Meaningful Memories

When I first began to date my husband, Amick Byram, I was immediately impressed by how many songs, poems and sayings he had memorized. This was, of course, after first being impressed with his good looks and talent!

As time went on and we became more and more comfortable with each other, he would frequently burst into song or recite a lyric for me that he had learned from his childhood. You see, he had learned them early in his young life and would never forget them. They had become meaningful to him and he wanted to share them.

After getting over the fact that dating Amick was like being in The Sound of Music, I became more familiar with the memories that had informed his life, and I began to see a pattern. These songs, scriptures or sayings all had a delightful sense of happiness and a celebration of life. They made me feel good or hopeful when I heard them. Some were even mysterious, quirky or thoughtful, but there was still a sense of joy and wonder to them.

My husband is a great example of the importance of the memories we create for our children early on in their lives. What we feed into young children and the messages we send them will affect them for a lifetime.

Amick is one of the most positive people I have ever met. His take on any situation or challenge in life is always a hopeful one. He was very fortunate that the input of his young life helped him to build the foundation for that kind of healthy personality.

Unfortunately many children grow up without this kind of healthy input. Jesus asks us, whether we are parents or not, to embrace little children as He embraces them. (Mark 9:37) In other words, to render them service, and in doing so, we are actually rendering service to Him.

Consider how you can make a difference in the lives of children.

As parents, grandparents, teachers, mentors, aunts, uncles, and so on, we have a glorious opportunity and responsibility to create lifetime memories in the lives of children….meaningful memories that will help shape their future, and by doing so, shape the future of the world.

By the way, my husband Amick is unusual. Bursting out in song is not normal dating etiquette…in case you were wondering!


 

From “Mere” to “Interesting”

51i0O8MNsfL._SL500_Being featured as the vocal soloist for the celebrated film-maker, Hayao Miyazaki’s most iconic film “My Neighbor Totoro”, will always be one of the highlights of my career.

Miyazaki’s beautifully animated movies have delighted children and adults alike for over 30 years. His vivid imagination transports us into stunning scenes filled with the glory of everyday life, if we will only slow down long enough to enjoy it.

Hayao Miyazaki is highly revered by anyone in animation. Everyone at Disney’s Pixar is a huge fan, especially John Lasseter, the director of the original Toy Story. In Toy Story 3, Lasseter gave a nod to the film by including a plush toy of Totoro as one of Bonnie’s toys.

Some of the biggest fans of all are among my 22 year-old son Benjamin’s generation.

I remember back in the day when Ben was in Jr. High School and his friends were in our family room gathered around the TV. They were watching the movie, “My Neighbor Totoro.” As I heard my own voice floating through the house I wanted to tell them it was mine, but I felt a bit shy about interrupting my son and his Jr. High-school aged friends. That could be scary! But I decided to be brave. I walked in just as the opening song finished and announced, “That was me.” They all stopped and looked at me with annoyed confusion on their faces. Obviously, I had interrupted their movie and invaded their space . “What do you mean?” they finally asked. “That’s my voice”, I said, “I’m the one singing that song. In fact I sang all of the solos in this film.”

At that moment the looks on their faces went from annoyed confusion to absolute shock, especially Ben’s! “Are you kidding me Mom? We’ve been watching this for years. I had no idea it was you!” Immediately they were on their feet asking me about my experience. It just so happens that my son and all of his friends who were there that day were in the school choir. Many of them were interested in pursuing a career in the entertainment industry.

That day I went from “mere” Mom to “interesting” Mom in an instant.

I’d like to say it didn’t mean that much to me, but it did. It was a lot of fun and a definite boost to the “old” ego. But the good news is, it meant much more than that. Something happened that day that changed my relationship with my son and his friends. They started to know my story.

I can honestly say, it allowed me a certain entry into their lives I did not have before. In that moment my son’s friends discovered something relatable about me, which then opened the door for me to have at least a small amount of trust and input.

Stories are the most important possessions we carry through life. Most everything else can be taken from us, but not our story.

Look for ways you can share your story with others. Share moments in your life that will cause you to be more relatable. Do it with sensitivity of course. Make sure you are inclusive and turn the focus back to those you are with. But go ahead, be brave! Sometimes you may even have to invade someone’s space, but the rewards will be great as you go from “mere” to “interesting”.


 

His Purpose

wm2From the very onset of life children begin to form their identity. They decide what they will trust in and whom they can depend on. Scripture is clear that our dependence is to be on Jesus Christ.

Jesus himself said, “I am the vine: you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit: apart from me you can do nothing.” (John 15:5)

This verse sets the standard for children (and for all of us) about how we can live a fruitful life. There are wonderful reasons to teach children to memorize what the Bible says. Let’s help them to remain in Christ so that they will reap the fruitful blessings of God’s purposes their whole lives through!

Song: His Purpose (Romans 8: 28-30) Wonderfully Made Album

Put On Love

wm2There are so many reasons why we need to help children fall in love with God’s Word, and to do it early on. One of the most important reasons is for the sake of who they will become.

The Bible tells us that children are imitators. “Therefore, be imitators of God as dear children” (Ephesians 5:1). This verse goes on to say, “and walk in love as Christ also loved us.”

To walk in love! What a perfect picture for children to imitate and a great reminder of how we should all model our lives.

Song: Put On Love (Colossians 3: 12-16) Wonderfully Made Album