Family Friday. Grandchildren are the Crown and Glory of the Aged.

Last Saturday I attended a family event.  About one hundred and fifty people gathered together to celebrate being children, grandchildren and great grandchildren of my mother and father.  My parents are both dead, but we met to honor their memory and their sacrifice to rear us, their ten children.
It was because of their example I had endurance to have fourteen children of my own.  My father was a farmer.  The land produced crops and fed animals.  I remember my father walking across a field scattering corn seed with a fiddle.  He did not have the modern machinery that ploughs up the ground, prepares it for the seed and then sows the seed all in a few days.
He arose early every morning to milk cows, “twenty four seven”.  My mother and father imageshared the work.  Mummy supplemented the income by rearing hens and selling the eggs.  As we their children grew up we helped with the work.  My parents educated all their ten children.
The event last week was a focus for some of my own children to return from far away to join the celebrations.  My son David called me two weeks before to tell me he was thinking of coming over from Canada to be there.  It would be an occasion when he and Jacquelyn could introduce their baby daughter Ava, now eight months to his brothers and sisters and extended family.  I was delighted and encouraged him to come.
God blessed his plans.  He was able to book flights that were affordable even at short notice and within the time frame of days he could get off work.  I met them at Dublin airport.  One year ago exactly Brendan and I stood in Dublin airport and waved goodbye to David and Jacquelyn as they left Ireland to settle in Canada.  They returned to these shores of Ireland last Thursday!  It was a day of joy!  They were with us for five full days.

Baby Ava met and played with her cousins, got nursed and shared around to willing arms to hold her.  David hung out with his brothers and sisters.  Jacquelyn met up with friends.

David and Jacquelyn are adjusting well to being young parents.  They lovingly care for Ava.  .  Last evening I found one of Ava’s bottles.  I shed a few tears.  I was missing David and his family.  I miss Jacquelyn up early in the kitchen preparing bottles of milk for Ava.  I miss my grandchild playing around on the floor.  I miss my son David.
But I have joy in knowing he is starting out in life to look after his own family.
Like my father and my husband he will be an excellent provider and protector for Jacquelyn and Ava.  Brendan and I got to see our grandchild Ava.
Grandchildren are the crown and glory of the aged.  Proverbs 17 v 6
We will see her again.

We built This City. Daily Prompt. Downpatrick, in Northern Ireland, the Place where I Live.

Next Monday, the 17th March is St Patrick’s day.   There are celebrations all over the world on this day.  In America green beer is sold.  When my husband was in China on St Patrick’s Day the locals gave him a can of Guinness.  He said it was the best can of Guinness he had ever drank in China.  It was the only one!
The Irish people have spread all over the world and that is why most countries have heard of St Patrick.
St Patrick  is celebrated as an man who lived among the Irish in the fifth century.  He preached the gospel of Jesus and did many signs and wonders among the people.  It is recorded that he drove the snakes out of Ireland.  There are no snakes in Ireland.
The town where I live is called Downpatrick.  It is claimed that St patrick is buried here.  Many tourists come to visit this historical place.
The people of this town have lived at peace with each other during the recent troubles in the seventies.  Every Good Friday all denominations of Christians walked through the town behind a wooden cross.  People took turns to carry it.  The people of the town demonstrated their unity, when in other parts of Northern Ireland people were being murdered.
I believe there is a blessing over Downpatrick because of it’s history as a centre of Christianity and civilisation.  There are many schools and colleges in our town.   Christian brothers set up a school for over eleven year old boys back at the beginning of the twentieth century.
They brought education to the poor.  My children attended this school.
I was praying for a bigger house for our growing family.  I needed more space.  I believed that God would provide for us a big family, like he provided for the tribes that went into the Promised Land.
About that time I read in the bible “Look for the ancient pathways where you will find rest for your soul.”  Jeremiah 6 v 16.  Downpatrick is an ancient pathway where Christians have lived for many centuries.  St Patrick may have walked down the pathway or street where we live.
My husband and I believe that God can speak and guide people.  God showed my husband in a dream to get in touch with a man who lived in Downpatrick.  This man, some months later helped us get the big house we now live in.   It has seven bedrooms, two kitchens and two living rooms.  We will be ever grateful to our friend who helped us find a home here.  He helped us when we were in need.
Downpatrick has been a blessing to our family.  Our children were welcomed into the schools.  Their friends’ parents welcomed them into their homes.  The local soccer club and Gaelic club were somewhere safe for my boys to play, supervised by responsible caring volunteers.  It felt as if we always lived here.
We joined with other Christians to pray in unity.  We were blessed.   Where brothers dwell together in unity there The Lord commands a blessing.  Psalm 133.
Since we moved here as we prayed with others for our town,  new things have come here.  A new hospital is built, a new cinema, two new schools, and a new supermarket.
Where I came here I met other families that returned here to rear their children.
Downpatrick is a pleasant and safe place to live.
We have a vibrant Art Centre that gets funding from the government.  Downpatrick punches above its weight.
It has a pleasant climate.  It rests in the lee side of the Mourne Mountains.  The rain falls on the mountains, so we receive less rain than other parts of our country.   We often had our dinner outside in the summer time.  We could never do that in the last town we lived in.
There are beautiful local parks and coastlands.  Within seven miles we are at the beach.  Coney Island is nearby.  It is made famous by the Van Morrison song.
As people live together in harmony the Mayor of our town will have an easy job.
Soon we are moving to a smaller house not far from Downpatrick.   I will always be grateful to God for leading us to live in Downpatrick.  I am thankful to all the teachers, coaches, friends and neighbours who helped our family and have made our time in Downpatrick a happy one.
you too can be guided by God in your life.  He will speak through dreams or circumstances that may arise in your life.  God loves you.

REST

 

At seven in the morning it is dark here in my home town of Downpatrick, Co Down, Ireland.   As I look out my window I see the main road wind its way out into the distance.  During the week day mornings there is a constant flow of pairs of red lights, cars with people on their way to work in Belfast.  Later there is a flow  of buses and cars into town with school children.  Downpatrick is a hub for education.  We have great primary and grammar schools here, a good place to rear children.

The road is quiet this morning.  I hear the church bells ringing.  A call to prayer.  What a wonderful Christian  heritage we have here in Ireland.  Despite the war,  people still pray.  The bells were silent for a time recently.  I missed them.  I enquired and was reassured the bells would be ringing again.  The  bells ring down through the centuries.   Everyone hears the bells, whether one is Catholic, Protestant, Hindu, Muslem, Chinese, male, female, child or pensioner.  It  is a beautiful sound, memories of home,  neighbours and security.

All is at rest in this small town today.