I'm in the process of creating Will's video of his third year in this world. His birthday is in July and Annie's is in January, so every six months I have the pleasure of putting together a compilation of videos and pictures of their past year set to music. I plan to put them all on a DVD and give it to them when they go off to college (or whenever they leave our house and I'm left crying in their empty bedrooms).
I admit part of the reason for this project is selfish. I love having a way to look back over their short little lives so far and see how much they've grown. I have also always had an obsession with looking back at old pictures and videos of myself. I used to sit for hours as a teenager watching videos of myself and my brothers when we were younger. Yes, it reminded me of a simpler time. Yes, I liked to fast-forward to the Christmas when my dog ate my mom's cinnamon roll. But it also gave me some perspective. I've found one of my biggest flaws is how hastily I lose perspective. I forget to remember all the blessings in my life. The memories from when I was young, like my kids are now, are hardly possible to recall, but even as we age we forget things that happened last year and last week.
We wonder why our parents are so protective of us because we forget the millions of hours they poured into our lives to make sure we were well fed, educated, happy, healthy, wise, faithful, obedient. We wonder why people are jealous that we have siblings because we forget the nights at the dinner table that we laughed until we cried at the joke that only our family thought was funny. We cry out to God when we don't get what we want and ask why He's punishing us because we forget (or choose to forget) the thousands of blessings He has given us that He never had to. We hop on our expensive computer and post a Facebook status about how hard it is to have no money. We complain about the challenges of being parent and doing the very daily tasks that were done by our own moms and dads to shape us into who we are.
Of course, I know everyone has not had the same family and life experiences that I have. Some have more to be grateful for than others, but the one blessing we all share, whether we realize it or not, is God's mercy to us.
So, I guess my hope for this video project is a little perspective for my kids someday. I want them to remember how much their dad and I absolutely loved them even when we made mistakes. When they are tempted to play the victim I want them to remember the love that Christ has clearly shown to them their whole lives and to feel that deep thankfulness we rarely feel. I want them to remember how easily we forget.
Prone to wander, Lord I feel it
Prone to leave the God I love
Here's my heart, oh, take and seal it
Seal it for Thy courts above