As we ring in the new year, many of us spend time making resolutions and contemplating goals or changes we want to make during the coming year. The best advice I have been given recently is from my friend, Afton.
Afton and her husband, Paul, have been married for 71 years! They live in a quaint home nestled in a valley of trees in North Central Washington. Afton and Paul are hard-working people who grew up during the Great Depression. Afton always begins her day before the sun comes up. Her home is charming and filled with treasures to entertain any guest, but Afton especially loves visits from children. She has a candy jar for them out in a shed that she has turned into a reading nook. At Christmas Afton always finds interesting and fun items for her guests to make during their visit. She lovingly dubs the table in the corner “Currit’s Crappy Christmas Craft Corner.”
It is a beautiful thing to witness Afton’s cheery disposition and ability to show interest, concern and love to others. One would never guess that behind her sparkling eyes there is heartache. Afton and Paul have survived two of their sons. Al passed away from cancer many years ago, and David died in an accident last year. Through life’s trials Afton keeps going with a smile on her face. She is the Energizer Bunny of grandmothers. I trust her words of wisdom and the insight she has gathered over eighty-nine years of life .
Afton says, “Life is made of memories. Those things that you choose to remember (or forget), forge the way that you see life. They ARE your life. You can choose to remember the happy, productive, meaningful ideas, events and personalities that will bring you comfort and satisfaction, or you can choose to remember those that bring you resentment, embarrassment and general misery. I hope that you will be very selective about the things that you put into your Forever Memory.
“I hope that you will have the strength to forget:
- Past hurts. But remember the lessons you learned
- That really dumb thing you did in 5th grade
- The disappointment in people who should have known better
- Things that you have repented of. The Lord doesn’t remember them. Why should you?
- The promotion that you didn’t get. The award that went to someone else
- The lyrics to that song you shouldn’t have listened to in the first place
“I would hope that you would develop the ability to remember:
- The smell of rain striking dry, thirsty earth
- The feel of a fresh sunrise
- The taste of peas picked fresh from the garden
- Your successes, your accomplishments, even the small ones (modestly, of course)
- The exhilaration of reaching the top of the mountain
- The day your kite flew to the end of the string
- Remember that you’ve lived through everything so far…keep it going
- To stay awake while driving, and during most of church
- The good feeling of being helpful
- The feeling of satisfaction of knowing that what you did was right
- Remember you have many ancestors who sorrow with your pains, rejoice with your success, and who are always rootin’ you home
- Remember the spirit of peace and comfort that follows sincere prayer
- The Lord has given you so much, and He expects you to do something with it.”
Afton shares, “Most importantly I want you always to remember that you are a great person, a choice spirit, a child of God. This day is part of eternity.”
There are treasures of wisdom that we can implement in our lives from Afton’s message. The ability to be optimistic is a gift. As we start our year anew, might we forget the negative, disappointing struggles in life that we all experience at times, and focus on those good feelings that fill our souls with light, strength, and the ability to hope for happiness ahead. Whatever goals we set, we can remember to find joy in the journey!
May your 2019 be blessed with good things.
Thank you @ChristinePotterPhotography.com for the images