For where your treasure is, there also will your heart be. Luke 12:34
Have you noticed how some things are harder to do as you get older? Sometimes I just try to ignore it and find something to blame it on but other times there is no getting around the fact that things just don’t happen quite the way they used to. Putting on panty hose is a great example. Twenty years ago they just slid right on, one little tug at the end, on went the skirt and Bing…ready for the day! Today however the same task is practically an Olympic event that requires a piece of sturdy furniture, a fair amount of wiggling and hopping followed by some sweat beads and a rest to top it all off. I don’t know what they’ve done to those crazy things to make them so hard to put on these days but I’d like to write a strongly worded letter to somebody about it! After we commiserate about the things that are harder I always have to stop and think about the things that are easier than they used to be. This week I had a big dose of something easier than it used to be; family pictures.
When the kids were little we would get a family picture taken every November so I could put it in the Christmas cards. Since my family is so far away it was important to show everyone my family even if we couldn’t visit with each other. Let me tell you, family picture night was always an ordeal! I can’t even count the number of times the “outfits” were carefully planned only to have someone blow out of a diaper, fall into something messy or spill a sippy cup on their clothes before the first click of the camera. There were hair-dos and wiggles and itchy tags that presented themselves like giant speed bumps in the process time and time again. There were eye rolls and sour faces if the kids were asked to put their arms around each other or sit too close. I will always remember the picture when Shannon was 14 months old and the photographer had Dave lying on the floor with her sitting on his back. Her latest trick at the time was wrapping her wet little lips on somebody’s arm and making that big loud bubble blowing sound. It was adorable until the photo shoot started and she decided the top of her daddy’s bald head would be a great place to blow her sloppy bubbles. The sound was hilarious and her 3 and 5 year old brothers could not stop laughing which encouraged her all the more. Looking back on that event I can laugh now but at the time, I remember being very thankful that the photographer was my sister in law or we might have been tossed out of the studio or at least charged triple! I wouldn’t trade those memories for all the money in the world but it was tricky stuff. When the kids started to get older and involved in stuff, we gradually stopped taking that yearly picture and settled for candid snap shots here and there. That trend needed to change before Shannon moved off to college and the nest became empty. I needed an updated version of my whole family on my wall before they all took off and got busy doing what we’ve spent all these years praying for and teaching them to do.
The big trick this time around was finding a spot in everybody’s schedule. Once we got that organized we were good to go. At the appointed time everyone showed up, pressed, dressed and looking wonderful…no thanks to me at all! As we loaded in the Traverse to head to the picture spot, there was no incident…no spills, dirt, hair trouble or arguing! The lovely Jessie met us with a big smile a great camera and a God given gift for making us all fit together and look good in an instant! We did many poses and locations and there was not one eye roll or sour face. The little Wohlfert’s actually got as close together as they were told without incident! It was so much fun…just laughing with my family and knowing for a blip in time we were all packed together in a small spot and I didn’t have to share them with the world! It was a breeze…smiles, snap, switch and 25 minutes later we were back in the vehicle all done. It was so much easier and so much fun to be surrounded by my greatest treasure…my family. The ending was easier too. When the kids were little, we would promise ice cream after pictures if everyone did a good job. This time it was burgers and beer at a local brewery and that was WAY easier than waiting for three little kids to pick one scoop from 47 flavor choices at the ice cream counter!
When I think of my family as my treasure, I know that they are simply a wonderful gift from my greatest treasure…my Father. I realize that living life as a good disciple isn’t always easy. Sometimes making choices that lead us to holiness is hard to do and requires struggle and sacrifice. I’m really hopeful that as I get older, growing in holiness might get easier…kind of like taking family pictures got easier. It’s a wonderful thought. When you really think about it the two have a lot in common…you just keep working at it, make some re-adjustments, encourage each other and find contentment in the process. As I look back at our family pictures through the years I see so much change and growth…I hope Christ sees that same thing when he looks at my heart and our relationship over the years.
A Seed To Plant: This one is a two parter…first, spend some time in prayer this week thanking God for all your treasures and second, prayerfully consider your holiness and ask God to show you how he wants to mold you so it can be easier to grow closer to him.