Monday, July 16, 2012

One Good memory

Father's Day is here again and so many are posting wonderful memories about their Dad's on facebook and writing blogs about them.  I always go back to this post I wrote several years ago.  

Everyone has a Dad but not all of them were good ones.  My Dad did not have a good Dad and he followed after his Dad.  So few good memories are in my memory bank about him. 

I married who was a wonderful Dad and our son is a wonderful Dad and our daughter married a good Dad.  I don't live in regret over my childhood anymore, God has taught me to let Him use it, don't waste it by being angry, bitter over the face I did not have a good Dad.  I am grateful for all God has taught me through my struggles to forgive.  Besides, I have the best Dad of all in our Heavenly Father.  

Hazel over at   http//  gave  a challenge to write stories from ones past.  Stories that can be left to our children and grandchildren.
For some, that may not be a challenge but for me, it's extremely difficult.   There are some great stories on her blog site.  Some will make you laugh, shed tears,  and some are life-changing but all are usually good memories that are shared.  Every time I read those post my heart wishes I could come up with one good memory about my Dad from my childhood to share.  Then one day as I watch my son comb his three year old daughter hair a flashback happened, one I had not had in a long time.  A good was my dad combing my hair when I was about my granddaughter age.  Through the years it's the one flashback that does not cause me to tremble.  

A flashback, or involuntary recurrent memory, is a psychological phenomenon in which an individual has a sudden, usually powerful, re-experiencing of a past experience or elements of a past experience. These experiences can be happy, sad, exciting, or any other emotion one can consider.
Wikepidia encyclopedia.....
By the time I was two my mother had given birth to twin boys, 19 months younger then me so maybe Dad noticed her hand was pretty full that night.   Maybe he was sober that night. Maybe he was trying to make up for some of the abuse he inflicted on us.  These details were not answered in my flashback.  All my mind recalled is him combing my hair and I was not crying so he must have been gentle.    I am amazed how one good memory can rise above all the bad ones.  It would be so easy to dwell on the hurting ones and allow nothing good to come through but that helps no one including me.  

When my two children became teenagers they started asking me about my upbringing.  I wanted to evade the questions anything but gives words to memories.   They only knew my Dad as the broken man we took care of three years at the end of his life.  They did not know him as I did and because of Jesus living in my life, I somehow wanted to protect them from even knowing how bad things had been for me as a child.  God never wastes anything though and He gently shoved me through opened doors to share how the love of God can win the most wicked heart.  You see my Dad got saved the night before he died. (another post...I Got What I Wanted)

The love of God can turn anger and bitterness into understanding and forgiveness.  These were the things I wanted my children to learn.  These are the things I want my grandchildren to learn.  They will get hurt along the way, some may even betray their trust.  My prayer is that some of my stories, even the hurtful ones can be used to give them an understanding into the wickedness of our hearts.  "All have sinned and come short of the glory of God."  Understanding that says, "there but by the grace of God go I".    I could paint a horrible picture of my Dad and they would feel sorry for me but that is not what God wants.  I am a better person because of my understanding and the act of forgiveness.  No one owns me except the one who bought and shed His blood for my Him I owe everything.

Any fool can criticize, condemn, and complain but it takes character and self-control to
be understanding and forgiving.     Dale Carnegie

“The more anger towards the past you carry in your heart, the less capable you are of loving in the present....  Barbara De Angelis

God said to Solomon in  a dream, "ask what you want Me to give you."  Solomon after looking back
at his and his father life said, "give Your servant an understanding heart to judge Your people, to discern between good and evil...give me wisdom. 

This dialogue in I Kings 3  between God and Solomon made a profound impact on my life as a young Christian of 35.  The more I studied it  a deep desire grew for the same thing, an understanding wise heart.    Life is a few days of trouble a wise man once said and those troubles will rule ones life unless there isan understanding of who God is, who man is, what sin is, and most important the power of redemption.    

I know there are more good memories tucked back in my memory  bank and with God's help, I am praying for more to emerge.  But for now, I will dwell on a little red headed three year old girl getting her hair brushed by her daddy.  Sweet memory.

 Whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise , dwell on these things. Phil 4:8

This post is linked to Tell Me A Story


  1. Oh, this touches my heart! What a great gift you are passing on to your children and grandchildren in spite of the hurt you suffered. May many more good memories bless your life!

  2. If my father had lived to my memory age, I wonder what picture I would have had about him. He died when I was a newborn.

    Betty, I am so blessed to read your childhood memory written all across with FORGIVENESS as its theme.

    What a legacy to give your children and grandchildren.

    Indeed it is a choice as how to tell out stories.... would it be out of the Love and redemption of Jesus, or hang on to the hurt we felt as children.

    I too had hurtful experiences at childhood but they are only colored with my personal perception... therefore telling them at my end with anger and hatred, would be betrayal to the other parties.

    So, I love telling about those redeemed days.... days that give mirth to my mind and shaped what I have become.

    Along the way, Jesus chose to redeem me.

  3. Love you my faithful friend, thank you so much for sharing!! We are not our past but God uses it to mold us into the image of his beloved Son. Amen, thank you Father for your grace!!

  4. Betty,

    That's powerful. I am so sorry for the alcoholism and harshness you suffered. I rejoice with you that your father came to know Jesus at the end, and I brim softly with you at the gift of that gentle memory of him combing your hair. Thank you for your decision to share the truth and of God's healing through the hurt.

    Jennifer Dougan

  5. Sweet of you to stop by's been a while since I sometimes takes on a different direction then we expected. Blessings

    Lolita, thank you for reading the forgiveness that truely has set me free. Our past does not have to define us but can be used to help others. Sorry you did not know your father...but you do know your Heavenly Father who loves you unconditionally. Blessings my friend.

  6. Jennifer, as you well know when you post your heart you lay it out there for all to judge. thank you for seeing my heart...forgiveness is such a powerful act of our we reap great benefits. Blessings.

  7. I have been immersed in child abuse as I've read Sunday's Child the past few days. It's beyond my comprehension. How beautiful that you could care for your father--that has forgiveness written all over it.

  8. Kari...when did you become Kate? I don't often leave a reply but I love following your blog. See the hand of God all through it. How blesssed Ace and I are to know you and your have had a small part of your life for a while. Thanks for stopping on my site...your words ring true, "we are not our past." But what tool in the Master hands to mold and shape us. Blessings my wise hearted friend. (Kari or Kate???)

  9. Pamela, thank you for stoppinig by my site. I just hopped over to yours...what a good writer you are. Thank you for giving us material for our children and grand children. Blessings.

  10. Wow, Betty! Just as I said, when you finally do write, what Wisdom you impart to us.

    You, my friend, are truly a wise-hearted woman. You've walked the talk. Forgiveness and love IS written all over your post.

    I am honored to know you, Betty!

    What an example you set for each of us!

  11. What a great post that was written from your heart. I'm your newest follower!!

  12. Debbie thanks for visiting my site. God once again used the writing of it to stir my heart in many areas. Have loved reading the stories on "tell me a story." Blessings

  13. Thank you sweet Diane. You girls know how long this one took me. I am learning there are different levels to write from, that came from a deep well of forgiveness brought by the Holy Spirit. Blessings my good to see you posted today...amen sister, amen.

  14. I've been waiting patiently to read more of your words... You have a way with them, a gift from God.

    I'm deeply touched and humbled as I read your true life story. My heart also breaks for my sister who suffered as a child... Wisdom comes in different and sometimes difficult forms. If your life as a child gained wisdom to be able to save your children from choosing the wrong path in life, then it was all worth while.

    Your perspective is one of Godly wisdom and it touches your friends when you share it.

    I'm honored to share the details of your life. They are the chapters that make up a lovely life, regardless of the world and it makes for a wonderful story with the grandest of endings...

    God bless.

  15. Thanks Floyd for the kind words. The desire of my heart is for God to use all my life...past...present...and future, the good, the bad the ugly for His glory. My life is not buried in my past but His past which gives me freedom to use my past in the present. My future is secure in Him so I am free to be obedient to Him in the present.

    My heart aches for any who are held hostage by their hurts. I do hope your sister has someone to help her go from being the victim to being victorious. I am sure you lay her on the lap of the God often. She is blessed to have a Godly man for a brother. It is evident from your writing you are willing to let Him use all of you too.

    It is a grand ending isn't it...Blessings.

  16. How heart-warming! This was worth waiting for!

  17. Thanks Veronica...your encouragment helped me along with the other girls. MY COF is God sent to this old women. Blessings.

  18. Your post tugged at my heart, Betty, so glad you visited me so that I found you. You are a forgiver for sure. Bless you.

  19. This is so touching. I think we all want to dodge those tough topics with our kids but the greater blessing is using our pain to teach them.

  20. Thanks Mary for stopping by...sure enjoy your blog. Blessings

  21. Shannon nice of you to stop by. Even pain is not wasted when release it and allow Him to use it for His glory. I have lots of opportunities to help those struggling with forgiveness. It is possible with His help no matter the offence.

  22. So much of what you were talking about and describing re: childhood, fits right into what I lived through, too.

    My dad came to the Lord a few years before he died, and that was a miracle, considering his background [and former generational sin patterns]. My Mom, too. And the Lord saved me from addiction, violence and suicide. That was, of course, a really good thing!!!! I'm much blessed at my "old age"...and trying to teach my kids and g-kids still today re: how the Lord can make and break through our lives and redemption will keep us with Him for eternity. YIPPEE!! [HALLELUJAH!! is more spiritually oriented, of course. ;-)]

  23. Thanks for sharing these pearls of wisdom.
    We can chose to allow circumstances to dictate our lives or chose to live above it through the help of Christ.
    God bless you!

  24. Oh, my dear sister! This makes me want to cry, okay I DID. I'm crying for the hurt you've had to handle in your life and for the amazing work the Lord has done for your heart! Your example of forgiveness is divine and you are an amazing daughter of God! {{{HUGS}}}

  25. Thank you for sharing your awesome story at "TELL ME A STORY." God was gracious to give you even this small flash back to a tender moment with your dad as he combed your hair. Praise God your Father did accept Jesus even if it was a last moment conversion. God is good.

  26. Caryjo, TC and Mynnette thank you so much for stopping by my blog. I am so glad you were able to see my heart as you read. God has so used my hurtful growing up years to continue to teach me the power of His love which brings forgiveness. Blessings

  27. Dear Hazel, thank you for reaching out to those of us who have stories to tell. Your are an instrument of the Holy God and give out encouragement. How we need courageous wise hearted women such as you and all who responded to my humble writings. Also thankful for Floyd who brings such insight in his words. I pray God bless you book and know there will be a second one and possibly many more to come. God has truely blessed you.

  28. What a blessing that our Lord brought this memory to rise above the others - because of your amazing spirit of forgiveness. I pray that there are more to come. Thanks so much for sharing your heart and how our Lord has helped you rise above the difficulty of your childhood with such a beautiful, sweet spirit.

    I'm not sure how you discovered my blog, but I so appreciate the sweet comments you left there for me!! ~ Blessings, Tracey

  29. Betty, I came by to say a heartfelt THANK YOU for the lovely comment you left on my blog....and I found a sister in Christ! You are a story-teller, my lovely, whether you know it or not....and you touched my heart and my spirit.
    I thank the Lord that He prompted me, age 24, to start keeping a daily has some holes in it...haaa!...but it tells the story of my life as it has happened, and is there to be read ....if they so my five children, and coming-up 18 grandkiddles. They will know my heart, and will be reminded of all that has happened to them since the day they were's their legacy from me.
    I, too, strive to be a kind, courageous, wise and loving daughter of God....that's His heritage to me.
    Thank you again, Betty....please come by and see me again!

  30. I hope that you will remember other happy moments to write about in the near future. Now that you have done the hard work of writing this story, the others will surely come.

  31. Tracey, Anna Marie and Elisa, thank you ladies for spending time to read my post. Your gracious comments encourage me. I was reminded how many facet there are to serving God as I read each of your enjoyable blogs, different but with the same heart. Thank you for being willing to put yourself out there, many will be blessed.