Monday, December 31, 2007

Looking back

As another year comes to a close, I enjoy looking back on the past year. This year it was very easy to do, and I actually had to in a very real way. Maybe I need to back up a little bit...

Do any of you struggle with wondering what to give your parents for Christmas from year to year? As we were wracking our brains for ideas for something to give them, the subject came up that the gifts that are the most treasured can't be bought with mere money.

As we continued to bring up and veto various suggestions, the idea was mentioned to give them this whole past year of happenings and memories: scrapbooked. For those of you who have done anything of the sort, you know it is a time-consuming project. Oh -- and did I mention that this idea hadn't been thought of until 5 days before Christmas?!

A scrapbooking marathon ensued. With my sisters taking turns helping me and covering for my home chores, I scrapbooked almost non-stop for 4 days. Whew! In between developing all the pictures, finding just the right colors and accents, writing the perfect sentiments, and putting together close to 70 different pages, I was reminded over and over again of the faithfulness of the Lord over the past year.

Pictures bring back so many memories. There were definitely joys and struggles. Times to enjoy each other, as well as grow closer together as we'd persevere through an exhausting schedule. Hugs, tears, work, sweat, laughter, beauty, peace, forgiveness, patience, flexibility, love; how is a year summed up?

The most miraculous happening was the bus accident back in February. Whenever Daddy shares the story during one of our family services, it sometimes seems like it was just last week, and yet so much, so much has happened since then.

Prison crusades, children's ministry, more miles on the bus, crazy laundry mats, seminars, a little home time, big brother leaving, and now working on the bus again; it has been a full year.

I just have to laugh, because anytime anything out of the ordinary happens (which in a family of 15 is probably once every other day or so) someone will invariably say "Oh -- think of all the memories we're making!" The one problem is: after so many memorable moments you began forgetting them! But hopefully not now for the year 2007! It is officially compiled to be remembered -- not solely for our benefit or enjoyment, but to record the faithfulness of the God we serve!

"One generation shall praise Your works to another,
and shall declare Your mighty acts."
Psalms 145:4

And yes, Daddy and Mommy were thrilled with their present.

(And in case any of you are interested in knowing: the scrapbook is one of the reasons for my lack of posting recently! If you don't think that is a sufficient excuse, just try scrapbooking 300+ pictures in 4 days -- and you'll understand!)


Anonymous said...

What a wonderful idea! We too get 'stumped' when it comes to our parents' birthday and Christmas gifts, sometimes.
I know your gift will be a treasure for the years to come!


::Mars:: said...

What a excellant idea! A great way to create memories and remember the past together!


Ruth Ann said...

what a beautiful gift! I'm sure they'll treasure it forever and ever, and all of you siblings will LOVE looking through it from time to time. Scrapbooking is very time consuming, but what a heritage we have to be able to look back and remember all the things God has brought us through. Thank you for your encouragement to me today!! I've missed the updates on your blog, but you were doing something so much more important right then!! God bless you, and look forward to hearing more from you now!

Ruth Ann

Anonymous said...

That's a great idea! I think I just might do that for my parents next year too!

Erin said...

Doing a whole scrapbook in 5 days! definatly an excuse for not posting :)!

Congratulations on your effort, it looks beautiful and will be treasured for years to come.

Anonymous said...

aw, that is just wonderful and SOOO SWEET! A great idea. :)
Good job, Bethany! :)

*~cici~* said...

Amazing job, ladies! What a great idea- I'll bet it was nice to have such gorgeous pics to choose from!!

Anonymous said...

totaly cool, and in 5 days whwwwee!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Hi Bethany,
I came across your site whilst searching out a D L Moody saying about a lighthouse not needing a cannon -- found it thank you!
I think one of our best Christmas was when 23 relatives were together and we each had to buy everyone a $1.00 present -- it was absolutely wonderful to see what people could come up with for $1.00. That was five or six years back now but I know of a family who heard of it and have continued it on.

Sauve Family Blog said...

What a wonderful gift Bethany!! I love to scrapbook myself and right now our whole family is working on scrapbooking the whole year of 2006 (we are just a little behind!)
For that year alone I had over 400 pictures printed!! Either that means that we did a lot that year or I just went Shutterbug crazy!! =)
Anyways... what a great blessing your scrapbook must have been...and thanks for sharing!


Follow In His Steps said...

What a special and thoughtful gift! I'm sure that it will be one that will be treasured for many years to come. From the pictures it looks like your parents loved it. :)


Hannah said...

Wow! A lot of love went into that scrapbook!!! :) What a precious gift to give to your parents...I believe I'll be doing that this year for Christmas '08 for our parents! :) Only, I think I'll do it as the year goes by...I don't think I'd be able to do it in five days! lol Good job!
And I know how special a scrapbook can be as a very dear friend who I've never met made me a gorgeous scrapbook for my birthday...The gift of memories is one of the best! :)

Goldfish said...

That's a great idea!! (I have always have a hard time with presents for my dad, this year I got him an Abbott and Costello CD :D :) And amazing that you could do it in so short of a time! Looking at that picture of that note about the crash and saying, "Dad, I'm okay" made me reallystop and think. Thanks for the awesome post, but I have to admit, I really missed your posts. :)

A Heart of Praise said...

Scrap booking is so much fun! :) I can imagine that 300 pictures would take quite a bit of time to put together!!! It sometimes takes me half a day just to do one page, ahem, I guess I'm too much of a perfectionist! lol! :)

Brittney said...

wow, what a NEAT idea! I love the little excerpts you showed of your project. You are so creative!!! :) I love that doll in your sweet mother's lap too ;)..... can tell you still have little girls in your family :).


Christina said...

I have been known to tackle similar tasks in short amounts of time, just like that! I find that I am actually way more productive when I have an intense deadline like that! I have missed your posting though..


The Mom said...

Awww, how sweet! Your mom especially looks thrilled! Your dad does too but your mom has that sweet motherly flare about her. And I love the doll tucked under her arm. :)

That is a GREAT parent gift idea by the way! :)

Anonymous said...

What a special way to bless your parents! It will be cherished immensely, I'm sure! I just love how that 'sisters' page turned out!(grin) Can't wait to see all of them sometime soon! Bunches of lovin'!

Anonymous said...

What a lovely present! We love to scrapbook here as well! I think I like the "Sisters" page best.


Anonymous said...

Happy New Year Bethany! What a wonderful idea for a Christmas present! 300 pictures in 4 days?? I can't imagine how you did it. I've been scrapbooking myself lately, but the most I can do at a time is about 2 pages. :-) Still, what a treasure to make for your family.


Anonymous said...

What a nice gift!
I really enjoy looking at your blog,and seeing a bit of what another family's life is like,but you are fully excused for not posting! God Bless you and your family!
~Ruth Knapp~

Noelle Otto said...

That was a beautiful post Bethany. What a wonderful idea. And I'm so glad you're back to blogging!!! :D

Anonymous said...

I kmow the feeling of scrpbooking non-stop!! I put together 3 scrapbooks this decmber for my grandparents & uncles & aunts! I think I'll have "creativity block" for a while! smile
Bridgette in SC

Anonymous said...

Wow, that looks great!!! What a fabuous idea for a gift.

Unknown said...

What a wonderful gift. You are right, not all gifts can be bought with money. You did a wonderful job Bethany.

Bethany said...

What a lovely idea. I think you have an excuse for not posting.

Anonymous said...

How sweet and fun! I know they loved it!! Scrapbooks are so fun!


Anonymous said...

Wow, it must have been hard work! But fun too! :D