Labor Day was this past Monday, and I missed writing about it. Today I'm going to make up for lost time.
Do you celebrate this holiday? Or do you know much about it? In the Linzey clan, in addition to knowing what it's all about, we have a secondary reason for remembering it.
On Aug. 30, 2012, our oldest son and his family came to visit us for several days and celebrate Labor Day with us. Their van was full with12 children and two parents. Fifteen-passenger vans come in handy for families like his, and Ron made a good decision in buying one.
We had a grand time for the next three days. Our half-acre is large enough for the kids to run, romp, play hide-n-go-seek, tag, and even play kick-the-ball. And though we have only a 3-bedroom house, we do have plenty of floor-space, and my office in the backyard served as a bunk-house for the older boys.
The family said one of the highlights of the visit was Grandma's cooking. They are correct, and it's surprising that I don't weigh 200 pounds. She has fed me well for these – as it stands today – 54 years.
But Monday, Labor Day, finally dawned on us, and the family began packing up for the return trip home – Oklahoma City.
To borrow the phrase from last week's reflection, farewells are such sweet sorrow, and all 12 kids gave grandma and me hugs – again – and again. The van eventually backed out of our 119-foot driveway, and honked as they drifted down the street.
Carol and I reclined in our La-Z-Boy chairs for a half-hour and rested. We truly enjoy the visits from the kids and grandkids, but we always relax for a spell after they leave. Then we look forward to the next visit – whenever that may be.
This time we didn't have long to wait. The phone rang.
"Hey, dad, this is Ron. We've been at the Phillips 66 gas station by First Baptist Church, and we are wondering if we could come back and spend another night or two."
"Sure. What's up?"
"Well, as you know, Tanya was due to have our next baby in two or three weeks. But it appears that we may have the baby within 2 or 3 hours, and we'd rather not have to deliver it on the side of highway 412."
"Get yourself back over here. The driveway's still clear. See you in five minutes."
"Precious, the kids are coming back, and we're gonna have another grandbaby."
Carol knew exactly what to do, and was in gear when the 15-passenger van pulled back onto the 119-foot driveway.
Everyone tumbled out of the van around 6:15 p.m,, and Ron said, "This must be a boy."
"How do you know, Ron?"
"Every one of our girls were born in Oklahoma, but every one of our boys were born in different states. We don't have an Arkansan yet, so this is a boy."
Daniel Nehemiah Linzey emerged on his birth day at 9:20 p.m. on Sept. 3, 2012, on our bed, on Labor Day. Yep, Tanya went into labor on Labor Day. And THAT is our secondary reason for remembering this holiday.
What kind of memories do you have for this occasion? Let's open it up – what kind of memories do you enjoy thinking about?
Negative memories are real downers, and can erase the joy in life. And you cannot stop thinking about negative memories by trying to stop thinking about negative memories. (I know that sounds silly, but bear with me.)
It's difficult to carry a 50-pound brick and a 30-pound grandchild at the same time. So, what do we do? 1) Put the brick down, 2) pick up the grandchild, and 3) don't concern yourself with the brick while playing with the kid.
In like manner, you replace negative memories in life by consciously reminiscing about pleasant ones. And every time negative memories demand your attention, consciously think about the blessings God has given you. (I'm not addressing responsibilities here. That's another story.)
God even gave us a heads-up in Scripture. Matthew 11, verses 28 and 30 say, "Come to me, all of you who are tired and have heavy loads, and I will give you rest....The burden that I ask you to accept is easy; the load I give you to carry is light."
Feel free to sit in your emotional La-Z-Boy chair and remember, Jesus loves you.
-- S. Eugene Linzey is the author of 'Charter of the Christian Faith.' Send comments and questions to [email protected] Visit his website at www.genelinzey.com. The opinions expressed are those of the author.