Life is a Collection of Memories…Don’t Forget to Treasure Them

They walk ahead of me.
A man I’ve known for thirty-four-years.
A man I’ve known for thirty.

One I spied at a college Bible study.
Sitting on the floor with his back against the wall.
Dressed in scruffy jeans and a red flannel shirt with
the sleeves rolled up his muscular forearms.
A well-worn Bible opened in his lap.
An easy laugh escaped his lips.
Chocolate eyes melted my heart.

The other man I met in the delivery room on February 4, 1984.
Jet-black hair.
Ridiculously long eye lashes.
Cherub lips.
Love wrapped in the flesh of a man-child we would call Steven.

It’s been a blink. A flash. A moment.

This is not a blog that will change your life.

It’s just a peek into my mother- heart as I remember the journey that changed mine.
Thank you for indulging me.

The following is something I wrote the day I took my son, Steven to get his driver’s permit.
I hope you enjoy it. I pray it causes you to pause  and enjoy  the journey of motherhood or grand-motherhood.

Pay attention. Notice the little things.

Store the memories in the treasury of your mind.

To Steven: I Thank God for the Wonder of You
-mom

I crept into your room today as the sun was peeking over the horizon.  A single ray of light reaches through the blinds and illuminates your angelic face like a lone actor on a stage. Two tiny fists frame your olive face as you snuggle peacefully under you yellow blanket.

A small head, capped with black busy hair. Long Bambi-like eye lashes. Perfectly formed cherub lips. A red forceps mark on your forehead. Knees curled and tucked under your tummy.

A mound of love that just three days before kicked my ribs and moved inside my tummy, now sleeps in a crib and moves my heart.  Yellow gingham bumper pads framed this picture of sweetness, tranquility and love.  I drink in the scent of baby powder, fresh wipes, and lotion.

A Noah’s Ark soft sculpted toy with ten bulging pockets carrying animals two-by-two. A bunny shaped rattle. A tinkling music box.

Stuffed animals with bright satin bows huddled in a corner. A beckoning white wicker rocker.

I stroked you head and watched you breath, finding my chest in sync with yours.  Three days old. My precious gift from God. What journeys await our family of three?

I crept into your room today and thanked God for the wonder of you.

___________________________________________________________________

I crept into your room today before my little man awoke. In just a few minutes you’d be calling out in your two year old voice for mommy and daddy to get you out of you now too small crib for a little snuggle time before dad is off to work.

The black hair has been replaced with golden corn silk capping your precious head.
Long thick eyelashes now dubbed as “angel wings,” rest on chubby cheeks.

The yellow blanket that once kept you warm now keeps you secure as you clutch it tightly to your side.
Somehow your thumb has found its way to your mouth and I hear the sound of gentle sucking.

Big Bird and Ernie wait patiently for their little friend to stir. A train parked in the corner. A stick horse tethered to the doorknob. Rubber balls and wooden blocks in a basket. Pop up books, Richard Scarry, Lowly Worm, Busy People, Things that Go– all familiar friends crowded on the bookshelf.

Wooden puzzles, plastic trucks, cardboard tubes for jousting.  A well-worn wicker rocker that has become my favorite spot in the house.  I stroked your blond head and watched your gentle breathing, still amazed that so much love could be found in one small package.

I crept into your room today and thanked God for the wonder of you.

____________________________________________________________________

I crept into your room today on this your first day of school. In Superman pajamas, hugging a well-worn Teddy bear, you dreamed of new friends and adventure.

A new shiny red lunch box sits on the dresser. Stiff new jeans and a crisp striped knit shirt laid out on the floor. A blue backpack stuffed with fresh crayons, unopened markers, and wide ruled notebook paper, hangs from the door knob.

Plastic swords, Playmobile Indians, nerf balls, a sheriff’s badge, cowboy boots.  All would be motionless this day.
A T-Ball trophy on the dresser.  A team picture of twelve miniature athletes smiling back at me from a red frame on the wall.

I stroked your sandy blond head and tears streamed down my cheeks. In just a few minutes, I’d be walking you down a sidewalk and entrusting my most valued possession into the hands of another woman.

Would your teacher know that you were the most creative child that God has ever fashioned?
Would she know that you already knew your ABC’s and could count to 100?
Would she know that you had already asked Jesus to come into your heart and could recite the Lord’s Prayer and Twenty-third Psalm?
Would she know that you needed lots of hugs?

Would she know that this was one of the hardest days of my life?
O how I’m going to miss my little man today.

I crept into your room today and thanked God for the wonder of you.

_________________________________________________________________

I crept into your room today before the sun made its way into the morning sky.
You, my little soldier, lay tangled in the sheets with Beary the white polar bear tucked under your arm and staring admiringly into his charge’s tranquil face.

The cars and trucks wallpaper has been replaced by plaids and coat-of-arms. Baseballs hats hang from the corners of your four-poster bed. Soccer pictures line the walls. A Boy Scout handbook.

Well-worn matchbox cars parked in a slotted carrying case. Stray Legos peek from under the bed. G. I. Joe’s back from their latest mission share a shelf with hard to part with stuffed animals. A flashlight rests on The Chronicles of Narnia.

I stroked your head and wondered if you had any idea how much I have loved being your mom for these past ten years.

I crept into your room today and thanked God for the wonder of you.

______________________________________________________________

I crept into your room today before the day was new. Breaking all the new rules of privacy and personal space, I gazed at my twelve-year-old young man with a sense of awe. A knowing Michael Jordan smiled at me from a poster taped on the closet door.

Muddy baseball pants hang over a chair. Inverted tube socks wadded up and tossed in a corner. A CD player, headphones and magazines. Deodorant, boxers, and fuzzy legs.

Five feet nine inches of muscle and bone-a man-child metamorphosing before my very eyes.

A school yearbook open to page 87 where Rosemary’s smiling face had been the last thing on your mind.  A new era was on the horizon.

I whispered a prayer over your sleeping form as I rubbed you sandy head. A prayer of protection, purity, and purpose.

I crept into your room today and thanked God for the wonder of you.

___________________________________________________________________

I crept into your room today before the alarm signaled the dawn of a new day. Your six-foot frame lay angled across the mattress. A man’s hairy leg peeks out from under the tangled sheet.
Your face needs a shave.
A muscular arm hugs a willing pillow.

The chubby cheeks and pug nose have been replaced with handsome sharp angular lines. A strong jawbone. A determined nose. A thick shock of unruly hair.

A Geometry book leans against the dresser. Ribbons and plaques from races won proudly hang from the floor lamp arm. A rack of neckties and khakis mingle with T-shirts and jeans. A track team warm up suit slung over a chair. A basketball letter and pin leans against the mirror.

An electric guitar, amplifier, distorter, and Christian punk CD’s.
A TARHEELS license plate rests on an easel, pointing to future dreams.

My little boy has become a man-in the twinkling of an eye, in the flash of a moonbeam; in the time it takes a shooting star to traverse the night sky.

I smooth your thick hair and watch your chest rise and fall. What a gift you have been to me. How will I ever let you go?

Today I drive you to the Department of Motor Vehicles to pick up your license to new freedoms. I go as a driver, but return as a passenger.

A tear escapes my eye and trickles down my chin as I am reminded once again that this chapter of my life is coming closer to an end.

I crept into your room today and thanked God for the wonder of you.

___________________________________________________________

Friend, thank you for indulging me as I’ve remembered. I wonder if there is someone in your life that you need to remember today? Is there someone that you need to gather in your arms? Someone for whom you need to whisper a prayer? Someone you need to tell just how much he or she means to you?

Can I encourage you to do it? Right now? Today?

Leave a comment and tell me one person you are going to tell, “I thank God for the wonder of you.”

(The picture above is of my husband and son walking in snowy Chicago last weekend.)

37 Responses to Life is a Collection of Memories…Don’t Forget to Treasure Them

  1. Alicia C. February 4, 2014 at 11:39 am #

    Sharon,

    This was completely beautiful! We don’t have children so I am praying for my husband today. Thank you so much for allowing us into your life.

  2. Kimberly Herron February 4, 2014 at 11:59 am #

    I have 3 wonderful grown children with lives and children of their own now. Each child is such a gift from God. They are more precious to me than life itself.
    I thank God for the wonder of them!!

    Thank you for sharing this beautiful story.

    Kimberly Herron

  3. Betty February 4, 2014 at 12:00 pm #

    With having 4 sons and 1 daughter that are now in there 40’s and 11 grandchildren and 2 great-grandchildren : I thank God for the wonder of them.

  4. Bridget Lynch February 4, 2014 at 12:07 pm #

    My son is five-years-old. I thank God for the wonder of him. He is a blessing that is growing too fast! Thank you for your heart-felt words.

  5. Colleen J soon to be W February 4, 2014 at 1:05 pm #

    Oh, Sharon – God awakened me early with the promise that if I would get up He would reward my obedience. I am so glad I responded positively! I am soon to become a first time 24/7 mom to a wonderful 9 year old boy who comes wrapped in this package of love from God; his mom died 4 years ago. He has been through so much. I love his father so much and we recognize this rather unconventional path God has led us down to this point. I have prayed for John (my fiancé) from head-to-toe every day this last week and also for my son-to-be. I plan to make it my practice every day but especially on the less than perfect days.

    I ask God to help me make positive memories for them both – to wake each day with positive expectation and, yes, journaling the memories. In the rush of activities and day-to-day life, I will be asking God for His strength, joy, humor, peace, love and compassion; that God would bond us closely to Himself and each other for His glory.

    Thank you for sharing and “listening”. Love how God has used you to speak to me.

    • Kike Anunobi February 4, 2014 at 3:28 pm #

      Dear Coleen,
      I am sure you will be a wonderful mother and wife.. I can see it in your heart and in your full dependence on God to help you do it. Best wishes.

  6. Gill Kilbey February 4, 2014 at 1:38 pm #

    I thank God for the wonder of my beautiful 35 year old son Jason, his wife Juliet and my 2 darling grandsons Jacob aged 3 and Caleb aged 19 months. I am crazy about them!! Wish I didn’t live so far away from them.

    Thank you for your lovely story.

  7. Judith Miller February 4, 2014 at 1:44 pm #

    Sharon…..thanks so very much for sharing this beautiful journey with your son. Today, I too am reminded of the wonder of an awesome God who on February 4, 1981, blessed me with a fantastic boy child, now become man. So many memories engage my mind today of journeying with Andrew from babe to manhood. Some of the roads have been strewn with huge stones of fear and disappointment, but God in His amazing love has kindly allowed our feet to trod on roads filled with joy and peace. Yes, lots of memories fill my thoughts today of an amazing young man that has changed my life forever……and I thank God for the blessing of Andrew.

    • Yaritza February 4, 2014 at 3:24 pm #

      Beautiful, I walk with you and see the great blessing of been a mother. I have three, two boys, one girl. Now they are adult and I enjoy the blessing of my grandson. Thank you for share your blessing. GBY

  8. Stephanie Zuckschwerdt February 4, 2014 at 2:08 pm #

    I was so blessed by your blog. My angel baby, Gabrielle, who prefers to be called, Gabby, just turned 17. I’m struggling with the reality that she is a junior in highschool. Just one more year at home. She is the child we were told we would never conceive. God honored our cries for a child. We have blessed beyond measure to parent this precious gift! I have enjoyed every phase of our lives together. I’m so excited to see where God leads her to college and beyond.
    Thank you for sharing your personal experience with us. God bless you.

  9. Melissa February 4, 2014 at 2:13 pm #

    Thank you for this beautiful heart-felt story. I too, am thankful for my two beautiful daughters that strive to serve God. I have been blessed with the awesome responsibility of being their mom. I thank God for the wonder of my daughters!

  10. Pamela Nipper February 4, 2014 at 2:14 pm #

    Oh this one took me back through the years of raising my sons Jason 36, Joel 33 and Thomas 25 all the baby years of pacifers, and left index finger, changes of hair color and growing up. All raised to know Jesus and 2 still following and learning about Jesus one drifted away…2 have provided grandsons I now love deeply…All these boys changed my live loved their little boy legos, matchbox cars, and then one day I kissed their cheek and there were whiskers…they were becoming men…Men I love and pray for everyday. Love you Sharon and your posts.

  11. Dianne February 4, 2014 at 2:30 pm #

    Hi Sharron! Thank you for sharing such a personal & beautiful part of your life:) I’m home alone, just me and my dogs so Sharon, I thank God for the wonder of You!

  12. Cindy February 4, 2014 at 2:37 pm #

    Thank you for your beautiful story. I thank God for the wonder of my wonderful husband of 35 years. I also thank God for my 2 beautiful daughters and their husbands and my grandson. I treasure them and the time I can spend with them. I wish they lived closer as they fill a hole in my heart that only they can fill.

  13. Lucy Sanguinetti February 4, 2014 at 2:51 pm #

    I sit here with tears rolling down my cheeks…I, too, have shared the very same moments with our firstborn….our son. Even as he grew older, i would still watch him sleep. Last may, he graduated from college, moved into his very first apartment, and began his “adult” life in the working world. In November, he proposed to this “soul mate” and this coming May 10th, they will get married. Oh, how hard it is to let him go. But, oh how my heart is full of love and joy and thanks for this precious young man that I am blessed to call my son. He is marrying the girl that we prayed for God to bring into his life! Watching the two of them together fills our hearts with joy. Although my heart aches a bit, as our children leave the nest, I am confident that God is present in his life, in his heart and in his mind and that he will carry his faith in God into his new life and marriage. Today, I am thankful for Whit, my son!

  14. Pat February 4, 2014 at 3:08 pm #

    Sharon, I have been reading your blogs for a while now and they always touch my heart in a way that very few other devotions do. But today this post of memories of your son stirred deep chords of memories of my own son and our life together and makes me too want to sit down and write my own son to let him know how special he is to me and how much he has meant in my life. Thank you, Sharon for sharing your memories with us. May God bless you abundantly in your life and your ministry.

  15. Rita Safari February 4, 2014 at 3:45 pm #

    That was so lovely! Today I am thankful for my siblings, my husband and my daughters Maria and Stephanie who are growing too fast. God bless you!

  16. Debbie February 4, 2014 at 3:57 pm #

    Thank you Sharon, your blog was just beautiful thank you praying for my amazing angel that is 3 1/2 years old!

  17. Teresa Eason February 4, 2014 at 4:15 pm #

    Love this love letter : )
    I will tell my Momma and Daddy today….past due for a visit.
    Thank you

    • Rochelle Glover February 4, 2014 at 6:29 pm #

      What a wonderful heartfelt story. I can feel you in the story. You are a good writer. It was beautiful. I thank God for the wonder of my husband.

  18. Mark February 4, 2014 at 4:22 pm #

    I thank God for the wonder of my Husband he is wonderfully made.

  19. Julia February 4, 2014 at 4:26 pm #

    I thank God for my husband Mark he is wonderfully made.

  20. Julia February 4, 2014 at 4:29 pm #

    I will Thank God for my husband Mark he is wonderfully made. I will let Mark know.

  21. Anita Huntt February 4, 2014 at 4:49 pm #

    Sharon,

    My oldest son turned 23 last Friday.. I totally understand your feelings.. Your letter brought tears to my eyes as I feel the same way about all of my 6 children.. I forwarded it to my son with a note that said

    “I Thank God for the wonder of you!!
    The details of our life are different, but the message is the same!!! I thank God for the wonder of YOU!!!

    Tears fall as I think of how inadequate I am but God has somehow given me the greatest gifts in YOU and your siblings!!! I can only pray that I continue to decrease and allow him to totally engulf our lives!!!

    Love you forever,

    MOM…”

    Thank you Sharon for putting words to our feelings… Be Blessed!!

  22. Annita Calvert February 4, 2014 at 5:53 pm #

    Three sons & 6 grand “babies” (that are all growing up too fast! I thank God for the wonder of you: William Ryan Cain, Brandon D. Cain, Benjamin J. Cain, Kimberly Michelle Stellmach, Alexis Danielle Cain, Alyssia Faith Cain, Brody Isaac Glen Cain, William James Dale Cain & Faith Elizabeth Cain! My biggest blessings!! Thank you, God!!!

    Thank you, Sharon Jaynes for your encouraging posts! They always bring smiles, help bring correction & God’s love & hope!!!

  23. Jenny February 4, 2014 at 6:03 pm #

    I do not have the liberty to tell someone personally how I feel since he has chosen to remove himself from my life. But I tell God every day as I pray for him. I believe at this point those prayers are the most loving thing I can do. And because God is sovereign, I am asking Him to intervene mightily so that perhaps someday I can share my sentiment personally and hear it returned.

  24. Becky February 4, 2014 at 7:37 pm #

    Your words and sentiments are shared perfectly. Thanks for taking time to share with us. I was very blessed by this. I think my children are very close in age to yours and can relate so well. Such a sweet season – each one of them!

  25. Megan February 4, 2014 at 8:09 pm #

    This was a beautiful devotion. Today we are remembering my brother’s best friend DJ, an amazing young man (20) that passed away this past weekend. We now hold DJ in our hearts, and will continue to hold Joey in our arms. Today, I ask God to help heal the broken hearts of those lives that DJ touched, especially Joey.

  26. Kerry Mason February 4, 2014 at 8:13 pm #

    My son’s birthday was Monday, February 3rd. He turned 23 years old. God gave me a special gift as on Sunday the 2nd I got to see him baptize his first students from the youth group he has been pastoring for the last 6 months. He also gave a fantastic sermon on “To live is Christ, to die is gain.” So excited to see what God has in store for him in the future as he gets married this summer and then completes his degree in youth ministry in December. Time has flown by SO quickly, but like you… I thank God for allowing me to be there in his life and being able to enjoy all these milestones!!

  27. Lois February 4, 2014 at 8:55 pm #

    Tomorrow is our 3rd wedding anniversary,we dont have any child yet, we are stil trusting God and my husband has been sooo wonderful,i thank God for the wonder of my husband.

    Thank you Sharon,God bless you and your home.

  28. Leanne February 4, 2014 at 11:09 pm #

    Cliff and I have no children either–two dogs and two birds–We’ve always had dogs and the one bird ever since we were married. Until my amputation, I always had Seeing Eye Dogs, now we have rescued dogs and still our parrot Sidney. He is 20 years old, the same amount of years we’re married. However, your poem of memories was beautiful, and it made me go back over Cliff’s and my 20 married years. Oh, so many memories. Mostly good, however, a few not so good but all used by God to glorify Himself and to help us to grow. God is so awesome! I am praying for my husband today! Keep up the God work, Sharon!!

  29. Janet February 5, 2014 at 12:43 am #

    Thank God for both of my girls that are growing up to be beautiful woman.
    So proud of them but don’t tell them often enough.

  30. Marilyn February 5, 2014 at 10:59 am #

    Sharon, I loved this today and it has touched my heart. I had 3 children and one of those had 3 boys. But all live many miles (one 100 miles and the rest 750 miles) away today. So I would say with you, hug your family do it right now. The time goes so quickly and opportunity soon passes away. Yes, we stay in touch but that is nothing like a good HUG and telling the important people in your life that you love them.

  31. Linda February 5, 2014 at 11:48 am #

    Thank you for lovingly, openly putting into words what many mamas treasure in their hearts. My own man-child turns 26 this week. As the Godly husband of my beautiful daughter-in-law, and proud Papi of two beautiful girls, I thank God for the wonder of each of them. Blessings to you and your family. And Happy Birthday to Steven 🙂

  32. Ozzy February 5, 2014 at 4:03 pm #

    I thank God for the wonder of me. Not yet married, and had my birthday yesterday,same day as Steven. Love you so much sharon,praying to have a Godly mother inlaw like you some day. Happy Birthday Steven, my birthday mate.

    • Sharon Jaynes February 5, 2014 at 4:07 pm #

      HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!!!

  33. Jean February 16, 2014 at 7:26 am #

    I thank God for Kim, my daughter, who i didnt have on this earth nearly long enough. she is with God and we miss her so much.

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