Tuesday, November 10, 2015

What Matters Most

After I did the Ride to Remember in September, I started 100 Days of Gratitude, which has helped me reflect on what matters most.  So, in honor of Thanksgiving, I want to do a series of posts on "what matters most."  I wish I could say the posts will be on a specific day of the week, but I'm not that accountable when it comes to deadlines.  

Family Photo - taken in Spain.  I was probably four or five months old here.
Above all, my family and friends matter most to me. This post is dedicated to my parents.

Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long in the land that the Lord your God is giving you.
Exodus 20:12

As an only child, I am very close to my parents. I treasure them with my whole heart. They recently celebrated their 47th wedding anniversary. 47 years! That's a LONG time. Through the good times and bad, they have stuck it out. Their love and dedication for each other is truly a blessing.
My parents on their wedding day.  They were so young!
This was taken on the rooftop of their apartment in Rota, Spain.  My father reminds me of Opie from the Andy Griffith Show.  My mother was so beautiful!  (She still is.)
I've written previously about my father. He has instilled in me a desire to achieve, to push myself, to work hard, to be all that I can be, to NEVER give up. 

My father was in the Navy.  He worked to make sure the optical equipment on the submarines was in working order.  This is a picture of him studying, something he always encouraged me to do.
 I have not talked about my mother.  My mother taught me how to stand up for myself and to fight for what I want. She pushed me to be a strong woman at a time when women were discouraged from pursuing education or a career.  She sacrificed, so I could have.

Me and my mom.  I love her so much!
My mother taught me important skills to be successful in life. These are just a few: hospitality, thoughtfulness, generosity, organizational skills, how to trust the Lord, how to be a good mother, how to get things done.

My mother loves to entertain!  She used to make and decorate my birthday cake and always taught me how to be a good hostess.  I think these pictures are really cute, with her cutting the cake and me right next to her.
When you are an only child, you are the center of your parents' universe. I always knew I was loved.  I never lacked for anything. 
My parents were so young when they had me.  This was taken the day of my senior prom.  Look how young my parents are!!  My mother's face is priceless here, she's giving "the look."  She'd probably be like, "Tracey, take that picture down.  It's awful."  But I love it.  It so captures her.  Words can't begin to describe how much I love my parents.  I think it's different when you're an only child.
On my journey towards fitness, my parents have championed my successes. Dad joined the gym and goes with his buddy almost every morning. He was at the starting line when I did the Ride To Remember in September.  When I told my mother that I wanted a Go-Pro, she gave me money for my birthday to go towards it. Since my old clothes didn't fit, Mom bought me some new ones.  When we come to their house for dinner, Mom makes sure there is food I will eat, conscious of my new healthy lifestyle.

Dad sent me and Brian off before the Ride to Remember.
My mom and I.  This was taken after my hair was cut, so I was probably six.  We had coordinating clothes on.  She said my dress was red with navy blue and white stripes and her outfit was navy blue and she had the red and white stripes.  I did the same thing with my kids when we had family pictures - we had to coordinate colors!  
The material things...I do appreciate them. But far more than that, I appreciate the love and dedication my parents have for each other and for  and their family. The example they have set to love and honor the Lord, to trust in Him for all things. 

Both of my parents walked me down the aisle when I got married.  This was unusual, but it's what I wanted.
Hear, my son, your father's instruction, and forsake not your mother's teaching, for they are graceful garland for your head and pendants for your neck.
Proverbs 1:8-9 ESV

Question for you:  (Answer in the comment section below.)
For what are you most grateful?

New:  Subscribe to new posts!  When a new post is added, you will receive an email notice so you can check it out.  I promise:  no SPAM and I won't share your email address with anyone.  Look at the top right side of the page to subscribe.  

Follow me on Instagram:  @tracoleman99