This is the only photo I have of our whole family.
It's from 2007 and at Ken & Melissa's
Edmonton post-wedding-celebration party!

Children are a heritage! Since this special event Aidan has joined our clan!

Re-post from 2008! Just thought I would share this again.

Many of us will again attend the city’s lively and fun-filled Heritage Festival this week-end. It is fascinating to see the various different traditional customs displayed! In the past some of you may have tasted your way through the surprising selection of appetizing, mouth-watering foods. The buzz of the diversity of languages always intrigues me, and I recall the story of how God decisively confused the people’s languages. Oh, the infinite variety of faces! I marvel at the energy of those enthusiastic, full-of-life international dancers! I feel most at home though when I hear those wonderful brass instruments playing German folk songs! That’s my heritage!

I think that we should pass on for future generations our oral language, festivals, medical traditions, and even folklore. These are intangibles that cannot be preserved in a museum for all to appreciate. In learning to value our own cultural background, we foster a greater appreciation for other people’s culture and are mutually enriched. Wise the parent who deepens awareness and understanding of others in the hearts of their children. What a legacy is being handed down from one generation to the next! What a sense of belonging to a greater community!

To us as parents, more important than passing on our cultural heritage to our children, was teaching them our spiritual heritage. Instilling spiritual truths, values, beliefs, morals begins in the home. It is an awesome responsibility and privilege! Before they were born we prayed for our children; how much more afterwards! Talking about the things of God was naturally woven into every aspect of our daily lives. We read Bible stories, dramatizing them a bit for easier understanding. We sang Scripture songs and knelt at their bedside for prayer. We’d say grace before every meal and we’d pray in the car for safety on our trips. When they struggled with difficult people and issues at school, we talked about it at family devotions after dinner, seeking answers from God’s Word, helping them make right choices.

Our children loved Sunday School and Youth Group. Summer camps were a must! They received wonderful foundational teaching and preparation for their future ministry at both. They gave their hearts to the Lord at a tender age and were baptized upon their faith in Him, receiving the Holy Spirit as their Guide. We made blessed memories and set up family traditions that honoured God. The neighbourhood children loved being at our house. There was always lots of love and fun to go around, even though there was firmness in discipline and they had to clean the messes they invariably made. We made a warm, welcoming home a priority.

The extended biological family shared the same values of integrity, honesty, and morality because we all belong to that wonderful faith family. Even many aunts and uncles, Opas and Omas in the wonderful church family, influenced and encouraged their lives, prayed for them and built solid relationships with them. What a blessing and source of joy that was to us as parents! There was mutual affection, support and respect at its finest. Such are some of the treasures of our spiritual heritage. Oh, that doesn’t guarantee that there won’t be mistakes and bad choices made, but with a solid spiritual foundation they will know where to go for forgiveness and a fresh start. We are grateful for God’s faithfulness as we passed on our cultural, but more significantly, our spiritual heritage. Thank God that we are still able to do that in freedom in our country. God only knows for how long!

“Place these words on your hearts. Get them deep inside of you.
Tie them on your hands
and foreheads as a reminder.

Teach them to your children.

Talk about them wherever you are;
sitting at home or walking in the street;

talk about them from the time you get up
in the morning
until you fall into bed at night.”
Deut. 11:18,19 MSG


Karabeth said...

Your heritage and the one you gave your children sounds very much like ours. Rehearsing one's spiritual heritage is a wonderful reminder of God's provision every step of the way.

Charity Joy Bell Childs said...

That is one big happy family! :) I like that photo! :)

I like to read about all that mouth-watering food and all those different kinds of people, too! :)

Karabeth said...

Lovely family portrait!

I love studying my family's customs. And as a "Heinz 57 Varieties" person genetically speaking, I have a lot of them to study.