Two boards hang on our bedroom wall. Flanking my bureau they stand as two pillars, monuments of what makes us, us. On our wall we have placed printed reminders of why we are called a family and what that means forevermore.
The past and the present intermingle. Amazing it is to gaze into the eyes of a younger you, then step two feet to the left and stare into those same eyes in a mirror you purchased as a young bride never knowing of the reflections to come. Spring, winter, golden fall, pictures of my babies, my boys, my men; greenhouse with a youthful father of mine and his tender tomato plants; my young husband in his trademark jeans and blue flannel with his dog; weddings, graduations, a trip to the shore; armfuls of puppies; a yet-to-be first born in the womb of a naïve 23 year old woman hosting her first Easter; and sisters in dresses at 5 and at 12– the same sisters in dresses again at 16 and 23; same chair, same shaded setting.
Moments held suspended in time on photographic paper gingerly tacked to a board on our wall. In uncertain times it is good and right to fix one’s eyes on the solid and immoveable. Moments that have traveled through the bottleneck of the hourglass should be viewed with gratitude and as a window to our future. God frequently reminded the Israelites of where they had been, who they were and where He was taking them, which was invariably, closer to Himself. Likewise, images of the past remind us of God’s blessing and provision which, when meditated gratefully upon, serve to draw us closer to Him.
Therefore, it seems good to me to medialize; to bring the past, present and future together in one place; to draw together the pieces of what has brought me to this place in time. I look to see who I am and Whose I am by seeing where I’ve been and seek to envision where I am going. The particulars of where I am going aren’t as important as knowing that I must cleave to the One who is leading me there. There are clues from my past from which I may glean lessons and strength for my future.
I highly recommend finding the images of your past and placing them in your present; right before your face. I frequently stop and stare at these images and am reminded of my position as mother, wife, friend and daughter of the King. It reminds me why I want to improve myself and that I want to collect more memories to add to our wall. It reminds me to actively create the moments that we will want to capture and then pin to our wall.
Sometimes I find my husband stopping to look through these portals of time…
My children, too, will occasionally be drawn to the boards as they notice a new image or two has been added. When they do, they stop and stare. Their eyes drift from one image to the next, with a smile upon their face. They will point one out and vocalize their perspective. Often these comments produce laughter and, inevitably, warmth between the spirits in the room.
As for the particulars, I found two pale mauve office boards, circa 1990 at a thrift store that must weigh at least 10 pounds each. They have cut outs in the back for use in mounting to the wall. They are made of a material that thumb tacks can be pressed into them. They measure about 18” x 36” x 1”. I purchased a yard of decorator fabric that complemented our room and used fabric glue and a staple gun to wrap the front side of the board. I use clear tacks to hold pictures to the board without piercing the actual picture. This is a truly simple craft for the non-crafty person. Any board will do that can be covered and that will hold a tack.
The images you gather are representative of the souls God has placed in your home. As governess of your home, please understand that:
Home influence may be estimated from the immense force of its impressions. It is the prerogative of home to make the first impression upon our nature, and to give that nature its first direction onward and upward. It uncovers the moral fountain, chooses its channel, and gives the stream its first impulse. It makes the ‘first stamp and sets the first seal’ upon the plastic nature of the child. It gives the first tone to our desires and furnishes ingredients that will either sweeten or embitter the whole cup of life…Our habits, too, are formed under the moulding power of home. The ‘tender twig’ is there bent, the spirit shaped, principles implanted, and the whole character is formed until it becomes a habit. Goodness or evil are there ‘resolved into necessity.’ Who does not feel this influence of home upon all his habits of life.The Royal Path of Life, "Home Influence"
May God bless and guide you as you seek His face early in the morning and throughout the whole day long. It is worth it all.
As seasons of life change, Elizabeth happily remains desperately dependent upon her God. Three of her four children have now branched off to begin their own families. She is a homeschooling veteran and a faithful wife for over 30 years.