Wednesday, November 23, 2005

This past Saturday, I visited my mother. While there, my brother, sister, and brother-in-law raked my mothers yard, which is always densely covered with leaves this time of year. We worked together, laughed together, and made the work fun.

We discussed the fact that when my children were smaller, we had a tradition of coming to Grandma's and raking her leaves. The kids enjoyed it for two reasons. One they got to rake leaves into piles and then jump or hide in them. Second, my mother always provided donuts, cider and/or hot chocolate. She would bring it out on a tray to us after we'd been working for awhile.

We have pictures we were reviewing recently which reflected these joyful times. In one, Beej is standing in front of a pile of leaves, with his legs spread wide, and the rake held like a rifle across his body. Behind him, in the pile, you can just barely make out two faces peaking from under the leaves (Lauren and Whitney). Even then, he was acting as a protector, and he was only 5 or 6.

They worked hard on those days, but have fond memories of the times we had. As they grew this tradition faded, as schedules no longer allowed for it.

I often wonder what family traditions Joseph and Mary celebrated with Jesus. Were they similar to the ones we enjoy? I'm sure they involved family. Perhaps then, it was an even bigger deal when family got together, as they had to travel by foot. I suppose they could have had donkey races, or camel carriage rides around the town square.

Whatever they were, they were important. The family unit struggles to stay together in our day. It isn't often that children report having sit down meals with their parents. Schedules get so busy, and we often fail to make time to celebrate the fact that we are families, for no particular reason. If we don't take time to eat together, it isn't likely we take time to pray together. If we don't pray together, seldom will our children have the positive influence they really need.

We told our girls this past weekend that we intend to begin a new tradition this Holiday Season. Haven't decided what it is yet, but it is important to do something together that we can look back on fondly. We will miss celebrating this with Beej, but it will happen in his honor.

Celebrate with your families! Let them know how important they are to you. Establish new traditions, or continue with old ones. It is something they won't soon forget... even if it is a small thing. Take pictures. Make copies and send them to your loved ones. Celebrate the fact that we have one another to enjoy...even if it is for a short time!

Be Blessed!

dad

will try to write while in La., but am unsure of internet accessibility.

27 Comments:

At 7:38 AM, Anonymous Toodie Schaper said...

Once again you have blessed me. Thank you for this timely reminder. Praying for your safe travel and family time together. May our wonderful Heavenly Father bless you richly as you serve others.

Love,
Toodie

 
At 7:44 AM, Anonymous Jason said...

BJ sounds like a nice worshiper!

 
At 9:17 AM, Blogger Lynn Dailey said...

Thank you for the blessing of your ministry to us here on the web site as well as to us personally. It is so special to have you share those intimate memories of your family times together. Thank you.

Please know how much we love you and are praying for you throughout the Thanksgiving and Christmas season.

We too are praying for you as you go to Slidell and minister in the name of our Savior. Without a doubt you will feel Beej's presence along with the Father's. Bless you as you minister to so many people who need to feel the touch of the Master and the love of His children. May God bless you with safety, His direction and very special memories that will bless you forever.

Love and blessings,
Lynn

 
At 10:27 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

God Bless you from Greenfield, Indiana

 
At 10:28 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you for such inspiration.
My daughter Julie, insists on our dinner togeither. And Oh what a diference it does make in our lives!
It is a great time to share our days events and just share.
We have a yearly tradition to put up outside Christmas Lights on Thanksgiving. You have inspired me to start another tradition. Not sure what? yet. I will bring it up for discussion at dinner tonight.
This new tradition will be in honor of BJ. When we figure out what it will be, I will let you know.
Thank you for all you and your Family share with us.
Praying with you Family.
your sister in Christ

Lisa
Indpls., IN

 
At 10:30 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you for such a wonderful reminder and blessing for the day!! I truly am thankful that God brought you into my life, even if it is only through a blog!!!

Deb
Florence Kentucky

 
At 10:44 AM, Blogger Lattany said...

Schedules get so busy, and we often fail to make time to celebrate the fact that we are families, for no particular reason. If we don't take time to eat together, it isn't likely we take time to pray together. If we don't pray together, seldom will our children have the positive influence they really need.

Oh, how sad but true this is. We are to be instrumental in eachothers sanctification, and to see eachothers hearts turned towards one another, and then towards God. It's a sad state when we no longer have "time" for what is most important.

Thank you for your wisdom.

Blessings to you.

Lattany
Fairfax, VA, USA

 
At 11:06 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

AMEN

 
At 11:15 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you for the encouragement to cherish family and especially our little ones. Your writings are a daily treasure for me. Blessings to your entire family this holiday!

 
At 11:27 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Happy Thanksgiving!

 
At 11:38 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It is true that as the children grow older, the meal time with "soul food" (home cooked) is lost along with the time to interact about our daily lives. Our children all have their own bedrooms. They have their own space. I miss the day when I shared a room with 3 siblings and we would interact (talking and fighting) until all hours of the night. We are still so close. We REALLY know each other because of the experience of sharing our space.

I now live in a home with lots of space for the family. I miss the little family room with everyone laying on top of one another fighting for their corner of the throw blanet. Everyone has their own blanet, their own pillow --

Today your words of wisdom point directly to where I can make a difference -- dinner time. Maybe not everyday, as schedules get crazy, but at LEAST two nights per week to start. And Thursday evenings will be family night -- EVERYONE home to share a meal and thanksgiving for our blessing of each other with games and play also included. And of course, most importantly, we'll pray together. (I'll pray at first, I'm sure. Hopefully, in time, they'll pray along.)

Thank you for once again shedding light on things that are simple, yet not grasped.

Today we will start a new tradition that is weekly, not yearly. Thank you BJ, Brent, Deanna, Lauren and Whitney.

 
At 11:53 AM, Blogger NatenAmy said...

Just wanted to let you all know that we will be praying for you as you head down to Slidell this afternoon. Wish we were able to go with you, Nate especially, but you will be no father away than our thoughts and prayers.
We love you LOADS.
Nate-dog and Amy

 
At 11:59 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you for your encouragement. It reminds me to love my family as much as I can. I needed to hear that today.
love you guys
-Brittany A.

 
At 12:06 PM, Blogger AJ said...

What a beautiful entry. (I have been keeping up, btw.)

We are heading to Joe's Dad's and will be helping him this weekend with house things that he can't manage because of his weakness from cancer treatment. Thanks for the reminder to make this very special!

God bless you guys this Thanksgiving and will pray for your trip.

AJ

 
At 12:27 PM, Blogger Aunt Maralyn & Uncle Ray said...

Memories!!
I remember some little boys that went to their Grandma's house to rake leaves. Their names are Brent, Brad and Gregg. I'm sure the girls went also, Lisa, Lynae and Marla. There you got the best Chocolate Chip cookies in the world. I have Mother's recipe but they sure don't turn out the same.
WE are praying for you as you leave today for Slidell.
We love you lots.
Aunt Maralyn

 
At 12:31 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

BLESS YOU AJ FOR GIVIVG BACK AND HELPING SOMEONE IN NEED. I JUST PRAYED FOR YOU AND JOE'S Dad.
Enjoy your Thanksgiving!!
your sister in Christ

 
At 12:32 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Happy Thanksgiving everyone

Lisa

 
At 1:29 PM, Anonymous kristin dutt said...

Mom, Dad and sisters,

It blesses me to hear your still thankful hearts.
I'm praying for y'all this weekend. that you would be deeply blessed and moved by this experience!!

Love you.. kristin

 
At 6:45 PM, Blogger Praying in Pink said...

God has helped us build numerous traditions into the Pieper family. . . and sometimes the children cling to them more tightly than the parents, as evidenced by last year's wailing and gnashing of teeth when we tried to move the Christmas-Eve-drive-to-view-Christmas-lights-after-services to an earlier (and less hectic for Mom and Dad) night. We had thought another new tradition might begin this year, one of Kristen cooking dinner for fellow students at her dorm in California while the rest of the family shared a meal in Charleston. Apparently, our new Thanksgiving tradition is instead SURPRISE: we discovered today that she will arrive very early Thursday morning! Thank you, Lord, for this precious gift--and for the many more that we daily overlook.

Thank you, dear Higgins family, for reminding us so tenderly of the gifts we have in one another. I know we all consider BJ's life an amazing gift as well, and we are overwhelmingly grateful even as we grieve alongside you. May He minister His grace TO and THROUGH you all weekend. We love you!

Marti for the Pieper Family
Charleston, SC

 
At 7:04 PM, Anonymous Linda Anderson said...

God bless you all and have a wonderful Thanksgiving. Yes, there is so much to be thankful for. On the top of my list is Bj and your whole family, for coming into my life and for his changing it for the better! Thank you BJ! Enjoy your feast with Jesus!!

Linda Anderson
Willows, California

 
At 10:00 PM, Anonymous Brittany Di Salvo said...

I'm not sure what to say to all of that.. but I promise you I love reading it and I'm praying for you and love you!

 
At 11:35 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

HALILUJAH
AMEN

 
At 3:50 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am praying for you this Thanksgiving day. You don't know me, but I have been reading your stories. May God's peace that passes all understanding surround you today.
Ingrid

 
At 9:57 PM, Anonymous Carol said...

This Thanksgiving must be so bittersweet for your family. Still praying for you in Arlington, TX.

 
At 7:36 PM, Anonymous k81992@aim.com said...

Hello, I have also had someone that i cared for get close to death. At the moment, he is out of treatment for his cancer. Before, i was praying for bj. Now, I wanted to know if you all could add Daniel to youur prayers. Bj may be gone, but we can all still pray for him. Please keep Daniel in your prayers, and remember bj, to anyone who reads this. God Bless you all from Franklin, Indiana

Thank you all for keeping us updated and with all the support,
K81992@aim.com

 
At 7:51 PM, Anonymous playerkat said...

Dear k81992@aim.com,
I will be praying for Daniel and bj. I wish you all a Merry Christmas. Hope is in god, and he gives hope to all.

"I will freely sacrificeto You;I will praise Your name, O Lord, for it is GOOD. For He HAS delivered me out of trouble And my eyes has seenits desire upon my enemies."
Psalm 54:4-6

GOD BLESS YOU ALL
playerkat

Indianapolis, Indiana

 
At 7:58 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Saw u guys on unsun heros, GOOD JOB BJ!!!!!!!

 

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