Restoring What Was Lost

Have you ever come across something from your past that produced a longing to revisit it again? I was putting away the towels in my linen closet and looked up on the shelf and saw that my mother’s highly-prized candelabras had turned from silver to  tarnished brass. The lurch in my breast caused me to bring them out to the patio along with gloves, polish, brush, sponge and finishing cloth. The whole process took two afternoons in the shade. I  enjoyed the gentle breeze, our Wellington tucked in his bed, and music to keep me company as I wiped, scrubbed, waited, buffed, washed and dried. All the while, the memories came flooding back…

The “back story” is perhaps more interesting. These candelabras graced my mother’s dining table ever since I was born. I regret that I never asked if they belonged to my grandparents or were a wedding gift. Mother changed the candles based on the season from white to red and along with a crystal bowl filled with flowers, they were the centerpiece of her elegance. To me, they meant home, very special family dinners, and holidays with my Nanas, Aunts, Uncles at the main table and siblings and cousins gathered at card-tables.

When my mother passed in 2004, the children had an opportunity to select items from her estate one by one until it was done. I selected the candelabras as one of my first choices. I wanted that piece of heritage on my dining table. When I received my selections, the first thing I did was to polish these precious memories. You can’t imagine my shock when I took the pieces apart and discovered that my father had carved his initials into the center candle holders. [You see, my father died suddenly when I had just turned 20 in 1970. He left my mother with 9 children from 21 to 6. Our lives were turned upside down that fateful day. What an amazing woman she was… but that’s another story for another day.] So, much to my delightful surprise, what I thought was an inheritance from my mother became an inheritance from my father as well.

The “in” look today is simple, clean, and (frankly to my mind) sterile — absent of history, lacking character, and pretty much looking like everyone else’s pristine home. I wanted to be in, so when we moved, I put away the old-fashioned and tried to transition to the new. And yet, something inside came alive when I saw those tarnished candelabras on the top shelf of the linen closet.

I finished the restoration of these heirlooms and placed them where they belong… on my dining table. Imagine my delight when some of my granddaughters visited yesterday just as I was drying them and I was able to tell them my story and Mother and Dad’s.

How will my grandchildren remember me? How will they know what their great grandmother treasured, if I don’t tell them her story and mine?

Nana’s Nudge:  Uncover your hidden treasures and share your heritage. Nana’s Songs:   We Gather Together | We are Family | My Best Days are Ahead of Me | Come to the Table
Nana’s Prayer:  Good Father, help me to treasure all You have given me throughout the years. Restore what has been lost. Revive what is missing in my life. Help me to pass on what is important to those I love.

Tough Love

Yesterday was a very special day for me.  After a three-week “doggy boot camp”, I had the joy of bringing home our rescue pup, Wellington. The decision to “lock him up and give away the key” was very hard. We’d let him get away with too much and he was ruling the household. We had to hike over gates countless times a day and the nipping was beginning to scare us with 6 grandchildren. We called our vet, looked up their suggestions, and made a decision. I prayed and spoke soothing words all the way there 3 weeks ago as he shook and whined. I cried most of the way home. He celebrated his first birthday while at camp… and to tell you the truth, I sat down and balled that morning, thinking of him on top of missing unreconciled dear ones.  I had to “trust” our decision and let him go to the experts and I reaffirmed my trust in a loving Father for my dear ones.

Parents are letting their children go these weeks — some to their first day of preschool, the first year of high school, or maybe a distant college campus. The school year has begun. Moms and Dads are hoping for the best teachers, praying for kind friends, believing their school choices will reinforce their home values and prepare them for a purpose, a destiny that awaits every living soul.

My tuckered-out, precious Wellington is finally home.

I spent an hour with the trainer learning commands and how to correct. It was tense, but I was successful. He’s on a literal “short leash” for awhile so we can practice what he’s learned. There was one technique that really spoke to me. My commands are given only once. Further “encouragements” to do as I say are with a verbal “uh-uh” getting louder if he doesn’t respond with a quick snap of the leash. I am NEVER to use his name in a command. Wellington’s name is always positive and used to praise with success. I laughed. I SO remember my mother’s “Mary Elizabeth Best!” I KNEW I was in trouble when I heard my full name. Never did like “Mary” until I was much, much older. Funny that.

So what’s my point today? Sometimes those we love need to learn who’s boss. Sometimes they need boundaries. Sometimes we need to be better at our job of parenting. Sometimes we just need to let go and trust. But — and it’s a BIG BUT — we never, ever stop praying for the best, believing and trusting that all will be well… especially when we partner with God.

Nana’s Nudge: Who do you need to let go and trust God? What are the boundaries you need to set? How can you reinforce them?
Nana’s Song: That’s What Faith Can Do | Trust In You
Nana’s Prayer: Father, I ask Your blessing over our children as they return to school. Protect them as You watch over them. Prepare them for the destiny written in their book (Ps 139:13-19). Help me to mentor, to encourage, and to reinforce excellence in all they do. May they become more like Your Son, Jesus.