After Memories Fade

After the Storm

My father’s swing in his back yard

He holds fast to the memory attached to this swing. He would watch his beloved read books in the shade while gently swaying. He would sit beside her in the evenings while sipping on cool ice tea. Friends and family would arrive for visits and race to be the first one to sit on the swing. Folding chairs were hauled out from the garage and placed in a half-moon circle facing the swing. Sweet times and pleasant memories.

There has always been a wooden  swing in the back yard or one hanging on the back porch. Pillows were added for a comfortable touch and cozy enough to lay down and take a nap. He would tie a rope on a branch of a tree or from a corner of the porch, long enough to reach the person sitting in the swing. We would stretch out on the swing, give the rope a tug and rock ourselves to sleep.

Things happen and life changes. She was no longer around to enjoy the swing with him. The rhythm of conversation taking place around the swing stopped because she was not there to talk. He never noticed how old the swing was and how badly the paint had chipped around the edges, until after she was gone. He noticed the swing more after the memories began to fade.

He fought back to keep the memories from disappearing. He bought lumber and set out to build a new swing. He created a swing like the original one he gave her years and years before. He built bird houses near the swing because she always loved to watch the birds. He is pleased with his carpentry  knowing how thrilled she would have been and so proud of him. After memories fade, he sits on the swing he built for two and is flooded with peace that he will be with her again one day.

The tree dad planted

The tree dad planted

My Dad

My Dad 

Praying for the Next Generation

What kind of legacy do you want to leave for your children? I know I want to leave a legacy like my parents will leave me…and my children and my children’s children.

My Dad recently celebrated his 87th birthday with us. We bought him an airline ticket from North Carolina to Indiana.  My Dad is in amazing physical condition and his strong heart is sold out for Jesus. I think he has memorized most of the bible and is passionate about telling everyone he meets about the love of Jesus and God’s grace. When I picked Dad up from the airport, the  first thing he said was, “Hey there!” and the second thing was, “Would you believe the person I sat by on the plane was already a Christian?”  I said, “Dad, you sound disappointed that he knows Jesus.”  We laughed together because we both know that my father’s greatest joy is sharing the love of Christ to others.

Not everyone my Dad speaks to or sits by on a crowded airplane wants to hear what he has to share. He is a gentleman and will not press people to listen to him but whenever that happens, my Dad will begin to pray for the person near him or sitting next to him on an airplane. Quietly praying to himself…talking to God…praying many of those bible verses he has memorized…fuel for praying for the next generation.  My father uses scripture as a springboard for prayer.

When my children were born, my father held them in his arms and prayed that they would know Jesus at a very young age and blessed them with words from the pages of God’s book. When my grandchildren were born, my father held them in his arms and blessed them with everlasting words of truth, hope and grace. Words from God’s book…memorized years and years ago.

I found this small booklet on my bookcase. I had purchased it several years ago to use as a guide to pray for my children. I remembered ordering numerous copies to give to families in our church. Time has passed and I had forgotten about it…until I put my Dad on a plane back to North Carolina. Unknowingly, my father challenged me to pray  the word of God, especially for the next generation.

This is a helpful booklet for praying specific scripture verses for a specific need.  It was written with the hope that we will not only faithfully pray for our children but also for the generations to come. It is a wonderful tool to help focus your prayers for your children. For example: “Pray that they would desire inner beauty and godly character, and that they would grow more Christlike daily…Psalm 119:9, Ephesians 5:1-11” (excerpt from Praying for the Next Generation, page 34.)

My Dad probably doesn’t need this booklet, but I do. And you may find it helpful, too.

Check it out here: Children Desiring God  Praying for the Next Generation by Sally Michael

Garage Sale: A Grocery Cart to the Rescue


Garage sales are not always fun, unless you can make lots of money. I helped my father with his garage sale last weekend. He had high expectations of selling all of the stuff and making lots of money.

First lesson, don’t have a garage sale and have high expectations of selling all of the stuff and making lots of money. When I opened the garage, I was very impressed with the organization of the vases, baskets and silk flowers. It was obvious that my Dad had spent a great deal of time organizing the items and pricing them slightly below what one could purchase them new at Walmart.

I’m sure it was difficult for my father to bring out the numerous vases, wicker baskets, and a garden of silk flowers. His beloved wife of nearly 60 years created amazing displays of fresh flowers, fruit baskets for gifts and lavish silk flower arrangements for their home. In case it was overlooked, one would always know when the seasons changed by the spring, summer, fall or winter silk flower arrangements Mom had in the house.

With the vase, basket and silk flower inventory, someone could have opened a florist shop and not have overhead expense from purchasing vases, baskets, and artificial flowers. Unfortunately, none of our shoppers wanted to open a florist shop.

Second Lesson: save the time and effort…take all vases, baskets and silk flowers to a thrift store. I think the garage sale venture was finally redeemed when I asked Dad about the grocery cart he had for sale, while hoping Mom did not “borrow” the cart and forget to return it.

He said to me, “Your mother wanted one, so we bought it.”

Whew! I was relieved to know that Mom was not a thief!

I told Dad that I could find a new home for that cart. I’ll use it Sunday morning for children’s ministry!

Up and down the halls we travel with crafts, snacks, water pitchers, curriculum, toy bins…making numerous trips because our arms can not manage to carry everything from room to room. (We are a “portable church” that meets in a high school.)

“How much do you want for the cart?” I asked.

Dad said, “If you can use it for children’s ministry, it’s my gift to the church!”

The grocery cart now has a new home and my father is content that the garage sale was not a total loss. And I’m proud to show off this cart and use it every week…especially since my Mom wrote her last name on the handle.  (She didn’t want anyone to think it was stolen!)

With fond memories of Barbara Ann Newman Goodroe

The Grocery Cart