waves often falling asleep. Life doesn’t always produce these kinds of days and times, but how I remember when it does. I am so thankful for the memories my children and I created. I am thankful my husband was a good provider who saw the value of my being in the home raising and educating our children.
Eventually pressure from the in laws who were convinced our children had been deprived since they had not been to Disney World won out, and we headed for Florida. We agreed to Epcot and Sea World which was graciously tolerated by the children. One of my defining moments as a mother happened there. We were standing in line at the end of the day waiting to get on a boat and see the horticulture. It was the end of the day and we were surrounded by over stimulated children and exhausted parents.
My oldest son who was probably 12 at the time looked up at me and said, “Mama, if we were at home right now, we would be in a real boat and on a real lake.” We were living in Holly Springs at the time just outside of Raleigh. We lived near Harris Lake where I loaded the four children and our black lab, Sam, in and old aluminum canoe where we spent many happy, educational days observing the wildlife as we quietly paddled all over the lake in and out of coveys. I looked in my son’s eyes and asked him a question.
“John David, what do you think all of these children would have enjoyed more today, sitting watching a sunset with just siblings and mom and dad?”
His response was, “I know I would.”
I took that opportunity to tell him,” Son the best things in life don’t cost anything. Most of these families have come and spent money they didn’t have, but trying to give their children the highest they know. We have been blessed by God showing us what I believe to be a much higher way of life. His ways are higher than ours. This place is all about what man has created. It glorifies the works of man. A word for this is humanism. Not that it is necessarily a bad thing, but the good things in life often times rob us of the best.”
I often wonder how much the children remember now that they are all grown and we see each other far too little to discuss everything as we used to. I was very intentional on training our children to have eyes to see and ears to hear, and a heart to receive the finer things of life. But as we all know they must decide those things for themselves as they rear their own families. But as a mother, I have the satisfaction of knowing I gave all I had to instill beliefs I am willing to die for. I have often told them if you don’t believe in anything worth dying for, you have nothing worth living for. These are the kinds of things you cannot put a monetary price on, but are freely given by our Heavenly Father. We are surrounded by these gifts daily with the greatest gift being salvation purchased for us with the blood of His Son Jesus. We shall obtain gladness and joy, and sorrow and mourning shall fade away. Let us seek the best things in life that are free.
Photos are of a few of my treasures from home this week.