Recently, I listened to a Basement Tape and it made me think about what my husband and I would leave behind for our children. The tape was all about leaving an inheritance for future generations. It was very inspiring and has caused me to think of things a bit differently.
I'm pretty sentimental. I love to hang onto old pictures, old Christmas cards, things from my childhood (although I don't have anything but pictures), etc. I would give anything to have an old dress that belonged to my grandmother when she was a young woman or a paper flower that she made (she used to make these all the time when I was a kid). It gives me a sense of identity. It helps me to remember certain periods of time in my life. I want to leave these same kinds of things for our children. I want them to be able to remember what they did on their birthday each year. I want them to have something that they can pass to their children and talk about where it came from, who made it or purchased it, and what the sentiment behind the item was. All of these things are great things to pass down but the most important legacy we will leave is not something material. It is something permanent. It will not pass away if we teach our children. Our legacy will be just that....teaching our children to love God and keep His commandments. Our pastors often say that we should teach our children the three W's.....Who God Is, What God Has Done, and What He Requires of Us. I'd like to think that my husband and I do a pretty good job at teaching our girls these things. Certainly, we can always do better and we do strive for that.
As I listened to this tape and took in all of the wisdom coming from the speakers, I looked for things that represented our family.....something that told a story. I wondered if we had anything like that. It seems that this sort of thing is slowly disappearing. Everything has become so disposable that it is hard to find things that really stand the test of time. We are very blessed. Having said that, I'll also say that we've never spent much money on furniture. We've tried to keep ourselves debt free save having a mortgage. In doing so, we don't finance much. If we don't have the money for it, we don't buy it. When we get the money for it, we try and chose wisely how to spend that money. Anyway, I've really wanted to buy a nice bookshelf lately (translate nice=pretty). Oh, I found one....for $110, before tax. It was nice. It was pretty. It was way more than I wanted to spend. It was flawless...no dings, no scratches, nothing to show its character. It was made of nice cherry wood. It was big and had many shelves...but it had no story. Since I had listened to this basement tape a few days before seeing this holy grail of bookshelves, it was much easier to turn and walk away. I wanted a bookshelf pretty bad but I wanted one that had a story.....a story my children could tell my grandchildren. A bookshelf that would make its way through at least a few generations of Forresters. In the tape, one pastor told the story of a tool that he had that belonged to his grandfather and how he was keeping it for his son. This was what I wanted! I came home and commissioned my husband to help me build our "inheritance" piece from some scrap wood we had. We used some old stair treads for the shelves, top, and bottom. We purchased some wood for the sides and we went to work.
Here we are putting the frame together:
Here's the bookshelf after it was painted white and the back was put in:
Jeff and his dad adding trim to the front of the bookshelf:
Finished bookshelf sitting comfortably in my living room, filled with some of our favorite books:
Yep, I could have spent $110 plus tax on a manufactured bookshelf. Instead of doing that, we have something really special to pass down. This bookshelf was built not only by Jeff and myself, but his dad had a small part in it. So when this is passed down to one of our girls, they will be able to tell their children that it was built by their grandpa, grandma, and also their great-grandpa! How beautiful is that! The best part of the story will be how we built it with them in mind. I can imagine what it will be like. One of my girls will be sitting around her living room with her children. Their father will be reading from Psalms and afterwards they will discuss the meaning of the Psalm. They'll discuss God's grace, mercy, forgiveness, love, kindness, and care for His sheep. They'll be sharing an inheritance with their children. When they are all finished and are ready to send the children to bed, they will lay their Bible onto the bookshelf....not just any bookshelf. That Bible will find its home on the bookshelf crafted by a generation of Forresters before them. And so the story will continue.......